Casa Colleverde

Castelnuovo Magra, Liguria, Italy Book from Book from £143 per night

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 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 from welcoming host Lisa, 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.

Highs

  • 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
  • Lisa is a wonderful host, with a mine of knowledge about the area
  • Did we mention the view?

Lows

  • No children under 12 unless you take the whole place; this is a peaceful, grown-up retreat
  • No daily lunches or dinners, though light meals can be arranged on request
  • You’ll need a car to explore, and to venture out for food in the evenings
  • The road up is steep, bumpy and very twisty

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
Honeymoon
  • Boutique guesthouse
  • 3
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • Over 12s only
  • Open all year
  • 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

Rooms

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

Eating

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.

Lisa can provide simple lunches and dinners on request - perhaps pizza or barbecue food - 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. Generally though, you'll need to drive out to eat in the evenings; just ask for restaurant recommendations.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Strike out into the wooded hills which surround Casa Colleverde. Several walks lead straight out from the house - Lisa 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
  • Or just laze by the pool and lap up that view

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • 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:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Wonderful house with just three apartments. Lisa makes you feel at home. Her breakfast is outstanding. You can sit outside, viewing the wonderful landscape. Everything is very very cosy, lovely and well maintained. The road to the coast can be very slow - it took us around 20 to 30 minutes. We liked the little village "Lerici" very much. Hiking the Cinque terre was totally full at the beginning of May.
All in all I highly recommend the Casa Colleverde. It is just wonderful.

10/10,

This is really a special place - Simon and Carmello go the extra mile in every aspect. Food is wonderful - breakfast is delicious and cooked to order if required. We ate with them one evening - the food was excellent and felt like an evening with friends. The decor is wonderful, with interesting art and books everywhere. Rooms are huge with amazing views. The pool is wonderful, with the most incredible vista of sunset. The only issue is the very steep and narrow track (you cannot really call it a road) to get there, but it's not impossible, just a bit hairy at times. Overall, this is one of the most welcoming places I have ever stayed and would recommend it to anyone.

10/10,

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Rates for Casa Colleverde