Casa Colleverde

Castelnuovo Magra, Liguria, Italy Book from

Reviewed by Rich Ibbetson
A cool and contemporary 3-suite guesthouse with sweeping sea views, high in the hills on the Liguria-Tuscany border
You might find yourself complaining about the steep, winding drive up to Casa Colleverde, but as soon as you reach your destination and gaze at the magnificent vista from the infinity pool, you’ll realise the journey was entirely worth it. After all, no view as good as this comes without a climb.

Perched outside the tiny village of Castelnuovo Magra in the wooded Colline del Sole, this 1950s house has been completely redesigned by hosts Simon and Carmelo (who also own Tuscan retreat Fontelunga) to take full advantage of its setting. The building is dominated by glass walls and twin-aspect balconies looking out over the hills to the sea, and on a clear day you can see as far as Corsica. The feel is tranquil and intimate - there are only 3 suites, each large and stylish with sleek Italian furniture and a private terrace. You’ll also be treated to knockout breakfasts, slap-up dinners a few times a week, and an outdoor chill-out zone where you can sprawl out with a glass of local wine. As for the location, it’s perfect for exploring: head north to Portofino and the famous Unesco-listed villages of the Cinque Terre, or south to Pisa, Lucca and the rolling hills of Tuscany.


  • A handy base for Liguria and northern Tuscany, yet well away from the crowds who flock to both regions in summer
  • Good value for the area, particularly given the high level of style and service and the spacious suites
  • A gorgeous infinity pool flanked by a chill-out zone with bean bags and loungers
  • Simon and Carmelo are the consummate hosts, with a mine of knowledge about the area and a passion for local food and wine (they offer cooking classes, too)
  • Did we mention the view?


  • No children under 12 unless you take the whole place; this is a peaceful, grown-up retreat
  • You’ll need a car to explore, and to venture out for food on the evenings when meals aren’t served (days vary according to demand)
  • The road up is steep, bumpy and very twisty
  • Dinner tends to be communal, which won't suit everyone

Best time to go

Casa Colleverde is open from April to October. It makes a great spot to relax at any time, but we recommend spring or autumn, when the temperatures are slightly cooler and you can beat the crowds on the nearby coast.

Our top tips

Try the pizzas at Napoli e Pepe, a 10-minute drive from Casa Colleverde - they’re some of the best we’ve ever tasted. You can choose your own toppings or pick from an extensive list of tried-and-tested combinations (we'd particularly recommend those which include brie).

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique guesthouse
  • 3
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • Over 12s only
  • Closed: 31 Oct 2016 - 30 Apr 2017
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Melograno Suite


The 3 suites are super-stylish with contemporary Italian furniture, yet also comfortable and welcoming. Their sleek white walls and tiled floors are warmed by pops of colour (burnt orange, lime green) in cushions, rugs and artwork, and all feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to private outdoor sitting areas. The ensuite bathrooms are swish affairs with rain showers and separate tubs.

We stayed in Fico d’India, which sits on the ground floor, and loved its direct access to the pool; the Neroli Suite on the floor above is a like-for-like copy with a balcony offering sweeping views. Both feature double bedrooms and living spaces with huge, comfy sofas. Biggest of all is the Melograno Suite, back on the ground floor, which has a vast terrace accessible from both the bedroom and the separate sitting room.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Radio
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


Food is central to the Casa Colleverde experience, and Simon and Carmelo’s passion for all things local is evident in every bite. Breakfast (8.30-11am) is a continental affair taken on the terrace whenever the weather allows, with all the usual suspects plus eggs made to order. Standouts for us were the olive and fruit breads from the local bakery, and the homemade fig jam. Simple poolside lunches are served on request - perhaps a bowl of pasta or a focaccia sandwich - and you can help yourself to tea and coffee in the kitchen; a selection of wines and spirits are available on an honesty basis, too.

A few times a week (days vary according to demand) Simon and Carmelo host dinner-party style evening meals, which start with sunset cocktails. They often take the form of pizzas from the wood-fired oven or BBQs by the pool; during our stay we were treated to a delicious feast of veal and bacon - home-cooking at its very best. On other evenings you’ll need to drive out to eat; just ask for restaurant recommendations.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Cooking classes
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement


  • Strike out into the wooded hills which surround Casa Colleverde. Several walks lead straight out from the house - Simon and Carmelo can point you in the right direction
  • Explore the Cinque Terre - a must-see string of pastel-coloured harbour villages (Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore and Monterosso) linked by rail, ferry and spectacular coastal footpath. You can’t take cars into their centres, so park in La Spezia (40 minutes away) and catch the train or boat from there
  • Venture further along the Ligurian coast and you’ll come to the pretty fishing town of Camogli, the glittering resort of Portofino (where you can catch a boat round to the picturesque beachside abbey of San Fruttuoso), and the historic regional capital of Genoa
  • Head in the other direction to the beautiful Tuscan cities of Pisa and Lucca, both within an easy drive
  • Join one of Simon and Carmelo’s ‘home-style’ cooking classes (advance booking required), which include visits to local markets. Wine tasting at nearby vineyards can also be arranged
  • Or just laze by the pool and lap up attention from resident Norfolk terriers Sam and Tosca

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Cooking classes
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Wine tasting
  • Kids

    This is a peaceful, sophisticated sort of place, and no kids under 12 are allowed unless you book the whole house on an exclusive basis.

    If you’re coming with a child over 12, all suites have sofabeds; the best option is Melograno, as the sofabed sits in a separate living room.

    Best for:

    Teens (over 12)

    Kid Friendly:

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