Joyce Falcone

Joyce Falcone has not set their biography yet


There is no place like Venice. Of all the regions in Italy I can’t wait to get to Venice time and again. I make sure that I visit at least twice a year and try to plan that one of those times during the off season. ( November- Late January before Carnival), the crowds are smaller and you can actually see in the windows of the chic shops as you pass by. My next trip will be February, and I can’t wait.

One of my favorite five star luxury hotels in Venice  are Bauer Il Palazzo If you like being on the Grand Canale, in old world luxury and near the chic shops, then Bauer Il Palazzo is for you. Now do not be confused. The Bauer also has Bauer     L’ Hotel ( which is not my favorite and is attached to street side and feels more commercial and contemporary). But if you are looking for plush, lush, deep burgundy reds, and polished silver, heavy gold corded tassels, then try The Bauer, the right location. For a ultimate villa experience in Venice, the Bauer also owns the Villa F across the canale in sleepy Giudeca.  Villa F can host you and twenty friends in an intimate and eloquent private venue complete with staff and private boat.

Cipriani- The ultimate in refined hospitality and style.  How can one go to Venice and not discuss the iconic family of hotelliers Arrigo Cipriani? Dod you require a swimming pool and grounds? Then Cipriani is for you.   When last there, they had preserved a wing, in 50’s style exactly as it was.......50 years ago. Kitch.   The remainder of the rooms have been renovated.  The property lovely and the service.... well he wrote the book on service not servitude didn’t he?

As far as dining at Harry’s bar... well I would say pass.  If you must go, then go because it is an icon and not for the food.   The decor is great though, the bill was not. I am sure if you were there in 1962 it was "the spot".   Go and drink,  order  a Bellini! But dine with Diane and Cesare  at AL Covo divine and dining.   Better to  reserve ahead.

Back to hotels in the five star category,   though lovely, I have trouble with booking Hotel Daniele or Palazzina Grassi not that I do not like them, they are both wonderful. I was at the opening of Palazzina Grazzi when Philip Stark and entourage were there for the preliminary opening. Had I known I was going,  I would have change clothes.  It is cozy and hip and colorful with wonderful decorate touches  to  enhance the room into an intimate space.   But to stay there, I would not, rooms were small, and it is tucked away though nicely reachable by boat.

THE TOURIST ZONE- The majority of  tourists visit and stay in  the  area between St Marks and Rialto Bridge.  These two areas  are the most crowded,  and do not reflect the true temperment of the city. My advice is to walk and visit Castello,  San Polo and Dorsoduro.   One of my favorite sestiere is Dorsoduro. It is only a 15 minute walk to Piazza San Marco, and begins by crossing  the Accademia bridge.

TRAGHETTI- A piece of Venetian History

Continue reading

When the snow starts to fly in Aspen. The one thing that gets me through our long winters is to have an unused plane ticket in the drawer. To be able to count the days before I return to Italy, gives me hope in the midst of a white out in March. Hope comes in the form of promises of sunshine, red wine, fashion, and history all rolled into, An Italian Escape.

I normally spend every May/June in Italy. When it is high season, I like to be there, in Italy, where it is happening. This year I will be personally escorting two groups of about fifty travelers, from the top to the toe of Italia. With only one day of "downtime" between these tours, every item of what goes in the suitcase becomes an item to be reviewed and reviewed again for weight, style and travel worthiness. My plan is to try to accomplish this in a carry on. Yes I said carry on bag.

I began in the 80s; with Classic Hartman khaki and leather set which was shared with my husband. We took many a trip with that luggage, a few times to Hawaii, European Grand Tour once or twice. Finally divorce sent the luggage into he closet of my ex-beloved and as with everything else I had to fend for myself and find a new look that represented my new “singleness”. I adored that luggage, it represented good times, and later bad, when I moved out, I had to use cardboard boxes.

To express my newfound divorcee status, I went for IT. A Louis Vuitton, Epi leather Saddle color hand carry bag. It is gorgeous. And I am afraid to use it. But alas, It is only suitable for car travel. It has seen some travel, but by the time it is full, it is to heavy to carry. So it stays in the top of the closet. I was convinced I needed wheels.

The quest for luggage to call my own, began in 2002, when I came upon a sale in a small Columbus Avenue boutique NYC which was selling at 50% off Italian Luggage make by , Piero Guidi. I had to own all three pieces, even the train case, though I only use it for storage now. The train case is a piece of art. The luggage was a chocolate brown with coveted brass hardware. I think it went to Italy at least eight times, until I finally learned to down size. The wheels were not suitable for hauling heavy luggage across the cobble streets in Florence and that was the end of Piero.

The hunt for Italian luggage was on. And finally after a successful tour with exaggerated tips, I purchased a Brics suitcase in tan suede with saddle leather details. A stylish roller bag, smaller than the Piero but it still needed to be send as baggage since it was not small enough for carry on status. Feeling better about being able to maneuver around Italy, it only took one over packed bag, a non portable, portable laptop (about 8lbs) and an out of service elevator and 35 steps up from the train track to learn, I must go smaller. I went through two Brics bags and thought, I need to spend less on luggage.

By now I was convinced, that my elbows were going to be pulled from their sockets from hauling bags around Italy. I needed a carryon bag, and a lighter weight portable computer to survive. TJ Max had the answer. For Fifty dollars, I found a DVF, brown, weatherproofed vinyl, no pockets, and decent wheels. Another 14 trips back and forth to Italy, and the bag wore out, but I do feel I got my money’s worth.

After looking high and low, I have finally found, and invested in a two piece nylon set by Tumi. Light weight, good wheels, great color ( not black), and fits together. I adore it. Took me three years of shopping to find it. I go through luggage. When travel is your business, one tends to use luggage up. Luggage is my vice.

I am now determined to travel for a month using this two piece carry one set. The hand bag is the office, the roller bag, is the closet and off I will go. I have a Mac Air, am downsized and happy about it. I can move though airports, onto trains, into and out of numerous hotels on site visits. It is the perfect size. When I look at others struggling with their entire closets in the suitcase for a two week trip, I just smile. ☺
“Baule-“ they call it in Italy, Americans travel with “baule” ….Trunks.

And if you like what you’ve been reading, like us onConde Nast Traveler’s Travel Specialists List, where I’ve appeared for the last four years straight.

Joyce Falcone-The Italian Concierge

Joyce Falcone

Continue reading



conde nast top travel Specialist 2008conde nast top travel Specialist 2009conde nast top travel Specialist 2010conde nast top travel Specialist 2011conde nast top travel Specialist 2012

Italian Wine Scholar Logo


a list 2009a list 2010a list 2011a List 2012a List 2013a List 2014a List 2015A List 2016 blueA List 2017 LogoA List 2018 smallTL ALIST LOGO 2019TL A List 2020T L 2022