|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
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A stately retreat poised 150 km from Florence, between Bologna and Ravenna
This gracious villa, owned for centuries by one of Italy´s oldest families, is set in wonderful gardens full of history, halfway between Bologna and Ravenna, in Emilia-Romagna. The Region of Emilia-Romagna lies to the north of Tuscany, stretching from the east coast to Liguria in the west and it is world-famous for its food - Parma ham, parmesan cheese, lasagna, tortellini, Bolognese sauce and balsamic vinegar are but a few examples of the region's rich culinary tradition. Its cities (Bologna, Modena, Parma, Ferrara, Ravenna, Piacenza, Rimini) have a heritage of medieval cathedrals, towers, castles and art treasures to explore. Bologna has no less than two leaning towers, a splendid opera house, Italy´s first university and an elegant arcaded shopping area. Opera lovers can follow in the footsteps of Verdi, one of the regions´ most famous sons. Visit the breath-taking Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna and the ceramics museum in Faenza. Car-lovers can visit the famous Ferrari factory of Maranello near Modena. Emilia-Romagna is synonymous with fabulous food and wine, renowned for its ceramics, mosaics, classical music, and it boasts a natural landscape of dramatic mountains giving way to gently rolling hills, parks and beaches. The nearest airport is Bologna. The lovely town of Imola is just 1 km from the villa: Imola has many cafes, bars and restaurants and an open-air market three mornings a week and a railway station. The historic centre has a wide range of interesting shops while there is also a modern shopping mall on the edge of the town.
Villa Gran Giardino is a rare example of an authentic Italian villa preserved in its entirety in a wonderful setting surrounded by gardens of major historic interest. This centuries-old estate consists of the main villa offered to you here, the estate parkland with its classical gardens, magical woodland inhabited by deer and pheasants, neighbouring vineyards producing the finest wines. The annexes include a farmhouse, orangery and a granary, as well as a private swimming pool and a tennis court - all set in 10 hectares of private land.
The park is featured in the list of Italy´s finest gardens and can be visited only by appointment. The gem of an estate, the Villa Gran Giardino is not open to the public, but those lucky enough to visit it renting it are entranced by the beauty of its interiors and the mystique that envelops it, making this estate and gardens the pride of the region. The villa is the perfect destination for groups who appreciate a spacious historic ambience in a secluded environment. Such famous Italian poets as Pascoli and Carducci used to visit the family of the owner a century ago, as well as important political personalities. And more recently, one of the crowned heads of Europe was a private guest of the owner, a descendant of one of Italys noblest families whose members have played many an important role in the history of the nation.
Please note: The property can every now and then held wedding ceremonies in a former lemon house (about 80 m away from the villa), which usually take place on a Saturday or Sunday.
The origins of this house date back to the 15th century. Originally it was a Renaissance tower, which was transformed into a villa during the 18th century. It is elegantly laid out, over two floors, the rooms leading off, on each floor, from an imposing central hallway, decorated with delightful frescos in pale green and blue pastel shades, depicting romantic landscapes. Each floor measures approximately 350 square metres - a total of 700 m2 of living space. There are 5 bedrooms, all with views over the garden, and 4 bathrooms. The rooms are large and comfortable with authentic period furnishings and decor. 2 or 3 further bedrooms with bathrooms can be opened at additional charge in a dependance.
You may be aware that comparable houses have, almost without exception, been converted into self-catering establishments or hotels, and the scourge of modernisation has all too often stripped them of all their unique historical ambience and style, rendering them sadly anonymous. The property offered here has escaped such depredations as it has always been privately run by the family, thus retaining its authentic atmosphere. Villa Gran Giardino remains utterly unspoilt with all its original furnishings intact, giving you the chance to experience life as it may have been in the 18th century.
This is the place to embark on a voyage back in time, to long-gone eras and other worlds. You will find the warm glow of seasoned terracotta floors, one spacious room leading on to the next, gracious halls giving way to elegant drawing rooms, paintings adorning many a wall. The villa is completely furnished with antiques all in perfect keeping with the period and, as you sink into one of the many comfortable sofas, you will drift right back into the past. Then the gardens will beckon you, just a step or two away, the perfect setting for a romantic stroll with your beloved among the roses and fragrant lavender.
The gardens through history
At the entrance of the park you will admire a long avenue of cypresses. At the end two alleys surrounded by woodland climb softly the hill, concealing romantic glades. A tree alley crosses the so called "Prato dei Cedri", an important collection of cedars. Slightly further you will find a garden full of fragrant plants, at least 19 varieties of lavender. Far from this collection, we are attracted by a little double boxwood maze, laid out after the Second World War to replace an older one destroyed in those years.
A little further on, at a turn, you will be captured by the attractive sight of the villa (an ancient tower-palace) in the background. You will be struck too by the late 18th century Italian garden, with its classical geometrical lay-out of box hedges and flower beds, punctuated by stone elegant plinths surmounted by stone pyramids green with moss - at the end two remarkable stone dolphins. The deep green of the hedges creates a delightful contrast with the delicate pink of the Bengala roses, whose presence reminds the garden's 18th century origins. These roses were cherished by Maria Pasolini Ponti, the well known author of studies on garden history and a passionate botanist too, who grew them also under cypresses and in a smaller Italian parterre set harmoniously in front of the old orangerie`s elegant wide windows. It is one of the few still remaining in Romagna, and still protects in winter a rich collection of lemon trees in ancient terracotta earthware pots.
The other route through the woods reaches at the top a wide lovely space: at the horizon the blue Appenines, quite near the plain and not so far away the coast (50 km). On one side a cypress avenue leads through the fields to the "Belvedere dei Tigli" (line grove). On the other side the "Viale delle Lavande e dei Pini" (avenue of lavender and pines), lined by Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula vera, Lavandula Spica and several other varieties, all collected, through generations, by the same family so as to form a fragrant border around the gardens, the fields, the villa and the vineyards in a harmonious unity.
We can stop too in the Italian kitchen-garden, usually a most appreciated corner in the history of the gardens. Its design gives order and perspective to the family vineyards and fields. As you stroll among the pathways through the fields under the shade of ancient oaks and cypresses, you can appreciate the beauty of the famous vineyards full of the most noble grape varieties: Albana, Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet and Sauvignon. At the far end of the park the "Belvedere dei Cipressi" is the best stop to rest and to see the entire view of the propriety: quite near the plain, after the valley, not far beyond, the Appenines seem near in their blue shade full of poetry.
The surrounding area
The unique beauty of the estate lies in the utter peace of its setting in such tranquil, timeless gardens that have survived the centuries intact, yet it is only a stone's throw from the charming little town of Imola and a short drive to the art treasures of some of Italy´s most historic cities:
3 km Imola:
a picturesque old town with charming churches and houses. Visit the Palazzo Tozzoni and the ceramics factory and shop. Imola has a railway station and good connections to Bologna and Ravenna.
5 km Castel San Pietro Terme:
a popular spa town with a superb golf course and excellent restaurants.
5 km Riolo Terme:
a popular spa town with a superb golf course and excellent restaurants.
16 km Faenza:
a picturesque old town with a world-famous ceramics museum and factory.
30 km Bologna:
home to Italy´s first university, a magnificent art gallery, archaeological museum and elegant arcaded shopping area.
50 km Ravenna:
breath-taking Byzantine mosaics, the world's finest outside Istanbul. Excellent restaurants.
70 km Adriatic sea with sandy beaches:
12 km of glorious sandy beaches and a lovely sea. Visit the Milano Marittima pine woods with excellent restaurants and one of the finest golf courses in Italy (approx. 50 minutes driving time).
80 km Rimini:
an international playground with great beaches and such famous buildings as Tempio Malatestiano - a rare example of Renaissance architecture with some amazing Renaissance masterpieces.
100 km Urbino:
a beautiful old town, the Palazzo Ducale and a number of churches are well worth a visit.
Venice, Florence and Padua:
just over 2 ½ hours´ drive away.
1 entrance hall
1 large hallway decorated with frescos
1 living room with fireplace
1 dining room with fireplace
1 fully equppied kitchen
1 guest cloakroom
2 bathrooms (one with shower, one with tub) located between the ground floor and the upper floor
1 large hallway decorated with frescos
1 double bedroom with en suite bathroom with tub
2 double bedrooms
1 double bedroom (two single beds pushed together) with en suite bathroom with shower
1 double bedroom (two single beds pushed together)
1 bathroom with shower
Italian garden with hedges and flower beds
Al fresco dining area with seating for 10 people (tables to seat a group up to 16 people)
Swimming pool 13 x 6 metre
Pool furniture and towels
Tennis court (artificial surface)
Parking space for several cars
2 or even 3 extra double bedrooms each with bathroom are available in a dependance.
Rented additionally a total of 14-16 people can be accommodated. The dining table in the house and in the garden seat 15-16 people.
Halfway between Bologna and Ravenna, 1 km from the lovely town of Imola.
1 entrance hall, 2 large hallways, 1 living room, 1 dining room, 1 kitchen, 1 guest cloakroom, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms.
2 or 3 extra double bedrooms each with bathroom are available in a dependance.
Fireplaces, satellite TV, Internet WIFI connection, CD-stereo, large fridge with freezer, two 4-ring gas hobs, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, lift from ground floor to upper floor, outdoor area for al fresco dining, garden, pool, tennis court, parking.
A historically furnished 18th century villa with the charm and poetry of yesterday. Located inside a wonderful garden with private pool, tennis court, garden views and close to a lovely town. Splendid starting point for day trips to many well-known destinations such as Ravenna, Faenza, Ferrara and Bologna.
Horseback riding 1 km
Bike rental 1 km
Golf course 5 km
Castel San Pietro (hot spas) 5 km
Milano Marittima with excellent sea resorts, lovely and spacious sandy beaches and pine woods 50 km highway plus 20 km normal road
Bed, bath and kitchen linens, water, electricity, gas, some hours of house cleaning, final cleaning, pool cleaning service for the private pool, use of the tennis court, garden maintenance. Should you have rented the villa for more than 1 week, the linen will be changed on Saturday.
Rent does not include
Security deposit, wood for fireplace.
A family reunion.
Information about extra services are available on request upon arrival on the premises:
Security deposit, wood for fireplace to be paid in euros on the premises:
Two extra double bedrooms (each with private bathroom) are available in a dependance on special request upon booking. Extra charge if maximum capacity PAX 10 is exceeded to be paid when booking:
Bed, bath and kitchen linens, water, electricity, gas, Internet WIFI connection, some hours of house cleaning, final cleaning, pool cleaning service for the private pool, use of the tennis court (to be requested upon booking), garden maintenance all included in the price. Should you have rented the villa for more than 1 week, the linen will be changed on Saturday.
Reservations from Saturday to Saturday only.
Availability only during the above mentioned dates.
No central heating available.
Pool size: 13 x 6 m / opening dates: beginning June - end of September. Pool towels are provided.
Tennis court opening dates: beginning June - end of September (the use is to be requested upon booking).
For bookings with more than 3 children please inquire.
Baby bed with linen available: free of charge.
Pets not allowed.
Extra domestic help: please check price on the premises.
Extra set of linen during the week: please check price on the premises.
Typical meal on your first evening, after a long trip.
Cook for dinner during the week: prices depending on the menu.
Security deposit: EUR 1500.
Wood for fireplace: please check prices on the premises, fireplace can be lightened only by the staff.
EUR 400 per week per double bedroom with bathroom.
Imola old town and shops 3 km
Imola railway station 4 km
Riolo Terme 5 km
Castel San Pietro 5 km
Faenza 16 km
Bologna 30 km
Ravenna 50 km
Milano Marittima sandy beaches 50 km highway plus 20 km normal road
Rimini 100 km
Urbino 100 km
Florence 130 km
Padua 130 km
Venice 150 km
*Plus compulsory or optional charges based on actual occupancy or consumption. The payment has to be made in the currency offered by the property manager, before use of conversion tool. Payments in other currencies have to be negotiated beforehand with the property manager. The currency conversion tool is provided for your convenience only and is non-binding.