Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Venice Carnival

This is a period when Venice transforms itself and its magic fascination gives life to special forms of art: the masks and the costumes of Carnival.

There are events taking place all over the city but the culmination is, without doubt, the spectacular Masked Ball at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta on the last Sunday of Carnival, which for 2013 will be 10th February.

 Stay in a beautiful hotel in the heart of the city close to St Mark’s Square, attend Baroque concerts and take interesting walking tours of lesser known areas of the city. Then go for a fitting of your chosen costume- a selection of which can be found here.

A Gondola will collect you and take you to the Palazzo Pisani Moretta and you will be seated at one of the best tables.

We can organise all of this for you and more.
Contact us to find out more, or to arrange a meeting.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Under-tasted Sicily

Given Sicily's geographic situation, not too far from the coast of North Africa, one imagines a barren land but nothing could be further from the truth. Its hinterland, in the time of the ancient Romans, was known as its 'bread basket'.

Sicily is abundant in produce and, having been invaded by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish and French, its varied cuisine reflects this.

The use of apricots, sugar, citrus, sweet melons, rice, saffron, raisins, nutmeg, clove, pepper, pine nuts, cinnamon (along with fried preparations) is a sign of Arab influences from the Arab domination of Sicily in the 10th and 11th centuries.

Later, the Spanish introduced numerous items from the New World, including cocoa, maize, peppers, turkey, and tomatoes. In Catania, on the east coast, initially settled by Greek colonists, fish, olives, broad beans, pistachio and fresh vegetables are preferred instead. Much of the island's cuisine encourages the use of fresh vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, and fish such as tuna, sea bream, sea bass, cuttlefish, and swordfish. In Trapani in the extreme western corner of the island, North African influences are clear in the use of couscous.

Nowadays indigenous grape varieties are being rediscovered and some fine wines are being produced. Talented young chefs are creating innovative, modern interpretations of traditional dishes.

We should like to highlight the lesser known area of Ibla and its towns of Modica and Ragusa. This area is the heart of Sicilian Baroque and we would make our base in Modica Alta, the 'noble' part of the town. Both Modica and Ragusa are surrounded by stunning scenery.

From Michelin chef Accursio in Modica, to Giovanni in Ortigia and Corrado in Noto, who produces some exquisite ice-creams and 'granite', this is but the beginning of the adventure. 

There are fine wines to taste both in this area and on the slopes of Mount Etna and wonderful places to visit such as the Caves of Ispica, the Roman mosaics of Villa Casale and Dionysus' Ear at Siracusa.

Not only tastings and visits but cookery demonstrations and classes can also be arranged.

Contact us to find out more, or to arrange a meeting.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Weddings in Italy

The Contented Traveller can make your dream come true with a beautiful wedding in Italy.

We arrange weddings, receptions and honeymoons in the most stunning Italian locations and venues.

Glorious settings for your wedding reception.

Wonderful people work with us to provide you with the very best services.

Some of the many services we can offer you:
  • Documentation and permits for religious and civil weddings
  • Vow renewal ceremonies
  • Priests speaking diverse languages or interpreters

  • Flowers for the church, bouquets and decoration for the reception
  • Photography and Videography
  • Musicians, tenor and soprano for the church

  • Wedding reception, favours and entertainment
  • Hair dressing and make up
  • Hotel Accommodation for you and your guests

  • Transportation to and from airport
  • Vintage Cars or Horse & Carriage
  • Sightseeing 
  • Papal blessing
  • And more... 

A imaginative wedding cake!

Many people have had the pleasure of having their wedding organised by us in some of the most beautiful parts of Italy. 
We planned to get married in Rome; we didn't know where to start - until we met Josephine from The Contented Traveller. From that meeting until returning home from our honeymoon we didn't need to worry about a thing. Every wish we had for our wedding day and honeymoon, Josephine made happen without a hitch. We wouldn't change a single thing about that day and couldn't recommend Josephine and her travel arranging and wedding planning skills highly enough. " Rhona & Andy

Let us help you fulfil your dreams.

We would love to discuss your requirements.

Contact us to find out more, or to arrange a meeting.