It seems to me that people travel to experience the things that they cannot find within the confines of their daily lives. That we search out those things that are Iconic or unique. That are different or new. By doing this we create shared experiences and those experiences turn into the memories that stay with us for the rest of our lives.
We stayed at the Tower at Irola di Sotto for a month and it, for us, represented all the things that travel can offer. It was a unique, yet timeless experience that will live on in our memories. Over 1,000 years old the Tower is as modern on the inside as it is ancient on the outside. The thought and work that has gone into this property, from the structural integrity to the lighting and plumbing design is remarkable. The bathrooms, kitchen, laundry are all designed with the guest in mind. The property has pretty much anything you could require for a short or long stay. Pots...pans...towels...pillows, Elena has thought of it all.
But there is something else that the Tower has to offer that is far less tangible. It’s location. We used it as a base as we made trips to Florence, Milan, Siena, Lucca, Pisa, Carrara, Tuscany, Umbria, Portofino and the Cinque Terre. In that regard, it was ideally situated. Still there was one final thing that we found more appealing than any other and that was the solace of the place. You stand on the third floor deck and you look out over the vast valley of green dotted with towns and villages and there is a calm that sweeps over you. It is quiet, amazingly quiet. If you are lucky you may see deer or badger or wild boar. On a clear night you can see hundreds of stars and even the clouds of the Milky Way.
It is all part of the package that together creates the memories that you will never find at a Hilton or Marriott or Holiday Inn.
Finally, there is the human element. We were strangers in a strange land. Living in a village (Population: maybe 20) that may well have existed when Napoleon was marching across Europe. Our guides Elena and Bruno were responsive and genuine. Their kindness and concern for our well being was a priceless addition to an already memorable experience.