Italy’s Secret Concierge
Ever had excessive journey envy It is that condition symptomatic of homogenized luxury, when you’ve been to the coalface of inns throbbing with bling and all you want is quiet glamour.
Step ahead John Chook. His world centres on southern Italy, where gancio bit loafer ferragamo he opens doors to tiptop personal villas and journeys that stir the blood — is not that a given in Salvatore Italy Australian-born, he is achingly properly-connected, he’s the insider’s concierge.
His world is the new definition of luxurious. Nothing is extra glamorous within the twenty first century than being personally greeted at your airport, pushed by means of ordered umbrella pines to your villa, which in Fowl’s deal with ebook will probably be one of the grand dames of Italy. The glass of Prosecco softens your journey on arrival. That is low-chic dwelling (the oligarchs are all out of sight in Forte dei Marni), the place your day is punctuated with the pleasure of having a live-in host to organise whatever your coronary heart needs.
Chook’s Italy is a 17th century-meets-twenty first. Where the Duchess of Palma (with whom you might stay) will take you purchasing in her native market and teach you to whiz up the right Sicilian Caponata, or a lighter-than-air Almond Semifreddo (a century old family secret).
Or it might the Marchese di San Giuliano’s twelfth century compound, which was restored to splendour, by his late spouse, Fiamma Ferragamo. She was liable for the model’s well-known pump with a grosgrain bow and, simultaneously, the planting of dreamy outlying citrus groves and ten acres of gardens. Guests get pleasure from a resident butler, two cooks and three maids all in a row. It’s a bonus that the estate supplies personal your wine, olive oil, biscuits and breakfast marmalade.
When you’ve got meals and a cooking college on the front of your mind, you may stick with the Regaleali-Tasca d’Almerita family in Sicily, where a flock of Testa Rossa (is not that a Ferrari ) sheep provide milk for estate-made artisan cheeses (tuma and ricotta, pecorino); the place the backyard is dedicated vanishing species of cherries and quinces. Lengthy before the start of the modern day journey author, Homer slept here and described the cheese making in his Odyssey.
Yet one more patrician family, the Ravida’s, open up their neo-classical villa (their Ravida Additional Virgin Olive Oil is offered in Australia at Fratelli Fresh) to meals lovers. The present era is headed by Natalia, who opted out of a Tv presenter’s job in London, to oversee cooking classes. Their own model of sea salt is scooped up from the low waters of Sicilian shores.
Fowl has a benchmark of excellence and meals-centered holidays are only a blip on his radar. He distils a form of fairly sophistication, for many who want to turn up the Pavarotti and settle right into a library, or escape to a beach raked with white sands, to museums or live shows, cycling or golf. He will whistle up a masseur or drive you to scorching springs and thermal baths. He can toss in facet journeys to Tuscan hill towns, the Como lakes, the Veneto and Sicily. His black e book of lesser-identified restaurants is unrivalled and he’ll have you ever in an Italian outlet shop as quick as you can shout “bellissimo.” Finally, if you cannot transfer from that library, as a trained chef, he’ll deliver the right spaghetti vongole, in your dreamy terrace.
“I’m just a contemporary custodian, I like sharing the Italy I know,” he says, in a charming manner. But Fowl (multi-lingual, with French and Italian) knows jewel-field glamour, because he is taken care of that for pink-carpet shoppers in New York, LA, Paris and Rome. As of late, he a lot prefers sharing his Italy.