Where possible we try and come home to the U.K as much as possible over the festive season, as to be quite frank no where does Christmas like it. Spain certainly has its own Christmas traditions, some of which we have come to love but nostalgia has us craving home soil.
We woke up as early as humanly possible the next day after a fabulous first night in NYC, and decided to check out the hotel and head down for breakfast.
Breakfasts at Tivoli Palacio de Seteais are a wonderful thing, so much so I wanted to share our last one with you. Firstly, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day.
Probably because I rarely have breakfast as i'm normally too busy, so when I do its usually while i'm on vacation and can really luxuriate over it.
On our last day, we took one final walk around the hotel, and gardens trying to preserve the memory of such a lovely place.
We set off from Lisbon for a few days in Sintra, which is around an hours drive away. When we researching our road trip, Sintra popped up and I knew instantly that I would love it. It is the most beautiful magical place and such a contrast to Lisbon
Things to do
Unlike most markets, they aren't too pushy which really helps when your trying to get a good look at all the interesting thing they have on offer. Look out for yummy teas and spices
We arrived in Rome in the early evening, after a morning in Manarola. Our hotel of choice- Pallazo Dama.
Not far from Piazza del Popolo, it was originally a Roman townhouse (The former home of the Malaspina dynasty) Now transformed into a stylish, luxurious boutique hotel... with its own pool no less (very rare in Rome)
Rooms with high ceilings and sumptuous velvet details. Its an absolute sanctuary among the hustle and bustle of Rome
A fabulous mix of style and elegance, it pulls off cool but grand... just my kind of place.
And it has one of the most impressive art collections iv ever seen showcased in elaborate gold frames, against impacting navy walls. It really does make quite the statement.
Magnificent sparkling chandeliers hang everywhere, adding to the grandeur. But than the modern touches bring it back down making it contemporary and less formal
You can choose to spend your time at the hotel pool, or in the bar taking in the 1920s decadence, with chandeliers, potted palms, and velvet bar stools.
The very glamorous Pacifico restaurant has the highest ceilings, glittering chandeliers and large arched windows overlooking the garden. Or you can choose to dine alfresco, in the glorious Italian sun.
Just the perfect way to spend our first evening in back in the eternal city
Next up on our Italian road trip is Santa Margherita Ligure. Its is that wonderfully old-fashioned kind of Riviera resort. More laid pack than the glittering Portofino... But it still sparkles
We stayed at the Imperial palace hotel. It may have been the shutters and flower boxes that sold me
Its the kind of place that makes your feel like your in a movie from the 50's. Decedent, glamorous and timeless
Said to be one of the most beautiful property's on the riviera, its hard to argue with the incredibly ornate details and murano glass chandeliers. The beautiful belle époque styling had me at hello.
We set of to discover a new town.
Making our way through the geranium line bridge down to the private beach
Dress, similar here
Row upon row of majestic pink riviera architecture lines the promenade, a real feast for the eyes.
Santa Margherita has those sleepy seaside vibes down, with the loveliest touch of glamour. Its a killer combination.
And we were lucky enough to see it in some magically stormy weather. There's something so romantic about a warm day broken by a thunderstorm
We decided to make our way back to the hotel, order up some room service and watch the storm roll in.
Naturally I continued in my usual pasta fashion...
With views across Santa Margherita, id argue these were the best seats in Town.
We always try and squeeze in as many Towns, restaurants and events as possible on our trips that sometimes its so nice to just take it a little easier and enjoy the moment.
We ordered the most delicious chocolate cake, a massive pot of coffee and watched santa Margherita life go by.
We watched the sky change from greys to the prettiest purples and all the shimmering lights of the town flickering over the riviera.
Long leisurely strolls to breakfast, followed by a quick dip on the pool.
It is truly the most relaxing, serene and beautiful place.
However, we must pull ourselves away for new views and an entirely different vibe. Portofino it is...
We swapped the sleepy, golden drenched vistas for something a little more sparkly. Our first views of Portofino, were from the winding, hydrangea laced pathways of our hotel, Belmond hotel splendido. I couldn't think of a better place to view it from
The sun-warmed Paraggi bay and its uninterrupted views over the Italian Riviera are spectacular, and unveil before you on the beautifully scenic stroll down down to the Piazzetta. Portofino is definitely best explored on foot
Here is where you'll find the most insta worthy shot. A scene that despite being all over Insta is no less impactful or breathtaking.
Continue down the steps, and you'll see plaza of Chiesa di San Giorgio peeking at you through the pastel coloured buildings
Until your down at the glorious harbour watching the sail boats bobbing away.
Depending on your mood, you can enjoy a few drinks while you people watch or partake in a little shopping. Or if your like me, do both...
We chose Vignamaggio for our base for the next few days and arrived during golden hour.
Halfway between Florence and Siena, and set in the hills of the Chianti Classico region, the estate overlooks a countryside landscape, of forests, vineyards and ancient hamlets scattered about on the surrounding hills
Its the kind of place you could explore for days, and never want to leave.
So romantically Tuscan, with details upon details upon details all bathed in magical golden hues
Fresh lemon and orange blossom fills the air, adding to the faiy tale vibe all around the Renaissance villa
And then there are the views! Everything you could dream of for a Tuscan romance
We spent hours exploring the grounds. Discovering things to love. Breathing it in, in all its glory
Finding olive groves, down secret pathways. There is nothing like being surrounded by nature
Each view of the countryside more enchanting then the last. This place really is all about the magnificent grounds
The grounds are immense, it even has its own organic farm, and vinyards
We made our way back to our room, and shared a bottle of the estates red
After settling in, we headed out for dinner... naturally as the sun was setting over the Tuscan countryside.
We took our seats on the panoramic terrace, with the best views over the valley.
With the loveliest seasonal menu to choose from we were spoilt for choice
We ordered the sharing platter...
Followed by the freshest pasta... and than chocolate desert.
Beautifully secluded, but in the perfect location for exploring Sienna, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni and the mysterious charm of Volterra, (a stop totally inspired by the twighlight series)
Its one of those places, where you feel like your the only ones there...
Surrounded by vinyards and lavender, it smells unreal
We started our day with coffee, before taking the day out to enjoy such a lovely hotel
There are so any places to discover and explore, everything picture perfect.
And once you've explored every inch, you can take a dip in the pool.
Caste Montastero also has an amazing restaurant.
And im a big advocate of not having to leave your hotel every night for Dinner. Its sometimes lovely to be able to take a leisurely walk (in your highest heels) to dinner, fresh and perfectly put together.
To start we ordered the sharing platter, which was as amazing as it looked.
Followed by a refreshing cocktail and the risotto for the main course.
And to cap the night off, we had petit fours and a coffee. Perfect
The perfect end to the perfect day. Fully refreshed and ready to explore Sienna the next day.
Seems we found another hotel to love...
More from our Italian road trip here
A travel, beauty and lifestyle blog with the occasional afternoon tea by Angelina Belle
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