Monday, July 25, 2016
I've finally returned from my whirlwind adventure in Italy and can't wait to share with you the highlights of my trip with the beautiful Rome Cavalieri. For those of you who aren't familiar with the property, it sits right above the eternal city, giving you the most unparalleled panorama views of Rome. And despite all the gold embellishment and 5 star sparkle, it feels like a true home away from home. In fact, it feels like you are visiting your very wealthy relatives who host the most lively pool parties, own the most extensive personal Italian art-collection, and boast the most warmhearted staff who make you feel so cared for.
My fellow travel mates and I, including Meagan Cignoli, Sam Horine, Katie Sturino, and Melanie Brandman, arrived in Rome bright and early on Saturday July 9th and kicked off our day with breakfast by the pool at L'Uliveto. The photo above was taken from my Imperial Room bedroom balcony. The view was just breathtaking spanning the entire city (you can see the dome of St. Peter's Bascilia to the far right).
For us, Day 1 was really about familiarizing ourselves with the property. We got to have a personal tour of the art collection, followed by an incredible walk through of the wine cellar with Sommelier Marco Reitano, before heading upstairs to the top floor for dinner at La Pergola. You can see from the photo above that the art collection hangs freely and openly amongst the hallways. The hotel is like an all access art gallery.
Honestly, I'm not quite sure I have the words to portray just HOW incredible the meal was at La Pergola. It is the only three Michelin star restaurant in Rome, and certainly one of the best in all of Italy. We got to meet the lovely and humble resident chef Heinz Beck and I had the privilege to chat with him one on one regarding his research/practice in molecular gastronomy. The dish pictured above was the first on our 7 course menu, amberjack tartare on strawberry ice crush, almond mouse and finger lime.
Day 2 began with an amazing yoga session in the hotel park, followed by a mind-blowing chakra stone massage at the Cavalieri Grand Spa Club, and the famous Sunday Brunch at L'Uliveto. I promised myself I would exercise self-control on this trip, but honestly once you see a fresh bowl of stracciatella sitting next to a mountain of fresh basil, I threw all rules out the window...
Fortunately we had the afternoon at leisure to run off some of our breakfast before our evening food tour...
I've never really mentioned this here but I am an enormous Anthony Bourdain fangirl, so you can imagine how absolutely elated I was when we kicked off the food tour at Bonci (the same pizza spot from Bourdain's layover episode in Rome). AND it was every bit as mouthwatering as I had hoped it would be.
From there things escalated to a dinner overlooking the Trevi Fountain, I repeat TREVI FOUNTAIN!! In all the times I've visited Rome, I have never seen this spectacular site from above. And as if things couldn't get any better, we finished the evening with gelato at Giolitti and all 5 New Yorkers boarded our personal vintage Bici & Baci vespas to tour Rome by night.
Rome Cavalieri, let me just say in the interest of full disclosure, that was probably the greatest night I have ever had in Italy!! I can't thank you enough. AND to think there was still another day of the trip to go...Day 3 started with a private tour of the Vatican Gardens and of course St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.
The last time I visited Vatican City I was an art history student at McGill University. It felt absolutely surreal to be walking through 10 years later as a professional artist. It's amazing how life plays out sometimes.
And I honestly appreciate it even more today, than the first time I ever saw it.
A very special thank you to Meagan Cignoli for capturing this moment above. There was something so beautiful and divine about the lighting in the garden.
After our tour we headed back to the hotel for a beautiful picnic at Rome Cavalieri. The kitchen prepared the most amazing dishes complemented by Moet Chandon and our two celebrity dogs (my new best friends), Toast Meets World and Muppets Revenge.
Just look at Toast and I above laughing at all of our inside jokes. Rome Cavalieri actually has a VIP dog program which is pretty darn glamorous if you ask me.
After our picnic, it was time for a little cabana experience by the pool before getting ready for dinner in the Trastevere.
The next morning I left for Milan and eventually returned to Rome Cavalieri to finish off my last few evenings in Italy with them. I felt this huge sense of relief returning to the hotel, when the transfer arrived at Termini station to retrieve me. It had truly become a home away from home for me and I think that is a testimony to the staff and culture they foster there. I would like to extend a very BIG thank you to Frederick Hawkins and Britta Krug for making this trip so extraordinarily special. Your kindness, knowledge, and warmth made this trip so unforgettable. I'm still dreaming of my days there...
Until the next adventure!!
Thursday, July 7, 2016
I hope everyone is having a fantastic week. I'm still suffering from jetlag post Hong Kong but the good news is I'm heading to Romaaaa tomorrow and will likely get my sleep in order there. It's been 10 years since I last visited Rome (yes 10 years!!) and I can't wait to experience it with the exquisitiely beautiful Rome Cavalieri. I'll also be making a quick trip to Milan for the first time too. As always, be sure to follow along on Instagram @TravelWriteDraw for all the hourly updates as well as my Snapchat: meagan_morrison!!
Can't wait to show you how Travel Write Draw does Italy!!
Sunday, July 3, 2016
I hope you are all having an amazing weekend. I just returned from my Hong Kong adventure and wanted to share a few of my favorite snapshots before I get too busy again. I absolutely LOVED HK!! It quite honestly might be one of my all time favorite cities. We spent a good two days filming for DFS T Galleria's newest campaign, which will launch in a few weeks time, and got to see the very best of the city. I'm battling some serious jetlag at the moment and leave for Rome on Friday so wish me luck and enjoy!!
Can you spot our camera guy in the left corner, white t-shirt, over my shoulder?