Villa Feltrinelli, Lake Garda

I’ve been excited to tell you about this place since the moment I stepped through its front doors.

Villa Feltrinelli is quite simply the most incredible place I have ever stayed.

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We arrived fresh from Verona in the late afternoon.

Greeted by the most charming staff who handed Julia and I posies of fresh flowers.

Our bags were whisked away and we raced up to claim our bedrooms.

Theirs looked over the lake, ours looked over the pool.

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A squishy bed, flanked by squishier chairs.

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A gorgeous bathroom, and a shower I could have held a conference in.

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With one last fleeting glance and the snow topped mountains, we raced off to explore the place.

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Built in 1892 by Faustino Feltrinelli’s sons, the Art Nouveau villa plays with light and space to wow as you turn every corner.

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Marble everywhere, frescos to make your heart sing, cosy corners to hide away in.

The rooms were fully booked (all 18 of them) and we still felt as though we had the place to ourselves.

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There are sitting rooms, drawing rooms, salons, smoking rooms, bars, all begging to be explored and each decorated more elaborately than the last.

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It feels as though you’re staying at a friends house, in the very best way possible.

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While the lake is still freezing – I can attest to this, as I leapt in from the dock.

Plunging into water just a few degrees off freezing is quite the eye opener!

But makes the warm, almost bath like pool feel all the more glorious.

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Every inch of the grounds are a photographer’s dream.

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There are pretty little lounge areas for guests to snuggle into with books and hot tea.

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White off the shoulder dress

Brown sandals // Tortoise shell glasses

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To add to the villa’s colourful history, Mussolini moved in from 1943 until 1945 and every big-wig since has spent a night here.

There are croquet lawns, 19th century lemon groves, ancient oak trees, olive groves, magnolia trees and a never ending supply of Italian ducks.

Just the place to while away an afternoon exploring the grounds!

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But back to that pool…

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While Julia and Thomas roamed the croquet lawn, my chap and I slipped into the pool, with a couple of cocktails.

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Bespoke Silver May aquamarine Sparkler Ring

Nibbles quickly followed, served by the ever present but seemingly invisible team of staff in crisp white jackets.

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We felt instantly very, very much at home.

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Black swimmer // Do Not Disturb hat

After a very long, extremely steamy shower we dressed and made our way downstairs for supper.

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Starting with lake side drinks by the light of the moon.

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Nothing but the sound of crickets singing and the gentle lapping of the lake against the pebbled shore.

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Followed by a satisfying pop and chilled champagne pouring into flutes.

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The restaurant has two Michelin stars, but doesn’t feel nearly as stuffy as you might think it would.

Julia and I sank into a fluffy sofa, our tables were tucked in and the boys sat across from us.

Course after course, cooked up by Stefano Baiocco who trained at El Bulli, materialized in front of us.

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Beautiful, exquisite dishes, the finest Italy has to offer – pastas, risottos, meats, veggies, fish.

There wasn’t a disappointment among them.

After a final drink in the bar, and one more stroll along the shore, we all went up to bed.

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The next morning breakfast was served beside the lake, with the day’s papers and a dizzying array of choices. From home made breads, to pastries, any juice you can imagine, and all sorts of cooked delights.

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We spent two nights at Villa Feltrinelli and they were two of the best I’ve ever had.

It is expensive, the cheapest rooms start at about a thousand euros. Dinner isn’t cheap, but you don’t need to have the full tasting menu experience, you could very easily have a bowl of risotto beside the fire and feel just as pleased.

But it really is the sort of place you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Make it happen!

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