Duomo Diva Suite

Located on the ground floor, where the original structure of an 18th century garden theatre was brought back to light, Duomo Diva Suite can accommodate two to three guests. Access to the suite is through a patio with an ancient fountain and antique earthen vases filled with flowers next to tables and chairs. The perfect spot to sit back and enjoy a cup of tea and a book. Duomo Diva Suite is beautifully furnished with enchanting antiques and is air conditioned.

A man brags to a friend about his new hearing aid.

"It’s the most expensive one I’ve ever had – it cost me $3,500!"

His friend asks, "What kind is it?"

The man replies, "Half past four."

Mignon de Porc
Pork Fillet with Citrus Fruits

1.5 lbs pork fillet
1⁄4 c olive oil
1⁄4 c sugar
1 c pork or chicken stock

Citrus Fruits
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 pink grapefruit
Juice of 1 lemon

12 baby carrots
a pat of butter
a dollop of honey
1⁄2 c golden apple chunks
1⁄2 cup pear chunks
1⁄2 c pearl onions
3.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp sugar
1 branch fresh tarragon
4 sage leaves

Ground pepper

Cut pork fillet into 12 medallions, creating 3 per person. Sear in olive oil and remove from pan. Reduce heat. Add sugar to the pan and carmelize. Deglaze with citrus juice and stock and reduce. Add pork medallions and cook through, being careful not to over cook. Add salt and pepper as needed.

For the garnish, peel the carrots and blanch for 3-4 minutes. Saute in butter and glaze with a little honey. Saute cubed apples and pears in butter and sugar until mixture has consistency of chutney. Peel the pearl onions, cook in butter and sugar, then deglaze with vinegar. Season with powdered ginger.

Place medallions in a star shape around the plate, with the onions in the center. Place a spoon of the carrot on the plate along with the fruit chutney. Decorate with sage and fresh tarragon.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


When you go out it’s best to hold hands and stick together.

- Robert Fulgum

Dear Friends,

What a wonderful trip Kathy and Kathryn had in Italy! They came back with a goldmine of new contacts and properties which we are actively putting on our site. Please check our website periodically and start dreaming of your next vacation. Keep in mind that the best properties go fast!

I would like to thank all of you for the glowing comments you’ve been sending as you return!  We always send these on to the owners with any of your suggestions for improvement as well. 

We now have a newsletter link on our website, which gives you the archives of each month over the last two years.  You'll find lots of information here designed to help you plan your next getaway.

On the marketing front we’re currently working on a major facelift for our website targeted for the end of the year. It will feature a new homepage, a new property region as well as locator maps for each property. Also, we have begun the process to change the company name to  Since our domain name is we thought it would make it more consistant and easier for people to remember. We’ll keep you posted as to when this will occur.

On behalf of the VillaNet staff I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and wonderful travels!
Most Kind Regards

Emmanuel de Ricard, President


Paris, City of Light (Part I)

Paris is called the City of Light for good reason. From dusk till dawn it’s a splendid sight to see the great expanse of Paris twinkling with lights punctuated by the Eiffel Tower, Sacre-Coeur, fancy gilded bridges over the Seine, the whirling Carrousel in Jardin des Tuileris, Arc du Triomphe, the Louvre Museum, and all the rest.

Paris is surprisingly compact considering it has over 10 million people. The city is divided into 20 municipal wards called arrondissements, each with its own mayor, city hall, police station, and post office. These numbered sections of the city begin in the center and wind like a snail shell to the outskirts. With a single street map (available at any news stand or tobacco shop) it’s very easy to find your way around. Public transportation is excellent with the underground metro criss-crossing the city and buses permeating neighborhoods. Here’s a brief guide to the famous sights to be seen in each arrondisement.

1st Arrondisement

  • The Louvre, the world’s greatest art museum
  • Jardin des Tuileries, formal gardens developed for Louis XIV
  • Les Halles, a center for shopping, entertainment and culture

2nd Arrondisement

  • Bourse Stock Exchange
  • Le Sentier where you’ll find the wholesale outlets of the garment district.

3rd Arrondisement

  • Commonly known as Le Marais, a best loved and lively old Right Bank neighborhood that extends into the 4th Arrondisement as well. It embraces the gay lifestyle.
  • Musee Picasso, a collection of paintings and sculpture from the Picasso estate.

4th Arrondisement

  • Ile de la Cite, an island that houses the majestic cathedral of Notre Dame.
  • Ile St. Louis, another island that is full of aristocratic town houses, courtyards, and antique shops.
  • France’s finest bird and flower markets (a wonderfully fun place to stroll).
  • Centre Pompidou, a controversial exoskeletal building housing a grand display of modern art.

5th Arrondisement

  • Commonly called the Latin Quarter, the intellectual heart and soul of the city.
  • Sorbonne, one of the most famous academic institutions in the world.
  • Pantheon, a temple with the remains of such famous people as Hugo, Rousseau, Voltaire and Curie.

Much to come (Paris, Part II) next month.

Kathy Hayes, Editor


As I return to my desk after my 18 day stay abroad, I realize that the people of Italy are their most important national treasure. I suppose this is true of every country and region of the world, and a major factor in what makes the diversity of travel so appealing to us. But as I think of the most memorable times and places on the trip, it was the people that make each stand out.

Kathryn and I had an adventure each day, and the wonderful owners and managers were the most engaging part. It seems the entire population has a gift of hospitality. Just the traditions surrounding the preparation and serving of food shows their love of hosting and pleasing guests.

One owner of a large and beautiful villa near Lucca has a separate little house behind with a huge traditional brick oven. Every Saturday night he prepares pizza here for his extended family and any villa guests who wish to join them. The rooms are filled with long tables and everyone gathers around, wall to wall fun as he puts on the grand spread. Guests are not told this when they rent the villa – it’s a surprise invitation upon arrival! His daughter says it’s the highlight of her father’s week – to love his family with this tradition. And of course the guests rave about it – to be accepted and loved into the host family like this!

Just touring the great monuments and museums of Rome and Florence makes one marvel at their divine gifts of artistic vision. They not only created grand sculpture, fountains, architecture, paintings, and music in the past, but in the present day work hard to preserve them as the artists intended. Restoration and preservation is a continual labor of love.

The people in general are warm and hospitable, and we work to link with those most accommodating and gifted in that regard. I remember Joe, the owner of 2 villas in Tuscany. We arrived there on a Thursday morning, having wound our way through the heavily laden grapes to get to his home. The villas were occupied so we couldn’t see inside but took photos of the exterior for our files. Then we were invited into Joe’s grand home, a huge villa overlooking the vast vineyards. He proceeded to serve us a sampling of his 2003 Chardonnay, a limited bottling for his personal use only. He called it a "breakfast wine"! We sat in the sunshine bathed drawing room, chatting casually with this hospitable man who wants to host many more clients on his estate. He represents a proud people who wish to share the love and energy of this land with us.

Kathryn and I worked hard to use the language. We had taken a college Italian course over the summer in preparation for the trip, and we found it fascinating to converse with these gregarious people who talk as much with their hands as they do with words. Understanding each other is not a problem, and the challenge launches you into a delightful process of conversation. Sometimes there are slight miscommunications such as the night we ordered 2 glasses of wine to be brought with our meal and instead were given 2 empty glasses and an entire bottle of wine. But what’s the problem there?!

As much as we were glad to get home to our families, we send our fondest regards to the wonderful people of Italy. We shall return!

Kathy Hayes, Editor

Borgo - Type E"Everything at the Borgo-Type E facility was first class all the way!"

- L, Seattle, WA

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