Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio's Former New York Hotel Suite Is Taking Reservations

Krisztina Crane/Evan Joseph Studios
Krisztina Crane/Evan Joseph Studios

Marilyn Monroe’s 274-day marriage to baseball legend Joe DiMaggio may have been short-lived, but one hotel in New York City is paying homage to the famous couple's fleeting romance.

A luxury suite at The Lexington Hotel has been revamped and is now taking reservations, Travel + Leisure reports. The couple moved into the room—formerly known as The Centerfield Suite—shortly after their wedding and honeymoon in 1954.

The hotel's bedroom
Krisztina Crane/Evan Joseph Studios

It was during this period that Monroe filmed her famous flying white dress scene for The Seven Year Itch, which was shot just a few blocks from The Lexington Hotel. Although the scene is iconic, Monroe’s husband was less than pleased. In fact, he was so enraged by the "exhibitionist" scene that he "stormed across the set," according to The Guardian, and later had a nasty row with Monroe. Not long after their fight, Monroe filed for divorce, citing the “mental cruelty” she endured.

However, the pair later made amends and may have even rekindled their romance. Shortly before Monroe’s death in 1962, DiMaggio reportedly told friends that he and Monroe were going to get remarried. After she died, DiMaggio took charge of the funeral arrangements, and he had roses delivered to her grave twice a week for 20 years. This romantic spirit is preserved in the newly renovated Norma Jeane Suite, named after the Hollywood starlet’s given name at birth.

The outdoor patio
The Lexington Hotel

The 600-square-foot room, which goes for $1200 per night, is certainly up to Hollywood standards. It boasts marble floors, velvet and silk textiles, a terrace overlooking the city, a walk-in closet decorated with bags from Bloomingdales (Monroe’s favorite store), and artwork and photographs featuring Monroe. The pops of red throughout the room are likely a nod to Monroe’s signature lip color, and lest DiMaggio be forgotten, a baseball bat is placed inside an umbrella stand.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Australian Island Wants Visitors to Stop Taking Wombat Selfies

iStock.com/LukeWaitPhotography
iStock.com/LukeWaitPhotography

Spending a day observing Australian wildlife from afar isn't enough for some tourists. On Maria Island, just off the east coast of Tasmania, many visitors can't resist snapping pictures with the local wombats—and the problem has gotten so out of hand that island officials are asking people to pledge to leave the cute marsupials out of their selfies.

As CNN Travel reports, the Maria Island Pledge has been posted on signs welcoming visitors to the national park. It implores them to vow to the island to "respect and protect the furred and feathered residents." It even makes specific mention of the wombat selfie trend, with one passage reading:

"Wombats, when you trundle past me I pledge I will not chase you with my selfie stick, or get too close to your babies. I will not surround you, or try and pick you up. I will make sure I don’t leave rubbish or food from my morning tea. I pledge to let you stay wild."

The pledge isn't a binding contract guests have to sign. Rather, park officials hope that seeing these signs when they arrive will be enough to remind visitors that their presence has an impact on the resident wildlife and to be respectful of their surroundings.

The adorable, cube-pooping wombats at Maria Island are wild animals that aren't accustomed to posing for pictures, and should therefore be left alone—though in other parts of Australia, conservationists encourage tourists to take wildlife selfies. Rottnest Island off the country's west coast is home to 10,000 quokkas (another photogenic marsupial), and the quokka selfies taken there help raise awareness of their vulnerable status.

[h/t CNN Travel]

The Picturesque Italian Town of Sambuca, Sicily Is Selling Homes for $1

iStock.com/DeniseSerra
iStock.com/DeniseSerra

If you want to impress your friends, take them to the swanky new bar in town and order a round of flaming sambuca shots, which are made from Italian anise-flavored liqueur. If you want to impress them even more, tell them you just bought a home in Sambuca, an old Italian town on the Mediterranean island of Sicily.

A little extreme? Maybe. But with homes selling there for as little as €1 (roughly $1.14), you can't beat the price. As The Guardian reports, dozens of homes in Sambuca are currently on the market "for less than the price of a takeaway coffee" as local officials attempt to lure newcomers to the hilltop town. Over the years, many of Sambuca's residents have moved to bigger cities, leaving their former homes deserted.

Sambuca was founded by the ancient Greeks but was later conquered by Arab groups, which explains the blend of Moorish and Baroque influences that can be seen in the town's architecture. City hall owns the homes that are currently up for sale, and locals officials have been singing the town's praises in hopes of wooing buyers.

"Sambuca is known as the City of Splendor," Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca's deputy mayor and tourist councilor, tells CNN. "This fertile patch of land is dubbed the Earthly Paradise. We're located inside a natural reserve, packed with history. Gorgeous beaches, woods, and mountains surround us. It's silent and peaceful, an idyllic retreat for a detox stay."

(Lowercase sambuca, by the way, originated in the Italian port Civitavecchia, not far from Rome. However, Sambuca is home to many wineries.)

Officials say buyers will be able to move in quickly, but as always, there's a catch. Some of the homes are "badly in need of a makeover," Cacioppo says, and buyers will have three years to devote at least $17,000 to home repairs. They will also need to fork over nearly $5700 for a security deposit, which will be returned once the work is complete.

If this still sounds like a good deal to you, email case1euro@comune.sambucadisicilia.ag.it for additional details.

[h/t The Guardian]

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