Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JAN-FEB 2018

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slmag.net 51 At Terrazza Bosquet, the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant (awarded in 2014), the service is as polished as the gleaming harlequin-tiled marble floors. A prime example of their ability to elevate the expected to the extraordinary is the "white glove" bread service. Resembling a giant jewelry box on wheels, the mirrored lid of the bread box is opened to reveal an arrangement to rival a still-life masterpiece. ere is a discernable playfulness interwoven throughout the tasting menu, featuring dishes with names like La Dolce Vita (marinated local fish with a vegetable bouquet) and Childhood Memories (a confection of chocolate sponge cake, orange cremoso and fleur de sel inspired by the chef 's favorite childhood dessert). Each kitchen on property utilizes produce and citrus fruit grown on-site, and the harvest from the garden's grove of olive trees allows for production of a proprietary olive oil. Perfect wine pairings are culled from a tufa stone cellar with a 9,500-bottle capacity; an opening in the cellar floor that is covered with Plexiglass provides a peek down into an ancient Roman well. Sorrento is an ideal base from which to explore the region's many sights: bucolic countryside to the south, the Amalfi Coast to the east, Pompeii and Naples to the north, and Capri offshore. e hotel's concierge team is constantly striving to be innovators in providing unique experiences. A newly added tour of Naples, based on the books of Elena Ferrante, brings the pages of her hugely popular novels to life. Pompeii is a history and architecture buff's dream; the scale of the ruins, the brilliant frescoes, mosaic masterpieces and bodies frozen in casts of ash are indelible sights. Skip the traffic along the circuitous and clogged two-lane road that lines the Amalfi coastline and explore by water; the hotel maintains several motorboats for private charter to engage in sightseeing, diving and snorkeling activities. Having experienced the crush of tourists inching up and down the narrow corridors in Positano, I much prefer the placid way the terraced buildings appear from the water. Be sure to stop for lunch at Maria Grazia in Nerano (a smaller and less touristy town than Positano); it has been one of Guido Fiorentino's favorite restaurants since childhood. Extolled for their pasta with zucchini, Maria Grazia's house-made limoncello is among the best I've sampled. If summer had a flavor, it would be their dessert of freshly-picked wild strawberries simply dressed with a dollop of whipped cream. Exploring Sorrento is as easy as ducking into the narrow cobblestone alleyways that splay off of Centro Storico (historic center) in search of souvenir treasures, most notably examples of marquetry the town is known for. Other sites of interest include the Museum Correale di Terranova for a rich assortment of 16th-19th century Neapolitan art and crafts; the Musei Bottega della Tarsia Lignea, an 18th century palace with frescoes and a collection of marquetry and art representative of the era; and, Basilica di Sant' Antionio, the oldest church in town, dating to the 11th century. There are also a number of hiking trails on Mount Faito, which rewards trekkers with spectacular views of the surrounding area. e fact that the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria has been family owned from its inception imparts a special sense of place to what is already a very special place. Having your name added to their registry places you among the ranks of an esteemed list of guests who have reveled in the mystique of this historic hotel for more than 180 years. sl Vittoria breakfast room

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