After the holidays – detox at Lake Garda/Italy

Soon the holidays will be over and we’ll all have to pay the price. Too much food and drink, too little exercise, the past- festivities hangover will kick in. Not to worry though, help is at hand.What about booking yourself into this fabulous spa, getting fit and detoxed and enjoying a great part of Italy at the same time?


Rebalance your body after the festive season at the eco spa Lefay Resort & SPA overlooking Lake Garda with a programme to purify the body of toxins. In just three days the treatments will improve the free flow of vital energy and eliminate such symptoms as fatigue, irritability and swelling.



The holistic purifying programme uses the stimulation of the Classical Chinese energy points to eliminate toxins, caused by factors such as poor eating habits, alcohol and cigarettes.

Treatments include a detoxifying massage, aimed at removing accumulated toxins working on the meridians and specific points of Classical Chinese Medicine that promote lymphatic drainage and eliminate toxins.

Guests will be given personalised phytotherapy, using specific medicinal plants that work mainly on the kidney and liver to create a bespoke Classical Chinese medicinal herbal infusion that guests drink during and after their stay.

Other treatments include a wrap with micro-eclatée algae and detoxifying essential oils, a massage with mud rich in oils, clays, sulphates and marillonite, which performs an osmotic detoxifying and antioxidant effect and a session in the salt water lake – the high temperature allows the body to absorb the trace elements and minerals from the marine salt dissolved in the water, which has a draining, detoxifying and relaxing effect.

The purifying programme is accompanied by a slightly low-calorie and detoxifying diet.   The price per person is £880 (Euros 1,035) based on two sharing and includes accommodation, all treatments and meals but not flights. The nearest airport is Verona.

Images provided by the resort.

Grannies rock, grannies bike with a little help from Bikebandit

Life for older people is better than ever. The days of dawdling the day away, pottering in the garden or, as a highlight, lounge in a deck chair on a cruise are over. Adventure and activity are in.

A significant fact which documents this change in attitude towards  life during ‘the golden years’ is the increase in riding motor cycles. The call of the open road is answered by more and more over 50s who are passing their test and, best of all, the number of women riders of that age group has doubled compared to men.


Baby boomers have become baby vromers and I’m one of them. There is nothing which quite matches the feeling of the wind whizzing past you whilst you are in control of your powerful machine, riding through the countryside and to picturesque destinations which otherwise would be difficult to reach. I equally enjoy riding  pillion or, most glamorous of all, sitting in a sidecar like a Hollywood start of old.

Having raved about the joys of motorcycle riding, it’s important to get priorities right. Safety first and that means the right bike as well as the best protective gear. In the image I may not be wearing a helmet and boots, but I was just posing. Otherwise, never ever go without, even just around the corner.

Luckily, there is the company BikeBandit (don’t you just love the name?) which can provide you with the essentials. Motorcycle helmets need to be super protective but also comfortable and not restrict your sight. A great choice of motorcycle boots , safe but also chic can be found on the same site.

Lastly, if your machine happens to be a Kawasaki, you want to know where to find the best parts for possible repairs. Look at Kawasaki parts.

All these things taken care of, you are ready to enjoy the great outdoors, feeling young and free again. I live in the southeast of Spain and one of my favorite destinations is Guadalest.


But my dream, as yet unfulfilled, is the go to Daytona and ride in the parades along the beach.

Be safe, be happy, enjoy the second part of your life on the open road and rock. You’ll be the envy of many younger peope as well as an inspiration.



Hosting a pre-Christmas Fashion Flash

I’m pleased to be the host of a very special Fashion Flash edition this week.


The lovely ladies of our hugely popular Fashion Flash group have a lot of advice to give you to make this the best festive season ever.

Read on, enjoy, be happy, healthy and smart.

Barbara Grufferman of BestOf Everything after 50:

I’ve been doing a lot of one- and two-night trips for business this past year, and I’m not always sure what I should pack to look cool, confident, and chic.
Blurb: Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING AFTER 50 and AARP contributor, never used to think packing for trips–especially business travel–was easy, until she got advice from a pro.
Deb of NoNonsenseBeautyBlog:
Deb of No-Nonsense Beauty Blog offers great tricks and tips  to getting the best results from Retin A– without the problems
Marcia Friedman of BeautyInfoZone:

Evine and Fashion Flash have teamed up to share the delights available at Evine. They are even offering great giveaways like this Beekman 1802 Gift Box bundle featured on Beauty Info Zone. Entering is easy and the prize wonderful.


Allison Cohen of NeversaydieBeauty:

As the holidays approach, Allison from Never Say Die Beauty has suggestions for beauty-oriented stocking stuffers for under $25!

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

Cindy Ingalls of PrimeBeautyBlog:

Prime Beauty found 10 fabulous beauty stocking stuffers for under $25.


Erika Costello of Notesfrommydressing table:
Erika of Notes from My Dressing Table continues her holiday gift guides with beautiful and affordable gift sets from Lather that are perfect stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or little indulgences to treat yourself.
Mirabai Holland of Movingfreewithmirabai

Holiday Workouts are the best way to get or stay in shape, stave off weight gain with New Year’s resolutions just around the corner says Mirabai Holland from


Melanie of Societywellness:
Aloe can be used for healing the body inside and out. Using aloe topically for soothing burns is common, but the capabilities of aloe go beyond external use

Society Wellness shares some remarkable healing properties of aloe for internal and external use. Learn more, and keep in mind that an aloe plant makes a lovely holiday gift!

Tania Stephens of Fiftyisnotold:

Red and Black is a classic color combination. Tania styles this classic combo and adds a little fun with a Christmas scarf. Be sure to check out her youthful and affordable style.
Jackie Silver of jackiesilverstyle:
You love cooking in your own kitchen, where you can monitor ingredients,
but how can you choose a healthy diet if you’re on the road or visiting
this holiday season? Jackie Silver Style has your travelers’ guide to
healthy eating.

Explore cool and exotic Bogor/Indonesia

‘A romantic little village’ is how Sir Stamford Ruffles once described Bogor in West Java during colonial times.’ Little village’  does no longer apply, because the city, located some 60km south of the capital Jakarta, has grown to a population of over 1 million. But, a romantic charm persists to this day.

Old Post road

Old Post road

Add friendly people,a cool climate, breathtaking volcanoes, jungles and waterfalls, great food and one of the world’s oldest and largest botanical gardens and you’ll want to pack your bags and head to Indonesia straightaway.

lily pond

Botanic Garden Image by Ian Riley wikepedia commons

Plan your trip successfully with the help of Traveloka. You’ll find the best deals, connections, suitable times to visit and everything else to make your stay in Bogor an unforgettable adventure.

An important role in the enjoyment of any trip is the choice of hotel. You can’t do much better than with the Hotel Aston Bogor. Providing all necessary creature comforts, the hotel is suitable for families as well as for solo travelers. A natural river runs through the lush grounds where you get a first impression of the great nature which makes Bogor such a coveted ‘escape’ from hot and crowded Jakarta. Relax in their full service spa and then set off the explore such main attractions as the Botanical Garden or the Jungle Water Adventure Park, all within easy walking distance.

Of course, being in Indonesia you’ll also want to use one of the colorful local rickshaws known as Becak.

What to see and do in Bogor and surroundings

You simply cannot skip the Botanical Garden. Located in the city center next to the presidential compound of Istana Bogor, this paradise of tropical vegetation covers 210 acres and is home to nearly 14.000 different trees and plants. The garden has many sections, the most remarkable being the water garden with giant water lilies, fish and birds which live in the park and the  Orchid House full of the most exotic specimen. Or get lost in the massive maze garden. There are also monuments reflecting Bogor’s British and Dutch past, such as a memorial to Lady Raffles.

A logical next stopping point is the presidential palace right next to the Botanical Garden. The building originates from 1744 under Dutch rule but was destroyed in an earthquake. The current palace dates from 1850 when it was rebuilt. The Botanical Garden was once the palaces’  backyard and even now it is surrounded by lavish grounds. Strangely no president or anybody else lives there, but deer, once brought over from Nepal roam the grounds freely and are much loved (and fed) by visitors.

View over the Bogor Palace in Botanical Garden in the morning in Jakarta Indonesia.

View over the Bogor Palace in Botanical Garden in the morning in Jakarta Indonesia.

Bogor is divided by two rivers and located in a basin surrounded by mountains, jungle and volcanoes. The highest peaks are volcano Salak and Mount Gede. Naturally, no visit to Bogor is complete without venturing further afield.

Mount Salak in the background

Mount Salak in the background


Visit the Tea Estate and enjoy some horseback riding at Gunung Mas.  You can join a guided tour to learn about Java’s tea culture.

Admire West Java’s largest  Hindu temple, Pura Parahyanan Agung Jagatkartta. Tourists are not allowed in the inner temple but you can enjoy the beauty of the buildings and even more green gardens.

This is just a small selection of attractions to wet your appetite for a visit to Bogor. You can swim under waterfalls, hang glide in the mountains, hike and rock climb or simply enjoy a variety of great food at the Ah Poong  Floating Market.

Just don’t forget to bring umbrella and raincoat. Regardless to which time of the year you visit, all this abundance of vegetation has a reason: it always rains, even in the dry season.

Christmas markets with a difference – in Italy

Alpine Italy lights up for the Christmas season with some of the most interesting Christmas Markets on offer in Europe, combining Mediterranean flavours and German traditions, festive food and wine, gift ideas, decorations and local handicraft.


Here is a selection listed by region.

ALTO ADIGE (South Tyrol/ Süd Tirol)

Bolzano/Bozen: Alpine – Mediterranean Christmas

Savour the magic of Christmas in the traditional mercantile town of Bolzano, at the meeting point of north and south, where the cultures and traditions of central Europe and the Mediterranean. Bright lights, scents and sounds steeped in tradition pervade the medieval centre, with its romantic arcaded streets and picturesque lanes emanating their nostalgic atmosphere. Emotions are heightened by the backdrop of the Rosengarten Dolomites!

Venue Piazza Walther/Waltherplatz

Open from 24 Nov. 2016 to 6 Jan. 2017 (25 Dec. closed)

Bressanone/Brixen: Art and history

The venerable Cathedral with its 800 year-old Gothic cloister lends a unique aura to the Christmas market, taking place in the Cathedral square. You will be fascinated by the bustle of activity and the myriad of colours, seasonal aromas and music, or by the crib exhibition in the Episcopal Palace (Hofburg) emanating tradition and history. You can tour the village on horse-drawn carriage on Saturdays and Sundays during the pre-Christmas period.

Venue Piazza Duomo/Domplatz (Cathedral Square)

Open from 25 Nov 2016 to 6 Jan  2017 (25 Dec. closed)


Merano: Sensual Delights and Relaxation

Relish contemplative moments while rejuvenating body and soul. Discover traditional handicrafts at the Christmas market and savour local sweetmeats. A wealth of attractions for children! Enjoy a festival for the senses and leisure, enveloped in the magical pre-Christmas atmosphere of Merano.

Venue Passeggiata Lungo Passirio/Piazza delle Terme (with its ice-skating rink)
Open from 25 Nov 2016 to 6 Jan 2017 (25 Dec. closed)

Brunico/Bruneck: handicrafts and tradition

Discover traditional handicrafts and seductive delicacies ensconced between the four main gates of the medieval town walls. Should you wish to combine a visit to the Christmas market with winter sports, then the superb slopes in the Kron-Platz ski resort are just outside the town.

Venue Via Bastioni, Parco Tschurtschenthaler and at “Oberstadt”

Open from 25 Nov 2016 to 6 Jan 2017 (closed 25 Dec.)



The impressive “Zwölfer-Turm” tower built in 1486 watches over the Christmas market in this medieval mining town, itself at an altitude of almost 1,000 metres. It also features a special exhibition related to the history of mining in the nearby high mountains. The atmosphere is enhanced by the quaint town buildings with their characteristic bay windows.

Venue Piazza città/Stadtplatz (Town Square)
Open from 25 Nov 2016 to 6 Jan  2017 (25 Dec. closed)



The Trento Christmas Market in Piazza Fiera is one of the most famous festive markets of the region.  The market also extends to Piazza Cesare Battisti with a great number of stalls and mini-chalets offering a wide selection of Trentino’s many excellent foods, wines and crafts.

Open:19 November 2016 – 6 January 2017  (closed 25 Dec)

ARCO, Lake Garda

It is the time of lights, of colours and Christmas flavours, mulled wine and Christmas bakery. Forty market booths, spread all over the centre of Arco, offer Christmas tree decorations, ideas regarding Christmas presents, handicraft products and local delicacies. Various events taking place in the evenings complete the offer of the Arco Christmas Market.

A ride on the back of the camel Ali or a little pony will make  children’s eyes sparkle. Moreover there are crafting workshops, a parade with Santa Claus who walks across the roads together with his reindeer, as well as a ride with one of the colourful little trains driving through Arco. On the occasion of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, there is also a huge firework in the sky above Castello di Arco.

Open: 18 November 2016 – 8 January 2017 (closed 25 Dec.). Historic centre of Hapsburg Arco


Renaissance town of Trentino, Rovereto mixes tradition and avant-garde,  together with peace, dialogue and hospitality and reveals itself as a meeting-point between peoples and cultures worldwide, especially during Christmas-Holidays.

That’s why Rovereto hosts year after year a lot of artisans from all around the world.

Christmas in Rovereto become a research for the deep sense of holiday, with its traditions and feasts; art is a mirror of the different cultures that meet each other in the name of solidarity and dialogue. That’s the true meaning of “Christmas of peoples”.
Little wooden houses, smell of resins, fresh air, starred sky  and a dust of snow, will take you into the magic atmosphere of Christmas. Walking across the streets you will find different items: artistic handcrafts, clothing, sweets, typical food and wines in the whole historical centre between  palaces, squares and museums.

Open 25 Nov 2016 – 6 January 2017 (closed 25 Dec.) Centre of Rovereto.



The fairytale-like Habsburgs Park of Levico, every year hosts a large number of market booths. The Austrian tradition reflects former times, when the Habsburgs have chosen Levico as their summer domicile. Especially when it snows or if the landscape is snow-covered, this park changes into a fairytale-like area: some 30 market booths are spread all over this park between the huge trees and it really seems to be a winter wonderland. Local handicraft products, Christmas tree decorations, ideas for Christmas presents as well as local products such as honey, “Luganega”, a local meat product as well as boar ham. Music and entertainment with folk music groups, Elf Village for the kids and an exhibition of more than 100 cribs as well as concerts complete the wide offer of the Christmas Market.

Open: 19 November 2016 – 6 January 2016 (closed 25 Dec).



In the shadow of the Tofane, the advent period takes on its traditional colours thanks to the Cortina Christmas Market, which brings lights, colour and a festive atmosphere to the main street, Corso Italia. The famous pedestrian street lined by renowned national and international shops, will be scattered with small wooden huts where artisans and local producers exhibit their products. All accompanied by mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and traditional sweets. Inside each of the characteristics wooden huts, a variety of seasonal merchandise, representing the crafts and traditions of the area, will be exhibited and offered for sale. To complete the atmosphere, and to make the browsing and shopping even more enjoyable, there will of course be music to fit the mood, in the form of all the most cherished and traditional Christmas songs.
Open: 7 December 2016 – 8 January 2017


The gardens of Piazza Carli host the Asiago’s  Christmas Market, several huts will sell traditional decorations in glass, wood and ceramic, typical Asiago patisserie, natural products and the famous Asiago cheese. There will also be huts selling local dishes and mulled wine.

Open: 12 November 2016 – 8 January 2017 (open from 15.30 on 25 Dec.)


Verona hosts each year a Nuremberg Christmas Market in the central Piazza dei Signori. The German styled market will have all the traditional huts, elegantly illuminated and decorated selling typical food, handicrafts, Christmas tree decorations, cribs and serving specialities such as mulled wine, Stollen and Lebkuchen cakes, bratwurst and more.

Open: 18 November – 26 December 2016 (closes at 5pm on 24 Dec and opens at 3pm on 25 Dec.)


From November 29 to December 24 2016 the traditional Christmas Market of Belluno will crowd and light up the gardens of Piazza dei Martiri, one of the most beautiful squares of the city, with its wooden stands, decorations, and bright, colorful lights. Called Christmas Gardens, the market sells wool and wood handmade objects, original gift ideas and local and regional specialties.

There will be about twenty stands and many outdoor refreshment areas with mulled wine, sandwiches and hot chocolate. In the weekend there will also be entertainment such as music, games for children and shows.



The successful recipe of the “Marché Vert Noël”, one of the most known Christmas markets of the Alps, is explained by the location. A coloured alpine village surrounded by music and lights, with roads, squares, bridges, wooden chalets and a true fir forest, is recreated in the “heart” of Aosta. Visitors will be able to walk around the “streets” of the village searching for a gift or simply admiring the traditional handicrafts such as ceramics, wooden items, clothing accessory in wool, felt, leather and hemp fabric, Christmas decorations and typical gastronomic products.

Even this year, the colourful and suggestive scenery of the Christmas markets in the City of Aosta will take place throughout the Christmas holidays from November 26 2016 to 6 January  2017 (opens at 4pm on 25 Dec.)



In Trieste you can experience the old charm of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in its Christmas Market in Piazza Sant’Antonio and surrounding streets: typical Trieste foods and wines, Christmas decorations, artificial snow, songs and music to accompany the visitor during the festive season. Open: 8 to 24 December 2016. From 12 November 2016 to 8 January 2017 you can visit the “Porto Piccolo Christmas Market” where you can find a skating rink with sea-view as well as typical food and crafts.



Enjoy the magic and the charm of the Christmas songs, markets and the fabulous atmosphere in the fascinating setting of the city of Udine.

Open: 2 – 16 December 2016 in Piazza San Giacomo


The Christmas Market in Sauris re-lives each year the tradition of this delightful mountain village. Along the narrow streets and the quaint squares Father Christmas and wooden hut selling festive food and wine, toys and decoration will animate the atmosphere. Not to be missed is the opportunity to discover the old Sauris on a horse-drawn carriage.

Open: 5-8 December 2016


Christmas is a well loved tradition all over Italy and traditional Christmas markets and fairs can be found all over the peninsula in the most important cities.


Christmas fairs in various piazzas (campo) in Venice: Campo S.Bartolomeo, Campo San Salvador, Campo San Luca, Campo Manin, Strada Nuova (where you can find the “Venice Christmas Fair”).  You can also find a Christmas Market in Mestre with ice rink in Piazza Ferretto. Another ice rink is located in Venice in Piazza San Polo.

On the Island of Murano you can find “Christmas of Glass” from 5 Dec 2016 to 6 Jan. 2017, with hand-crafted baubles and the Tunnel of Lights, a spectacular glasswork regatta.


Mercato Tedesco di Natale (German  Christmas Market)

Piazza Del Carmine

This Christmas Market is inspired by the tradition of the German city of Heidelberg, wooden huts and stalls selling Italian and German delicacies, decorations, handicrafts.

Open: 30 November 2016 – 18 December 2017



Fiera di Santa Lucia

Portico of Chiesa dei Servi in Strada Maggiore

The Santa Lucia market takes place at Portico dei Servi at the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi in the heart of the centre of Bologna. In front of the church building there is a airy space surrounded by porticoes of tall marble columns.

This traditional Fair dedicated to Christmas, stalls full of decorations for the Xmas tree, the nativity crib, food and wine and other delicacies.

Open: 17 November to 26 December 2016


Nativity Cribs in Via S. Gregorio Armeno

This narrow street is famous all over the world for its handcrafted Nativity Crib figurines, from the traditional ones to the most sophisticated, it buzzes at Christmas time with Neapolitans and tourists alike.


This traditional market returns with many new exhibitors and full of joy, colour, tradition, celebration, solidarity, peace, light and sweetness: a wide range of gift items for Christmas, together with tastings and selling of culinary delights and specialities of Piedmont producers and other Italian regions.

Open: 4-23 December 2016 in Piazza Borgo Dora, 34.

“Sogno di Natale” is another market with  Father Christmas village open in Piazza D’Armi, with an ice rink and festive street food, open from 26 Nov. 2016 to 8 Jan. 2017


Il villaggio delle meraviglie

Giardini Indro Montanelli, entry from Corso Venezia.

Christmas market and other seasonal activities for adults and children takes place in these gardens in the centre of Milan, with a skating rink and shows with various performance artists throughout the festive season.

Open: 3 December 2016 – 8 January 2017

Milan also hosts every year the “Oh Bej Oh Bej” fair during the celebrations of its Patron Saint, Saint Ambrose, in the area near the Sforza Castle. It is a very traditional market fair with typical Milanese artisan food, wines and other products.

Open 7-10 December 2016

Source: Press Release Stefania Gatta for TravMedia