Large historical house in stunning rural setting
From $254 / night
Description from the owner
Description from the owner
L'Antico Palazzo is a deceptively large, rustic stone house situated in Villa Bonicelli, a picturesque and peaceful hamlet in the beautiful Emilia-Romagnan countryside. It sleeps up to 10 people comfortably, making it ideal for families or groups of friends. It can be rented as a stand-alone property or in conjunction with one or both of our other properties: La Stalla, a barn conversion located next door to L'Antico Palazzo and which sleeps two people; and Casa Vigneto, a three-bedroom house just a couple of minutes' walk away, across a small vineyard.
An outdoor swimming pool (3m x 9m) with stunning mountain views is located behind L'Antico ...Read more
About the owner
About the owner
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Large historical house in stunning rural setting Toano, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Additional Location Information
In the immediate vicinity the river Dolo, which is in places deep enough to bathe, is on your doorstep and there are some spectacular walks that can be enjoyed directly from your front door. There's also a wealth of wildlife to observe – sharp-eyed guests might spot woodpeckers in the forest, deer in the fields and birds of prey circling over the mountains.
This area is extremely popular with walkers, cyclists and bikers due to the stunning mountainous scenery. There are many marked walking routes that can be picked up from Villa Bonicelli, from the river or from the nearby hamlet of Castagnola, including one that takes you across a Tibetan-style rope bridge (see photo). There is also an excellent Via Ferrata that enables less experienced climbers to access some of the more dramatic routes usually only accessible to the expert mountaineer! About 30 min away is the Pietra di Bismantova, a magnificent sandstone plateau over 1,000m high. It is a climbers' paradise, with about fifty routes and climbing variants. Guided treks, half-day climbing lessons etc at Bismantova can be arranged – please contact us for more information. The Parco del Gigante, one of the largest parks in Emilia, is great for walking and horse riding.
Quara, a village a short drive away (approx 3km), has a bakery, mini market, butcher, café etc. In the opposite direction, Farneta offers similar facilities and is a 10-minute drive away. Both places also have a restaurant. Indeed, for those who wish to sample the local cuisine, there are plenty of restaurants and pizzerias to choose from.
We have a partnership with the restaurant in Farneta and can offer tailor-made cooking courses there on request (advance booking essential). It's a fantastic experience that comes highly recommended - our guests have said that it was one of the highlights of their holiday. For an alternative foodie experience, look no further than our local Parmesan producer in Quara to learn all about - and taste - the best Parmesan around! Get there early to see the artisans at work. If you would like a guided tour, Polly our property manager can come along (if available) to translate for you.
Throughout summer and autumn there are 'feste' being held most weekends in one or other of the local villages, with the focus of the celebrations ranging from wine and beer to chestnuts, mushrooms and truffles, not to mention various obscure saints! In early August, nearby Monzone hosts a motorcross/quad bike show, with races, freestyle jumping shows etc that kids (big and little) will love!
The town of Toano (approx 7km) has a good selection of bars, pizzerias, shops etc and is also home to one of the best preserved Roman churches in the Appenines. It also has a lovely outdoor swimming pool, which is open during the school holidays (early June to early September).
Emilia Romagna is one of Italy's most prosperous regions and is famed for its culinary delights, making it an ideal destination for food lovers. Among other things, it is home to fresh pasta (tortellini, tortelloni...), ragù sauce, Parma ham, Parmesan cheese and traditional balsamic vinegar as well as Lambrusco, which is a light and very drinkable sparkling red.
L'Antico Palazzo is very well placed for a day trip to any of the four main cities in Emilia Romagna, all of which are worth a visit. The ancient Roman town of Reggio Emilia is 50km away. Modena (60km) is a thriving city whose Duomo is considered one of the greatest examples of European Romanesque architecture and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parma, one of the most affluent towns in Italy, is 70km away. Bologna, the region's capital city, is a real delight, with its characteristic red-brick buildings and its over 40km of covered porticos (useful in bad weather). It is also home to the oldest university in Europe, founded in 1088, earning it one of its nicknames, La Dotta (The Learned). Also known as La Grassa (The Fat), Bologna takes its food very seriously; in fact, it is considered by many to be the food capital of Italy.
This area is a car and motorbike enthusiast's dream come true - Lamborghini (Dosso, nr Ferrara), Ferrari (Maranello), Maserati and Ducati (near Bologna) all have their factories and museums in the region.
Also within easy reach, just over the Tuscan border, are Castiglione di Garfagnana (officially 'One of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy') and the larger Castelnuovo di Garfagnana (both 1.5hrs approx). It is possible to see both in a day, and it's a spectacular drive. For day-trips slightly further afield, a day at the seaside can be enjoyed at La Spezia or Lerici, both about two hours away – and don't miss the Cinque Terre, five beautiful cliff-top villages dotted along the rugged Ligurian coastline that can only be reached by foot or by train. They're charming and surprisingly unspoilt, thanks to their UNESCO status. Alternatively, head to the Adriatic coast to the legendary resort of Rimini, with its 15km of sandy beaches (2.5hrs approx). The Tuscan town of Lucca, around 2 hours away, is well worth a visit. The centre, still enclosed within Renaissance walls, boasts lovely churches and great restaurants. If you're prepared for an early start, trips to Mantova, Verona, Florence, Pisa and even Venice are also possible.
For those looking for a winter break, there are several excellent ski resorts – Cerreto Laghi, Cimone/Sestola and Abetone – that can be reached from Villa Bonicelli in little over an hour, depending of course on driving conditions. Contact us for more details.
Golf: There are several good golf courses within an hour's drive of the house, including the 18-hole San Valentino Golf Club in Castellarano (approx 45 min), which is surrounded by over 130 hectares of woodland and green pastures and boasts 4 lakes; and the Matilde di Canossa golf club near the town of Reggio Emilia.
There is off-road parking available to the front of the house.
You will be met on arrival by the property manager, Polly, who will be able to help you with any specific queries before and during your stay.
For more information about the house and the area, please search for Cool Retreats.
More About This Location
Mountain nearby, Rural retreats
Nearest airport: Bologna, Parma, 60.02 miles
Nearest train station: Modena, 40.02 miles
Car is essential