Pianaura Suites

Marano di Valpolicella, Italian Lakes & Verona, Italy Book from Book from £117 per night

A beautiful hilltop B&B in the Valpolicella wine region, with gorgeous gardens, 2 stylish suites and easy access to Verona and Lake Garda
You’ve probably drunk its wine, but chances are you’d struggle to pinpoint Valpolicella on a map. And good thing too, as it means this trio of leafy valleys, tucked away in the hills above Verona, has remained blissfully tourist-free. It’s a well-kept secret that’s worth exploring - not only for its grapes, but for its stunning landscapes, its sleepy medieval villages, and this rather special B&B.

Standing sentry over a terraced hillside, it occupies a pair of tall 17th-century farmhouses that have been lovingly restored by owners Mara and Filippo. One is now their dream home; the other, a guest block housing 2 spoiling suites and a lounge. Inside, all is white and bright, with beamed ceilings, shuttered windows and a stylish mish-mash of contemporary furniture and flea-market finds. Outside, lawns burst with lavender, poppies and fragrant herbs, and easy chairs sit under pergolas whose gauzy curtains billow in the breeze. If you want to stay put, find a secluded spot among the flowers and gaze out over the vines to the silvery mountains glinting on the horizon. Head out and you can hike through meadows, picnic by waterfalls or dip into the sights of Verona and Lake Garda. And of course, there are plenty of wineries to visit, too.

Highs

  • A rural setting away from the crowds, but well-placed for exploring; Verona is a 20-minute drive in one direction, Lake Garda is a 30-minute drive in the other
  • A sensitive transformation of beautiful old buildings, with chic interiors, restored stonework and an ingenious new tunnel linking the towers
  • Perfect for romance and relaxation: four-poster beds, a spa room for massages and yoga, and an outdoor hydrotherapy pool
  • Mara and Filippo are exceptional hosts - and their golden retriever Seta will quickly become your new best friend
  • Everything has been designed to make you feel special - complimentary carafes of local wine, jars of homemade biscuits...

Lows

  • No lunch, dinner or bar (breakfast is served in the lounge area), and the nearest restaurants are a drive away; you'll need a car
  • No children under 14 are accepted
  • It's accessed via a single-track lane with a vertical drop on one side. Be prepared for some careful manoeuvring if you meet a car coming in the other direction
  • Credit cards aren’t accepted, so you’ll have to bring plenty of cash

Best time to go

Summer is busy around Verona and the Italian Lakes, but the Valpolicella valleys make a wonderful escape from the heat and the crowds, with plenty of cooling breezes. They're just as delightful in spring, when wild flowers carpet the hillsides, and in autumn, when the vines turn orange. Unlike many hotels in the region, Pianaura Suites stays open all year round, so you can also visit in winter and make the most of the snowy alpine landscapes and cross-country skiing in the nearby Lessina National Park.

Our top tips

Verona arena hosts a world-renowned opera festival from June until September. It’s worth catching even if you’re not an opera fan, as watching an open-air performance in this ancient setting is a magical experience. You’ll need to book well ahead, as tickets often sell out months in advance.

Great for...

Eco
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique B&B
  • 2
  • Breakfast only (restaurants a short drive away)
  • No children under 14 accepted
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Yoga classes
Room:

Rooms

Mara has a natural flair for design, pairing modern pieces with vintage finds (Murano glass mirrors, 60s sideboards, artfully deconstructed armchairs). The resulting mix is eclectic but extremely chic, and works beautifully against the whitewashed walls, beamed ceilings and resin floors; it’s no wonder the suites have graced the pages of several Italian style magazines.

Accessed via a steep staircase, they occupy the top 2 floors of the guest block, with a lounge and breakfast room underneath. We stayed in the first-floor Lower Suite, which is flooded with light thanks to a glass door with steps down to the courtyard beneath. We loved the bright splashes of apple green and mustard yellow, and the kitsch collection of tasselled lampshades hanging above the table. The ensuite is particularly snazzy, with a glass shower cubicle and a wall of windows screened by paper blinds.

The Upper Suite sits under sloping rafters on the floor above - a space once used to dry grapes for the area’s famous Amarone wine. It's similar in size to the Lower Suite but has a cosier feel, with subtle Oriental notes in the black furniture, red accents and lantern-like lamps. Its bathroom has funky cobalt-blue walls and a waterfall shower.

Both suites feature four-poster beds, and are filled with treats - carafes of wine, jars of biscuits, pampering Rituals toiletries, tea- and coffee-making kits.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Carafe of local wine, plus homemade biscuits
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Kitchenette in the Upper Suite
  • Phone
  • Plunge pool
  • Small fridge
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is taken in the cosy lounge (which is only open to guests during the morning). You'll get fresh bread, pastries, local Monte Veronese cheese, prosciutto, yoghurt and fruit from the garden, with pots of tea and coffee. Each suite also has a simple kitchenette (fridge, sink, kettle, microwave and toaster).

Mara also provides a complimentary carafe of Valpolicella wine in both suites every day, so just pour yourself a glass and find a quiet corner in the garden for a sundowner. There are glass jars of homemade biscuits for when you get peckish, plus little fridges, kettles, tea bags and coffee. You could even head to the local village shop to stock up on cold meats and cheeses, and then enjoy an evening picnic in the gardens overlooking the valley.

For something more substantial, you’ll have to drive out, but there are plenty of fantastic restaurants in the surrounding villages - just ask Mara for recommendations. Many of Italy’s most popular dishes have their origins in these parts - risotto, tiramisu, tortellini pasta - so expect a feast, wherever you end up.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Restaurants within a short drive
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

    Sample the wares at Valpolicella's many vineyards. They're scattered across 3 pretty valleys - Marano, Negrar and Fumane - and many of the finest are within a 10-minute drive of the B&B (Mara can arrange transport for you)
  • Tour the area's grand country villas, medieval villages and ancient Romanesque churches. Mara will suggest itineraries and point out places for delicious lunches along the way
  • Spend a day in Verona, just 20 minutes away. Admire the Roman arena (the third largest in the world), gaze at the frescoed buildings lining the Piazza delle Erbe, and practise your swooning on Juliet’s balcony
  • Lake Garda is also within easy reach. Avoid the theme parks around its southern tip and head north to the pretty villages of Torri del Benaco and Malcesine, or hop on a boat to elegant Salò on the western shore
  • Go walking or mountain biking (Mara can arrange bike hire) in the hills behind the B&B, or venture further afield to the Lessina National Park (20km away) for beautiful nature trails, otherworldly rock formations, alpine meadows and, in winter, cross-country skiing
  • Wander among cascades of water, tumbling mountain streams and prehistoric caves at the Molina Waterfall Park, 16km to the east. There are signposted circuits of varying lengths, as well as chairlifts that swing out over the falls
  • There’s water of a more relaxing kind at the Aquardens Thermal Park (14km away), a vast spa complex with mineral-rich lagoons, hot tubs and indoor and outdoor pools
  • Back at Pianaura Suites, soothe your muscles in the (unheated) hydrotherapy pool, bliss out with a massage or a spot of yoga, or sit back and watch the sun drop behind the distant mountains, glass of wine in hand

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

No kids under 14 are accepted - the many steps and slopes would present a danger for young'uns, and the peace would be shattered by noisy bambini. Both suites have sofas that can be made up as extra beds for teenagers aged 14 or over; the Upper Suite accommodates up to 4 people.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Location

Pianaura Suites is set on a hillside in the Valpolicella wine-making region, to the east of Lake Garda. It’s 20 minutes north of Verona and just under 2 hours from Milan, in northern Italy.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Verona (only 23km away), which is served by flights from cities across Europe. The B&B is also within easy reach of the small airport at Brescia (77km away), as well as Bergamo (129km away), Milan Linate (172km away) and Milan Malpensa (212km away).

From the Airport
This is a rural area with little public transport and very few taxis, so a car is essential - see below.

By Train:
The nearest station is Verona, which is served by regular trains from Milan, Venice and other Italian cities. Once there, you’ll need to hire a car for the final leg of the journey.

By Car:
For car hire see our car rental recommendations. Parking is available at the B&B.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Verona Valerio Catullo 23.0 km VRN
  • Brescia Gabriele D'Annunzio 75.0 km VBS

Other:

  • Beach 25.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 12 independent reviews from i-escape guests

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

Beautiful in every way. The location, the style, the host, the dog, the thoughtfulness.

10/10,

This place is heaven in Valpolicella. It's a secret spot with lovely Suites in personal style, beautiful breakfast and a gorgeous garden with a small pool - which is perfect for warm summer days. Mara, the owner, is a wonderful, warm and inspiring woman with lots of local knowledge, which made our trip even better.

9/10,

Superb quality accommodation in a beautiful and quiet location which allowed peaceful relaxation whilst still being a short and easy drive to Verona and Lake Garda. Excellent area for road cycling (as long as you like climbing). Mara was an excellent host and provided many great local eating recommendations where we had some of the best food and drink we've experienced anywhere in the world. Highly recommended.

9/10,

It could be so that heaven is located here. The surroundings are beautiful, the house has so much charm and Mara is the greatest host. She helped us enjoying Valpolicella in the best way possible. We will come back again.

10/10,

A beautifully designed little apartment in the most gorgeous gardens. Mara was wonderful and could not have been more welcoming or helpful. We had a very relaxing time staying at gorgeous Pianaura. It's away from the very touristy areas in the region but with very quick access into Verona.

8/10,

A wonderful stay in the Italian landscape with Verona at your feet and all the surroundings that are waiting for you to explore. Modern and personal designed rooms and the house is gorgeous. The family is doing everything to make you feel relaxed.

10/10,

The most beautiful apartment and right in the heart of Valpolicella country. Mara and her husband have exquisite taste, and with such attention to detail right down to breakfast. Mara looked after us very well recommending and booking restaurants and a vineyard tour.

10/10,

Very nice structure and very kind host.

10/10,

A very beautiful place, stunning views and lovely owner.

10/10,

Beautiful escape in the middle of Valpolicella vineyards. Elegantly and stylishly decorated room in a 16th century farm building renovated by a famous Italian designer, wonderful and cosy garden, amazingly warm welcome from the owner (Mara), with a lot of care and advice on what to do. Completely enjoyed every moment of the stay.

10/10,

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