If you ever wanted to know what paradise looks like, you only need to find yourself at Grand Villa Feltrinelli: a centuries-old villa located on the shores of Lake Garda in Italy’s north.
It’s here that you’ll find an Italian oasis unlike any other. As cliché as it might sound, think chirping birds; prominent natural fauna and flora; the smell of a fresh breeze from the nearby lake; it’s these sensual delights, plus more, that are just a part of an average day at Grand Villa Feltrinelli.
Staying at the handsomely restored villa was anything but ordinary. As such, here is what a day and night looks like at the magnificent Grand Hotel Villa Feltrinelli.
Getting to Grand Hotel Villa Feltrinelli is easier than expected. From Milan, hiring a car is your best option. Just 2.5 hours north lies Lake Garda; Italy’s largest lake in front of Como. Once you reach the base of Lake Garda, Villa Feltrinelli is approximately 45 minutes in the town of Gargnano.
With an impressive history at its core, Villa Feltrinelli dates back to 1892 when it was built by the prominent Feltrinelli family; an ideal summer retreat for the well-to-do family.
Designed by Milanese architect Alberico Barbiano di Belgioioso, Villa Feltrinelli features a neo gothic-inspired style that is eccentric in all manner and form.
Besides playing home to the Feltrinelli family during the summer months, Villa Feltrinelli was most notably a glorified ‘safe house’ for Benito Mussolini during the 500 days of the IRS.
Surprisingly, Mussolini found himself a prisoner in the Villa, despite its heavenly surroundings and luxurious fit-out.
For years, the Villa was left unkempt only to be sold in 1997 to hotelier Bob Burns who had grand plans to bring life back to the property, officially reopening as a luxurious hotel in July 2001.
Today, Villa Feltrinelli is one of the world’s official Grand Hotels, keeping all of its beauty and charm to offer extravagant travellers a taste of the old world.
San Francisco design team of Babey Moulton Jue and Booth have recreated a feeling of a “family home” with 20 sumptuous bedrooms and suites (12 within the villa and 8 in the park buildings). Featuring luxurious decor and detailing such as custom-made beds, Egyptian cotton sheets, high-fidelity audio system, an always stocked mini bar, and of course, money-can’t-buy view points.
Aqua di Parma bathroom amenities are plentiful, adding a level of graciousness of the past moulded perfectly with the needs of today’s traveller.
Dinner reservations overlooking the Hotel’s magnificent grounds are a must; opt for the chef’s degustation meal which will take you on a Two Michelin Star culinary journey.
Helmed by head chef Stefano Baiocco – whose homemade pasta is among Italy’s best – dishes are created with a focus on local produce of the villa and region, and culinary traditions which date back to the Venetian Republic. Think artisan breads, pastries of the north and home-made gelato – all in the day at Villa Feltrinelli.
The secluded and carefully maintain property of Villa Feltrinelli gives guests the feeling of exclusivity and being in a world apart – a notion often rare in today’s day and age of hospitality and tourism.
The historical park has been fully restored to bring back the formal Italian gardens, as well as the olive grove and tiered lemon garden.
Roam the villa’s eight acres of native flora and beautiful shrubbery in blissful peace, letting all the world’s worries and stresses escape you.
Villa Feltrinelli is also a short walk into the town of Gargnano; a sail to the lake’s many charming ports; or a short drive to the historic towns of Verona, Bergamo, Trento and Mantova – the choice is yours.
To book your stay at Grand Hotel Villa Feltrinelli in the summer of 2019, please visit its website HERE
Imagery taken on the Olympus PEN-F