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My Mediterranean, as told by Daniela Franceschini

An insider’s guide to the Mediterranean with Daniela Franceschini

Daniela Franceschini, the design maestro behind Quiet Studios, is a melting pot of Mediterranean heritage. With Italian, Spanish and Swedish roots, she was born in Malaga, later immersing herself in Lisbon’s design landscape. Here, she notably worked on The Vintage Lisbon before founding her studio in 2016. Quiet Studios stands as a testament to timeless design, effortlessly marrying age-old architecture with contemporary nuances. Her craftsmanship shines notably in the 2023 unveiling of The Rebello Hotel in Porto – a harmonious blend of vernacular architecture, contemporary forms and intuitive design. As Franceschini shares her favourite Mediterranean haunts, delve into the inspirations that have sculpted her illustrious journey.

Portrait photography courtesy of Marina Abadjieff
Mediterranean tastemaker Daniela Franceschini interview

“It’s here, amid its bustling streets, that I find joy in underground discoveries while never too far from breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.”

In the Med, my favourite country is …

Italy! Does it need an explanation?

For a dose of urban pulse, I head to …

Marseille! As France’s second-largest city and the biggest port in the Mediterranean, Marseille marries vibrant urban life with the beauty of the coast. It’s here, amid its bustling streets, that I find joy in underground discoveries while never too far from breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

San Rullan Deia Mallorca Balearic Islands Spain hotel stay

“The views are mind-blowing, with the Mediterranean unfolding below and surrounded by ancient olive groves.”

For the perfect close-to-nature experience, I visit …

… Cala des Bot in Menorca. Situated amidst pine forests, fields and sand dunes, a serene walk leads to a lake, just before the beach reveals itself. The occasional white houses, remnants of times when fishermen and locals sought solace here, add a touch of tradition to this untouched Mediterranean haven.

For a memorable getaway, I check myself into …

… Finca Son Rullan in Deià, Mallorca. A former 14th-century monastery set high in the Tramuntana range, it’s a stone’s throw from the picturesque village of Deià. The views are mind-blowing, with the Mediterranean unfolding below and surrounded by ancient olive groves. The vernacular architecture has been perfectly recuperated, providing an authentic backdrop to sunsets you simply can’t forget.

Mediterranean tastemaker Daniela Franceschini interview

“It’s a dish I dream about all winter long.”

For a great meal, I go to …

… Es Moli de Foc, my favourite restaurant in Menorca. Housed in an old 19th-century mill right in the centre of town, the setting offers a cosy garden and terrace. I never miss out on ordering the black fideuà, a delightful variant of the traditional paella where noodles replace rice and is tinted with squid ink, giving it its characteristic colour and rich flavour. It’s a dish I dream about all winter long.

For a fun night out, I head out to …

… Sa Fonda in Deià, Mallorca. By day, it’s a relaxed café, but at night it transforms with live music, jam sessions and cocktails. This legendary spot, frequented by artists and free spirits, epitomises Deià’s bohemian allure. What I order varies, depending on the evening’s mood.

Mediterranean tastemaker Daniela Franceschini interview
Mediterranean tastemaker Daniela Franceschini interview

“This shop is pure paradise to me, with its vast array of unique finds.”

For a dose of retail therapy, I shop at …

… Maison Empereur in Marseille, the oldest hardware store in France, founded in 1827. A true city heritage, it’s a maze of culinary arts, traditional games and Provencal attire spanning 1,300 square metres. This shop is pure paradise to me, with its vast array of unique finds.

For a dose of culture, I head to …

… the Acropolis Museum in Athens. Not only is it one of the most beautiful museums I have ever seen, but it also offers a deep dive into ancient Greek civilisation, masterfully displaying artefacts against the backdrop of Athens’ historic skyline.
Mediterranean tastemaker Daniela Franceschini interview

“It’s the peaceful moments in the garden of my Menorca farm that truly encapsulate [the Med] for me.”

For a hidden gem, I recommend …

… Punta de Cap de Creus in Cadaqués. Not only is it a captivating peninsula in the far northeast of Catalonia, Spain, but it also has a lighthouse where you can enjoy a lovely lunch with stunning views. It’s near Figueres, famed as Salvador Dalí’s birthplace, making the entire area rich in beauty and history.

For me, a quintessential Mediterranean experience is …

… undoubtedly difficult to narrow down to a single instance. However, it’s the peaceful moments in the garden of my Menorca farm that truly encapsulate it for me.

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