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

  • Mars Rover Makes Two Significant Discoveries

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mars Rover, the mechanical robotic vehicle designed to drive across the red planet gathering evidence, has recently made two huge discoveries building a solid belief that life, in some form, could have existed on the planet.

  • New Smithsonian Channel (Tm) Docuseries Chronicles Annual Invasion Of Polar Bears Through Canadian Town

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Every fall, approximately 10,000 tourists from around the world descend on The Polar Bear Capital of the World, Churchill, Manitoba to watch the annual migration of more than 1000 hungry polar bears make their way to the bay.  

  • First Person: Award Winning Director, Anna Wilding, Weathers Super Storm Sandy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    It is not particularly easy to write about a hurricane when I just left a zone devastated by earthquakes, that being Christchurch New Zealand.  However, that is not to distract from the sheer force of Hurricane Sandy and its effect on many lives and of course the infrastructure in 15 states, in particular New York.  To date, over 100 lives have been lost, 56 of those in the United States. It’s a sad time for many.

  • Reese Witherspoon to Star in Nick Hornby’s Adaptation of New York Times Best-Seller Wild

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, CA July 16, 2013 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired worldwide rights to Oscar nominated writer Nick Hornby’s (“An Education”, “High Fidelity”) adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s NY Times #1 best-seller, the book that re-launched Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, “WILD.”

  • The Countdown Begins: 90 Days To OSCAR® Sunday

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the 90th Oscars® telecast on Sunday, March 4, 2018, will now begin at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST, a half-hour earlier than prior telecasts.


  • People Exclusive: Father of Teen Missing Since 2009 Whom FBI Has Declared Was Held Captive and Murdered: 'I'm Begging Anyone To Help Us Bring Her Home'

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    For seven long years, Chad and Dawn Drexel have waited for news about what happened to their 17-year-old daughter, Brittanee Drexel, who vanished during a spring break trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2009. 

  • Nine Dead, 17 Injured; 192 Arrested in Waco Biker Brawl

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Nine gang members shot and killed each other in a Wild West gangland shoot out at the Twin Peaks Bar and Grill in Waco, Texas, in what has been described as the worst crimes in almost 35 years of law enforcement.

  • 18 Penn State “Brothers” Arrested in Fraternity Murder

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Eighteen Beta Theta Pi Alpha Upsilon Fraternity brothers at Penn State University, still synonymous with pedophile cover up of football Coach Jerry Sandusky, have been arrested in the shocking hazing death of Timothy Piazza, a freshman pledge, during the annual Rush Week.

  • Michael Skakel, Kennedy Cousin, Set To Be Released

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Michael Skakel, nephew to the late Robert F. Kennedy, is set to be released from the Connecticut prison where he has spent the last 11years for the 1975 bludgeoning death of neighbor Martha Moxley.

  • UPDATE: Fourth Victim, Cousin of Shooter, in Washington State School Shooting Dies;Brings Total to Five

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The fourth student victim of the deadly shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington State, has claimed its fifth victim as parents and survivors are returning to school while trying to cope with the senseless tragedy.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • After Snowden - Privacy, Secrecy and Security in the Information Age Review – Opens The Floor to Debate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In June 2013, Edward Snowden leaked thousands of documents he stole from the National Security Agency (NSA), from several laptop computers, exposing flaws and violations of the Fourth Amendment routinely practiced in the Domestic Surveillance program.

  • Blue Man Group Review - Fresh, Fun, Loud and Messy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I had seen the famed Blue Man Group Las Vegas show before albeit more than a decade ago. Even so, I recently proceeded to secure tickets to see what has since become a Vegas entertainment staple. I wondered how, or if, this show had evolved so it would seem fresh and new the second time around.

  • Ten Top Gourmet Food Shops and Eating Establishments in the Latin Quarter Revealed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stepping into a Paris restaurant can be a formidable experience for any traveler. Not only do you have to make your wishes understood by a waiter who may or may not speak your language, but you must quickly learn how to adapt to local dining customs as well.

  • Blondie and Garbage To Co-Headline Rage And Rapture Summer 2017 Tour (Music/Tix Links)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Blondie & Garbage announced their North American tour will kick off on July 5th in Saratoga, CA and wrap on August 12th in Dallas, TX. John Doe & Exene Cervenka will provide support on the first leg of the tour and Deap Vally for the second.

  • Honeymoon In Vegas Review – Go For The Music, Stay For The Elvis Impersonators

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Writing reviews to send out is actually quite difficult for me.  The truth is, I’m a theatre snob, and I’m pretty hard to please.  Without creative geniuses such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, or even Stephen Sondheim, it’s hard for me to give my endorsement.  Not this time.  You will love ‘Honeymoon In Vegas’.