A European Holiday

With a years-long pandemic that restricted travel, many are eager to find adventure once again as the months grow warmer. This summer just might call for a long-lasting and lavish repose in one of Europe’s top destinations. Everything from classic and romantic to adventurous is on the itinerary. 

The Romantic Amalfi Coast

Giuseppe Verdi, a renowned Italian composer, understood the lasting wonders of Italy in the 19th century when he said, “You may have the universe, if I may have Italy.” The cities are a stunning blend of modern luxury and exceptional history. While the simmering Mediterranean climate makes a hazy, romantic atmosphere that’s perfect for beach lovers, the family-owned restaurants, serving up traditional ravioli capresi, and cliffside boutique hotels make every meal and night feel like an authentic cultural experience. 

For authentic Italian food and drinks, visit Da Paolino Restaurant, a waterfront venue that serves only the freshest cuisine under a canopy of lemon trees. “When you enter the gates, it’s paradise,” says Michela De Martino at Da Paolino Restaurant. Guests can enjoy a late lunch in the autumn, but diners fall in love with the lounge bar that opens in the summer and serves lemon cocktails or late diners in the courtyard. “Our signature dishes are mozzarella grilled on lemon leaves, and our Bomba Paolino, which is deep-fried pasta stuffed with cheese and ham, served with fresh cherry tomato sauce.” Ending a summer day with a breezy waterfront meal is a romantic setting that will never go out of style.

Photo Courtesy: Da Paolino Restaurant

The islands Ischia, and Procida off the Amalfi Coast are equally dream-like with hidden rocky coves and the gorgeous Adriatic sea to make any day at the beach an adventure. Book a room at the Mezzatorre Hotel, which is perched atop a private bay and thermal springs. The 16th-century historic watchtower is a pinkish shade that stands out against the backdrop of the blue waters. Or enjoy the crisp and refreshing La Suite Boutique Hotel with its many indoor-outdoor living spaces that are ideal for soaking up the sun and experiencing the natural wonders of the island’s coast. De Martino says one of the best things about the atmosphere at their restaurant and in Italy is the “ambiance and people. Our family is always around and we’ve had the same staff for many years, so guests come and go and they always feel at home.” This welcoming and authentic atmosphere is common along the coast and adds a little something extra to your stay.

A Classic Stay at the French Riviera

St. Tropez, Nice, Monaco … does anything paint a picture of a European summer quite like the French Riviera? The coast of the Mediterranean Sea calls out to the masses in the warmer months and troves of tourists answer each year. The area is full of great food, fun, and luxury resorts leave little to be desired, especially when it comes to restaurants. “This restaurant is an ode to the seasons.… The cuisine is inspired by nature and enhanced by delicate creativity,” says Mélanie Serre, executive chef of The Elsa Monaco in Monte Carlo. Only the finest and freshest menus can be found among the many luxurious eateries along the French Riviera. “We enhance seasonal products by placing vegetables in the spotlight, working with local artisans and producers, and reducing waste, without compromising excellence and creativity,” says Serre.

A similar sense of luxury can be felt at the Château Eza, a 5-star boutique hotel that is elevated over the sea, and the historic medieval village of Èze, boasting unbelievable views. Nestled perfectly between Monaco and Nice, the location is hard to beat. Nice, another must-see area, was added by UNESCO to the World Heritage List in 2021. “The history of Nice, both deep-rooted and open, Mediterranean and Alpine, European and cosmopolitan, has produced a unique architecture and landscape, a model for many other cities in the world," says C. Estrosi, Mayor of Nice. 

Photo Courtesy: Hotel Lou Pinet | Photo by Mr. Tripper

Further south, the famed Saint Tropez is dazzling with top-tier accommodations, including the Hotel Lou Pinet, which was named among the three best hotels in France in 2020 at Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The hotel has every accommodation you could desire but is presented in a warm welcoming manner that feels more like staying with old friends, rather than a hotel. 

A Croatian Adventure

Croatia's coast is pocketed with secluded beaches that offer up a sense of mystery and romance that’s associated with a European holiday. The pebbled beaches are calling new attention to Croatia as a summer hot spot. According to Kristjan Staničić, the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, “more than 460 airline routes with more than 34,000 rotations will operate towards our country during the summer.” Newly a part of the Schengen Area, the easy access to Croatian beaches and cities is all the more reason to put the land of a thousand islands on your bucket list.

Pula Arena, Croatia | Photo Courtesy: Croation National Tourist Board | Photo by Ivan Sardi

Captivating cliffs and coves mark the Croatian coast. Explore Zlatni Rat, Bol, the island of Brač, and Central Dalmatia for clear waters, picturesque lunches, and stunning views of marine life. Or get more adventurous with Croatia’s history. “The country lies on some of Europe’s oldest archeological sites,” says Lucijana Natalija Jerković, head of global PR for the Croatian National Tourist Board. “Having been at the crossroads throughout history, Croatia is often described as a world in one country – different landscapes, different cuisines, different cultural influences.”

Away from the beaches, you can sip a glass of Plavac Mali on a privately chartered yacht on the Adriatic sea or spend an intimate afternoon at one of the delightful wineries in Croatia, where the wine scene is on the rise. Greek settlers were the first to cultivate vineyards in the 5th century and now “there are over 100 indigenous grape varieties in Croatia,” says Jo Ahearne, winemaker of Ahearne vino. “The region is rich, fertile and boasts the type of weather that many winemakers could only dream of,” says Sara Rasmussen, Hvarwine co-founder. 

Rest and Rejuvenate in Zurich

Zurich is a city that is colorful, “very vibrant and lively, even though it is a historic destination,” says Aurelia Carlen, area manager for Americas, at Zürich Tourism. Known for its collection of spas and resorts, museums and galleries, along with stunning outdoor scenery, this city is the perfect place to disconnect from your busy schedule, reconnect with the outdoors, and challenge your mind with history and art. 


Zurich is a rather small city with only about 440,000 inhabitants. “It’s more like a village, but with a very high density of cultural and gastronomic options, surrounded by beautiful nature,” says Carlen. Many of the experiences available are a blend of indoor/outdoor activities that guests crave during the summer months. “Visitors will love cruises on Lake Zurich and river Limmat. There are 18 swimming areas within city limits and also plenty of garden terraces and lakeview restaurants,” says Carlen.

Art lovers must plan a trip to one of Zurich’s biggest museums. The Museum Rietberg displays thousands of traditional and contemporary arts and cultures from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and more. After spending a pleasant evening absorbing the thriving art and historical scene in Zurich, guests can often find traditional dishes, such as “Zürich Geschnetzeltes, which is sliced veal in a creamy sauce with Rösti; Swiss macaroons, known as Luxemburgerli; or a delicious bowl of Birchermüesli, which was invented in Zurich,” adds Carlen.

By Marlene Ridgway This article appeared in Homes & Estates


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