Galleria Borghese & Borghese Gardens - Eleggence in Roma

Villa Borghese gardens - exploring the 'Viale Del Lago' and the 'temple of Asclepius'

Roaming through the 'Villa Borghese gardens'. stunning lush gardens set a short stroll from Piazza del Popolo, you will come across the most beautiful 'Galleria Borghese' an art gallery housing a substantial part go the Borghese collection of painting, sculptures and antiques.

The villa was built by the architect 'Flaminio Ponzi, developing sketches himself who used this as his country villa to connect with his work.

Park Highlights.

The galleria includes twenty rooms across two elegant floors, concentrating mostly on Italian artists, the main floor mostly devoted to classical antiques, sculptures by 'Bernini' and many paintings from Caravaggio and 'Raphael'. 

Galleria Borghese - Piazale Scipione borghese, 5, Roma.


'Enchanting Village Life - 'Cote D'azur Secrets ' - a reconnection with art.

 

Ah the beautiful French Riviera, a glamorous coastline with glistening seas and elegance, from its aristocracy, to its divine, picture perfect villages, many of which hold artistic specialities. A holiday destination, where, any artist is sure to reconnect with themselves.

Driving along the winding roaming hills, you can be sure to come across villages like the pretty colourful  'Ez', the medieval village of 'St Paul de Vence', an historical typical old traditional untouched French cultural village of 'Villeneuve Loubet', rich and exclusively famous 'Yacht life' coastal town of 'Antibes', the bustling market life of 'Valbonne', all the way to the beautiful art gallery haven of Mougins,... the south of France is a sure true treat, catering for all loves of life.

Villeneuve Loubet :) X

'ÉZE'  - a magical hilltop village located above coastline of Nice, is a famous tourist site, renowned for its panoramic views of the sea from its peak, above the Church, 'Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, dating back to 1306. It is where Walt Disney spent a significant amount of time, enjoying its beauty and charm. Éze is one of the sixteen villages grouped together to be known as the 'Route of Perched villages'.

'ST PAUL DE VENCE' - famous for its modern and contemporary art galleries, it is sure to tantalise an artists pallet. It has been a haven for artists such as Pablo Picasso,  Jacques Revert, and Marc Chagall, all who lived here. A must visit for artists and cultural lovers alike.

St Paul De Vence

'VILLENEUVE LOUBET' - Crowned by its medieval keep, stairways are omnipresent and with steeply sloping streets, boarded by beautiful colourful facades of French charm and balconies decorated with flowers. At the top, a large church with its belltower deserves a visit, with the chateau hiding behind the high walls, is bound to intrigue you.

Medieval Streets 'Traditional French Facades' - Villeneuve Loubet

'ANTIBES' - Known for its famous port and supreme exclusivity. This port (village/town) is a beautiful stop to absorb the french holiday vibe of the Cote D'azur. From its fine class restaurants to its clientele, it is a sure to spot the 'stars'. Take a walk along the port to see some 'out of this world' yachts and walk the narrow route to a magical view point of the cote D'azur, also the pathway to the Picasso Museum and gallery.

'Antibes'

VALBONNE - a true cultural experience is this beautiful market village. You can capture local life from fresh fruit, vegetable, fish, flowers and meat stands around the narrow beautiful streets.

MOUGINS - A village filled with top class restaurants and an explosion of over 40 art galleries, it has attracted many creative types from Fernand Léger, to Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor to Pablo Picasso (Who spent the last 12 years of his life here, where he died in 1973). A few miles inland from Cannes, Mougins offers  extremely cultured presence with the finest of dining to coincide with the most luxurious galleries 'Museum of Classical Art' , founded by Christian Levett, including collections from artists such as Rubens, Picasso, Braque, Dali and Marc Chagall.

. Gallery Highlights of the Cote D'azur

Musée Renoir, (Cagnes Sur Mer) - The Renoir Museum stands in the heart of the magnificent estate with old olive trees and a superb panorama of the Cap d'antibes. Renoir spent the last 12 years of his life at this house in Cagnes Sur Mere.

Musée Picasso - (Antibes)  - formerly the chateau grimaldi at Antibes, is built at the peak of the village. In 1946 it was the home of Pablo Picasso, today it is known as the Pablo Picasso Museum, the first museum in the world dedicated to the artist. Notable paintings are 'The Goat' and 'La Joie de Vivre'

Musee Marc Chagall (36 Avenue DR Ménard, Nice)  - a national museum dedicated to the work of Marc Chagall,who resided in 'St Paul De Vence;, this gallery holds 40 of his work here. Marc Chagall, a Russian/French artist, an early modernist who was associated with several artistic styles including illustrations, tapestry, ceramic, and fine art prints.

Musée Matisse (164 Avenue des Arénes de Cimiez, Nice)  - The Villa was built in the 17th century and was his home from 1917 until he died in 1954. It has many of his paintings as well as his sketches and personal objects.

Musée des Beaux Arts. (Avenue Des Baumettes, Nice) with a wide selection spanning from 15th Century to 20th Centuries. Built in 1878 it is well worth the hike up the steep hill, it hosts everything from French masters to post impressionist paintings.

XX SR.                                    ______________________


'An Illustrators Dream' - A trip to 'Atelier de Paul Cézanne'

 Atelier De Paul Cézanne - Trip

  ''Just a short drive along the beautiful golden Route of the 'Cote D'azur', a 2 1/2 hour drive from nice airport,  brings you the beautiful arty french university City of 'Aix en Provence', the heart of a creative culture, the threshold of abstraction, renowned for its famous aristocratic inhabitants .

Today, in Aix en Provence, you can share in Cézanne's wonderful art journey and experience by visiting his studio 'Atelier', and see, through your eyes, his unique outlook, landscape and natural surroundings , where he always felt was his great guide and influence, and what truly made him 'The Father of Modern Painting'.

Set up on the 'Lauvres hills' in Aix en Provence, amidst lush french scenery, we see the house once the main art gallery of Cezanne, with his furniture, work and equipment laid as it were for the artist. You can feel the presence of the painter.

Paul Cezanne, born in the City in 1839, father of a successful banker, who wished him to pursue a 'respectable' career attended law school, to soon drop out and pursue his life's passion, art. The artist left for Paris to further his artistic career. His father disapproved but he later reconciled to his choice and on his death, Paul inherited a substantial sum and he continued to pursue art without any financial worries.

In Paris, Pisarro, acted as his master, and formed to be an inspiration to Cézanne. Cézanne was rejected by the Paris Salon, taking a while for his art work to be recognised it wasn't until 1895 that he received his first solo exhibition.

In 1870 he fled to the south of France, where, here in Aix en Provence,he drew an increasing number of landscapes and abandoned his dark colours which he developed in his early years in Paris. This period was to be his turning point in his life, (quoting that his time in paris was wasted) becoming one of the leading impressionists. He spent much of his later life in his 'Atelier' in seclusion. He used planes and blocks of colour to give an abstracted observation to his work. it was this abstract innovation the was said to be the link with 19th century impressionist art and the modern art of Matisse and Picasso, in the 20th Century.

Paul Cézanne's atelier can be found on, 9 Avenue Paul Cézanne, 13100, Aix en Provence, France.

Website : www.cezanne-en-provence.com

'Gardanne'.

'Gardanne' on display @ The Met gallery NYC,  - (the steeple of the local church crowns the cluster of red-roofed buildings which animate the sloping terrain of Aix. Faceted and geometric, the structures show off his early 20th Century impressionistic Cubism)

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'For All that Glitters' - Dublin's Fair City, Christmas 2017

'

'Dublin's Fairest City'  -

and now developing to be a beautiful twinkling spectacle of shimmering lights during this festive season 2017.

As I took a wander through the cobblestone walkways of temple bar and onwards to Grafton Street, where shoppers bustle along (some pausing with their multitude of bags, enjoying the traditional Irish musical sessions scattered along the infamous street), I approached Stephens Green shopping Centre.

Built in 1988, it Is a domed shaped centre, filled with a beautiful glass ceiling and an

architectures haven. The wonders of the decorative detail is quite magical.. almost giving it the scene of being in the North Pole - with the vintage style large clock glass volted ceiling and huge Christmas Balls gallantly hanging from the rooftops. A Feist of festive cheer to the sight.

A wander back down Grafton street is a must, stopping at the infamous 'Bewleys  Café', one of Dublin's most iconic and celebrated landmarks, which reopened its doors after a 3 year renovation. Following a multi million refurbishment, the landmark café sees the return of the infamous stained glass windows, open fireplaces. A mouthwatering Hot chocolate is a sure treat as you are guided to your seats.

Crisp, fresh Dublin in December, A beautiful days venture to see all that Glitters! xx SR.

 


'Via Margutta' - 'Roman Holiday' Historics

"The best thing I know is to do exactly what you wish for in life, for a while" - Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday.

And this is exactly how I adapted my Roman Holiday experience, that took me to a fabulous old historical hotel of 'Hotel Forte, Via Margutta, a street made famous in 1953 - where Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck in the movie Roman Holiday, attracted attention to the public eyes, by staying in one of the modest 16th century houses. Via Margutta is a narrow cobble stoned street, where ancient buildings are covered with Ivy and wild wisteria, a street in the centre of Rome, situated between Piazza Di Propolo and Piazza Di Spagna, accessible from the street Via Del Babiuno. Via Margutta originally was home to modest craftsmen, workshops and stables, but now hosts many art galleries and fashionable restaurants.

The 'One hundred painters of 'Via Margutta' is an annual street art fair, where over 100 Roman artists gather to host a week long festival of art from 28th April each year. the Street is currently host to many art galleries and museums, and to an array of beautiful restaurants, 1 in particular catering towards vegetarians, but what better way to enjoy fine Italian dining then being surrounded by superb artwork. (11 Margutta Ristorarte)

Via Margutta, a true artistic cultural charming drop of Bella Roma. xx SR.


'Vintage Roma' - From Gucci to the finest Vintage flea markets

Ten years ago, acquiring great vintage pieces in Rome was expensive and time consuming. There were a few premium resellers,  they wanted a lot of money for their old stuff. But as vintage appreciation has increased in the city and throughout the world, conversely, the options and the prices have become much more reasonable and variety is fantastic around the city.

Take a trip along the street off piazza Di Spagna to see how 2017 iconic fashion brands such as Gucci, Prada, Moschino all are completely influenced by the iconic style.. a multitude of eclectic colourful shop windows, and an eccentric price tags to boost its adoration... but follow the fabulous eye catching streets to a few well kept secrets:

  1. Bohemienne - 'Via Dei Cappellari', 96 (Campo Di Fiori area) - Bohémienne is predominately for women, with an incredible selection of accessories in particular. Mixed into the variety of vintage is a lovely of collection of leather hand bags, handmade by one of the owners. The stock and displays have a soft, antique feel about them, full of old-world charm.
  2. Flamingo Vintage - 'Via Del Boschetto' 123 (Monti area) - great, but boutique style selection of vintage and well-preserved designer wear. This store has the smart ladies vintage who have polished outfits, perfectly accessorized with Chanel sunglasses and YSL shoes. Flamingo is for designer ladies with attitude and an eye for funky style.
  3. Twice Vintage - 'Via San Francesco di Repa', 7 (Trastevere area) This hip little store in Trastevere keeps its stock incredibly up to date, reflecting the current trends- denim, preppy and hipster accents, with a huge range of quality shoes. It has a cool, downtown vibe about it, think rustic Americana with a dose of sportswear.
  4. Omero and Cecilia - 'Via Del Governo Vecchio' 110 (Piazza Navona Via Cavour Area) The quality of vintage available here is impressive- think violet sure skirt suits, flowing 70’s dresses and band jackets. Each garment has been carefully preserved, offering immediate wear, and has a guaranteed uniqueness. The hats are worth a special look in- it has possibly one of the best selections in Rome.

... and when shopping has finished don't forget to travel home, in style, on one of the local transport systems - the vintage Vespa - in an array of colours down every alley way!  :-) Zoom Zoom and happy shopping - Bella Roma xx SR


'Dream Big'

Never be afraid to dig deep and begin your wild plans, full of excitement and imagination. This is your world, make it a good one, Write it down, keep notes, and always believe in the powerful magic of each note taken.

A lovely quote taken from 'The Pursuit of happiness' quotes as follows  - Don't ever let somebody tell you you can't do something. You dream, you gotta protect it, People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.

Make your magic come true! xx SR

 


Bella Roma

Rome -' A Ruin'  -  'the beginning of transformation'

"We all want things to stay the same, settle for living in misery, because we're afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins.. maybe Life isn't so chaotic, maybe its just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it.. "  - (Liz Gilbert 'Eat Pray Love')

Rome.. is the  perfect example of  Ruin as a GIFT.. a ruin showing the road to transformation.. A ruin where the shells of architecture show the beginning of how when we use and transform our wild Imaginations.. something new.. something magical, something extraordinary can happen. Rome, somewhere that is worth a few steps backwards as we begin to leap forwards... into the new !

Rome, A city where you're never falling apart, you're just falling into something different & unique, with the capacity to create the beautiful. It is a city where you find yourself, picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, starting all over again.. followed by a dusty repeat, and it can get very dusty !!!! : - ) X A Marvel.

When In Rome XXX

 

 

 


Magical 'Cinque Terre'

 

A trip to the colourful 'CINQUE TERRE'

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

 

This photo, taken from one of the gorgeous villages I came across on a week's village trecking/hiking around the incredible unesco site of Cinque Terre.

Based in the Liguria region of Italy, just a short train ride from Pisa (Changing trains @La Spezia) The area, linked by train, brings you to these most colourful villages, that are packed with their own uniqueness and splendour.

Beginning with a trip to the more coastal village 'Monterosso Al Mar', this is probably the largest and most touristic of the 5 villages, with a large stretch of beach,  a 2.5 hour cliff hike to 'Manarola' the first of the very colourful and for me the most beautiful of all. A further short walk along the cliff edges leads you to 'Vernazza', where the 'wild at heart' dive and jump off cliff rocks a fun experience to watch. 'Corniglia' is the only village that doesn't lie on the coast, with a short train ride from Vernazza to a 382 step climb, worth the views to die for. Lastly to Riomaggiore.. now secretly tipped as one of the most unspoilt surprise destinations to visit and... I have to agree, it is heaped with buckets of charm and colour.. almost like a life painting ..that could crumble into the sea at any moment!....some people call them imperfections but no, that's where the good stuff lies!.

'Mandorla' , Cinque Terre.

The coastline and villages are surrounded by hillsides, olive groves, lemon and fruit farms and part of the UNESCO world heritage site. A must for all adventurers and arty lovers! X 'fino all prosoma Volta'

Restaurant choices - there are multitudes of restaurants at each village. but 3 top choices would be:

Da Eraldo (Piazza Matteotti, Monterroso Al Mar) - watch out here.. Carbs overload, Pasta is so fresh and a true Italian experience.

Belforte, (Vernazza) - with breathtaking views, make sure to book in advance. Restaurant in a climb into a medieval stone tower.. Seafood is a treat.

Fuori Rotti - for views, large wine menu & aperitifs.

Stay - I would recommend staying outside the 5 villages.. as each place is accessible by train. Both Levanto area and Dieva Marina area  are lovely (Hotel Clelia www.hotelclelia.com) which feature a pool, a luxury for Cinque Terre region!. Enjoy XX

Italia, it never ceases to be so beautiful and inspiring. X