On top of the list- Hilltowns and walled cities of Europe. It reminds me of childhood stories of knights in shining armor and beautiful damsels in distress. I, especially love the walled city of Carcassonne in France but there's nothing romantic about it's history. It was customary to build walled cities and towns on hills to ward off the enemy. In Carcassonne, a group of Cathars were holed up there when a siege by the forces loyal to the Roman Catholic church was laid against them. The Cathars had a belief that were at odds with the church and they were all killed. Today Carcassonne is fully restored and memories of that siege has faded.
These days the Sassi of Matera is beautiful and most of them restored and has become prime real estate. It wasn't always so, they were at one time recently condemned as unhygienic. It wasn't after it received Unescco World Heritage site designation that things turned around. Today it brings more delight to tourists all over the world including the Japanese. More and more the Japanese are visiting Southern Italy. They don't only form long lines outside the Louis Vuitton store in Paris.
I love Souleiado fabrics. I've had this scarf for almost 20 years and still use it very often. I love French perfumes and have used this brand for almost 30 years.
Recently I discovered L'occitane. I've always used their shea butter hand cream. I tried a sample of their foot cream. It is even better, better than the myriad of creams out there. I use it for the body, it stays on and really moisturizes. I've started using their skin care and I must say I love the Almond-Apple face cream. My skin has never been so soft, the apple acts as an astringent while the almond moisturises. It is not greasy and is good for all skin types.
I love sea urchins. I had sea urchin sushi at a Zagat rated sushi restaurant in Westwood. It was great. In Sicily I had spaghetti with sea urchin. I can't wait to go back to Sicily to eat fresh sea urchins, you're supposed to scoop out the 'eggs' from the hairy shell.
I love Peonies and English roses. While I can't grow Peonies, I have a few English roses in my front yard. Come into my garden, I want my roses to see you.
I love all things Baroque, exterior and interior, I can't get enough of it. I thought Leece in Southern Italy was the ultimate Baroque city till I went to Sicily. You ain't see nothing yet. Sicillian Baroque out-baroque all baroque. After 2 weeks in Sicily I was baroque-out, well,not quite. I'm going back in October. I would like to go back to Leece and Southern Italy one day. I don't know when.
These are just a few of my favorite things.