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.
Our Guests Reviews
We rented the Villa Gran Giardino for a fortnight in August and had a wonderful holiday there.
A. Poli, November 2016
Sehr geehrte Frau Röhrig,
nach unserem einwöchigen Aufenthalt in Villa Gran Giardino sind wir wieder wohlbehalten nach Hause zurückgekehrt. Das Haus wird der Beschreibung auf Ihrer Internetseite wirklich gerecht - es ist ein wunderschönes Objekt. Wir haben uns alle dort sehr wohl gefühlt und die herrliche Lage und Stille sehr genossen. Der Park ist zauberhaft, Imola ist romantisch, die Küche der Emilia-Romagna ein Hochgenuß, und das Wetter war wunderbar! Haben Sie also noch mal vielen Dank - wir haben Ihre Website bereits weiterempfohlen.
T. König, Oktober 2014
Wir sind sehr zufrieden mit der Villa Gran Giardino. Wir wurden gut empfangen und es war alles OK, wir werden wieder hinfahren.
G. Rainer, Juni 2014
Left on Nov 10, 2011 for a stay in Oct 2011
We so enjoyed our stay at the Villa Gran Giardino. The contessa and her staff were so welcoming, the weather was wonderful, the house was fascinating and we had a memorable week. Highly recommended.
HOLIDAY HOME AMENITIES
- Pool: 6 x 13m
- Pool area is gated
- Air conditioning in the 5 bedrooms of the villa
- Internet WIFI connection
- Satellite TV
- Large fridge with freezer
- Two 4 ring gas hobs
- Washing machine
- Lift from ground floor to upper floor
- Outdoor area for al fresco dining
- Ping pong table
- Tennis court (use to be requested upon booking)
A small elevator suitable for 2 people brings from the ground floor of the villa into the upper floor (the use of the lift must be requested when booking). No disabled facilities are provided. Please note that the entrance has one outdoor step leading from the garden level into the ground floor of the villa.
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
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
Please note: the Google Maps are only approximative, the exact address will be given after finalized booking.
Choose your holiday home
Villa Gran Giardino
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 6m
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.
24 Aug 2019 - 28 Sep 2019
4890 EUR €
5790 EUR €
Weekly rates in €
|Villa Gran Giardino||04 May 2019 - 22 Jun 2019
24 Aug 2019 - 28 Sep 2019
|22 Jun 2019 - 24 Aug 2019
Villa Gran Giardino
10+6 PAX 10
|4890 EUR €||5790 EUR €||Calendar||Request BookingVilla Gran Giardino|
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- Bed, bath and kitchen linens
- Pool towels
- Air conditioning
- Internet WIFI connection
- Baby bed
- Some hours of house cleaning
- Final cleaning
- Pool cleaning for the private pool
- Use of the tennis court (to be requested upon booking)
- Garden maintenance
- Should you have rented the villa for more than 1 week, the linen will be changed on Saturday.
- Heating in the double bedrooms by warm air split system: please check price on the premises.
- Wood for fireplace: please check prices on the premises, fireplace can be lightened only by the staff.
- Two extra double bedrooms (each with private bathroom) are available in a dependance on special request when booking: EUR 400 per week per double bedroom with bathroom, to be paid when booking.
EUR 1500 cash deposit are due on arrival.
SERVICE ON REQUEST (please enquire with us when booking)
- Typical meal on your first evening, after a long trip
- Cook for dinner during the week
- Extra domestic help
- Extra set of linen during the week
- Reservations from Saturday to Saturday
- Availability only during the above mentioned dates
- No central heating available
- Pool opening dates: May 18th - September 28th
- Tennis court opening dates: beginning June - end of September (the use has to be requested upon booking).
- For more than 3 children, please enquire.
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