Have you ever looked at Airbnb – the popular web site that lists vacation rentals around the globe? Just looking at the web site is itself like going on a quick, dreamy excursion. I love to check out their inventory, especially those properties in the more exotic locales. Want to live like an Italian Count this summer? No problem. You can rent this Count’s villa from “Italian Historic Houses” through Airbnb.
I fell in love with the Count’s vineyard – located halfway between Venice and Verona – the land of Romeo and Juliet - in the Veneto Region, near the Euganeus Hills Regional Park.
The estate, “La Montecchia,” has been owned by just one family, the Emo Capodilistas, who produce very high quality wines.
The Count & Countess Emo Capodilista are very active on the high society scene.
In fact, the Emo Capodilista family is a bit like the Capulets and Montagues. Their name is actually derived from two noble families who united in marriage: The Emo and the Capodilista families.
The vineyard is large with many different living accommodations built over the centuries that the family has owned this land. You have your choice of the original Villa, above, and a Castle where the Count lives, along with the smaller houses, that were recently restored. There is a golf course and pool if you want to just stay on the estate and not go driving out, touring the countryside. There is also a restaurant, La Montecchia, which has been granted a Michelin star.
The estate is rather interesting and quite progressive - the Count has converted it to solar energy, it runs without using fossil fuel. Yet, in the Castle, he chose to heat it using old fashioned wood stoves that are themselves, beautiful works of art.
The original Renaissance Villa was built in 1568 and is decorated with incredible frescos and trompe l’oeil paintings, some which tell the history of the Emo family. The villa was completely restored and redecorated in 2008 by Paris based designer Anna Guarini and it is a stunning example of Italian design.
Besides the Villa, there is also the original Mottolo Castle, above, and both are available to rent out. These two locations are the most luxe. For more reasonably priced rooms, there are the smaller, individual houses, also recently redecorated, and also available to lease out.
But, if you are going to do it up once in your life, live it up like a Count!
The Villa is known for its beautiful architecture – it is a complete square, with double loggias on all four sides, each with decorated frescoes on the ceilings and walls.
Originally designed as a hunting lodge, it was also used as a theatre because of its extravagant frescoes. Of course, it has been used in movie sets, including the 2004 version of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.
The villa, with the symmetrical, elevated garden, repeated on all four identical sides.
Close up of the upper loggia, with the lower loggia and its frescoes.
Incredible aerial view shows the strict symmetry of the Villa and its gardens.
The Villa: two apartments on upper and lower floors. The apartments can be divided up into all different configurations depending upon the size of your party.
The gardens leading up to the villa.
The grand stairs at the front entrance gives a hint of the extravagant design inside.
The Loggias, where meals are served.
The main floor dining room decorated with vivid red & white stripes. Note the frescoes on all sides and the ceiling.
The table is set with beautiful creamware and crystal.
Next to the dining room on the main floor is the sitting room in red with a bit quieter murals.
Another view – the red & white stripe fabric is repeated at the windows.
Outside the above first floor apartments with the red & white striped curtains is the loggia, set for dinner.
The main floor bedroom in blue & white stripes. This room looks like a garden folly – love these murals! Notice the paintings above the bed – they look like a tent/canopy.
Another view of the left side of the blue bedroom, shows the painted garden gate and awnings. Out the glass door is the loggia.
OK – you may never get to sleep in the Sistine Chapel, so this could be a close second! These murals show the various houses on the estate.
The room is sophisticated in yellow & white stripes with the gold metal bed with paw feet. The gold/yellow color scheme was probably chosen to go with the gold terrazzo floor.
Across from the bed is a printed fabric on the settee.
On the second floor, the sitting room in green & white circus style stripes. Love this room!
Another view of the green sitting room with its ultra feminine murals.
The loggia off the second floor sitting room, decorated in blue & white stripes.
The study in green & white. So pretty with the painted Italian furniture and antiques.
The second floor bedroom repeats the green and blue colors.
And the other bedroom in orange & white stripes. I love how the designer used the same stripes throughout, just in different colors. It creates a cohesive theme which would have been difficult because of all the different murals.
Another view of the orange bedroom.
In the corner, is this very small room – but just as pretty!!
An example of the bathroom with the classic fixtures. Even the bathroom has murals!
If you don’t want to stay at the Villa, you can reserve a tour. Here, a wedding was held on the grounds in a glass tent. So beautiful.
The Mottola Castle, built in the middle ages, is on a small hill that looks over the ancient cellars where the wine is aged. You have the choice of two apartments in the castle, both of which have been completely renovated in a separate wing. The Count’s family actually live in the castle, but rent out portions of it. You can see the golf course behind it.
The count does warn potential guests that during harvest time, things get a bit noisy and hectic as workers are out in the vineyards until late at night. I think that might be a really fun time to visit (if you are a late owl, like me!!)
This living room is a mix of Italian contemporary and antique furniture. All the rooms in the castle are heated by these fabulous wood stoves!!!
The terrace at the Castle. At the right, through the trees is the Villa.
This door leads out to the terrace. This newly renovated wing was decorated with wide stripes probably in a nod to the striped fabric at the Villa.
The rooms on the second level of the apartment in the Castle overlook the living room. I love the wood stairs and railings. So different than anything you see in the United State or England.
One of the bedrooms in the Castle.
The kitchen set up for a dinner party.
Love the painted cabinet. That table is so beautiful!
The smaller apartment is a bit more luxe with a large mantel and fancy oversized Italian sconces. The stove is in the corner.
Another view. This apartment is so Italian with the heavy wood antique furniture.
The bedroom with all the art work. Notice the wide planked wood floor and look at the tiny window. Just beautiful.
Another view of the bedroom. Those shutters! Love. The living room is up the stairs on the right.
The dressing room and bathroom with walls of subway tiles.
There are also four houses on the estate that the Count has recently renovated. This one is so cute with the wood shutters and the yellow stucco. Each house comes with its own private garden where you can arrange to have dinner parties or wine tastings.
This house’s garden is under the shadow of the Castle up on the hill.
The houses are not quite as fancy as the Castle or Villa, but you can still get the same experience.
To see all the houses and interiors, go the web site and look around. HERE.
There are so many unique places to stay in Italy, but this one caught my eye. Even if you stay in hotels – you can sign up for a long weekend in an Airbnb for a bit of local flavor.
Dallas is welcoming a new store. Bungalow 5!!!
Bungalow 5 has just opened a new retail store in the Dallas Design District! Lucky, lucky!!!!
Located at 1201 Oak Lawn Ave, the store will feature Bungalow 5’s wonderful merchandise!! Wow!! So jealous of Dallas!!!
The store is large, over 7000 sq ft to showcase the entire collection. OK, I’m loving those framed prints.
AND, I love those pink lamps and those pagodas.
FACS ABOUT BUNGALOW 5 IN DALLAS
Address: 1201 Oak Lawn Ave, #180, Dallas, TX 75207
Contact: Phone 972-502-9111
Store Hours: Monday through Friday,
9 AM to 5 PM
VINTAGE HERMES SALE!!!!!!!!!!