My Three Best Kept Travel Secrets
 

Tripbase.com is inviting travel writers to share their favorite travel destinations in a list that will eventually be published as an e-book. Although it’s not a secret, all of my secrets are about Italy:

Isole 

 

1.Tuscan Archipelago

For years we have chartered boats to sail amid these rocky islands between the Ligurian  and Tyrrhenian seas, west of Tuscany. The largest island in the group is Elba. Others include Pianosa, Capraia (the most rugged) , Montecristo (mystical), Giglio (my favorite), Gorgona and Giannutri, all of which are protected as part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. 

Three reasons to go: 

*dramatic scenery on uncrowded waters (occasional whale sightings too)

*fabulous swimming in crystal-clear water in isolated coves 

*quaint ports with restaurants serving the freshest seafood

View from Palazzo Magnani Feroni 

 

2. Palazzo Magnani Feroni (hotel in Florence} 

I stayed here so often when I was researching LA BELLA LINGUA: MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH ITALIAN, THE WORLD'S MOST ENCHANTING LANGUAGE that I came to think of it as “il mio palazzo.” However, this gem of a restored 16th-century family home (with just twelve exquisite suites) and its amiable staff are so welcoming that every guest probably feels the same. (Borgo San Frediano 5, Firenze) 

 Three reasons to stay: 

 *rooftop terrace with 360 degree views of Florence (above)

 *wonderful, devoted, attentive staff 

*across the Arno from il centro in a neighborhood of artisans’ studios, antique shops, and galleries 

Da Bracali
 
 3. Ristorante Da Bracali (Massa Maritima). 

In the last five years two brothers—Francesco and Luca Bracali—have transformed their family's rustic trattoria into an elegant Michelin-starred restaurant that's sensually, sumptuously adult. Amid décor that mixes classical lines with splashy Versace touches, we have dined on deliciously creative variations on traditional Italian themes, teamed with superb wines (my husband downloads the wine list in advance for the sheer pleasure of anticipation) and served with flair. (Via di Perolla n.2, 58020 Ghirlanda) 

 Three reasons to go: 

 *elegant, creative food 

*wonderful setting 

*the charming da Bracali family (above)

 I am nominating these five bloogers to share their top three travel secrets on their blogs: 

Michele, Bleeding espresso  

Mirella, Best of Italy  

Martha, About Italy travel  

Kathy, Dream of Italy 

Susan, 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go   

I will keep you posted as to the publication of the e-book with the best-kept secrets of hundreds of other travel writers. 

 Buon viaggio!