Not everyone knows that Capri is also renowned as the ‘Island of exiles’. Emperor Tiberius came here to rule the Empire far from the influence of the Senate – which in turn construed the official representation of the Emperor as lascivious, depraved and violent.
The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius, who stood for the values of the old Republic and the role that the Senate played in the Republican age, were the first to construe such image. The ill-famed cliff where the Emperor’s villa is located, ‘Tiberius Leap’ (‘Salto di Tiberio’) is named after Suetonius’ story about Emperor Tiberius throwing his victims from the precipice.
Chilean writer and Nobel Prize Pablo Neruda was one of these prominent personalities. Neruda publicly denounced President Gabriel Gonzalez Videla for the violent repression of the miners’ uprising in 1947, many of whom were sent to concentration camps. Videla issued an arrest warrant against Neruda, who was then forced to go into exile.He came to Capri in 1952, where he wrote ‘The Captain’s verses – awarding him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.
The Italian historian Edwin Cerio hosted him in his Villa in Via Tragara. Years later, in 1985, Neruda’s stay in Capri became the subject of Antonio Skarmeta’s novel ‘Ardiente Paciencia’ (‘Ardent Patience’, later known as ‘El cartero de Neruda’, or ‘Neruda’s Postman’). The novel has inspired Michael Redford’s moving film ‘Il Postino’, ‘The Postman’ – Italian actor Massimo Troisi interpreting the postman, and Philippe Noiret playing the role of Neruda.
According to Websters Dictionary Wandering means “traveling aimlessly from place to place”. Adventuring presents stories of astonishing miracles and heroic adventure.
A fluke hammock incident in my garden resulted in a minor concussion with three staples in my head… both firsts for me. I spent many sedentary days on a stable flat glider letting my brain heal. Quiet time to reminisce driving through idyllic country roads in France for a Big Birthday. For miles, a sheep herder was often the only obstacle; elderly farmers along the road selling bags of walnuts – my lack of language translated to opening my wallet, offering my French Francs. Layers of local experiences. One of my favorite photos of me is on a country lane in France, me with wallet open ‘negotiating’ a bag of walnuts from a local farmer! I’ll never forget the experience!
France – On my wish list. Two charming French properties in picturesque locations within hours of each other. Highly regarded Michelin chef, Alain Ducasse, and a Michelin recommendation at the second property. La Bastide Moustiers, sits in the heart of Provence, relax on a shaded terrace overlooking the valley, time seems to stand still here, truly a spot to ‘enjoy the moment’. Ducasse’s four-star hotel and Michelin star restaurant is a labor of love. Gourmands helicopter in just for lunch. Shrewder travelers check in and cherish the historic charm and unpretentious sophistication of the rambling estate, located in one of Frances prettiest villages.
THE NATURAL JEWELS OF THE VERDON. The wild and majestic gorges are the largest natural canyons in Europe and without a doubt the most majestic: the Verdon Gorges are one of the sites not to be missed during your stay in this part of Provence. For 25km, the tall cliffs plunge straight down into the Verdon River before reaching the Lake of Sainte-Croix. Enjoy some hiking, mountain-biking, rock-climbing, river sailing… or simply spend time admiring this wild and unspoiled natural treasure.
A succession of villages Tourtour, Saint-Laurent-du-Verdon, Castellane, Entrevaux: there are so many villages in the Verdon that are worth a detour, not only for their location amid stunning landscapes, but also for their rich history, heritage treasures and breathtaking views they offer, especially over the Lake of Sainte-Croix. Wandering.
Concealed on a quiet country lane on the fringes of Moustiers, which shields the entrance to Verdon Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in Europe. In 2017, it had a population of 709. It is considered one of the “most beautiful villages of France. Dramatic limestone cliffs overlook the small village, where Old World griffon vultures soar on the updrafts.
In the village itself, steep streets and narrow alleys reveal charming restaurants and charming shops. The gorgeous shimmering Lac de Sainte-Croix, with its sandy shores and limpid shallows, is a 10-minute drive away. If you thrive on sporting activities, the lake is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground offering canyoning, rafting, rock climbing, hang gliding, kayaking, canoeing, and biking.
Ducasse fell in love with this 17th century former farmhouse. Plopped amid 10 acres of gardens, surrounded by gnarled olive trees and fragrant lavender plants, La Bastide abounds with historical qualities – a flagstone floors, ancient stone walls, broad wood beamed ceilings – all complemented by deliberately chosen antique furnishings. The result is a dreamy property exuding an air of comfortable sophistication and elegance.
Wishing to be here Second Destination – Crillion Le Brave. I stayed eons ago, rested amid the swimmers on the stone terraces of the clifftop pool. In the heart of Vaucluse, a splendid 5-star hideaway reserved for those looking to disconnect from the urban frenzy and reconnect in a sublime natural environment.
Described as a Sublime Exile. the architectural ensemble made entirely of blond Crillon stone stands at the very top of the village and exudes an atmosphere full of charm and elegance. The Hotel Crillon le Brave stands like a peaceful haven facing the mountains of Ventoux, swathed by rolling vineyards and olive groves typical of Provence. Crillon le Brave, the luxury hotel literally merges with Mont Ventoux. Surrounding the church, a marvelous labyrinth of 17th and 18th century buildings lined with Virginia creeper, a secret passage is revealed leading to a panoramic terrace overlooking the breath-taking Mont-Ventoux. A dozen old houses make up the hotel, giving it a special, private and exclusive charm, creating a timeless getaway in Mont Ventoux.
The hotel is a 40-minute drive (23 miles) from Avignon TGV station, itself three hours by train from Paris Gare de Lyon, and the hotel can arrange comfortable transfers if you’ve come by rail. Crillon sits at the southern foot of Mont Ventoux, ‘the beast of Avignon’, part of the Tour de France route with some stunning walks, and just under eight miles from Carpentras, frequent residence of Popes (the Papacy was based in Avignon in the 14th century), and now famous for its black truffle markets.
High end dining offering seasonal and local produce such as Cavaillon summer melon, Caromb figs and sweet Carpentras strawberries. Wine tasting with the sommelier is a delight. Visitors: Europeans, empty nesters, blue chip -bike enthusiasts due to the awesome hills. I stayed during crush, small grape filled combines crawled amid the dusty paths loading and unloading the fall harvest.
A quintessentially French hideaway fusing the charms of a 17th-century hamlet with contemporary luxury. If you fancy descending from your hilltop, you’re perfectly placed to explore Provence. Dive into the bustle of a local market or a summer festival. Tour vineyards and wineries, sampling famous vintages like Ventoux and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Nearby Sault is the birthplace of lavender, while cities like Avignon are home to Roman and medieval wonders. Or, like Cezanne and Van Gogh, simply head for the hills (bicycle optional) with a sketchpad and let the celebrated Provençal light inspire you.
Facilities are flawless. The spa is in an old stable: stone troughs formerly used to feed horses are now filled with lavender. The swimming pool is a perfect rectangle of attractive dark green tile overlooking the plains below, with luxuriant loungers dotted by the pool and above a raised set of cypress-studded terraces.