Santo Domingo: Exploring the Capital of the Dominican Republic. Colorful Houses and Great Shopping!
Santo Domingo. After the writing about the first part of our trio in the most authentic Dominican Republic and showing you photos of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the last episode of our journey is in Santo Domingo, the capital city.
Santo Domingo is an incredible city. Coming from the desert roads and the quiet atmosphere of the southwest, we’ve been overwhelmed by a sudden wave of noises, colors, cars and modernity. Here is not like the poorest, authentic and quiet southwestern area, the capital is about many different influences, music, clubs, markets, the botanical garden, boutiques and history… Our visit in Santo Domingo started from the colonial city, the oldest party of the capital, with colorful houses, small boutiques, colonial ruins and ancient buildings: a really nice place to be! Just imagine that 500 years ago, the first colonists of the New World walked along this narrow streets with palm trees, colorful houses and the fragrance of coffee, chocolate and tobacco in the air… The Colonial City is an UNESCO World Heritage Site: the first settlement dates back to 1496 when Christopher Columbus’ brother was exploring the island for the Spanish Crown…So Santo Domingo is the most ancient ever founded in the New World. An actual outdoor museum: you still spot some ruins of the first buildings ever made by Europeans in America. The Chu Chu train brought us in a tour through the city to show us the best areas where we then went back to walk around and explore more extensively.
Wellness Weekend in Venice: JW Marriott Venice Resort and GOCO SPA
Wellness weekend in Venice. JW Marriott Venice Resort and SPA is one of the most amazing resort with SPA in which I’ve had the pleasure to stay in. The hotel is located on a private island , l’isola delle Rose (island of roses), reachable only by boat. Once I got then from Venice the impression was to be on a true oasis of tranquility with a wonderful view on Venice lagoon.
The facility occupies the entire island and it was born as a clinic for respiratory therapies due to the favorable position of the islet: exactly between Vanice and the Lido of Venice. For this reason, Isola delle Rose has a peculiar micro-climate that, among other things, allows the the growth of many unusual plants for that area, like palms and olive trees. Since I love nature and authenticity,in my opinion, one of the most interesting features of the facility is the amazing private park where you can have a healthy walk and enjoy the view of the entire lagoon.
Wellness Weekend in Venice: Dream Stay at JW Marriott Venice Resort and SPA
Whene you get on the island I recommend you to have a coffee or a refreshing drink at Sagra Poolside Bar on the rooftop of the main facility of the hotel. The panorama is breathtaking: a 360° over the lagoon. There, Giovanni and I enjoyed some romantic sunsets and bright sunrise. You shouldn’t miss them for no reason!!! On the rooftop there’s the heated infinity pool where the protagonist is..Piazza San Marco that you can clearly see on the horizon.
Rooms are not just in the main facility but also located in the whole island with the other remarkable attractions of the resort. First, Goco SPA , the biggest in Venice with a convenient covered dock. With its view on Venice, it’s a bright and cozy SPA. No detail is left unturned: from the teapot infuser to the heated loungers, from the brightness to the design of the building. In the SPA you can enjoy the use of hammam, sauna, 40°C sauna and an indoor/outdoor heated pool that gives exactly onto Venice. The pool area offers different kind of whirlpool (the one for legs is fantastic!). Giovanni and I enjoyed a 50 minute couple treatment Inside the SPA suite, a relaxed and elegant space that for one hour and a half has been all ours (fruit and Champagne included!)
Il Ciocco. You know when you’re absorbed in your daily routine,a lot of things to do, lot of pression and the only thing you think is “I want to run away from all this and relax for a couple of days!”. That was my mantra, in the last few weeks. My wish came true last weekend with a proper escape toward a wellness oasis, good food and relax in a place that feels like home called il Ciocco, Renaissance resort and SPA , only few steps from Barga, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, located in the heart of Garfagnana, not far from Lucca and Versilia, and only 1 hour and a half from Florence.
Il Ciocco is at the foot of a verdant mountain which is exclusive property of the owners of Il Ciocco and of the conference center, the stables, a SPA, a sport center and much more. Once there, you feel like being in a little Tuscan village where every detail is perfect and from the breath-taking swimming pool you have a n amazing view of the valley where at night other villages shine like stars.
Il Ciocco – Reinaissance Tuscany: relaxing resort in Garfagnana!
We spent three relaxing days at Il Ciocco. I enjoyed to be cuddled in the luxurious
SPA with dozens of private rooms and an actual menu of amazing treatments: for couples (including a private Jacuzzi with rose petals); treatments with natural local products (like wine!), and wellness programs with complete body treatments lasting more than one hour. I tried a complete facial treatment that in 1 hour and a half includes exfoliation, deep cleansing, eyebrow and eyelashes shaping (I’ve nrver tried it before and it was incredible!) and deep skin hydration with ultrasounds.
Weekend in Versilia. When my Giova surprised me with a bunch of rose roses (sorry for the wordplay!) with a card that said “I’ll take you with me.” I was super happy. I really (REALLY!) needed a break, to run away and hide in a beautiful place, a shelter full of memories. My oasis of relax. So we had a long weekend in Forte dei Marmi, a weekend in Versilia.
Weekend in Versilia: Running away from my busy schedule in the city.
Two days of pure relax, sleeping a lot, having huge meals and hanging with some friends, a tiny bit of shopping (I can’t help it), tons of ice-cream and lying on the beach… a lot. Enjoy the photos we took during this weekend, even some snapshots with the mobile: you’ll find more: on my Instagram @ireneccloset were you can follow my days live :) I send you a big hug and thank you for following! I’m super excited for next adventures: Paris + Lucca + Milan + Provence. Come with me! :)
Caribbean Islands – Guadeloupe Islands: Les Saintes
Caribbean Islands. When you’re on the boat that, in about ten minutes, takes you back to Basse – Terre, probably a tear will slip out. Or at least, that’s exactly what happened to me leaving Les Saintes Islands, a tiny arcipelago of the Guadeloupe Islands
Caribbean Islands – Discovering Les Saintes – Guadeloupe Islands
Let’s go back to a couple of days ago. When you get of the boat in the little harbor of Les Saintes you get drunk on… color! The dark blue of the sea melts into a light turquoise, closer to the coast. Typical fishing boats are so colorful and match perfectly with the hues of the (few) houses that you can find on the island (Inhabitants of all 8 islands of the tiny archipelago are slightly over 2.000!). This island is so peaceful: calm, nature and traditions reign supreme.
Here you’ll find some of the most beautiful bays on the entire planet. We explored them all: you can choose an electric car (Car are only for the inhabitants and are really rare!), a moped (as we did), or the electric scooter hired at “Clear Blue Caraibes”. Or you can opt for a clear bottom kayaks ( we’ve tried this one too… you must try it, sea bad is stunning!) or for a paddle board (sea is always calm inside the bays). If you’d like to see them from above don’t miss Fort Napoléon ( hosting an interesting museum and a surprising garden).
As usual, I never turn down… good food! At “La Saladerie” we’ve tasted Tourment d’amour, a coconut pie with melted hot chocolate and vanilla icecream (obviously all local ingredients!). At “Au bon vivre” you must try the seared tuna with passion fruit sauce (OMG!) and at “Le Genois” grilled fish is always super fresh.
We stayed at “Le Kanaoa” a hotel right in front of the sea, that offers delicious lunches and a great manager, called Jimmy(ask him anythig, he’s ways the righ advice for you!)
That’s the end of our photo report from the Guadeloupe Islands, among fashion, travel and lifestyle.We’re working at a recap video about all my outfits and all my crazy adventures on the Guadeloupe Islands. It’s coming soon in the next post, along with a HUGE SURPRISE for you… Are you ready to pack? :)