Italy

Travel unforgettable & magical places. Hotel Gli Dei, Pozzuoli (Napoli), Italy.

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HOTEL GLI DEI

Travel unforgettable, magical places, where the body and mind find their center thanks to an energy that stems from three factors: beauty, harmony, quality.

 

vista-dall-hotelI have gotten to know this hotel via photographs posted by my editor, Alessandro Sicuro. Since then I have had an in-depth interest to know what happened here. And know more about this fabulous hotel with the spectacle of nature mixed with myth and history.

If we take a bay in front of us like that of Rio de Janeiro. A dominant position in the face of this scenario. A dream location, with Olympic swimming pools, terraces with breathtaking views. The interiors are warm, inviting and refined. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, each with a balcony of 80 meters, overlooking the sea. An outstanding restaurant offering a cuisine of the first order. As well as a health club that boasts an upscale spa. Tourist paths around the hotel make for interesting walks leading to archaeology sites, as well as art, culture, food and beverage venues. It has the most beautiful sea to be found anywhere that is warm and crystal clear. Well and clear that with all these connotations we can find at the Gli Dei Hotel in Pozzuoli.

I have noticed that staff of The Gli Dei Hotel warmly welcomes its guests to their two-story Mediterranean-style Hotel, which12166894_10153083604301363_1679939744_n offers great views of the sea, exploring the Gulf of Pozzuoli. In its breathtaking views making a spectacular backdrop, it was also designed for business meetings and conferences. In fact, the Gli Dei Hotel has 3 meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 550 people.

Additionally, with the impressive backdrop of the sea, the deck is the perfect setting for hosting ceremonies, parties and banquets.    With a huge ballroom as well, it is suitable for major events such as wedding receptions and other major events such as New Year’s Eve parties.  The staff will also ensure that ever you desire to eat and drink at your event will   surpass your expectations.

The space and facilities available at the Gli Dei Hotel meet your needs precisely and makes for an impressive conference setting.

Kathy Kiefer

Special thanks to Hotel Gli Dei Pozzuoli  (NA) Italy

http://www.hotelglidei.it/

Click on the pictures for slideshows ⬇︎

 

 

 

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BACOLI

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BACOLI

Whoever is fond of sea, myth, history and nature will find Bacoli a great destination. The current city is fruit of the urban redevelopment that happened during second half of the XX century and, if you come and visit this lovely place, you will understand why stunning villas rich in marble and beautiful mosaics were built here. A unique experience accompanied with the intense scent of sea, tasty local dishes and authentic flavors.  A real emotion that becomes pleasure, tradition and beauty.

Situated on the very northern tip of the Bay of Naples, this small fishing village, despite its proximity to Naples and surrounding tourist hotspots, retains a rustic charm. It is also home to the Terme Stufe di Nerone, ancient thermal baths originally built by the romans. It feels like they’ve hardly been touched since then, avoiding major moderations that has touched so many other spa centres in the area.

The hypothermal waters at the spa centre emerge at a high 74°C making it ideal for skin renewal. Elsewhere 2 separate bathing pools cater for various needs, with temperatures from 38 to 58°C. A natural sauna, heated by the thermal waters, creates a perfect environment for curing respiratory problems and water replacement.

Bacoli has Roman origins; it was founded with the name of Bauli as holiday resort. Symmachus said about Bauli: “I left that place because there was the risk that if I got too fond of Bauli, I would not have liked all the other places that I still had to see”.

Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, Bacoli declined, too due to some geological phenomena such as bradyseism and erosions. The city revived throughout the centuries and little by little became a renowned tourist destination.

The commune of Bacoli is located to the south-west on the Gulf of Pozzuoli and is well-known for the ancient port, villas and spas of Baia, an imperial residence in Roman times. Today a fishermen’s borough, was a Roman town with the name of Bauli.

The area of ​​the municipality of Bacoli is of volcanic origin. It belongs to the system of Campi Flegrei and was formed last eruptive phase called “Third Period Flegreo”. In particular the area where there is the town is characterized by an array of seven volcanoes, arranged on a single axis, formed by craters and the remains of craters of three of the oldest volcanoes which date between 35,000 and 10,500 years ago: 1) Cape Miseno; 2) Port of Miseno (whose edges are recognizable residues long islet of Punta Pennata and in front of it in the two peaks of Punta Theron and Punta della Sarparella); 3) the prominence that characterizes the historical center of Bacoli, from Punta del Poggio and swimming Mirabile until Centocamerelle.

To the north, outside the town, a little ‘spaced from the previous but still on the same array, we have the other four volcanoes, the most recent, which date from between 10,500 and 8,000 years ago: 4) and 5) the two craters called Funds Bay (on the brink of one of which is placed the Aragonese Castle of Baia and goes up the road that leads from Pozzuoli to Bacoli); 6) the Gulf of Bay that has almost completely dismantled 7), another volcano whose edges and reliefs residues are recognized in Punta Epitaph and the rocky ridge of yellow tuff that looks toward Lucrino.

Bacoli was founded by the Romans who called it by the name of Trunks. In Roman times it was a popular resort almost as much as the nearby Bay. Symmachus told Trunks: “I left that place because there was a danger that if I had to stay too fond of Trunks, aII other places that I have left to do I would have liked”   (Symmachus).

Ancient trunks are preserved to this day the remains of the Hundred Chambers, the Piscina Mirabile, the so-called Tomb of Agrippina. Augustan age Bacoli actually became the main military outpost and capital elective politics, culture and social life along with the nearby Baiae.

Following the fall of the Roman Empire the city of Bacoli also declined due to some geological phenomena like bradyseism and erosions. In the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the city was reborn and became a favorite destination for Europeans.

The current town includes over today’s Bacoli, even the remains of trunks, the ancient Roman cities of Baia (whose remains extend to Fusaro), and still Miseno with the adjoining Miliscola (from militum choir) seat of the praetorian fleet of the Roman emperors, and finally even a small portion of the ancient Greek city of Cuma.

Baiae (today Baia) was a fashionable and luxurious coastal resort, especially towards the end of the period of the Roman Republic and throughout the Empire, even more popular than Pompeii, Naples, and Capri. Famous for its medicinal warm sulfur springs, purple oysters, and mild climate, it was an ideal retreat from the heat of Rome, and many prominent Romans had villas in the area. It was at his villa near Baiae that the Emperor Hadrian died in 138 AD.

Baiae was also the location for a spectacular stunt (in AD 37) by Caligula, who on becoming Emperor ordered a temporary floating bridge to be built using ships as pontoons, stretching for over two miles from the town of Baiae to the neighboring port of Puteoli (Pozzuoli), across which he proceeded to ride his horse, to challenge an astrologer’s prediction that he had “no more chance of becoming Emperor than of riding a horse across the Gulf of Baiae”.

Several very interesting places to explore and visit while in Bacoli include: (1) Agrippina’s Sepulchre , a Roman monument that traditionally was considered to be the tomb of Nero’s mother, but was most probably the “odeion” of a Villa; (2) Cento Camerelle, water cisterns belonging to a Roman Villa of the Republican times; (3) Piscina Mirabilis, among the biggest Roman water reservoir structures, could store 12,600 cubic meters, situated on a promontory facing Capo Miseno; and (4) Baia an archeological park including villas, spas and the Roman port.

If you are a fan of Roman history and make a trip to Bacoli, don’t miss the Piscina Mirabilis. It is not a very popular tourist spot, but since I am a history, anthropologic and architecture fanatic, it’s high on my places to visit. One of the largest cisterns built in the Augustan period; this is not your plain cistern to store rainwater. This was the termination point of Aqua Augusta, the massive Roman aqueduct which supplied water to many Roman cities in the Bay of Naples.

Since it is under private ownership now, you need to make an appointment by phone before you can explore this underground architectural marvel of Italy.

Kathy Kiefer

click on photo to enlarge⬇︎

BRANDS – ITALIAN

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BRANDS – ITALIAN

Why is it important to buy Italian products, as opposed for going for Made in the USA label?  Or any other label if you will?

You may be asking yourselves why would an American lady have such an interest in brands from Italy?   I have been to Italy and seen first-hand the outstanding craftsmanship and quality of their work and feel that many of these items are just right for the American market.   Many things that I have been fortunate to see and been introduced to are thanks to a very good friend and colleague from Firenze (Florence).       In travels to many of the different regions of the country I have discovered many new and different items that would make a wonderful splash on the world market, especially in the United States where there are numerous citizens who appreciate things that are different and unique, and not of the “normal” line.

One might think that by making the purchases here in the United States, the money would all stay here, but that is not truly the case, no matter what one might hear via publicity.    Some of the funds that are used in these transactions actually go back to the companies in Italy, in directly aiding their economy, paying employees a more living wage.  This purchasing power of the “Made in Italy” label like the “Made in the USA” label in part stands for quality of workmanship, pride in craftsmanship and that you are purchasing a superior quality product.   Manufacturers in Italy (be it leather goods, jewelry, cars   items for the kitchen and home, etc) would never ever attempt to sell an inferior crafted item or product.   By having such wonderful products available to consumers here in the United States  one is not only helping the economy here but in larger part helping the Italia economy and strengthening the trade bonds between two of the world’s most influential nations.

While I am not denying the importance of the “Made in the USA” label, which is as equally as important to everyone.  But there are equally as many if not more products that are from Italy where the style and quality is far superior of what is labeled “Made in the USA, there are many products and items that are imported weekly from Italy and largely go ignored on the shelves by many consumers in the United States and elsewhere.   Except, in stores that cater to many immigrants and those visiting from Italy or of Italian heritage that long for a taste of home.    It is also important to note that while we may not always be conscious of where some things that we buy or enjoy actually come from, it making the choice of these items truly goes a long way in helping rebuild the Italian economy as well as strengthening their reputation abroad.

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There are things such as clothing and/or other products that we already have on our shelves and in the shops that are Italian made and not realizes it.  I refer to products such as Armani, Fendi, Prada, Versace, Gucci, Ferragamo, Dolce& Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, and so much more.   There are many shops and products that I have discovered in my travels throughout the different regions of Italy that are unique to that region and while they don’t have the name recognition yet of an Armani, Versace, etc., it is anticipated that before very long many consumers in the United States come to appreciate and purchase these products as well for themselves or for gifts.   And it’s not just the clothing that I refer to; I also refer to the wonderful hand-made jewelry, leather goods, furniture and other items.   Yet also there are quite a number of excellent wines and food that beg to be tried and enjoyed by a new audience as well.  Plus, up and coming designers and artists’ only want to gain a following and become more of a player on the national and international market.  They deserve that chance as well.    Without them, while the markets would grow, they may not be willing to expand their views and make important changes so that we as consumers have more and wonderful things to choose from. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botchelli, Armani, Ralph Lauren and others that we have come to know and appreciate other the years and centuries had to start somewhere as well

If one is so unwilling to open their minds to new things and new experiences how do they know if they will like them?  Let alone chance their views?  If by trying and experiencing it would be hoped that they would continue to use those things and share them with others and gain a better appreciation of things from not their own county but a nation and a people like Italy.

But one thing that I would venture to mention is that if and when  one is traveling around Italy, be wary of street vendors and some small shops that exist and cater to the tourist industry.    Yes, buying items from these vendors helps in some small way the economy of the country but many of the items that they are hawking aren’t even made in Italy.   They are made outside of the country and cheaply made at that, and many sell knock-offs of well-known labels (and many can’t tell the difference, but it does exist).   The latter does such a disservice to the legitimate businesses as well the owners of the business and their employees.

Kathy Kiefer

THE ITALIAN FINANCIAL CRISIS. A PROBLEM NOT ONLY NATIONAL. BUT A NIGHTMARE, OF A GLOBAL DOMINO EFFECT

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ITALIAN FINANCIAL CRISIS

THE ITALIAN FINANCIAL CRISIS. A PROBLEM NOT ONLY NATIONAL. BUT A NIGHTMARE OF A GLOBAL DOMINO EFFECT

111110europaI have been hearing and reading a great deal in the Italian papers as of late about the seriousness of the financial crisis that Italy is now facing.  It begs the questions such as who is at fault for this crisis.  Is it the politicians, banks or some other entity?   Is it possible to define the cause of this crisis?

It appears that in an attempt to keep pace with the other members of the European Union (EU) the country has been borrowing more and more money, much of which goes to the importing and exporting of items, with leaders in government raising taxes so high that much of the Italian population no longer can afford even the basics of everyday life.   Even to afford to take care of their own families is now at risk and it has been reported that, due in large part to the mounting economic crisis in the country; many citizens have resorted to taking their own lives, or even becoming homeless, and living under bridges and other similar locations with just a few meager possessions that are able to take with them.  Hence begging for money in any way/manner they can.   This is not just happening to those on a pension, but also to those who have lost their jobs or seen their funds shrink due to more being taken from their checks, hence giving them less take home pay.  Then not even being able to afford some of the basics that we take for granted, like food, housing and so on.  Unfortunately prices keep increasing with no signs of the trend reversing any time soon.   The only group of people that don’t seem to be affected by this crisis are those that are financially secure (such as the super wealthy, those in positions of power (political/monetary) ) who by all appearances are getting wealthier.   I’m not saying it’s all the politicians, but it seems that this applies to the vast majority of them.

The European financial crisis continues to worsen as fears grow that Italy may become the latest nation needing a massive bailout.    While Greece, Ireland and Portugal have already BANCHE-DEBITO-ITALIANOreceived international bailouts, the debt situation in Italy is considered far more dangerous. It is the eighth largest economy in the world — larger than Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined.  Yet there are sources that report that Italy owes more than Greece, Ireland and Portugal all put together.   This is a scary scenario when you stop to think of it.   Would a massive bailout be the correct way to go, where efforts to repay the bailout may make things worse for the nation?  And only be a temporary fix, like putting a bandage on a wound.  The country needs to have a viable financial plan in place to assure that funds could be paid back while focusing on strengthening the economy and much more that would be agreeable to everyone, even though there is a fear that all in Italy would beholding to the French, as the French banks are among some of the biggest holders of Italian debt.

It appears that within the banking industry that the European Central Bank (ECB) emergency lending has made things worse by encouraging banks to buy their own debt.   Many who use or have used the ECB to buy state bonds necessary to roll over their own debt and as a result of this seemingly unnecessary purchasing are nursing severe losses with no hope of recovery.    Not a confidence booster.

bildeberg-crisi-finanziaria-mes-alessandro-carluccioOne possible way to save Italy and stop the contagion, many believe, is for the E.C.B. to buy Italian bonds on a much more aggressive scale than it has so far been prepared to do. But while the E.C.B. will not let the euro fail, analysts claim it would avoid bailing out Italy as long as possible, to keep the pressure on the Italian leaders to make reforms by cutting spending and removing impediments to growth    I see one major issue with the leaders cutting spending to a greater or lesser degree.   If spending cuts were to be implemented in an effort to aid in a resurgence of financial solvency, it would be what services would be lost to those directly impacted by the cuts.   Such as seniors and those getting some form of government assistance, medical coverage, some necessary school programs like sports and the arts amongst others.    By cutting costs prices would rise to cover the losses and there are many that are already in such a precarious financial position, their situations would be that much more dire and the possibility exists that they would leave the country and go elsewhere  else  where they might be somewhat better off.   Removing impediments to growth could be seen as a positive thing, yet it may take time before any results are seen.

It is my understanding that Rome is making a bid to the International Olympic Committee to host the 2020 games.  Schermata 2013-11-22 alle 01.26.19But the current financial situation of the country may be an impediment to them being awarded the games.   On the positive side, if Rome was to get the games, there would be an economic impact from tourists that would be visiting leading up to and through the games; many jobs would be created for the games, but more of an interest in visiting not just Rome but the country as well.   But that is as they say “putting the cart before the horse.”

The country is a major player in utilities, telecoms, fashion and banking.  But the recession has put a strain on its economy and a succession of pop-up governments has failed to tackle fundamental problems, including the massive pension debts owed its ageing population.   And the fact that many people have a lack of trust in their government to do the right thing and put their (the citizens) needs ahead of those in elected office.   Trust in the leaders and having things rectified would certainly go a long way to close the gap that is already present.  And getting the county back as a viable player in the financial market without having such severe issues again.

Also, twenty-six (26) Italian lenders have been downgraded by Moody’s. They say it had cut Italy’s rating because of a “sustained and non-cyclical erosion of confidence in the wholesale finance environment for euro sovereigns,” and said it had the country on watch for more cuts to come.  This action has been called irresponsible and unjustifiable by those that think that the ratings should be upgraded.    Those groups or people stating this, feel that it is an attack on Italy as a whole, its companies, families and citizens and they want the European Union to clamp down on these types of reporting agencies.

Kathy Kiefer

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