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465 West 23rd Street, Suite 9B
New York, NY, 10011
United States

(917) 664-2294

JOURNAL

CAN I TELL YOU ... TAKE A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD AND SEE THE CULTURES THAT INSPIRE MY DESIGNS.

Filtering by Tag: italy

Can I tell you about ... Venice

Rafe Totengco

STAY

Palazzo Stern in the Dorsoduro area. Our room had a fabulous view and it was such a luxury to have breakfast and early evening cocktails on the terrace facing the Palazzo Grassi across the Grand Canal. Not to mention, the location couldn't have been more ideal being a hop and skip away from the Accademia and Saint Mark's square.
 

DO

A visit to the Ghetto. Established in 1516, it was the first Ghetto in the world. Napoleon Bonaparte is credited for freeing the Jews back in 1797 when he opened the gates and allowed them to live outside of the Ghetto. To this day, the Ghetto is still the epicenter of Jewish life in the city and has a beautiful kosher hotel.
 

EAT

Osteria da Fiore is a cozy Michelin star rated restaurant that well deserves it. Mara Martin, the chef, is known for combining traditional Italian cooking with a contemporary twist. Both the cuttlefish risotto and the steamed sea bass with aged balsamic vinegar are worth returning for.
 

MUST SEE

The Punta della Dogana museum. Designed by Tadao Ando and commissioned by Francois Pinault, the museum opened during the Venice Art Biennale after 14 months of restoration. The former customs house was meticulously restored to showcase a selection of Pinault's massive contemporary art collection. Only 141 out of 2,500 pieces made the cut to be permanently exhibited here.
 

WHAT I LOVED MOST

I love to meander and get lost in a city and Venice is perfect for that. There are so many tiny ancient streets that end abruptly or at a canal, and to make matters even more confusing, street names are repeated in different neighborhoods and house numbers seem to be allocated at random. But then, in Venice, getting lost is part of the fun.

Can I tell you about ... Capri

Rafe Totengco

STAY

J.K. Place Capri is the chicest boutique hotel in Capri, bar none. It's away from the hustle and bustle of the Marina Grande and Piazza Umberto. It's like staying at a private villa complete with a spa and a pool. All the rooms are elegantly furnished with antiques and art, plus have sweeping views of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius.
 

DO

Rent a private boat to take you around the island, go through the Faraglioni then Marina Piccola and Marina Grande. If the sea isn't rough, go in the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto). You'll have to transfer to a smaller boat because the entrance is so miniscule that you'll have to lie down in the boat just to get in. You'll never forget the color of the turquoise waters once you're inside. It's surreal!
 

EAT

Paolino! This Caprese institution lives up to its reputation for traditional Italian cuisine infused with hints of lemon. I love dining al fresco under an arbor of lemon trees. Everything is simply prepared and molto molto buono!
 

MUST SEE

See a quieter side of Capri, head to Anacapri on the other side of the island. It's quaint, relaxed and down to earth. If you're lucky you can flag the only red vintage Fiat Cabrio taxi driving around the island. You'll feel like you're really living La Dolce Vita!
 

WHAT I LOVED MOST

Capri is a contradiction of high octane glamour and rustic charm at the same time. There is so much to do and see; from hiking down perilous limestone cliffs to having lunch overlooking the spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. It's such an inspirational destination. It's no wonder why stylish women like Jackie O and Sophia Loren kept coming back for years.