Swimming pool, garden, terraces, mountain views, 10km to BO-FI motorway.
- English, French, Italian
About Ruth Hodkinson
We probably watched too many 'buy a ruin and do it up ' television programmes, but that's what we chose to do, left the city and now we live most of the year in the community of this small mountain village. Ruth, an architect by profession, was born and educated in London, UK. Andrea is Bolognese and is a Restaurant food company director. We have two daughters and a son. We like good food, wine and when not travelling, at least planning and discussing the next trip!
Ruth Hodkinson purchased this House in 2005
Why Ruth Hodkinson chose Grizzana Morandi
Beautiful, stylish, comfortable and well-equipped, historic, stone buildings. New, modern convenience but with architectural character where you can relax and enjoy yourselves. Situated in a safe, peaceful village with friendly locals and very helpful hosts next door! Lovely swimming pool and plenty of space for al fresco dining, sun bathing or just reading a book in the garden. Only 12 minutes to the closest motorway exit which is between Bologna and Florence so very well-located for daytrips all over Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, even as far as Venice. The perfect combination of cultural visits to a variety of important Art Cities, or more low-key trips locally, by day, then coming back to your beautiful 6Stanco apartment each evening to cooler, balmier temperatures, after a sometimes stiflingly-hot, inner-city visit in mid-summer, with no need for air-con here, breath-taking sunsets across the Reno valley, less noise than the bustling towns and cities and easy parking! Unforgettably fantastic holidays!
What makes this House unique
Our complimentary, weekly, summer dinners under the ancient grapevine in the company of the other interesting guests. If desired, your kids may well find similar aged playmates. Evening animated by master funster, Andrea. Relaxing in a private homestead and garden, rather than a huge impersonal complex, with the lovely pool. Regional cookery, English, Yoga, Painting, Massage, Horse-riding and Ceramics courses can be offered: We run English language courses in June and September, Ceramics is available if requested in advance and dates confirmed with local potter. Johann Rosenboom runs a Painting Course every September. The local 'Nel Castagneto' restaurant runs a regional cookery demonstration course if requested ahead of time, usually a Tuesday afternoon, throughout the summer. Hatha Yoga sessions available down in Pian di Setta. Massage can be organized, if requested at the time of your booking. Our shared, inside- knowledge of the best places to visit in this relatively un-tourist-trodden area, plus what to avoid when you day-trip further afield.
Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund.
This is a lovely place to either stay and relax - or stay and explore the wider area. We did both.
Ruth and her husband Andrea are very welcoming hosts. We were lucky to arrive at the time of community festivities and made welcome by the local community. Sunset by the pool or on the small terrace adjacent to Olimpia was a lovely way to end a day. The villa is well appointed. Only slight niggles are that the internet is slow at times and I don’t like paying ‘extras’ - would rather cleaning and pool towels were included in the price.
We were delighted to meet this very interesting, cultured group of great travellers who were very well organised to visit many of the best sites and places to see from here.
Very happy you came to the village pizza evening and to our weekly summer guest dinner and thanks for bringing wine! As stated clearly on our insertion, being on the foothills of the Apennine mountains, our locality does not have city speed- internet connection, but we do offer guests complimentary wifi connection - our own connection - at the speed that we have to run our business all year long. Almost half our guests elect to do their own final cleaning so we're not planning to obligate all our guests to have to opt for a final cleaning service: Those who have chosen to take up this service, (when we call in a cleaner), have so far all been happier to have had the flexibility to decide on it and pay for it, once here, so avoiding the increased Homeway service charge that this would have incurred, had it been chosen and included with the online booking. Almost all of our guests bring their own pool towels; We supply two bathroom towels for interior use, per guest, but started charging for pool towels for outdoor use, when some guests abandoned them outside, so as to be impossible to properly clean for other guests or irrevocably damaged them with tar, when they took them to particular beaches. However, we're taking note of your points and would alter our routines should more guests make similar comments. Thank you, also for flagging up the chair breakage before your departure. Very best regards to fab Aussies, Ruth
This is the third time we’ve stayed at 6Stanco ... and we come back for good reason. Ruth, our host, delivers an outstanding service. She’s completely in the background unless you need something - then she’s right there, sorting it for you if you need help. For example, my husband is a wheelchair user and we wanted to use the local train to Florence (only an hour away, incidentally - I’ll come on to location next...). She got up incredibly early and escorted us to the station, helping us load the train with husband, wheelchair and 2 kids (I could manage myself!). She and her husband host a meal with all the residents each week (villa & 2 loft apartments) which is lovely - they speak fluent French, Italian (obviously) and English. They also do a bit of German & Dutch.
6Stanco is positioned LITERALLY perfectly for exploring so many parts of northern Italy. Bologna (where we usually fly in to) is 40 mins away (and as stunning as Florence, in our view), Modena (worth it just for the authentic balsamic), Ravenna, Parma, Pisa, Ferrara and, of course, Florence are easily doable as a day trip.
You won’t find more stunning views across the border in Tuscany...we don’t think, anyway. There are two fab restaurants within walking distance of the property and they’re very reasonably priced too. If you want to stay in, the villa has its own patio with STUNNING sunset views. It also had a full kitchen with many basics included for your use (who wants to buy a bottle of olive oil or condiments on holiday??) it even has fresh filter coffee waiting for you in the fridge (alongside the bottle of Prosecco). The loft apartments also have cooking facilities and a shared large patio - you can even use a BBQ.
We’ve always had a really good time with the other guests - but you can keep yourself to yourself too, if you prefer. The pool is plenty big enough for all the guests, but is often free during the day as many people go visiting the numerous cities and towns on day trips. So if you fancy an indulgent rest one day, you’re likely to have peace & quiet.
We’ll be back again - we can’t imagine a better place to spend quality family time together...and we’ve done a decent amount of travelling over the years.
You need to hire a car to get to places, but you won’t be disappointed - be ready to experience the best of italy!
Wonderful family holiday location
As a family of 6, we stayed in the Olimpia house at 6Stanco in July 2018. It was very clean, spacious and really well equipped with a washing machine, dishwasher, cooking utensils and books for example. The owners Ruth and Andreas were very helpful and welcoming.
Our children had hours of fun in the great pool, trampoline and spacious cool play room. The WiFi was excellent supporting many devices at once, our family really tested the bandwidth!
With lovely views all around it felt like we were on top of the world.
The local pizza night was lovely, with tasty pizza and a friendly community.
Great location for Etruscan heritage, WW2 history, and visits to Florence, Bologna, and the Lamborghini and Ferrari museums.
Fab pizza in Bambu in Vergato and lovely meal in Nel Castagneto. Superb in every way.
The B family.
Many thanks for your review; it was a pleasure to meet your family. Thanks also for fixing our bike and glad that you were able to make use of it and meet us on the local Etruscan walk! Over your two-week stay, you organised the right balance of day trips to Bologna, Florence and local places of interest, interspersed with relaxed days hanging out by the pool - so keeping every member of your family happy! We have your daughter's painting in pride of place! Thanks!
In an old italian hillside village, this is a wonderul place to stay.
What a great holiday in the clean fresh hillside air. But it was still hot too, so the pool and its loungers were so inviting. We stayed in Olimpia, an excellent house and very comfortable with its old world feel of stone wall and wooden beams. The furnishings are attractive and it all bears testimony to Ruth's architectural design skills. She is very helpful indeed.
We so enjoyed the terrace for al fresco eating, the peace, the birds flying, the starry skies and those beautifully surprising fireflies which drift around like mini flashing torchlights. It is all only a short car ride to the train station for Florence, Bologna and beyond. We recommend this very highly indeed.
We enjoyed a very relaxing week at this property. The accommodation was of a very high standard with thoughtful touches like basic commodities, a bottle of wine, soap in the bathroom etc. The owners hosted a fabulous evening of food, drink and great company for all the people staying on their site. They were very friendly and helped out with queries about our excursions whenever we asked. Ruth in particular was around all week and often to be seen, making catching up with queries seem effortless. There were lots of local places and activities that she was able to advise on and help with organising too. We were a group of 5 adults and the accommodation was spacious as well as comfortable (we were in the 6 person accommodation next to the swimming pool). We would definitely recommend a stay at this location.
Stunning property, views & location for exploring the region
This is the 2nd time we've stayed at 6Stanco and we've booked again for next year - this, from the family who have never visited the same place twice!
The reasons are clear:
- the property (Olimpia) is clean, fantastically well equipped and has plenty of space. There's no need to go straight to the supermarket and buy everything - it's all there, including peripherals that you normally make do without. The pool is great - a good size and clean and much needed after a day out
- the host, Ruth, is utterly brilliant. Nothing is too much trouble but you wouldn't notice she's there unless you needed her. She works relentlessly to keep the place spotless and when nature takes it course (i.e. No rain for months, leading to a momentary shortage) they ensured that the guests had everything possible so we barely noticed (disposable plates, lots of bottled water...) also note that Andrea (Ruth's husband) also endured all of the elderly people in the village had plenty of water too - a measure of their good standing.
- the location is stunningly beautiful and also a near-perfect base for so many places. Bologna, Modena, Ferrari museum, Ducatti museum are all very close, with Florence, Siena, Piza etc all within reach for a day trip. You can even get up early and make it to the Rimini coast & back if you're so inclined. We've been kept occupied for 2 weeks so far and still have so much more to do next year, including re-visiting the places we loved. You won't be bored, that's for sure.
Finally, for those whom this fact is important - my husband is disabled, with limited mobility. The Olimpia property has a full downstairs bedroom & bathroom (so our daughter got the 4 poster upstairs!) we spoke to Ruth before our first visit and she was more than happy to send photos and discuss individual requirements.
Brilliant in every way
Between Bologna and Florence there are now two motorways to choose from. Our exit 'Rioveggio', lies on the Firenze - Rioveggio PANORAMICO branch not the new DIRETTISSIMA Firenze -Badia branch - which you should avoid.
The village of Stanco, GPS coordinates: n44d 14,790; e11d 08,200: is at an altitude of 600m and lies on the southern slope of Monte Stanco, offering wonderful panoramic views towards Tuscany and spectacular terrain for hiking or cycling. Only a ten minute walk away is the pretty medieval village of Stanco di Sotto, followed by the Pegasus Riding stables which offers great pony-treks or walks in the paddock for beginners. The town of Grizzana is on the boundary of the Regional Historical Park of Monte Sole, also home to wild boar, red deer, fallow deer & hare. There are specific Hunting seasons.
The museum-house of the painter, Giorgio Morandi, exhibiting some paintings in his summer studio, is at the ‘Fienili del Campiaro’ on the outskirts of Grizzana where there is also the restaurant of the same name. In Grizzana the Trattoria at Bar Pina serves lunch everyday. Most sophisticated 'haute cuisine' restaurant called 'Il Sambuco al Sole' is on the way to Campolo.
Immediately to the south of Stanco are Montovolo & Monte Vigese in the Provincial Park of Montovolo. At Riola ponte, not to be missed is the recently renovated and opened, fascinating, eclectic castle of ROCCHETTA MATTEI. On the way to Monteacuto Ragazza, a 5 minute drive then 10 minute walk, is the site where Etruscan bronze statuettes were recovered, now housed in the Archaeological museum of Bologna. A 25 minute drive away lies the intact, medieval village of Scola with ancient Cypress tree, en route to the Church Sanctuary at the top of Montovolo. Beyond lies the Regional Park of Lakes Suviana and Brasimone, good for picnics and splashing around, then the Regional Park of Corno alle Scale. Good 'outlet shopping' three exits south on the A1 motorway at Barberino di Mugello, in Tuscany.
Other Activities: Southern end of Suviana lake pedalo rental and picnic area. Vidiciatico leisure pool with beautiful view. Guglielmo Marconi laboratory & museum
Golf: 'Molino del Pero' 18- hole Golf Course at Monzuno, approximately 25km from 6Stanco and about 30 minutes by car.
Ski: 'Corno alle scale' ski resort lies just above Vidiciatico, in the Bologna area, deeper into the Apennine range. It takes almost an hour to reach by car from 6stanco but is a beautiful journey with postcard views. You can buy day passes at the booths on the slopes and rent equipment too.
Marzabotto: 30mins drive to Kainua, the Etruscan site, now with small intimate museum of Etruscan and Greek artefacts and temple ruins on the acropolis and tombs in the necropolis.
Riola di Vergato. Sole Architectural work in Italy of Alvar Aalto's Church. Modern but spiritual. The Rocchetta Mattei; 19th century magical castle / Neo-Medieval - Gothic-Moorish folly with references to the Alhambra plus some Russian minarets thrown in, on the original site of a medieval look-out tower from times of Matilde of Canossa.
Labante, Protected natural site; Spring water and waterfall which has over time deposited an amazing rock formation and grottoes
Local towns worth visiting: Castiglione dei Pepoli, Porretta Terme and Castel di Casio. A lot of the architectural heritage of Vergato and Sasso Marconi was lost during the second World War.