|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
Dragodena is a private 15th century Italian stone farmhouse for rent with Wi-Fi, large salon, fully equipped kitchen, 6 beautiful bedrooms, a private nearby pool, outdoor shower, tranquil outside dinning, and a panoramic view of the fields and forests of the Apennine Hills. Located in a small hilltop borgo, Dragodena offers wonderful day hikes, local museums, world class cycling, and excellent nearby restaurants, The isolated and dominant position of this medieval farm house guarantees total privacy and complete tranquility for a completely relaxing vacation, retreat, rehearsal, or wedding party. Located between Florence and Bologna, Dragodena is an excellent rental base for exploratory day trips to both central and northern Italy from Bologna, Modena, Florence, Sienna, and Prato to La Spezia, Pisa, Portofino, Rimini, Verona, and Venice. With 4088 square feet of space (380 square meters), Dragodena is the perfect place for a large group of friends, a family reunion, seminars, rehearsals, cooking classes, for dreaming. It is a refuge for those seeking to be far away from the maddening crowd.
Across the small country lane is Dragodena's Rehearsal/Wedding/Dance/Seminar Hall and Artists residence. Originally the hay barn and cow stalls it has been transformed into a spacious (6m X 12m) hall excellent for theatrical, dance, movement, musical rehearsals, and seminars. It is also an ideal place to hold a wedding reception with room for up to a 100 guests. It is an excellent place to give seminars of almost any kind. Below the hall are the renovated stalls which act as an artists residence. Each of 5 stalls have been turned into a small room. There is a long dining room table, couches, chairs and tables for creative and in-depth discussion. The stalls have a bathroom and a kitchen.
Dragodena's clients have the exclusive use of a private pool located at nearby Agriturismo La Fenice. One can get there on foot or by car. The pool is well appointed with chaise lounges, tables, and chairs. La Fenice also has a bar and a small restaurant so that you can order drinks or food poolside. It is a great place to be in the hot summer months with the kids or friends and after you can walk home through the woods or by car, passing through the nearby village of Tolè.
Dragodena can also provide, if wanted, chef Maurizio Sterchele. Maurizio grew up behind a plow pulled by a horse, not that he's old. He is, however, a most amazing Italian cook. Taught by his grandparents and his mother, Chef Sterchele is now a treasure trove of authentic Italian recipes. Chef Sterchele uses only seasonal ingredients and spices. Chef Sterchele specializes in cooking alla bracia, over an open fire. He can show you how to you use Dragodena's unusual indoor wood oven while making the best pizza you've ever had. You can go with Chef Sterchele to the markets to buy what will be undoubtably a sumptuous meals.If asked, Chef Sterchele will also teach you his recipes and give you lessons so that you can make these rare meals yourself. If you and your friends or family want to eat a most amazing meal every time and never repeated please ask for Chef Maurizio Sterchele.
During the summer Dragodena has two outside spaces for outdoor dining, or taking in the morning sun. Dinner is usually eaten under the cherry trees on green grass surrounded by an ancient stone wall. On the south side of the house is a place for morning coffee and pastry. Nearby is the outside shower, wonderful on a hot summer day.
Dragodena has a storied past reaching back 600 years. Both a farm house and a small fortress it has seen battle on its fields over the many centuries until WWII when it was requisitioned by the German Army and used as a base. After the war Dragodena was shut up with everything in it until 2007 when it was sold to its present owner, Paul Magid, founder of the world renowned Flying Karamazov Brothers. That it was virtuly untouched for over 60 years is what sets Dragodena apart as the a unique vacation rental property for those who want the true Italian country experience.
I am a theatre director, playwright and founding member of The Flying Karamazov Brothers and the New Old Time Chautauqua. I have had my work played on Broadway, London's West End, in theatres around the world.
Paul Magid purchased this farmhouse in 2007
I was looking for a home in Italy that was authentic. I searched for a long while for an Italian home that had been untouched by a modern renovation. I was also looking for an area that was in the Apennine Hills that was a bit isolated but shared the look and feel of Tuscany but was an area as yet undiscovered . This house had been closed since WW2 but the last owners had kept the roof in good condition. Inside was a museum, a dusty museum, but a place that remained as much as it had been since it was built in the early 15th century. The rolling hills, the beautiful meadows and forests captured my imagination.
The interplay of medieval architecture combined with the conservative renovation offers a unique environment for a peaceful respite surrounded by 600 years of accumulated beauty. My aesthetic in bringing this house into the present century was to solve each problem, as the original inhabitants had done before me, by using the materials at hand.
When I bought the house there were no bathrooms, the electricity was pre-war, the cantina had been a stable and chicken coop with much of the floor was dirt.
I used stone found in the area. I made most of the beds from found beams and wood. The bathroom sinks rest on ancient shutters, the shower curtains are held up by barrel straps found in the house.
The outdoor shower in the afternoon sun as one views the rolling meadows is to die for. Having an outdoor lunch under the cherry trees surrounded by medieval stone architecture amidst the songs of birds and the sound of rustling leaves is to travel back in time.
Being with your friends and or family in a place that is both aesthetically and naturally beautiful adds to unique and memorable nature of such a gathering.
My wife and I loved our two week stay in this magnificent 600 year old house. It provided a perfect combination of rustic charm and modern convenience. This huge house served as our home base for our adventures throughout the region, and it was always wonderful to return to this peaceful retreat via the winding hilly roads. The landscape all around is breathtaking with wonderful little villages near-by. We can't wait to return to Italy and would definitely come back to this special place.
You can drive to Dragodena but it is not easily found on google maps. From the Bologna airport take the Tangenziale towards Caselecchio. Then follow directions for Tole and exit on to SS 26. If the owner is there, in Tolè take a right off SS26 following the signs for Zocca. Drive exactly3.5 kilometers (do not follow sign to S. Croce). Take a left at the driveway and then a left into the borgo. On your right will be a house with a tower, followed by two houses on the left, the next house on the right, as you head downhiil, is your destination. It has blue-green doors.
If you arrive when the owner is not there you must drive to Agriturismo, La Fenice, to get the keys. This means driving to Tole and continue through and after several kilometers make a right towards La Roca di Rufano. Drive for 2 kilometers and turn into the driveway of Agriturismo, La Fenice, where you will be met. From here you will be guided to Dragodena.
Restaurants - The area is filled with local restaurants, trattorias, osterias, pizzarias and agriculturismos. We recommend Agriturismo La Fenice, Osteria Santa Lucia and La Fogna.
During the fall this is one most coveted areas in which truffles are found. For a fraction of a what they cost anywhere else you can buy locally found truffles at Bortalani's Alimentari. This is also an area famous for it ricottas and parmegiano - go to Caseificio Bortalani for what some consider the best ricotta to be found in Italy.
Mountain Biking and hiking right from the house in Dragodena itself is a wonderful experience. There are many trails to choose from. Bikers come from all over the word to wheel the trails and roads of the Apennines. Dragodena is the perfect base for a bicycle group.
There are many museums in the area little known elsewhere. There is the Chestnut museum in nearby Lamè and a museum dedicated to the battles of WWII in various small towns in the area.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable Damage Deposit||£203|
Downpayment / Deposit requested. Security deposit requested. Supplement for heating depending on the season. Discount depending on length of stay
* Approximate monthly price. Actual pricing will depend on the days of the month you stay.