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WIJW SUMMER HOLIDAYS

This Summer has been surprisingly busy with work and complicated construction for the refurbishment of client apartments. Sadly this has not allowed me much time for a proper summer holiday, and as such, I’ve had to satisfy myself vicariously through my friends and their various accounts of divine destinations.

Of course we here at WIJW HAVE had some rather fabulous getaways — witness the above montage! Thankfully come September Scott McBee and I are planning a personal extension of the summer season by taking a mini holiday — perhaps a long weekend in Miami and then on to Portugal in October! We will of course keep you posted ;)

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Roman Holiday

James Andrew, Rome

James Andrew, Rome

With so much to do and see in Rome, it is hard to imagine one could possibly ever tire of it! With only a short time there, we had to pick up the pace a bit. We started quite early with a morning stroll through the Orto Botanico botanical gardens, once part of the Palazzo Corsini.

Orto Botanico

Orto Botanico

We then went to the nearby Villa Farnesina, which is an early Renaissance villa decorated with the most fabulous frescoes—quite inspirational for any interior designer. The many details have my mind reeling with ideas for my own interior work.

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina

Villa Farnesina

We met up with artist friends Michelle Rogers and her girlfriend C. Finley for lunch at the super chic and quite handsome Pierluigi. Located at the Piazzi de Ricci (Cy Twombly lived in the same building) it has been serving up the most delicious cuisine since 1938. With the option to dine al fresco, it was the perfect spot to recharge over a couple of bottles of Rose wine. Suitably fortified, we walked over to a gallery that was featuring Finley’s fantastic work.

Griffingirl, 250x190cm, Acrylic on Canvas. 2009, by C. Finley

Griffingirl, 250x190cm, Acrylic on Canvas. 2009, by C. Finley

Next, McBee chose an unusual museum called the Centrale Montemartini. Once one of Rome’s original power plants, it is now a magnificent conflation of industrial age and classical antiquities.

Centrale Montemartini

Centrale Montemartini

Centrale Montemartini

Centrale Montemartini

After a quick ten minute taxi ride back to Rome center, we stopped at Piazza di Spagna for some window shopping on Via Babuino.

From Piazzi del Popolo one can enter the Borghese Gardens, and what a marvelous way to end our day in Rome, strolling through this green oasis at sunset! We made our way to the Villa Borghese and took some time to savor its beauty.

Villa Borghese grounds

Villa Borghese grounds.

The informative food blog, Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome inspired us to go to Osteria La Gensola, 15 Piazza della Gensola, for our farewell dinner—it’s a charming little family run place serving a mix of Sicilian and Roman cuisine—the perfect place to wind down after our whirlwind tour. We finished with a bit of a night time meander (that wonderful Italian pastime) through the streets of Rome on our way back to the hotel, thinking of the history of the place and our most splendid day.

Our last day in Rome proved to be another scorcher, so I dressed in a way that I hoped would be cool and comfortable yet somehow still chic, sporting cotton indigo ikat pants by Burberry Prorsom, Tom Ford navy and white cotton woven plaid shirt, black alligator belt with sterling buckle, black leather sandal espadrilles by Louboutin, straw hat with black grosgrain ribbon trim from India Hicks’ Sugar Mill, vintage Rolex watch and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

LA MORTELLA GARDENS

James Andrew, La Mortella Gardens - photo Scott McBee

James Andrew, La Mortella Gardens - photo Scott McBee

With only two days in Ischia there was not much time to explore many of its incredible sites and attractions. However, after a recommendation from our our super chic friend Antonio Sersale, a visit to La Mortella Gardens was clearly a must. Designed by the legendary Russel Page (my favorite landscape architect of all time) in consort with Lady Walton, wife of composer William Walton, this miraculous garden has developed and matured over fifty years and is now comprised of thousands of exotic plantings.

La Mortella Gardens

La Mortella Gardens

I’ve always felt that a garden is best enjoyed at the end of the day, and La Mortella provided us with the most perfectly cool and fantastical place to contemplate our heavenly day of luxury at the Mezzatorre.

La Mortella Gardens

La Mortella Gardens

Had we more time we would have loved to visit many more of Ischia’s sights, including the town of Saint Angelo and the Aragonese Castle, Lacco Ameno, one of the earliest Greek colonies in the west; The Archaeological Museum of Pithecusa and the Museum of Saint Restituta too; The thermal water parks and beaches: Poseidon Garden, Negombo, Parco Termale Castiglione, Tropical, Aphrodite and O’ Vagnitiello and the Carribean-like Maronti beach will all have to wait for our return as well. The list goes on and on….Needless to say we’re already planning our next visit to Ischia. The marvelous Hotel Mezzatorre, of course will continue to be our favored base of operations!

La Mortella Gardens

La Mortella Gardens

I’m pictured dressed in white, enjoying a late afternoon visit to La Mortella gardens. I’m sporting a white cotton voile safari style shirt by Gucci, slim white cotton cargo pant by Uniglo, braided white leather flip flops by Schettino di Capri, white rope belt by Orlebar Brown, Tom Ford “Miguel” sunglasses in white and straw hat with black grosgrain ribbon trim from India Hicks’ Sugar Mill, vintage Rolex watch, my fragrance is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino.