Italy´s undiscovered gem

Puglia, Italy

Puglia, the heel of italy’s boot, lies between two seas with the adriatic to the east and the ionian to the south. This strategic position, combined with over 800 kilometers of beautiful coastline, has shaped the region’s history and development. Puglia is known as the natural Italian gate to the east of the Mediterranean area. Puglia is a land of ancient history and civilizations, archaeological roman and Greek ruins lie here alongside masterpieces of medieval architecture, such as castles and noble palaces, historic quarters and baroque architecture. the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Puglia, Frederick of Hohenstaufen’s mysterious Castel del Monte, the unique trulli of Alberobello and the mystical Lombard Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo hold centuries of history and culture, stunning beauty, spirituality and priceless emotions.

A landscape of green rolling hills showcases small historical towns surrounded by lush green olive groves and vineyards. Little harbors alternate with fortresses and lighthouses along miles of coastline of white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. The magical atmosphere of our land has inspired many international film producers. Visitors are enthralled by the charming countless events and summer festivals many of which take place under the starry Puglia Sky. Puglia is a region that combines ancient traditions with modern lifestyle. Glamorous fashion shops are along the main streets of each town while restaurants offer the best traditional local cuisine. Stores display food products from inland and seaside regional areas, providing customers with aromas and flavors of the best food and wines.

The warm hospitality of the people from Puglia makes travelers feel at home. The people, known as the Pugliesi, welcome tourists with a friendly smile and a warm heart, calmly providing their assistance to anyone who needs it. The ancient stones of farmhouses converted into beautiful hotels, the crystal sea, the cities of art and the gastronomic excellence of Puglia have won the hearts of international stars. Puglia is becoming increasingly fashionable, even cosmopolitan. It can be easily reached from the european capitals, thanks to direct flights to Bari and Brindisi. It has become a favorite destination of international elite travelers. The quality of life in Puglia is fantastic and there’s something to do all year round.

One will either book a villa at 5* Borgo Egnazia Hotel & Spa or in one of the typical houses called Trullo or in the magnificent villa Masseria Matera.

The island of Elba – a wallflower?

This beautiful island is the biggest of the Tuscan archipelago. It competes for the favor of the visitors with its sister islands Sardinia and Sicily. Elba is a very attractive destination for families. The comfortable and short journey with the ferry from Livorno to Portoferraio is the beginning of a great holiday on the natural finished island. A variety of family hotels and beautiful holiday apartments along the scenic beaches offer a high living comfort. The leisure time facilities comprise a wide range of activities, starting with watersports, tennis, horseback riding, trekking, mountainbiking and golf. We offer hotel rooms as well as apartments, summer cottages and luxurious villas with a private pool in the holiday urbanization Costa dei Gabbiani. One of the most charming towns of the island is Capoliveri. Life here is stressless and enjoyable. Art galleries, handcraft stores, small cafes and a variety of very good restaurants are nestled along the pedestrian area. Conclusion: With all that the island Elba has to offer it is truely no wallflower, but a destination for price-conscious individualists.

UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage

King Maximilian II of Bavaria enriched the existing Wittelsbach parks on Lake Starnberg with two masterpieces of garden design: Feldafing Park (from 1850) and Rose Island, created in 1854. On the former fishermen’s island of Wörth, the garden designer Peter Joseph Lenné created a fragrant rose paradise which was later to become one of  Ludwig II’s favourite places. Among the guests he entertained here were Empress Elisabeth of Austria, the Russian Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna and Richard Wagner.

Feldafing Park, which was laid out by the court garden director Carl von Effner opposite Rose Island, is popular for its splendid views of the countryside framed by old oaks and beeches, with Lake Starnberg and the Alps in the background. Plans for a summer palace on a hill in the park were abandoned with the early death of Maximilian II in March 1864.

Rose blossom on Rose Island                                                                           Usually the first blossom begins around mid-June, the second around mid-August, each lasting for about 4 weeks. Depending on the climate the roses may bloom (even weeks) earlier or later.

Monument under water                                                                                      The remains of prehistoric pile dwellings on the bottom of Lake Starnberg by Rose Island have been included on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list.

In June 2011, over 100 selected archaeological sites in several countries were declared cultural heritage under the heading of "Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps". They provide researchers with unique insights into the ancient world of farming, everyday life, agriculture, animal breeding and technical innovations. The pile dwelling sites in Lake Starnberg, together with other remains of settlements, represent an archaeological heritage which dates back to 5000 BC.

For further information about the pile dwellings in Bavaria, please contact the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments (Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege). Clients of Domizile Reisen can now rent a holiday villa very close to Rose Island. Parkvilla Tutzing can be rented as one villa to accommodate up to 9 persons or it can be separated in 3 unique suites of different size. Rose island is only some 4 kilometers away and you can reach it by bike within 15 minutes along the beautiful trail on the lakeshore. You will have stunning views of the lake and the Alps behind. 

Image Video

Just a few days ago, we have relaunched our website with some unique features, which make using our website even more comfortable.

As of now, you can quote the rental rate without filling in the booking form. The pre selection of holiday villas has become more precise and you will now be able to view videos of single villas. Step by step, they will be added to each of our rental villas. Click here or here so view some samples.

In addition, we have created an introduction video, which you can find here. Enjoy!

pictures can express more than a thousand words

We at Domizile Reisen have a remarkable number of repeating clients, who book with us continuosly. Hence, they visit our website again and again. In order to keep the web site visit desirable, we present a section "tips and specials", which is updated regularly.

In addition to that, we have another feature on offer: instead of showing the same "eye catcher image" again and again when visiting our home page, one has now the possibility to click through a number of very attractive and well selected pictures, expressing our understanding and feeling of luxury travel and comfortable living. For those seeking for even more eyecatchers, we recommend to browse through our website, because each single site has it´s own "top image". 

Which one do you like most? Explain why! Every reasonable comment is worth 50 €, which we put into account to your 2012 booking. This offer is limited to one comment per person.

My favourite is Alfurinet, luxury finca on Menorca island

Useful information when traveling to/in GERMANY

1. About money: 

The currency is EURO / €. Credit cards are accpeted in most shops and restaurants and all petrol stations. Acceptance of Diners Club and AMEXCO cards is not common in Germany. Major cards are VISA and MasterCard. Cash dispensers are available everywhere

Unlike boutiques and shops, only few grocery stores and supermarkets accept credit cards. Be sure to carry some cash with you to prevent precarious situations.

Change money at banks, post offices, airport or train stations. Travellers cheques are hardly accepted

Most banks are affiliated with several international ATM networks (Cirrus, Plus, Star, Maestro)

2. Electricity and phones:

The voltage is 240V AC / 50 Hz. Make sure, that your appliances are suitable for this voltage

Most public pay phones no longer accept coins but only Deutsche Telecom phonecards, which are available in denominations of € 5, € 10, and € 15 from post offices, newsagents, some tourist offices and public transport offices. You can also buy prepaid cards from other providers which can save money and are used by dialing a PIN. Credit cards can only be used from a small number of public phones.

Germany operates on a GSM network, which is compatible with the rest of Europe and Australia, but not with the North American or the totally different system in Japan. T-Mobile, Cingular and some other U.S. wireless firms do use GSM, but on different frequency bands.

A multi-band cell phone allows you to use the same phone in the USA and Europe. However, there are several alternatives, including buying or renting an unlocked GSM wireless phone just for use in Europe and other GSM areas of the world (about 190 countries).

The coverage is good in Germany, and there’s a funny thing you should know: When Germans talk about their cell phones, they use an english word for it you may not understand: They call it "Handy".

3. Local time:

Germany operates on Central European time (CET), which means that the country is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the United States and 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Summer daylight saving time comes into effect on the last Sunday in March at 2am, when clocks are put forward one hour and ends on the last Sunday in October. Official times (eg shop hours, train schedules) are usually indicated by the 24-hour clock, eg 7.30pm is 19.30

4. Driving in Germany:

The German road network is unique in the world – it covers about 230.000 km, there is no toll to pay for driving the motorway (Autobahn). Speed limit is 30 km/h on urban roads, 50 km/h on city roads and 100 km/h on two laned highways. Partly, on the motorways, you may drive as fast as you want to. Bear in mind, that there is a general recommendation not to drive any faster than 130 km/h on motorways, even if there is no speed limit indicated. To hire rental cars in Germany you need to be at least 21 years old and additionally, car rentals in Germany want see a valid driver’s licence and a major credit card when picking up the rental car. More than 98% of the German rental cars are manuals – be sure to ask for an automatic if you require one.

Seat belts front and rear are obligatory at any time. No hand held mobile devices are allowed when driving.

The drink-drive limit is 0,3 per mill. German beer is way stronger than the beer in the US! Keep this in mind and respect the drink-drive limit at any time to prevent big problems with the police.

5. Residing in private villas:

White goods and household appliances are not as large as in the US. If required, the owners will gladly instruct you how to use them.

Double beds are not always KingSize. Usually double beds are 1,4m to 2m (4.6 to 6.5 ft) wide

AirCondition: it is not common to have air condition in German houses – it is rarely found. If avaialable, normally the consumption of electricity is measured and charged extra.

Do not expect towels and sheets to be changed every day. In our vacation homes, towels are usually changed mid weeks and linen is changed every week. If you require such to be changed more often, please inform us or the owner/custodian and it will be arranged accordingly.

6. Restaurants:

You will discover the modern German cuisine which is influenced by the light Mediterranean way of cooking as well as traditional regional specialties, which are delicious and distinctive.

Guests are free to choose their table without being seated by the waiter, unless a reservation has been made.

Paying the bill: unlike in the US, there is no cashier in restaurants. Ask the waiter for the bill – he will bring it to you and payment (incl. of tipping) is made directly to the waiter at the table.

Tipping: usually a tip of 5 – 10 % of the amount due is given

7. Shoping groceries, food and beverages in Germany:

You will find a vast choice of grocery stores and supermarkets. Opening hours are usually from 08:00 until 20:00 hrs from Monday to Saturday, subject to regional exclusions. On Sundays, shops are closed. Except bakeries, which sell fresh bread and bread rolls in the mornings. Low budget brands grocoery stores are ALDI and LIDL, which you will find it almost every town. Medium brands are TENGELMANN and KAISERS, which are also spread all over the country. Ask your landlord or custodian/handyman, if you wish to find other shops – they will gladly assist you.

Beside the traditional way of cooking, which is mostly very substantial, healthy and balanced diet is capturing German kitchens. From the Northern Coastline to the Alps one will find more than 300 kinds of bread, a wide assortment of specialty cheeses and other dairy products. Besides the grocery stores, weekly and local markets offer fresh meat and fish, fruit and vetgetables. We highly recommend and encourage you to visit this markets – they reflect life and local tradition.

Potable water: it is harmless to drink water from the tab throughout the country

What would Germany be without beer? It is the king of drinks and is brewed in about 1500 breweries. Beer is not just something to drink in Germany, it is a part of culture. Being number one of German beergardens it has worldwide a great reputation regarding quality and taste.

Wine making is an old tradition in Germany. There are thirteen wine regions. Wine is gaining more and more popularity not only in Germany, but especially abroad. Did you know, that the Riesling grape is in such a great demand that it has become number one of German wine exports to the US and to Japan?

8. Individual/local information:

In each of our vacation homes, you will find a "house book" with comprehensive information.

Need more information?

Feel free to forward your questions to us by sending an email to info@homes-away.com

We will gladly answer, so that your vacation in Germany will not start with unpleasant surprises.

new “home away from home” in Puglia

We pridely pronounce, that as of today, another stunning holiday home has been added to our website. The region of Puglia in the south of Italy has kept it´s original charme, because the mass of tourists has not yet spoiled this region. So one may expect traditional and rural life. The old buidlings are called TRULLO, which are stone structures with conical roofs. The walls of a trullo are incredibly thick to create a comfortable temperature both in summer and in winter.

"When it´s 40 degrees outside, you climb onto the beds in the alcoves where it is wonderfully cool. In the winter, we just get a fire going" states Morten, the co-owner.

Trullo Angelo is set in a prime position, just 20 minutes driving from either the Ionian or the Adriatic sea. 

"Medieval modern" that is the comment of the UK Elle Decoration´s article in October 2009

Visit our website to receive comprehensive information on Trullo Angelo. To book it, click here.

Tuscany Seaside I

Recently, we examine a great demand for luxury "homes away from home" in Italy. Especially the Tuscan coastline reaching from La Spezia all the way to Civitavecchia seems to be very attractive for our visitors. So I have decided to post some information on the Tuscan coastline and the very attractive islands. Let´s start off with one of the most visited towns in Italy – Pisa. The vicinity to the coast has always been a decisive advantage for Pisa; and the city knew how to deploy cleverly. Since the 11th century the sea republic had owned a powerful navy at the 13 km distant aperture of the river Arno. From there the Pisans went into the long-time battles between the Christian and the Islamic world. On this crusades Pisa was able to reel decisive victories. With their superior naval power they opened up new ways for maritime trade and founded various trading colonies in the Orient. Due to the created prosperity, Pisa could document a great artistic height between the 11th and the 13th century. Several architectural styles from the early Christian era, the Lombard-Romanic times and from the Arabic world unified in Pisa. The best and most impressive example for these times is the beautiful and world famous plaza „Piazza dei Miracoli“. The place of miracles unifies the cathedral, the baptistery, the cemetery and the Leaning Tower together with its art treasures and monuments to one of Italy’s most beautiful ensembles of churches. We present stunning villas on the Versilia coast, which offers accomodation for 14 and which can be rented with fullservice.

Can Pelat – one of our favourites

One of our most popular houses is called "Can Pelat" and is located on the enchanting island of Ibiza. It is very remarkable how much positive feedback we have received from our guests who stayed in Can Pelat so far. One of them, a young couple, with their little child reported as follows: " …First of all we would like to thank you again for this well done coordination and for the high quality of this holiday home. We have spend a really good time there… ." The finca with private pool is situated in the bay of Cala Carbo with seaview. This area is one of the most beautiful places of Ibiza. You can comfortably reach several sandy beaches by foot or by car in a few minutes. Can Palet is separated in a main and a guest house. There is plenty of space. The German owner has arranged the house very comfortable and in a very good style. The interior design of the house gets a lot of compliments. A Swiss couple, for example, was very impressed by Can Pelat and they absolutly wanted to know the name of the owner to leave him a personal letter. Furthermore the finca offers a nice Mediterranean garden – partly covered terraces to dine and relax outside. For these who would like to get to know Can Pelat in 2010 should not wait too long because the first pre-bookings are already done.

Tuscany – Always worth going there!

We regularly travel to inspect our holiday villas. For me it is always a great pleasure when it comes to visit Tuscany. Mid September, Helga and I went to Tuscany and Umbria for one week. We inspected some extraordinary villas, which Tuscany badly needs to catch up with the progressive Greek villas. Amongst the Tuscan villas, there are three villas called Chiana Uno, Chiana Due and Chiana Tre. They are stylish and modern and designed to individual taste, away from the mass products. Needless to say, that these villas rent very well. We pride ourselfs having some of the best Umbrian villas for rent. Amongst them, there are Casa Bramasole, Casa di Vento and Civitella Rocca. Each of them has it´s individual charme.
Our common trip to Tuscany was not only for business, but also a private matter took us there. I turned 50 on September 20th and I was so happy to celebrate my birthday to gether with dear friends (and business partners) of ours. AnnaRita and Raymondo recommended one of the best restaurants in the Chianti region, where we went together to dine the Tuscan way. It is hidden "in the middle of now where" and thus, still a place with charme and character. The Vecchia Osteria is run by Roberta and Gianluigi – a very nice couple, that makes every guest feel like at home. We, that was Helga, AnnaRita, Raymondo and I, had Antipasti, then Pasta, then a Primo and, and. . . . so much good Tuscan redwine. While traveling around, we visited quite some interesting places, such as Picenza, MontepulcianoSiena and also smaller villages. Lucigniano, Marciano della Chiana and San Giovanni d´Asso. When having lunch here in the restaurant "La Locanda del Castello" we met a very nice couple from San Diego. There names are Diane and Net Michalowski. We gave them many recommendations, what to see and where to go. At the end, they told us about their plans to visit Greece in a year or two. Again we gave them lots of information, being well experienced with Greece and the island traveling. We changed cards and a few days ago we delightfully received their email

Hi Helga and Arthur,

It was such a pleasure meeting and conversing with you both. We appreciate the information you shared with us. We truly enjoyed Tuscany and plan to get back there again someday. Rome was just amazing with all the architecture and history. It is great to travel but always a pleasure to come back home.

We are truly interested in Travelling to Greece in September of 2011. You suggested we read a book that you enjoyed about someone that travelled Greece and decided to make it his home. Could you send us the name of the book please?

Mach’s Gut and know that we will be in touch for holiday homes.

Talk to you soon,
Ned and Diane Michalowski

We love meeting people and sharing information. Always look – we might be around and if so, we will definately have time for a chat with you. And you! And you!

Look forward to seeing you
Arthur P. Mattejat