Magical Maggiore: Our Stay on the Lake

There’s something magical about Lake Maggiore

“It’s magical.” We repeated that often during our stay on Lake Maggiore, a sister to Lake Como, the more famous celebrity-studded of the northern Italian lakes.

There was definitely something special about Lake Maggiore from the moment we arrived at our villa rental in Lesa until we left four days later. Did it start with the warm welcome we received from our hosts? Was it the natural beauty of the water, islands, and gardens? Was it our special experiences that included a private world-class concert? I think it was a combination of all of those things wrapped up into one magical experience.


Sweeney Isola-Bella-002

Lake Maggiore, with shoreline located partly in Italy’s Piedmont and Lombardy regions and also in Switzerland, is the second largest lake (after Lake Garda) in Italy.

Our stay on Lake Maggiore at Casa del Lago in Lesa

Lesa is located in Piedmont along the lake between the towns of Arona (at the southern tip of the lake) and Stresa (the most well-known town of the area for its famous music festival and access to attractions of the lake area).

Sweeney View-from-archway-001


Casa del Lago is a romantic lakeside cottage in Lesa that we called home for four nights. There is a separate wing of Casa del Lago where the villa’s owner lives part-time, but there is complete privacy for guests with private entrances and patio


Sweeney Sweeney

Casa del Lago is roomy, yet cozy — perfect for a small family or group of friends looking for a quiet place to enjoy their vacation and/or use as a base for the many nearby sites and activities. The decor includes comfortable furnishings and upgraded baths. The warm kitchen and dining area were my favorite parts of the house where we enjoyed views of the lake as we had breakfast or caught up on some work. On our first night, we debated whether or not to go out to dinner. We were eager to try recommended restaurants in nearby Lesa, but ultimately decided to pamper our jet-lag by a simple evening in the comfort of our own place with wine and snacks. And it was a wise choice. The picture above captures the experience.

Sweeney Sunrise-view


In the mornings, we awakened to the sounds of chirping birds and spent a little time just listening, noting that otherwise there was silence. Mr. TWS walked out on the dock to enjoy every beautiful sunrise, each as peaceful and quiet as the picture above portrays. There are a few other residences along the private road leading to the villa, but we rarely heard or saw another car or person. We got a kick out of the Casa del Lago mascots, two ducks who greeted us at the cottage door first thing in the morning and whenever we returned to the villa after our day’s activities.


Lake Maggiore highlights:

Casa del Lago is perfect for either a relaxing vacation by the lakeshore or as a base for exploring the area and taking advantage of its many activities and sites. These are highlights of the lake that we enjoyed and some of them will be covered in more detail in future posts.

Borromean Islands

One of the most memorable parts of our stay was a visit to two of the Borromean Islands of Lake Maggiore on a perfect weather day. A short boat ride from Stresa (about 9 km from Lesa) took us first to Isola Bella to tour the Borromeo family’s grand baroque palace and stunning terraced gardens where we were accompanied by our excellent guide Vittoria. You’ll see more photos of the palace and its fairytale-like gardens in an upcoming post

The terraced gardens of Isola Bella

The terraced gardens of Isola Bella

The Borromeo family has owned the island (and neighboring Isola Madre) since the 1600s and still use two floors of the palace as a summer residence. The palace has 100 rooms, 25 of which are open to the public to see its extensive collections of important paintings and grand rooms. A large grotto for the residents of yore to keep cool in summer opens onto the gardens and a street outside the palace gates features several high-end Italian brands.

Isola Pescatori (on the right) on Lake Maggiore

Isola Pescatori (on the right) on Lake Maggiore


Another short boat ride took us to Isola Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island) for lunch at Ristorante Verbano. The local seafood specialties were delicious and the setting was so lovely that we could have spent the rest of the afternoon there on this gorgeous day

Terrace dining at Ristorante Verbano on Isola Pescatori

Terrace dining at Ristorante Verbano on Isola Pescatori


Villa Taranto

Just as I was surprised at the sheer beauty and architectural design of the gardens of Isola Bella, I was struck by the expanse of the Villa Taranto gardens and the thousands of varieties of flora on the property. A pathway winds up through the woods and gardens and offers panoramic view of the lake at the top. We have too many beautiful photos to choose from for this post, so stay tuned for future flora posts.

Villa Taranto gardens in Pallanza

Villa Taranto gardens in Pallanza

Let there be music

If you visit Lake Maggiore in summer you can enjoy the famous Stresa Festival (founded in 1961) that attracts renowned musicians, orchestras, conductors, and vocal artists from around the world to perform in a diversity of venues around and on the lake, such as Isola Bella. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Gianandrea Noseda, the 2016 55th annual festival series begins with the Midsummer Jazz Concerts (July 19th to 24th), continues with Musical Meditations (July 26th to 28th), and features its main series Building Bridges (August 23rd to September 6th).


Tea and conversation with Massimo Marenzi of the Piano Academy at Villa Sandra

Tea and conversation with Massimo Marenzi of the Piano Academy at Villa Sandra


Although we wouldn’t be at Lake Maggiore for the Stresa Festival, we were lucky to attend a private performance of Roberto Prosseda, an internationally acclaimed pianist, at Villa Sandra. An intimate affair, we were entertained with Prosseda’s masterful renditions of pieces by Chopin and Mendelssohn. The next morning, we enjoyed tea with Villa Sandra’s founder and president Massimo Marenzi (shown above) whose passion for music inspired him to create the Piano Academy, an intensive two weeks of music lessons and immersion taught by master musicians. The Piano Academy offers concerts by its students and teachers to the public during the summer session (July 2016). We were enthralled by Massimo’s enthusiasm for music, the initiatives of Villa Sandra, and the Stresa Festival.

The charming towns

On our drives between Lesa and other points on the Piedmont side of Lake Maggiore, we were constantly pointing out beautiful lake views and admiring the towns and villages through which we passed. On the weekend, we shared the road with bicyclists enjoying their exercise in this beautiful setting, too.


Stresa is a main tourist area of the lake and there is much to do — shop, dine, and catch the ferries to the islands and other Lake Maggiore destinations. Stresa has a literary connection, too. Of note, Ernest Hemingway spent time in Stresa at the elegant Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées (pictured below) on the shore of the lake. Lake Maggiore is a setting in his novel, A Farewell to Arms.

Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées in Stresa

Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées in Stresa



Lesa, the small waterfront town near Casa del Lago, has restaurants, shops, and a lovely promenade to stroll. There is also a market convenient to the villa to stock up on supplies for your stay.

Boats in the harbor at Lesa

Boats in the harbor at Lesa

For a small town (population just over 2,000 people), I was surprised that Lesa was such a cultural and business center. Italian fashion brand, Herno, has its headquarters and concept store here. We visited the store and my only regret is that I didn’t choose among the wide selection of its colorful and lightweight signature rain jackets and make a purchase.


Arona, at the southern end of Lake Maggiore, is the largest town on the west side of the lake and is considered the liveliest with many restaurants, shops and a waterfront promenade with a view of Rocca Borromeo di Angera. On a hilltop nearby, a large bronze and copper statue of San Carlo Borromeo stands 35 meters high. We didn’t take time to climb the stairs of the hollow interior, but we’re told that from the top you can look out the statue’s eyes and ears for beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and the lake.


Arona street scene, San Carlo statue, and view of Rocca Borromeo di Angera from the waterfront

Arona street scene, San Carlo statue, and view of Rocca Borromeo di Angera from the waterfront

Orta San Giulio on Lake Orta

It was a fun drive inland to Lake Orta staying off the main highways through the wooded hills and small villages of the Vergante area. We had the pleasure of sitting back and enjoying this scenic route since our host and driver Luisa knows these narrow and curvy roads so well. A spot to which I must return someday is the Umbrella Museum that we passed along the way in Pettenasco. I love finding intriguing museums like that when I travel.

Lake Orta and Isola San Giulio seen from Piazza Motta in Orta San Giulio

Lake Orta and Isola San Giulio seen from Piazza Motta in Orta San Giulio


The overcast day struck me as adding a bit more romantic ambiance as we walked around the car-free town of Orta San Giulio admiring its colorful buildings and beautiful Piazza Motta.

At Pan e Vino, a restaurant on the piazza, we were served regional Piedmont meats, cheeses, and wines. The fantastic platter shown on the right below includes a selection of cow, sheep, and goat cheeses, served with fruit jams. Another platter had a variety of delectable salami and ham options. It was truly a feast paired with Piedmont wines, Gattinara (a red wine) and Arneis (a white wine). The fireplace in the comfortable dining room and the warm and friendly service made us feel like we were guests in a home.


Wine, cheese, and meat specialties of the Piedmont region at Pan e Vino in Orta San Giulio

Wine, cheese, and meat specialties of the Piedmont region at Pan e Vino in Orta San Giulio

More to do during a stay at Lake Maggiore

There are many more sports and outdoor activities available nearby Casa del Lago such as sailing, water skiing, canoeing, golfing, hiking, horse riding, swimming, and tennis. Lake Maggiore also has the largest wilderness area in Italy, Parco Nazionale della Val Grande, and in winter, there are the ski resorts of Mount Rosa which are only 65 km from Lesa. So there are plenty of activities year-round. Or you could just relax at the villa soaking up the Italian lake ambiance and letting the magic happen.

Our hosts

Eva is an engaging woman and we were fortunate to have an opportunity to join her for an al fresco meal one evening along with her daughter, son-in-law, and Luisa. We felt a special, fun companionship with these lovely people, an immediate connection, that is something I’ve found more in Italy than anywhere else. Then it was time to go back to our villa — once again to “our place” feeling like locals who had just left our neighbors after a friendly get-together


With Sara, Luisa, and Eva at Casa del Lago

With Sara, Luisa, and Eva at Casa del Lago


On our last night, Mr. TWS and I stood on the edge of our private dock looking at the lights in the hills across the lake and listening to the gentle lapping of the water. I thought about the great experiences we’d had and the nice people we’d met. And one last time while at Lake Maggiore, I said to Mr. TWS, “It’s magical.”

How to get to Lake Maggiore:

The lake is easily accessible from many points by car, boat, and train. The nearest international airport is Milan Malpensa (MXP) from where we drove about 45 minutes to reach Casa del Lago. Railway stations are located in Arona and Stresa. Boats and ferries traverse the lake in all directions. The main ferry ports are Arona and Stresa, but there are also docks in many of the towns where boats can be hired.

For more villa information, photos, and booking information: EsteVillas – Casa del Lago

Disclosure: Our stay and activities at Lake Maggiore were hosted by Casa del Lago, EsteVillas, and local sponsors

Map of main places we visited

3 days itineray


Villa Sandra  via davicini 40 –28040 Lesa, (NO) Italy

Isola Bella Isole Borromeo Phone +39 0323 30556+39 0323 30556 E-mail

Boat Service to the Islands  Lido 2000 Tiziano Rossi  Phone  +39 3472524829

Villa Taranto Pallanza can be reached by car or by boat  the shipping company “Navigazione Lago Maggiore” has a landing stage called “Villa Taranto” right in front of the Gardens entrance

Restaurant Verbano Isola Pescatori Phone +39 0323 30408/32534

Pane e Vino Lake Orta +39 393 8583293 Piazza Motta 37 Orta San Giulio (No) Italy (please note Pane e Vino is located in a pedestrian area, no cars are allowed)

From Bologna to the villages of Emilia-Romagna

After a one hour train ride from the stylish bustle of cosmopolitan Milan, we arrived in Bologna, a historical and cultural center in northeast Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. It is a large city with an enormous, just-opened, new railway station — a destination for international visitors as well as a connecting point for business people and local residents. But our itinerary moved us quickly out of the city by car with our travel blogger friends to begin a 9-day journey through Emilia-Romagna beyond the locations commonly found in travel guides, Mr. TWS and I were to spend our first night in the village of Tredozio on the border of Tuscany about 40 miles southeast of Bologna.

Ponte della Signora in Modigliana

Ponte della Signora in Modigliana


Along the way in Modigliana

Exiting the busy main highway out of Bologna, our drive quickly turned scenic as we took winding roads through rural areas of vineyards and olive trees. A stop in the quiet village of Modigliana gave us the chance to cross the steeply-arched Ponte della Signora (San Donato Bridge) built in the 18th century and wander the streets of this town of under 5,000 residents. We met several friendly locals who helped us to find Antichi Sapori, a great place for a lunch of “pasta fresca”. This was our first experience with the authentic homemade pasta of the region, made from scratch in the kitchen. It was the start of a long series of wonderful meals as we ate our way through Italy.




After lunch, we continued on to Tredozio, a village of about 1,300 residents within the lush Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi (Casentinesi National Park). It is an ancient town once inhabited by the Romans which later became part of the province of Florence until Benito Mussolini changed the borders of Romagna in 1923, making Tredozio part of Forli in Emilia-Romagna.

We were told that we’d be staying in an 18th century vintner’s tower for our lodgings the first night and were looking forward to such a unique experience. As we approached the driveway of Torre Fantini we were amazed with an awesome view of the Apennines and the valley below with a farmer at work in the fields.


Torre Fantini

While we took deep breaths of the exceptionally fresh air, it was easy to imagine spending several days there, instead of just one night. The property has 3 double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, a nice garden and a pool with great view over the valley. From our “Old Tower” room we had windows facing the hills from the bedroom and bath, as well as a view of a woodland from a window on another side of the room.


La Vecchia Torre bedroom at Torre Fantini

A walk around the grounds and a bit of relaxation at the gorgeous pool provided panoramic views — what a setting!

Panoramic pool at Torre Fantini

Settled in our room, we took a short 10 minute walk to the village of Tredozio where we enjoyed the feeling of a small Italian town and had an opportunity to interact with a few of the residents, who even with our language difficulties were friendly and helpful.

The town was quiet and irresistible. It captured exactly what we’d hoped from the trip, being able to experience a less-traveled, hidden part of Italy.


The village of Tredozio

Completing a circuit of the town, we snapped several photos of the 17th and 18th century buildings, as well as the 14th century church, Chiesa della Compagnia. We found that most of the shops were closed for siesta, but we did find a small restaurant open with an outdoor patio to enjoy a cold drink, the village sights and watch the locals while they strolled and conversed with friends and family.


The Church of La Compagnia

Palazzo Fantini


Palazzo Fantini courtyard

In the evening, we met with Beatrice Fontaine, the owner of Torre Fantini, in Tredozio at Palazzo Fantini, an elegant residence belonging to her family since the time it was built in 1753. Beatrice gave us a tour of the Tuscan-baroque style house and beautiful grounds. From the modest presentation from the street front, the house and gardens were surprisingly large and exceptional.

The gardens created in the 1800s had been designed not by a famous architect but they appeared to be. The gardens were bursting with roses thriving after an unusually wet month of May in the area. Beside the roses, there were various flowers and trees all positioned uniquely to create a peaceful and beautiful floral setting, making it a perfect venue for weddings, concerts and other events.

Gardens 2

The Garden


Palazzo Fantini is listed by Great Italian Gardens, an organization that promotes the heritage of gardens in Italy.

We also toured the buildings that were once used for housing horses and other animals That area as well as two large courtyards and a granary were restored to their original design. These buildings are painted an intriguing pattern of red and gold stripes (the original design) to differentiate the living quarters from the farm buildings.

Striped buildings

Striped buildings at Palazzo Fantini

The living quarters are actually four different structures that had been joined, the original building constructed in the 17th century, enhanced in the 18th century, then restored as a project by Beatrice’s father in recent years.


The Lemon House

The evening continued as we moved to the residence to the living area for conversation, then the warm and spacious kitchen/dining for dinner. Beatrice was a generous host; we enjoyed her conversation and appreciated her interest in our upcoming blog project in Emilia-Romagna officially starting the next day.


Dinner at Palazzo Fantini

The kitchen was warm and welcoming and the company and conversation made for a memorable evening, enhanced by the inclusion of Mafalda, a charming woman who has worked with the family for many years. Despite our language differences, I felt that we communicated brilliantly with our smiles, Mafalda’s smile as she served being as warm as the pasta soup was hot. We devoured the steaming pasta soup, salad, and fruit which was prepared by Pierluigi Gentilini, chef of Tredozio’s Michelin–rated Il Mulino di San Michele. We now truly anticipated that this trip to Italy was going to be the culinary delight we hoped. It was also clear that we could expect to add a few pounds before our time in Italy was finished.


Mafalda cooked for us!

A fresh start to our fresh project

After a nearly silent night and peaceful sleep, delicious homemade pastries from the village bakery and flavorful coffee in Torre Fantini’s breakfast room were a perfect way to begin the day. From Tredozio, we would be heading off through Casentinesi National Park to Portico di Romagna to continue our project exploring more of hidden Emilia-Romagna. But our short stay at Torre Fantini has put Tredozio on our list of places to return someday.


Breakfast at Torre Fantini


Take a look at EsteVillas website for details, more photos and booking information for Torre Fantini and other properties in this area.

Posted on Jan 18 2016

Written by Catherine Sweeney – Travelling with Sweeney

Mantova skyline night

Mantova skyline at dusk

Eileen Ogintz is considered a leading USA travel expert for family travels and syndicated columnist of the weekly column Taking the Kids. Eileen is often quoted in major publications such as USA TodayThe Wall Street JournalThe New York Times and numerous parenting and women’s magazines on family travel. She has appeared on such television programs as 48 Hours, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Oprah, as well as dozens of local radio and television news programs.


Mantova, Italy (Day Five) — I feel like royalty.
After all, I’m staying in Palazzo Castiglioni that dates back centuries, right across the Piazza Sordello from the Palazzo Ducale in the city of Mantova between Milan and Venice and a short drive to Verona.

During the early middle ages, I learn, this city was enclosed by walls and was a very famous renaissance city. “One of the best cities in Italy,” declares Roberto Tebaldio, a local tourism official. The city is famous for its renaissance buildings, its salamis (Levoni has been in business for more than 100 years), its Sbrisolona (traditional crunchy tart), authentic food like pumpkin ravioli, its palace with over 500 rooms and the fantastic Palazzo Te, a 16th century palace with its amazing frescoes.

Mantova Piazza Sordello Palazzo Ducale

Mantova Piazza Sordello, Palazzo Ducale

“We’re like Venice without all the tourists,” local Claudio Bini told me at a cocktail party given by Luisa Castiglioni, who founded the villa rental company Este Villas and whose family owns Palazzo-Castiglioni-Mantova that dates back to 1280, the oldest palace in the city. Am I really staying here?

“Mantova is off the beaten track, which is hard to find in Italy these days,” says Kit Burns, whose company Doorways Villa Vacations specializes in arranging Italian villa vacations for Americans. “It is a place so charming, so interesting and so not over-run by tourists, that it is a pleasure to explore…Shakespeare wrote about it.”

In fact, Mantova is the city where Romeo went to buy the poison to take back to Verona.

At one time, Mantova—called Mantua in English — rivaled Florence for its beautiful art, Mantova guide Giuliana Varini told us. Sadly, the Austrians and then Napoleon stole much of the art.

“Because of this, it is not known to the world in the way Florence is,” observed Burns, who said she has a hard time convincing Americans to include Mantova in their itinerary. “But what remains? Architecture. Frescoes! Unbelievably wonderful frescoes.”

We are able to visit the fantastic “Camera Picta” painted room currently closed to the public in the Ducal Palace with huge wall paintings by Andrea Mantegna.

Castiglioni tells us her ancestor is in one of the paintings—whispering in the ear of the Marquis Ludovico Il Gonzaga.

The Palazzo Castiglione may date from the 12th century but our room has all of the modern conveniences—WiFi, AC, walk-in shower, but overlooks the ancient plaza and ducal palace. Our cousins have opted for the “Tower Room” with a fresco dating back to 1200. We saunter down to the piazza to enjoy our morning café and croissant that is included with our room, sitting among cyclists and elderly men and women out doing their shopping—not another tourist anywhere.
All I can say is wow! I’m so glad my sister in law speaks Italian.

Mantova Palazzo Castiglioni in Piazza Sordello

Mantova Palazzo Castiglioni in Piazza Sordello

There is a fantastic Bibiena Theater — Mozart played here as a young teen just after the theater opened in January 1770 — that is home to the Mantua Chamber Orchestra (tickets start at under $20!) and a Music Festival the end of June where musicians play short pieces in some of those 500 rooms in the palace – as many as 60 just in one day, the musicians speaking to their audience in between.
Still, this town is “a little sleepy,” another local tells me. It is decidedly off the tourist track, especially for Americans.

Locals hope that will change. “Mantova is a city for cultivated tourists with fantastic food and the chance to sleep in a palace,”says Riccardo Braglia who seems to know everyone in town and is an expert on the Gonzaga family who ruled here during the 15th and 16th centuries when the palace was really a private city of some 10,000 people.

“This is a beautiful Italian city with an ancient historical center that will give you a chance to immerse yourself in what was and what is,” said Burns. “Then there is the unjaded hospitality and arguably some of the best food in Italy.”

We experienced that first-hand, trying tiny restaurants on impossibly small streets like La Porta Accanto, the more casual version of the elegant Aquila Nigra, and others that spilled out onto the open piazzas like Il Grifone Bianco or the oh-so-pretty IL CIGNO – TRATTORIA DEI MARTINI, with plenty of options for gelato and pastry and pizza everywhere we turned. Don’t miss the amazing pasta and pastry shop Panificio PAVESI –a good place to try the region’s typical Sbrisolona cookie-like pastry. Yum!

There is so much history here—dating back to Virgil’s time. He was born near here and Mantua has always been known as Virgil’s town.

But we experienced a decidedly 21st century Mantua at the Thursday morning market sprawled across the ancient cobblestoned square, crowded with sellers hawking everything from socks and underwear to all varieties of cheeses, ham, salami, rotisserie chicken and fish and locals looking for a bargain—and their groceries.

Castiglioni’s father, Baldesar Castiglioni, 88, still has an apartment here and is the descendant of Baldassare Castiglione, the famous author and nobleman of the Renaissance whose book about court etiquette was widely read all over Europe—the bestselling author of his time.

His portrait was painted by Raphael and hangs in the Louvre near the Mona Lisa; a copy of the portrait hangs in her father’s apartment. I’m mesmerized by the very old Murano glass chandeliers—all of the colors! ALL of the shape of the glass!

Baldesar Castiglione portrait by Raphael

Baldesar Castiglione portrait by Raphael

“Here you have the experience and a relationship with the local people,” says Luisa Castiglioni, who is working to create a community of villa owners around Italy who can offer a similar standard of service—from luxury staffed villas to simple country cottages to Renaissance palazzos like this one where we incredibly meet the family who owns it—and has owned it for centuries. She and her brother Guido, who oversees the property, worry what will happen in the future as none of their children, in their 20s and 30s, seem interested. I hope that changes.

This has got to be one of the most unique places I’ve ever stayed, with an arched sleeping alcove and views of the ancient ducal palace and the square from the big windows. Restaurants spill outside; we amble from one square to another, walking everywhere. I really feel like royalty because we are parked inside the gates and need a special clicker to open them.

Palazzo Castiglioni suite Torre

Palazzo Castiglioni suite Torre

She says in recent years, guests have become more demanding—most of her business is Americans “but there is no perfect villa nor is there a perfect guest!”

“We have to find the right villa for the right people–whether you want a cooking class for the kids or someone to come and cook for you. The concept is being able to connect with the customs and the people of the country,” she says.

You might shop at the local market or weekly street market for groceries and take day trips out into the country side like we did today with local Riccardo Braglia, an art historian and consultant, who took us to the small town of Borghetto on the Mincio River for a long outside lunch at Lo Stappo overlooking the water. We feasted on bruschetta and risotto with pumpkin along with other locals.

We go to Parco Sigurta Giardino that won “Italy’s Most Beautiful Park” award last year and it’s easy to see why — miles of stone paths, 30,000 roses, and a million tulips. Let’s not forget the amazing views.

Braglia insists we not leave the area without stopping at the town of Sabbioneta, a World Heritage Site, which was built as a “model town” by Vespasiano Gonzaga in the second half of the 16th century, planned according to the vision of the Renaissance. We visit the Teatro all’Antica, the first theater of the modern age and still used today and the synagogue—the Jewish community thrived here. Sadly, after Gonzaga died, residents moved outside the walls which may be why the town is so well preserved.

It’s really nice to be off the tourist track—or at least one not followed by many Americans.
© 2014, Eileen Ogintz, 5 Viking Green Westport CT 06880. All rights reserved.


Where: Mantova (Mantua) Lombardy, Italy Mantova tourist office
Location: Palazzo Castiglioni Piazza Sordello 12 Mantova
How to get there:
-by train: from Milano 1 hr; Venice 1 hr; Bologna 40 min
-closest airport: Verona (30 min shuttle)
-by car: motorway A22 Brennero Modena
Riccardo Braglia journalist and art critic
Giuliana Varini english speaking guide