The Italian Job

Whenever we’re searching for new places to stay we have a few ‘go-to’ resources to check before we click that all important ‘Confirm payment’ button.

Amongst a few things we look at the Google street-view to see how well their pictures match the advertised appearance of the property (at least from the curb). We of course look at other visitors’ reviews and when we check the property’s own website we can't help but notice notice whether it makes an impact in some way - is it well designed? Is it slick and professional or is it like an amateur afterthought?

When we clicked on Villa Aldegheri's site we were immediately drawn by a certain production value, at least on the first landing page.

A full-screen video shows smooth aerial footage of the villa at Colognola ai Colli and the surrounding historic village and beautiful, green Italian landscape as the camera swoops around like an eagle in Assassin's Creed over some idyllic historical location. It’s absolutely stunning and we challenge you to click the link and not want to visit this beautiful location as soon as you see the video.

The characterful 16th century villa has been sympathetically renovated with contrasting modern touches like the glass and steel staircase but still feels authentic and homely.

Host and owner, Luisa (who has perhaps even more charm than the relais itself) has managed to curate such a unique hideaway in this private and secluded yet open and expansive setting that whether you’re having breakfast on the terrace, an Aperol spritz by the pool or strolling through her lavender garden you’ll feel a world away from wherever you call home.

We didn't snap many shots while we were here due to issues with our camera but we included some video of our stay at Villa Aldegheri in our Italy Road Trip video.

We drove into Venice during our stay which was about an hour or so away by car and so the villa is a great base for visiting some of the more typical tourist destinations like Verona and make sure you take the short drive to the beautiful and historic walled town of Soave.

The rooms at Villa Aldegheri are what you’d expect at a modern and luxe boutique hotel with the added beauty of the original features that come with being in such a historic building; waking up and opening the huge round windows that look out over the pool, across medieval villages and churches to the valleys in the distance, is something you’ll wish you could bottle and take with you when you leave.

We have to admit we were gutted when we arrived at the Villa to find the swimming pool had been drained and would be empty for the few days that we were there. We wish we'd known that beforehand but never a pair of TravelCubs to be defeated, we turned a negative into a positive and at least got a cool picture in the empty pool.

The more we’ve visited Italy in the last few years the more we’ve come to appreciate quite how beautiful a country it is and we’re so glad we experienced this corner of the countryside from Villa Aldegheri. We highly recommend a stay here.

If you want to follow our route, we flew to Verona then drove up and around Lake Garda, staying there first the moving east to Colognola ai Colli and Villa Aldegheri before taking a day-trip to Venice. If you’re planning to visit Venice but also want to mix up your city break with a taste of the Italian countryside, you can’t do much better than taking the hour drive to Villa Aldegheri and staying with Luisa.

Bravo to Luisa! Her relais and home is really something special!