The Homebase Abroad Villa Collection Review – Stunning Views, Luxurious Settings, Magnificent Italy (Vista mozzafiato, ambienti lussuosi, Magnifica Italia)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Homebase Abroad, a unique company of Travel Specialists specializing exclusively in Italy, is presenting the 2015 Homebase Abroad collection highlighting villas in Tuscany, Lake Como, Umbria, Venice, Rome and the Dolomites.

The Villas, ranging in size from 4 to 20 bedrooms, are hand selected according to standards for location, amenities, staff and unique character. Homebase Abroad, is inspired by a personal love of travel shared between co-founders Mara Solomon and Maryellen Auger

Founded in 1995 as a trusted resource in the pre-Internet age for finding reputable Italian vacation villas, Homebase Abroad has evolved over the last 20 years to become a leader in the industry offering highly personalized travel service, a deep knowledge of Italy cultivated by first-hand experience and an extensive network of personal relationships with villa owners, guides, drivers and chefs.

Today, Mara and Maryellen still enjoy traveling the world, and Mara continues to share their passion for Italy as the Director of Homebase Abroad.   

All villas in the Homebase Abroad Collection are selected according to specific standards set by Mara for amenities, service, value and quality of authentic experiences. Mara has personally visited each property in the Collection, allowing her to speak from experience about their nuances, unique characteristics and locations when speaking with clients.

With villas in Tuscany, Umbria, the Amalfi Coast, Lake Como and select properties in Florence, Venice and Rome, Homebase Abroad updates its Collection each year to represent only the finest properties in Italy. Refusing more properties than she accepts, Mara has kept the Collection to no more than 55 villas.    

The Homebase Abroad Experience

Homebase Abroad has set itself apart from other luxury vacation accommodations options by elevating the act of travel planning to the art of realizing a dream vacation.

 Custom tailoring each experience, Homebase Abroad’s Villa Travel Specialists take the guesswork out of what to expect in Italy, while immersing themselves in the unique, dynamic interests and style of the family or group, providing detailed, comprehensive and utterly personalized travel planning and concierge services for all aspects of the holiday.

The Homebase Abroad objective is for each party to return home feeling they have had the best vacation of their lives.

Acting as trusted travel advisors, Homebase Abroad’s team marries a deep knowledge of Italy with genuine hospitality to assist with every step of the vacation planning process, from selecting the right destination and choosing the best time of year, to advising on what to pack. The company’s full-service approach has twice landed it on Travel +Leisure’s annual list of“Best Villa Rental Agencies.”  

Featured Homebase Abroad Villas

The villas highlighted (San Lorenzo, La Civetta and Palazzo Alvera Altana) are all part of the Homebase Abroad Collection and represent a sample.

The Homebase Abroad Collection

Ranging in size from 4 to 20 bedrooms, villas in the Homebase Abroad Collection are selected according to not only standards in quality, but also for character. From an in-home Tasting Room where guests might try wine crafted by the villa owner, to a private cinema room or spa with a Turkish bath and sauna, every villa offers a different experience.

In meeting Homebase Abroad standards, all villas meet specific service requirements set by Mara Solomon, including a cook for homemade Italian meals (a complimentary Welcome Dinner is often included), regular maid service and complimentary wireless Internet. Most homes feature air conditioning. On-the-ground Homebase Abroad Concierge service, complimentary with every stay, helps guests discover their village like a local with customized activities suited to their individual interests.

Selected with as much attention to location as to amenities, villas in the Homebase Abroad Collection offer access to beaches, lakes, vineyards and cultural landmarks, so whether you seek a private reprieve amidst acres of landscaped gardens in Tuscany or a cosmopolitan apartment in the heart of Rome, Homebase Abroad can recommend a villa specially selected for the most desirable experience.  

From an in-home Tasting Room where guests might try wine crafted by the villa owner to a private cinema room or spa with a Turkish bath and sauna, every villa offers an experience unique to that home.

In meeting Homebase Abroad standards, all villas meet specific service requirements, including a cook for homemade Italian meals (a complimentary Welcome Dinner is often included), regular maid service and complimentary wireless Internet.

On-the-ground Homebase Abroad Concierge service, complimentary with every stay, helps guests discover their village like a local with customized activities suited to their individual interests.

San Lorenzo: The Dolomites

Surrounded by woodlands, the newest addition to the Homebase Abroad Collection is a mountain retreat for guests who love to ski in the winter or simply bask in the cool mountain air come summer. You can even work on your golf game from a Ron Kirby-designed golf course overlooking the surrounding mountain ranges on two separate levels.

Stefano and Giorgia, your on-ground caretakers who reside in a guest house on-property, will take care of your every request. Giorgia will prepare excellent Italian meals for you using recipes handed down from her grandmother, even welcoming you into the kitchen to watch and learn as you deepen your knowledge of local dishes.

As your on-site Concierge, a service available at every Homebase Abroad property, the couple is also delighted to assist with wine tours or even an in-home tasting. In any season, you’ll enjoy a lounge area with a fire pit (winter guests enjoy cashmere blankets), a Finnish spa and Turkish bath with chromotherapy, a whirlpool and a fully-stocked cantina with more than 150 bottles of Italian wine. Six dinners are included with a 7-night stay. 

La Civetta: Tuscany

Through a gated entrance, just past an olive grove, fruit trees and woodlands, you’ll find the Tuscan farmhouse that is La Civetta. As at most Homebase Abroad villas, you’ll enjoy a Welcome Dinner your first night courtesy of Homebase Abroad, with lunch and dinner service included throughout the rest of your stay. Your cook, well-versed in Italian specialties, may even use herbs from the on-grounds garden for a true farm-to-table meal. You’ll also enjoy maid and concierge service, private access to a sandy beach, a private synthetic earth tennis court, swimming pool with fountains, and a fully landscaped lawn with veranda seating.

From the moment you start making your vacation plans, Mara can recommend which restaurants at Castagneto di Carducci will most suit your taste, where to test your skill at kiteboarding, and when to travel so you don’t miss colorful local events, like the nearby Puccini Festival celebrating Italian opera.    

Palazzo Alvera Altana: Venice

Even if you’ve experienced Venice before, Homebase Aboard will show you the City of Water in a whole new light with its signature Trip Planning and Concierge service. Determined to add an authentic Italian antique to your own home? Your concierge will set up an appointment with one of the finest shops in Venice.

Want to blend in (or stand out from) the stylish crowds of Venice’s best restaurants? A private shopper can assist you. The 7-bedroom Palazzo Alvera Altana serves as the perfect home base for exploring, complete with a private dock, outdoor dining space, a wet bar, stunning artwork and plenty of lounge areas. The home accommodates up to 15 guests. 

For more information on Homebase Abroad and to browse all available villa, please visit:


Haute Tease

  • The Academy Announces Major Animation Gift From Abe Levitow Family

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the gift of the Abe and Charlotte Levitow Collection featuring animation art and related production materials documenting the career of animator Abe Levitow.

  • IM Global Television Partners with Marvista Entertainment For Series Re-Invention Of “KING KONG”

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    MarVista Entertainment, a leading independent studio that produces, acquires and distributes premium film and television content, has partnered with IM Global Television, a joint venture between prolific independent studio IM Global, Chinese digital giant Tencent and Tang Media Partners, to develop, co-produce, and co-finance the tale of King Kong for series television.  

  • Disney Twenty-Three Goes Behind The Scenes On The Stunning New Adaptation Of Beauty And The Beast

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Transforming one of the most beloved animated films of all time into a live-action feature, complete with elaborate sets, extravagant costumes, vibrant musical numbers, and dazzling special effects, is no easy task.  

  • Actress Angie Harmon Launches ‘X Red Earth’ Jewelry Collection

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Actress Angie Harmon’s new "X Red Earth" is no ordinary jewelry line. Her edgy, socially conscious collection combines chic designs, unconventional materials and artisan craftsmanship that takes skull and bone baubles to a sophisticated new level.  

  • “Home,” “The Peanuts Movie,” “Inside Out” Lead Animated Features 2015 Oscar® Race

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Home," "The Peanuts Movie" and "Inside Out" have made the long list of 2015 Animated Feature Films submitted for consideration for the 88th Academy Awards®. The others include SONY's "Hotel Transylvania 2" and Walt Disney's upcoming "The Good Dinosaur."


  • Manhunt Continues in Upstate New York Prison Break

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Residents in the tiny town of Dannemora, New York, remain on edge as two violent prisoners, in a daring escape from the maximum security Clinton Correctional facility have managed to elude capture for a second consecutive day.

  • Kim Kardashian West Robbed at Gunpoint; Kanye West Cancels Concert Mid-Song Citing "Family Emergency"

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kim Kardashian West, reality television star and wife of musician Kanye West, was robbed at gunpoint of $10million dollars in jewelry while staying at a private residence in Paris for Fashion Week, according to media reports and her publicist.

  • Judge in Stanford Rape Case Stops Hearing Criminal Cases

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Judge Aaron Persky, who sentenced the Stanford convicted rapist to six months including time served, has stopped hearing felony cases due to the public outrage over his leniency in what has been deemed a travesty of justice.

  • Crime City USA: The Top Thirty Murder Capitals

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Crime rates are decreasing across large cities in the United States, but murder rates are on the rise.  

  • No Indictment in Ferguson Case; Violence Hits More Than 90 Cities

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Missouri Grand Jury refused to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed African American teen shot and killed in broad daylight, while walking in the street near his home, last August.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • A Pink Suitcase Book Review – Empowering Stories from Women Who Dared

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Pink Suitcase, from World Traveler Press, presents twenty-two provocative individual stories of empowered woman who dared to fulfill their dreams of global expedition, from hiking the Appalachian Trail to entering Gutsy Gal adventures.

  • Hollywood Celebrates The 100th Anniversary of Tinseltown’s First Ever Feature Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    (HOLLYWOOD, CA., MEDIA ALERT)--- Colossal. Stupendous. Epic. These Hollywood adjectives became clichés long ago. When used to describe the films of Cecil B. DeMille, they are accurate. This producer-director captured a worldwide audience with The King of KingsThe Sign of the Cross, The Greatest Show on Earth; Samson and Delilah, and The Ten Commandments. 

  • The Sword & Scabbard: Thieves and Thugs and the Bloody Massacre in Boston - A Page Turning Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Sword & Scabbard, from Allen Woods, looks as if it would appeal to Boston’s very tony elite, not until pushing through the labyrinth of technology interruptions does one realizes Woods has created a page turning account of corruption, violence, and a bloody re-revolution massacre.

  • Interstellar Soundtrack with Music By Hans Zimmer Out In Time For The Holidays

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    (October 28, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA) WaterTower Music today proudly announces the November 18 release of Interstellar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, with music by renowned composer Hans Zimmer, whose career has earned him Grammy, Golden Globe, Classical Brit, Academy, Tony, and American Music Awards.

  • Broadway's Best: Celebrating the Music of Ron Abel

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Birdland, the legendary Manhattan Jazz Club, played host for two nights only to celebrate, one of Broadway's best and Hollywood's hottest talents, composer and musical genius Ron Abel.