Venice Here we Come

We took off from AMS Schiphol Airport for Venice in June to visit the 2015 Art Biennial there

Platform of AMS airport Schiphol

Take off from AMS airport Schiphol

ING is one of our largests banks here in The Netherlands and had bought some ad space at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Rather than Milan, we took off for Venice in June to visit the 2015 Art Biennial there and to stay a week in the Marche. Thusfar I’ve been a tad too busy to do some furthe reporting, but I hope to change that now.

However, do see my prior posts in relation to this trip about the Lancia Appia, about Monica Bonvicini and the Seabourn Odyssee

Lancia Appia

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And there I was in Senigallia, Italy, where the local classic car club had a meeting in front of the castle. I found this car which is very similar to my first car. I have owned it approximately two weeks. Then in the first shower it appeared that the back wheelarches where rotten. The prior owner had driven it approximately 15 years in those days (early 70ies). He was the best friend of my granddad. He stored the car in a garage and hadn’t noticed the wheelarches problems. He took the car back without a hassle and subsequently I bought my first Citroen, a 2CV. Not really sure anymore I have owned a series II Appia like this one or a series one…fond memories.

When in Rome…potter the Tiber in your Marble Yacht

Fabio Viale Marble Yacht

Via Today an Tomorrow, a blog curated – that’s a cool new term for what I usually do here:-) – by Berlin based Belgian Pieter I found Italian Sculptor Fabio Viale who cut his yacht from a whole piece of white Carrara and pottered the Tiber with it.

Boscolo Exedra Milano Hotel

Despite Milan’s de facto world design capital status, the city lacks design hotels. Boscolo Exedra, a new hotel opening very soon, will fill the gap.

The former bank will, after one year and €150 million in renovations, host 154 rooms, nine thematic suites (including Cinema, Sport, Family, Romantic and Milano) and conference rooms with a stunning view looking out on the Duomo.

Via Cool Hunting

10 Questions For (31): Gesa Noormann of Escapio

Happy to present Gesa Noormann of Escapio

Gesa-Noormann
1) Who Are you?
My name is Gesa Noormann. I am doing PR for Escapio, a booking platform for exclusive, handpicked hotels. I especially love testing out and reporting on our gorgeous hotels in the Escapio Blog. I live in the middle of Berlin with my twin daughters and two rabbits. Aside from travelling, I love cooking and having friends over to share food and drinks

2) What do you like about what you do?
It may sound a little kitschy, but I have always dreamt of landing a job like I have at Escapio. It combines my passions for travel, great hotels and writing. The internet offers so many possibilities to communicate with people and to develop new marketing ideas that I really feel I’m doing exciting and new things every day.

3) What don’t you like about what you do?
Sometimes I miss meeting people personally instead of having virtual contacts on the internet.

4) Please tell us all about your site / blog and your aims with it.
Escapio is a booking website with a selection of handpicked hotels. Our concept is that customers can choose their hotel by lifestyle criteria like romantic or design hotels rather than just by destination or price. In times of bargain deals we want to give our customers the security of enjoying a special stay in an excellent hotel. Our blog is a complement to the website, for our customers to share our experiences with hotels, locations and lifestyle.

5) Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
Egypt: so many things to see, such a rich cultural heritage, the Nile in the middle of the desert… just great!

Provence/Côte d’Azur: beautiful landscape, great food, my favorite language, fabulous shopping opportunities.

Venice: The City of my heart, a mix of beauty, decadence and melancholia.

La-Posta-Vecchia
La-Posta-Vecchia

6) Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
La Posta Vecchia, Rome. The perfect hideaway for lovers (ex-villa of Paul Getty and his lover). You actually sleep in the bed of Katharina de Medici, enjoy great food and eternal beauty near the city. Great restaurant with one Michelin star

The Hotel Al Moudira Louxor. The Lebanese owner brought all the antiquities and style from her villa in Cairo to this new built hotel in the middle of the desert. This hotel near King’s valley is a real oriental dream.

The Hollmann Beletage in Vienna: A very special and unique place in the historic center of Vienna. Actor Robert Hollmann realized with this hotel his personal idea of feeling at home – only better.

7) Your top 3 most memorable food / wine experiences to date and why?
Restaurant Hugo’s in the Intercontinental Hotel Berlin: Thomas Kammeier got his Michelin star for a good reason. He serves excellent, honest food with regional influences (his interpretation of the “currywurst” is unforgettable). Great panoramic view of Berlin.

Restaurant Le Castelleras near Fayence, France: This attractive stone villa is perched on a hillside and overlooks Fayence and the valley. A hidden and splendid location to enjoy refined Provençal-style cuisine. Great home-made ice cream with olive oil from the olive plantation behind the villa.

Harry’s Dolci in Venice with a great view on the Canale Grande. The food is fantastic and the other reason why I will never forget this experience is that my boyfriend and I, freshly in love, were not allowed to kiss. The manager’s severe call “Not in my restaurant” has become kind of an idiom between us since then.

8) Your top 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?
Unfortunately, I have canceled the names of these places out of my memory, so I cannot warn you

A hotel in downtown New York City, a so called in-place for artists. Perhaps I am not bohemian enough to live cockroaches in my bed as an interesting experience.

A hotel in Etropole/Bulgaria (best place in town!): My boyfriend is still getting spots on his face when he remembers the 50-years-of-socialism-carpet, 40 degrees in the room and no curtains…The wedding of my ex au pair was great, however, and for 19 euros per night you cannot really complain either.

9) Can you offer the readers 3 destination/ food / accommodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?
Well, just have a look on Escapio’s Berlin hotels. I would send my most stylish friends to the Hotel Q in West Berlin. It is really fashionable and cool with guests like Angelina Jolie and Amy Whinehouse. Prices are really affordable, and the bar is a great chill out place.
The Ellington Hotel is great, too. Or for party people, I would choose the Arcotel Velvet in Berlin Mitte. If you want more luxury and are post materialist-design lover, please do not miss The Mandala at Potsdamer Platz, it is just gorgeous!

For people who like to spend money on food, I would suggest the Hugo’s (mentioned above), the Margaux at Unter den Linden or the Horvath in Kreuzberg. For a lower budget, a great rustic Italian is the Café Aroma in Kreuzberg or the Vietnamese Si An http://www.expedia.de/vc/reisefuehrer/restaurant-si-an-berlin-27737) in Prenzlauer Berg.

Hollmann-Beletage-Vienna
Hollmann-Beletage-Vienna

10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?
Perhaps why people should choose Escapio? Because we believe in our choice of hotels (one of the best in the Mediterranean) and have a great, enthusiastic team that loves to help our customers book their dream hotel.

My Take

Thank you Gesa! In Berlin you mention places I certainly will check out at a future occasion and your mention of Hollmann Beletage will surely make me try out that one once over my current Vienna favorites. Big question: When will Escapio follow up my suggestions for Dutch additions to its site?