“A 4-room hideaway with soaring views and gourmet food, perched high above the Cinque Terre in an authentic Ligurian village”
The 4 rooms, named after members of Otto III’s family, have a charming mix of antiques and homely comforts. Expect squishy chairs, antique desks and carved beds beneath gnarled 17th-century beams, and shuttered windows that open onto a slice of that wonderful view.
Our favourites are Ottone III and Adelaide, both painted in a delicate duck-egg blue. Each has a sofa which can be transformed into 2 single beds, and the latter can be set up as a twin on request. Teofano is a 2-room suite decked out in spring-like pinks and greens, with a double bed and a sitting room that can be made up as an additional twin or single bedroom. We stayed in Silvestro II, a cosy space in sunshine yellow, with an armchair where you can curl up and gaze at the distant sea.
All rooms have rather snazzy ensuites (grey marble in Ottone III, Adelaide and Silvestro II, mosaic-tiled in Teofano) with bathtubs, overhead showers and double sinks. You also get all manner of teas and coffees to brew, and piles of books to browse.
Dinner, served in the intimate stone-walled restaurant or under a vine-tangled pergola outside, is a real treat. Luca is passionate about Ligurian food, taking inspiration from the changing seasons to produce creative twists on local specialities. You get the choice between à la carte and a 5-course tasting menu, and everything we sampled was mouth-wateringly good - a fondue-like mix of spinach and pecorino, spaghetti with the freshest of clams, a silky-smooth panna cotta doused in chocolate. Luca is also extremely knowledgeable about all things wine-related and will recommend the perfect pairing for each course, as well as serving up an aperitivo to savour before your meal (on the house if you book through i-escape).
Breakfast is another spread of local delights - organic cheeses, cured hams, still-warm focaccia, jam and marmalade made by Luca’s mother, and a freshly baked ‘cake of the day’. It’s best eaten outside so you can linger over the view.
Lunch isn’t served, though chances are you’ll be out and about anyway. Bear in mind that Sunday is Luca’s night off, but picnics (savoury pies, salami, mounds of fresh fruit) can be ordered to enjoy in your room or on the terrace.
Despite the tranquil atmosphere, children are warmly welcomed. Three of the rooms accommodate additional guests, and Luca is happy to tailor meals. That said, the stone steps, steep drops and bumpy path to the village mean it’s not best-suited to roaming toddlers or babies in pushchairs.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Ottone III and Adelaide both have sofas which can convert into extra beds for children, and Teofano has a living room which can be made up as an additional single or twin bedroom. All rooms have bathtubs.