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Italy

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Discover
the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Nino Di Costanzo
View all the Routes du Bonheur

Grand Chef at the Terme Manzi Hotel and Spa
A getaway in romantic Italy: Ischia, Capri and the Amalfi Coast

I was born on the island of Ischia. At thirteen, I was already working my first season as a server in a pizzeria. For many years, I worked on the island during the summer and travelled during the winter. I’ve just about been around the world, and Italy. My passion for cooking developed from watching my mother and my grandmother in the kitchen. They would look for the best ingredients meticulously, to use in their dishes and to pass down Ischia’s traditional recipes. That might help explain the love I feel for this land. Even though Ischia is an island, agricultural traditions are very much alive. Just about everyone who lives here has a small orchard they tend themselves. And I like the relationship that the Ischitani have with the land: they consider it to be something precious and that needs to be preserved.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a eight-night stay from €1886*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
First stage: 3 days, 2 nights

Bellevue Syrene 1820

A discreet, luxurious and friendly hotel in one of the most evocative settings
Bellevue Syrene 1820
Imagine you are on the Gulf of Naples, where once stood an ancient Roman villa, its original water-lily ponds remaining. In front of you, Vesuvius dominates the blue sea. Created in 1820 from a villa that dates back to 1750, this hotel has added a modern touch to its sumptuous decor in recent years. Run by Maître de Maison Nello Pane, this gorgeous place attracts both artists and heads of state alike.

Close to the property...

Main street vendors

Via San Cesareo is the heart of Sorrento. There, you will find almost everything you are looking for, and discover the rest! Street vendors offer small, inexpensive dishes: pizzas, pigs feet, broccoli paninis, limoncello cakes and more. Further down are the marquetry craftsmen and the tablecloth embroiderers that are found all around the ancient Greco-Roman world. A wonderful place to wander and discover.

Pastry shops and gelati

I must tell you about a few pastry shops: Pasquale Marigliano in San Gennarello Vesuviano is an excellent chocolaterie; and the Montalbino pastry shop in Sant’Egidio is renowned for its “Panettoni,” a traditional cake eaten at Christmas in the North of Italy. There is also tasty ice cream at Gelateria Davide, on via Padre Reginaldo Giuliano.

On the route...

A visit to Pompeii

When I was small, I often went for picnics to Pompeii with my family. Nowadays, I suggest picnics to clients at the hotel. Bring a copy of Pliny the Younger’s account and discover the unique atmosphere of a place frozen in time. Fragile and touching, one of a kind.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

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Second stage: 2 days, 2 nights

Il San Pietro di Positano

Superb location overlooking the sea
Il San Pietro di Positano
Imagine an elevator sunk through the rock and that gives you access to a private beach 88 metres below the hotel. This unbelievable establishment dreamt up by Carlino Cinque is one of the most stunning on the Amalfi Coast. His family operates the hotel and his nephew Vito, the Maître de Maison, can provide you with incredible rooms, all with a terrace. Frescos, terracotta and ceramics provide a flawless tone to a sublime locale.

Close to the property...

Relais & Chateaux Don Alfonso 1890, San Agata Sui Due Golfi

The region’s main attraction and a personal source of inspiration. This restaurant combines innovation and traditional cuisine, using local ingredients from the land and the Mediterranean. In this 19th century Neapolitan palace, the Iaccarino family demonstrates a respect for the past and a taste for the future. The menu begins with this beautiful and self-explanatory quote: “Only is it after having studied, strengthened and respected tradition do we have the right to bypass it, but always with the knowledge that we are indebted to it…”

Don Alfonso 1890

On the route...

The archaeological site at Paestum

I like going back to Paestum, an archaeological site dating back to the 7th century BC. Located near the Tyrrhenian Sea, the site was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. With a 4.75 km-long wall and three Doric temples, Paestum is considered the most remarkable architectural site in Magna Graecia. The city was once dedicated to Poseidon, God of the Sea. Make sure you don’t miss the beautiful archaeological museum.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

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Stage 3: 2 days, 2 nights

Caesar Augustus

Capri, the Blue Legend
Caesar Augustus
You are high up on the island of Capri, in Anacapri. This hotel dominates the cliff and provides a breathtaking view. Around the stepped terraces, listen to piano music and visit the beautiful and very popular pool. Owned by the Signorini family, the Caesar Augustus is picture-perfect. Come and see the special charm that brought Russian princes and Egyptian kings to Capri.

Close to the property...

The “Grotta azzurra”

From time immemorial, this blue cave has always attracted visitors or turned them away. There are stories about nymphs and witches inside. Under the rock, the cobalt blue reflection through the crystal-clear water attracts international tourists—who are a bit too loud. Stop for lunch just above the cave at the excellent restaurant Il Riccio.

Discover the houses of Tiberius

The much decried second Roman Emperor Tiberius had twelve houses built on the island of Capri, where he chose to live out the end of his reign. Even though most are but ruins now, three of the villas have survived, including the magnificent Villa Jovis, an impressive archaeological site that still dominates the rocky spur.

Listen to Neapolitan music

You need to push open the door of Anima e Core (“Soul and Heart” in Neapolitan dialect), not far from the Piazzetta, Anacapri’s main square, to hear “live” traditional Neapolitan music. When night falls, residents come here to have a drink and listen to music together. It’s the most tuned-in place on the island!

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : COSTANZO

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 4: 2 days, 2 nights

Terme Manzi Hotel & Spa

The beneficial waters of the Gurgitello springs healed already the Romans
Terme Manzi Hotel & Spa
This elegant 19th century palace benefits from an ideal location. Every detail matters here, from the hotel rooms to the spa. I have an important relationship with the establishment’s owners, the Polito family. At Terme Manzi, tables have been set up in the kitchen so that, if clients like, they can eat while watching the meals being cooked. I grew up in small houses, where the kitchen was central and the place where everyone ended up getting together. I wanted to continue that tradition with our guests.

Close to the property...

The spring of Nitrodi

During the Roman period, water poured right out of the rock. For centuries, residents of the island shared the secrets and the curative powers of the spring, located in Barano. A thermal spring has since been opened, so everyone can now benefit from the sodium-, calcium- and potassium-rich waters. Here, water has the power to cure and heal injuries and wounds!

The daily catch

Early in the morning, I bring interested hotel clients to select fish directly from fishermen coming in at Forio and Ischia Ponte. In the afternoon, again with those interested, I head out to buy more fish on the island of Procida, where “The Postman,” starring Philippe Noiret, was shot. I love to share our island and its riches.

Boat around the island

And I love stopping off at two beaches I went to when I was small. Carta Romana beach has hot-water geysers in the sea, often marked by stones. I like going to Eden restaurant, where guests can watch staff fishing for sea urchins before they are cooked. I also like to go back to Maronti beach, where the sand is hot. When I was a child, I would go with my father, who would bring a chicken wrapped in aluminium foil. We would bury it under the sand and an hour and a half later…it was ready to eat!

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : COSTANZO

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard