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Archive for 2013

Start planning Christmas 2014 now!

Are the Christmas festivities already beginning to get to you?  Is it all feeling a little claustrophobic even before Christmas Eve has arrived?

It’s never too early to hatch an escape plan for next year, particularly if you’re tempted by the idea of ditching the turkey and trimmings in favour of pizza made on your own wood-burning oven.  December temperatures in Sicily can be mild and it’s also a great month for some serious sightseeing, minus the tourists and with the added attraction of twinkly lights and nativity scenes in many of the local villages and towns. Read more here

In the news

A newly-launched flight straight into south east Sicily and an expanding portfolio of some great villas has ensured that client soloSicily has stayed in the news this autumn.

Ryanair’s new flight to Comiso led to Sicily being tipped as one of AOL’s holiday hotspots for 2014, Cosmopolitan highlighted the attractions of the island’s south eastern corner in its Ciao Sicily! feature and the Times’ Travel Doctor recommended south east Sicily as a good location for a family looking for a venue for a special celebration holiday next Spring.

Last but not least, in You & Your Wedding, senior writer Julia Scirrotto advocates the charm and benefits of honeymooning in Sicily rather than travelling long haul.

Croatian Villa Holidays

Reasons to visit Europe this autumn

Sample the best of gastronomic Sicily, including mountain hams, salami, strong-flavoured cheeses and olives at the Festa dei Sapori Madoniti (mid-October) in Sicily’s pretty Petralia Sottana in the Madonie mountains.

Foodie events on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula throughout October include truffle festivals in and around the inland towns of Livade, Motovun and Buzet, and the Marunada Festival which celebrates the ‘maruni’ (sweet chestnuts) that grow on Istria’s Opatija Riviera.  Check out Croatian Villa Holidays selection of villas in the region. Read more here

Busking around

If you’re lucky enough to be in south east Sicily in early October, make sure you stop off in Ragusa to watch a bit of street action at the Ragusa Ibla Buskers festival from 3-6 October, as featured in yesterday’s Sunday Times.   Now in its nineteenth year, the festival brings the streets of Ragusa to life with acrobats, clowns, singers, fire-eaters and jugglers, all performing at allocated times and sites around town.  Ryanair’s new flight to south east Sicily takes you to Comiso, just a half-hour away from Ragusa.  See Sunday Times article here.

Welcome to Croatian Villa Holidays

Great to be working with Croatian Villa Holidays who clearly know  just about everything there is to know about Croatia and its many islands.

Find out about the best food festival or the least discovered beach and choose from a collection of villas that ranges from a traditional stone rural house for two to an Istrian lighthouse and a jaw-dropping villa with its own tennis court, football pitch and wellness centre.  Expect to see a lot more of this company in the coming months …

Montalbano’s Sicily

Hurray for the return this Saturday of the charismatic Inspector Montalbano – even if it’s in the form of a prequel to the main series as a young Montalbano is posted to a remote village in the Sicilian mountains before being promoted and transferred to Vigata.

Hard to say whether it’s the early morning swims, the almost tangible smell of coffee on that beachfront terrace or the steaming platters of  ‘pasta alla norma’ that make you long to be there … but there are few better adverts for south east Sicily and the baroque towns of Ragusa, Modica and Scicli than this series. Read more here

Lazing by the lakeside

Check out the Times’ 20 best stays on the Italian Lakes for some great autumn break ideas.  Big can still be beautiful at Lake Garda, Maggiore and Como but don’t forget the often overlooked and much quieter lakes Orta and Iseo.

ExpertoItaly’s Relais Villa Vittoria is a 12-bedroom boutique hotel with a Moroccan-style mini spa and hammam, situated a short paddle from George Clooney’s villa in Laglio on Lake Como.

Hot off the press

JG Communications’ client soloSicily is offering an amazing 20% off selected villas right through July and August.  Elisa, a three-bedroom property with a pool, direct beach access and it’s own tiny church, caught the attention of the Sunday Times in this weekend’s last-minute Summer Holidays feature.

If you can’t get away until September, the good news is that Ryanair has launched a new flight, starting in mid-September, from Stansted to Comiso, the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to stay in or explore the fantastic baroque towns and white sandy beaches of south east Sicily.

Click here to read the Sunday Times information.

Spotlight on Sicily

Check out some of the most recent coverage for JG Communications’ client soloSicily.  A summer of discounts at the very gorgeous Perla Nera villa, just outside Catania, was featured on, the latest addition to the online family travel world and definitely one to watch.

Coverage also in The Independent for soloSicily’s lovely sea-facing Lilla and Viola apartments, a few steps from the beach in Taormina.

View of Isola Bella, Taormina

Hot hot hot

Are these the ‘Hottest New Rentals in Europe’?  They are according to Conde Nast Traveller, the inspirational travel magazine that has us all drooling over destinations near and far.   Most heartening is the fact that there really is something for everyone, from a ‘château’ near Paris to an ‘hacienda’ in Cadiz and from villas for two in Santorini to a Gatsby-style villa for 40 near San Antonio.

The gallery also features several of client soloSicily’s newest rental properties, including a family villa in the Palermitan suburb of Mondello and two incredibly stylish apartments overlooking the tiny island of Isola Bella in Taormina.