The Atlas


30 May

Images From a Quick Trip to France

Countryside, Champagne-Ardenne region of France 13th c doors of Notre Dame de Villeneuve l’Archeveque classified as a Monument Historique As always in France, delicious bread and pastries Gate to an ancient estate Musee de la Chasse Momo, designer cat?

18 May

Full Moon in Venice

14 May


Under impossibly blue skies and with remarkably few tourists (for Venice), we wandered the city, walking from Rialto to San Marco on both sides of the Grand Canal.  Staying at the new Aman on the Grand Canal – enviably positioned on the more local side of the main thoroughfare and away from the summer’s madding crowd – in five minutes...

13 May

Yummy Food

Risotto Asparagi, Villa Feltrinelli There is no place like Italy.  North, south, mountains or seaside, there is something about this country that warms my soul and satisfies me.  I see in the cafe, on the train platform, along the cobbled village path, a deeply-rooted conservatism where family is key and caring for each other and ones history is...

12 May

The Grand Hotels of Lake Como

Villa d’Este  (below) has long been the Grande Dame of Lake Como.  Located at the bottom of the lake in Cernobbio, it sits in a lovely  semi-cove at the water’s edge and is backed by wonderful gardens and bits of fortifications on the mountainside behind.  Grand it is and redolent of another era, although renovations (the hotel’s...

11 May

Villa Feltrinelli

Markus Odermatt, owner and General Manager of Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, says of his lovely 21-room retreat, “This jewel box is for lovers.”  Let’s widen the definition of lovers, as I am sure Markus would do, and say that it is for lovers of beauty and serenity, enjoyed by a couple or, as with me, by me and my sister.  Located...

10 May

Lake Garda

A view from my window at dusk. Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

10 May

Lake Como

Glorious place, this.  Embraced by snowcapped mountains, the villages that line the shores and creep up the mountainsides feel removed from the world.  We spent the day out on a Riva-like boat with Anna Maria and Riccardo, skimming the shoreline, ducking in to a grand house, strolling through an azalia-rich garden, lunching on lemon ravioli at the...

8 May

A Northern Italian Jaunt

The overnight flight landed one hour early..when does that ever happen?  Normally I would have been thrilled, but I am meeting my sister this morning in Malpensa’s terminal 1 and we so carefully coordinated our flights – hers from London and mine from New York – so as to arrive within five minutes of each other.  Never mind..we meet and head...

9 Oct

Il Pellicano

In 1966, I spent a long weekend, more like a house party weekend, at a new hotel off the coast of Italy called Il Pellicano.  I was the guest of my classmate and best friend, Vicky Chaplin, daughter of the famous Charlie. We arrived with Vicky’s many younger siblings, her mother, Oona, Charlie and piles and piles of luggage.  I don’t...

9 Jul

Matteo and the Marmots

Matteo is an 8 year old boy who has struck up an amazing friendship with a colony of marmots in the Austrian Alps.  He has gone to the Alps each summer for the last four years and each time he returns, the marmots, normally shy of humans, gather around. An adorable story that, once again, challenges our notions about animals, the depth of the connection...

29 May

Meditations #46

Walk your journey. The rhythm of your footfall settles the mind and opens the heart. Time and space dissolve; a week and a stretch of road become one. Photograph:  A Step  Ahead Location:  Spain:  The Pyrenees

18 May

Andalusia: Images from a Recce

Lustau Winery Jerez Training bull ring – Cortijo de la Sierra   Ole!   Picador   Spanish Horses – Cortijo de la Sierra Arcos de la Frontera Alhambra – Court of the Lions Generalife Gardens – Granada Cortijo Hoyabuela – olive oil vats        

18 May

Images from Trasierra

11 May

Trasierra – The Anti-Hotel

It’s too bad, in terms of trying to express the full impact that Trasierra has on its guests, that we are not yet able to release the scent of a place.  Trasierra, a 20-room hotel that is more like a private home located in the Sierras one hour from Seville, ensnares you on so many levels.  But its perfume – a mix of jasmine and rose and...

5 Mar

Petra Segreta Resort

Sardinia, and its neighboring island, Corsica, are extraordinarily beautiful. The water, the rock, the fragrant vegetation and the light make these wild islands favorites of many.  Sardinia’s go to hotel has always been Hotel Pitrizza in Porto Cervo.  But there is another, Petra Segreta (Secret Stones) set back a few minutes from the seaside...

3 Mar

Barcelona’s Hotel Omm

  Hotel Omm Barcelona has been around for a decade now but it has been jazzed up with the makeover of their restaurant and bar,  Roca Moo and Roca Bar, the result of a partnership between the OMM group and Cellar of Can Roca, whose famous Michelin starred restaurant is located just outside of Girona.  The buzz hits you the moment you enter...

7 Feb

Areias do Seixo Hotel

A magical place less than one hour from Lisbon, Areias do Seixo is a haven in Nature. The pine trees, the dunes, and the sea whisper their secrets in your ear. Feel the originality, comfort and sophistication in a perfect synthesis with the land. Each room confides in you a different story. The restaurant awaits you with a trip of smells, flavors,...

21 Dec

Villa Nocetta

Villa Nocetta, a new, exclusive-use property in the center of Rome, is a wonderful addition to the hotel scene in this city. How many times have I planned summer Roman stays for families and wavered over my choice of a hotel. Rome can be hot and uncomfortable in the summer, yet it is, in my view, one of the most fascinating cities in the world. We...

7 Dec

A Very Little Taste of Cannes

It’s a fun city…or rather more than one city..the facade, the veneer, is glamorous and rich and manicured and very sparkly, particularly at this time of year when they celebrate the holidays with lots of lights, Christmas market stalls and traditional decorations That’s the Croisette, the seaside boulevard for which this small city...

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