Author Archive for Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande

Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande is Founder and Director at Passepartout Homes, a curated portfolio of spacious villas, selected for their ease of accommodating extended families, large groups, weddings, corporate retreats and other private events. The company was born out of her desire to share her family holiday home combined with a passion for travel and interior design. Paola prides herself for knowing each client by name and is dedicated to learning their idea of perfect holiday home. Besides running Passepartout Homes, Paola also works as digital Marketing and Social Media Manager for luxury holiday villas and advises home owners on vacation rental best practices.

5 of the best restaurants in Salento

5 of the best restaurants in Salento

Best known as the Tuscany of the South, Salento is a region in Puglia steeped in history, surrounded by baroque art, pristine white sandy beaches and crystal clear sea. The warm welcome of its inhabitants, the sunny weather and the abundance of fresh organic food and wine are a recipe for a memorable vacation. The […]

Top 5 golf courses in the Italian Alps

Top 5 golf courses in the Italian Alps

Its hard to envisage a more stunning location for golf than one found amongst the spectacular vistas of the Italian Alps. There are five particularly awe-inspiring courses which all deliver panoramic views and luxurious, bespoke facilities. Menaggio e Canebbia Golf Club Created 110 years ago, Menaggio e Cadenabbia Golf Clubis Italys second oldest golf club. […]

Bahamian bliss in the Berry Islands

Bahamian bliss in the Berry Islands

The Bahamas has no shortage of busy resorts and gaudy hotels. The capital Nassau’s Atlantis Paradise Island offers perhaps the most globally recognised example. What is harder to find is a quieter corner of these paradise Caribbean islands, where the pace is a couple of steps slower and the slot machines and water flumes have […]

Tranquil skiing in Sestrière

Tranquil skiing in Sestrière

It’s an eternal conundrum facing European skiing enthusiasts – how to enjoy the unique blend of food, culture and landscape in peak season Italy or France without the packed pistes. For those dreading those long queues at the ski lifts in the coming months, the Piemonte region of Italy may provide a charming solution. There […]

Urban highlights of Sicily

Urban highlights of Sicily

Sicily is the perfect Autumn destination, frequently remaining pleasantly warm until well into November. Its attractions are innumerable, including the world-famous wonders of Mount Etna and the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. What is less often described are the elegant delights to be found within its towns and cities, with Palermo, Syracuse and Modica […]

Gastronomy in Provence for fine palates

Gastronomy in Provence for fine palates

Provence, a region which has always been rich in distinctive culinary offerings, from bouillabaisse to tapenade, has seen a recent surge in the popularity of gourmet cooking classes and lessons from private chefs, as a novel extra element of a luxury break in this idyllic corner of Southern France. Many of the best courses offer […]

5 fantastic ways to experience the Okanagan Valley

5 fantastic ways to experience the Okanagan Valley

Think of a sunny destination and Canada may not immediately come to mind, but did you know that the Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of the westernmost province of British Colombia, boasts more hours of sunshine than Rio de Janeiro or Hawaii? Another astonishing aspect of this increasingly popular tourist destination is the diversity […]

The natural highlights of Arcachon Bay

The natural highlights of Arcachon Bay

Mention of the South of France conjures up numerous images, many featuring yachts, casinos and fast cars. Whilst these are undoubtedly hallmarks of the landscape, what often goes unmentioned are the many spectacular and world class natural resources and landmarks that can be experienced, the majority an easy day trip from the popular seaside resort […]

5 things to do in Croatia for the perfect family break

5 things to do in Croatia for the perfect family break

With 1800 km of coastline and over 1000 islands, diverse landscapes, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from, Croatia is the ideal destination for families who love the sea, nature, and active holidays. This beautiful country on the edge of the Adriatic Sea is particularly child-friendly: family is important in Croatian culture, children are […]

Bruges: Belgium's capital of fine dining

Bruges: Belgium’s capital of fine dining

The small Belgian town of Bruges is an enchanting place of medieval buildings, narrow cobblestone streets and romantic canals. It also has an exceptional culinary scene, with many outstanding restaurants run by some of the world’s top chefs and a total of eight Michelin-starred restaurants. Of the three restaurants in Belgium which have received the […]

Wild beauty and adventure in the Faroe Islands

Wild beauty and adventure in the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands found themselves making world headlines a couple of months ago, when it was the very best place on earth to watch the full solar eclipse. National Geographic Magazine had noted their charm quite some time ago, voting them at the very top of their long list of the best islands in 2007. […]

5 fabulous things to do in Otranto

5 fabulous things to do in Otranto

The peninsula of Salento is one of my favourite Italian destinations and one I keep coming back to. Located deep in Italy’s south, Salento is the ‘heel’ of its ‘boot’, part of the region of Puglia, located at the edges of both the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Its generous sunshine, typical whitewashed houses, baroque architecture, […]

5 not-to-be-missed UNESCO sites in Italy

5 not-to-be-missed UNESCO sites in Italy

UNESCO’s World Heritage status designates places of “outstanding universal value to humanity” by inscribing them on the World Heritage List so that they will be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Italy is the country with the highest number of heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO list with a total of 50 located […]

3 perfect Spring destinations for couples

3 perfect Spring destinations for couples

Valentine’s Day has once again been and gone, which may be a relief to many people. Setting aside the hype and noise around 14th February, what are some of the very best options for couples seeking out well-appointed, secluded romance before the summer season arrives? Here’s our guide to three of the most perfect destinations […]

24 hours in Lecce: 10 things to do and see

24 hours in Lecce: 10 things to do and see

Lecce is an ancient and beautiful city known as the ‘Florence of the South’ because of its ornate Baroque buildings made from the pale-coloured local stone, called pietra leccese. It is one of the most important cities of Italy’s Apulia (Puglia) region, and also the capital of Lecce province. This lively city is buzzing with […]

6 of the best outdoor skating rinks around the world

6 of the best outdoor skating rinks around the world

Winter is not all about staying inside by a fire, but also getting out in the fresh air and enjoying outdoor winter activities. Ice-skating is the perfect winter activity for all ages and a great way to get some much-needed exercise while enjoying the festive season. I’ve chosen some of the best outdoor skating rinks […]