“A beautiful hilltop B&B in the Valpolicella wine region, with gorgeous gardens, 2 stylish suites and easy access to Verona and Lake Garda”
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. Each has a large open-plan bedroom and sitting area, plus an ensuite with a walk-in shower. Mara loves playing around with the décor, so the little details are constantly changing, but permanent features include heavenly four-poster beds, sofas piled with cushions, hanging rails for clothes, and shuttered windows peeping out over the hills.
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 are filled with treats - carafes of wine, jars of biscuits, pampering Rituals toiletries, tea- and coffee-making kit, iPod docks. You also get WiFi and a hairdryer.
For breakfast and you’ll find fresh bread, pastries, local Monte Veronese cheese, prosciutto, yoghurt and fruit from the garden, with pots of tea and coffee. At current this is taken in the lounge, where there are a couple of little tables, spaced well apart for privacy. Every now and then Mara will pop up as if by magic from the tunnel between the 2 buildings to check you have everything you need, but otherwise you'll be left to linger and plan your day.
From November 2016 breakfast will be taken in your suite instead, where you will find a simple kitchenette (fridge, sink, kettle, microwave and toaster) and a handy basket of ingredients.
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’ll have to drive out for lunch and dinner, 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. We headed a few minutes down the road to Antica Osteria Paverno, a friendly little place with a vine-shaded terrace, to sample a Valpolicella speciality - risotto made with Amarone wine. It was delicious: rich, creamy and ruby red, with a wonderful sweetness from the wine, whose grapes are aged before fermentation.
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 which can be made up as extra beds for teenagers aged 14 or over; the Upper Suite accommodates up to 4 people.
Extra Beds Available