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.
On the third day of our journey, after spending a night at Hostal Dona Chava in Pedernales, a super traditional facility, with bright color and surrounded by nature we explored Bahia de las Aguilas, considered one of the most beautiful and uncontaminated beaches in the world. We left from Playa de la Cueva, near Cabo Rojo, in the Province of Pedernales that, with the 68% of protected areas, national parks and its biodiversity is a precious unique region of our planet. But, you need to hurry up! The Ministry of Tourism has already planned to transform this magical area into a touristic destination and a dock for huge cruise ships, so in the future is going to be hard to see it so empty and wild like we did!
Our day trip to the Bahia was organized by Eco del Mar(you can book in advance from home on the website or on site). But, what is Eco del Mar? Is an incredible facility that seems to come from a dream or a design magazine. You can reach it through a dirt track and gives to one of the most crystal clear seas that I’ve ever seen. The atmosphere is super chic, hammocks under the trees, white gazebos with whiter curtains where you can eat and rest. The view is breathtaking. We set sail from Playa de la Cueva, where Eco del Mar is located, with a bout toward Bahia de las Aguilas. The reason why it’s been classified among the most beautiful places on earth has been clear to me as soon as I saw it! I think is the most amazing beach I’ve ever seen in my whole life. A place in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles of uninhabited, heavenly coast! A paradise of flora and fauna: starfish there are enormous! Today, I think that photos will give you tha idea of that beauty way better than I. Have you ever seen such an amazing place?
Dominican Republic: My Travel Journal Part 1 of 3.
Premises, Leaving and Wild Beaches.
Dominican Republic. When you think about warm weather, peace and relax far from the stress of our cities, you automatically think about the verdant Caribbean Pearls, white beaches and coconut palms. One of the most loved location is the Dominican Republic. But, before starting my journal, I’d like to debunk some myths about this island. First, the island, was unproperly called Santo Domingo but its name is Dominican Republic, while Santo Domingo, La Capital, is the capital town of the island. It’s a big island in the hearth of Antilles and Caribbeans, called Hispaniola and is divided into two countries: the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Dominican Republic: Premises and Leaving
The second cliché, is that the Dominican Republic is full of resort. Most part of the 70 thousand Italian tourists, choose an all inclusive stay inside a big resort and they rarely go out to explore the surroundings. Let me say, that’s a real shame! The Dominican Republic is not only about resorts, is much more. Is sea, adventure and ecotourism (in the norther part, in the north-west and in the interior of the island where you can explore a mountain area whose highest peak reaches 3000 meters and the island from tornadoes). On the island you can also practice sports (golf, surf…) and devote to wellness in one of the many interesting thermal spas of the Dominican Republic. As you can see, the Dominican Republic is one of the most interesting countries of the Caribbeans with a variegated landscapes, a place to explore and live.
So thanks to the Dominican Republic Tourism Authority I made a one week tour to discover the most authentic Dominican Republic, in the less crowded locations but without missing the capital city Santo Domingo with its beauties, the nightlife, its traditions and of course some good shopping.
And if you’re wondering if the island is safe to be explored without expert local guides, the answer is yes! Dominicans are incredibly cheery and opened, tourists are welcomed kindly, and since the official language is Spanish, for Italian is quite easy to communicate with locals. If you want to replicate our itinerary you’ll need to take a plane in one of the many airports in the island: for example we chose a charter flight of Neos Air, our flying partner and then we continued our trip with a rented car. Other tourism companies like Colonial Tours offer other interesting experiences in the inland areas of the island. I’m sure it won’t be a problem to find this kind of tour, even on site!
SPA Rome. Last week we’ve been guests at Palazzo Montemartiniin Rome. We were in town for some appointments and to take part to Italian Big Brother as social media correspondent (Did you watch me?) Palazzo Montemartini of Ragosta Hotels Collection group, it’s beautiful hotel near Termini Train Station, an excellent position! It’s an an ancient palace of the 19th century completely renewed. Every room has a unique design and features because of the peculiarity of the building and it’s previous use: so architects and interior designers had fun creating rooms and suites with unique style and furniture. The thing that I particularly appreciated was the attention to details and materials. Rooms have light colors and they’re super bright.
SPA Roma: My Stay at Hotel Palazzo Montemartini!
But there’s one thing that made me fall in love: SPA ExPure one of the biggest SPA Roma with its 600 sq m is an obligatory stop for who take good care of his body. Relax with fresh fruit and infusions, enjoy the sauna, the Turkish bath, emotional shower and Jacuzzi and rooms for treatments, like the room for salt treatment.The SPA inside the hotel is located exactly next to the famous Diocletian Thermal Bath establishing a parallel path with Roman history. SPA Roma is the best! (Continues…)
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!)