Italy’s Secret Concierge
Ever had extreme travel envy It is that condition symptomatic of homogenized luxurious, when you’ve got been to the coalface of inns throbbing with bling and all you want is quiet glamour.
Step ahead John Chicken. His world centres on southern Italy, where he opens doorways to tiptop non-public villas and journeys that stir the blood — is not that a given in Italy Australian-born, he is achingly well-connected, he’s the insider’s concierge.
His world is the brand new definition of luxury. Nothing is extra glamorous in the 21st century than being personally greeted at your airport, pushed by means of ordered umbrella pines to your villa, which in Bird’s address e book will salvatore ferragamo incanto charms opinie likely be one of many grand dames of Italy. The glass of Prosecco softens your journey on arrival. That is low-chic residing (the oligarchs are all out of sight in Forte dei Marni), the place your day is punctuated with the pleasure of getting a reside-in host to organise no matter your coronary heart desires.
Hen’s Italy is a seventeenth century-meets-twenty first. Where the Duchess of Palma (with whom you may keep) will take you purchasing in her local market and train you to whiz up the perfect Sicilian Caponata, or a lighter-than-air Almond Semifreddo (a century outdated family secret).
Or it’d the Marchese di San Giuliano’s 12th century compound, which was restored to splendour, by his late spouse, Fiamma Ferragamo. She was responsible for the model’s famous pump with a grosgrain bow and, concurrently, the planting of dreamy outlying citrus groves and ten acres of gardens. Friends take pleasure in a resident butler, two cooks and three maids all in a row. It’s a bonus that the property offers own your wine, olive oil, biscuits and breakfast marmalade.
You probably have meals and a cooking school at the entrance of your mind, you can stay with the Regaleali-Tasca d’Almerita family in Sicily, where a flock of Testa Rossa (isn’t that a Ferrari ) sheep present milk for estate-made artisan cheeses (tuma and ricotta, pecorino); where the garden is devoted vanishing species of cherries and quinces. Lengthy before the beginning of the modern day journey writer, Homer slept here and described the cheese making in his Odyssey.
Yet another patrician household, the Ravida’s, open up their neo-classical villa (their Ravida Extra Virgin Olive Oil is offered in Australia at Fratelli Contemporary) to food lovers. The current technology is headed by Natalia, who opted out of a Television presenter’s job in London, to oversee cooking lessons. Their very own model of sea salt is scooped up from the low waters of Sicilian shores.
Bird has a benchmark of excellence and food-targeted holidays are only a blip on his radar. He distils a kind of fairly sophistication, for those who need to turn up the Pavarotti and settle right into a library, or escape to a seashore raked with white sands, to museums or concert events, cycling or golf. He will whistle up a masseur or drive you to scorching springs and thermal baths. He can toss in aspect journeys to Tuscan hill towns, the Como lakes, the Veneto and Sicily. His black e book of lesser-recognized restaurants is unrivalled and he’ll have you ever in an Italian outlet store as quick as you can shout “bellissimo.” Finally, if you can’t move from that library, as a trained chef, he’ll deliver the perfect spaghetti vongole, on your dreamy terrace.
“I am only a contemporary custodian, I love sharing the Italy I know,” he says, in a charming method. But Bird (multi-lingual, with French and Italian) knows jewel-field glamour, because he’s taken care of that for crimson-carpet clients in New York, LA, Paris and Rome. As of late, he a lot prefers sharing his Italy.