Friday, 9 November 2012

Montecasino: an Italian masterpiece

The exterior
Following my traumatic experience on the school game drive, the group of volunteers decided to head to Montecasino, a luxury entertainment complex about 15 minutes away from where we were staying.
Even pulling into the drive, Montecasino oozes glamour and sophistication to all who go near; the avenue of fairy light bedecked trees is reminiscent of a Parisian Boulevard, and circling a fountain before pulling up at the main entrance lends an air of Monte Carlo.

The exterior is grand, with echoes of an Italian castle, but once inside, past the stringent security checks, the decor is breathtaking. Set up like an Italian village, the shopfronts and street cafes are quaint, right down to the flowers trailing from the ornamental balconies, bedecked with Tuscan-style window shutters, and the washing lines crossing the street way above visitors heads. The ceiling resembles the sky very realistically, so that once you are ensconced in the hubbub, you can forget that you are inside. We requested an outside table at the restaurant, before realising that even "outside" was inside.

Good food
We enjoyed a lovely Italian meal and a few cocktails overlooking a cobbled square centred around an elaborate fountain, overshadowed by a weeping willow and fringed by a river which flows around the whole complex, criss-crossed by Venetian style humped bridges. Personally, I would have loved there to have been a boat ride taking guests around the "village", but I think that says more about my obsession with DisneyWorld than it does about any shortcomings on the part of Montecasino.

In short, it's the sort of place a girl could easily imagine being whisked off her feet. Briefly I wished there was somewhere similar in England, but it's a one-of-a-kind place that would lose it's ample charm if replicated worldwide.

After our meal, we continued exploring the endless maze of enchanting streets and ventured into the Casino before taking a taxi back to the Lion Park like real life Cinderellas.

We ate overlooking this Piazza

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