Fairytale Villas on the Lake
In Italy’s northern region of Piedmont, five minutes from the famous Lago Maggiore hides a secret oasis that belongs in a fairy tale. When entering the gate of La Foleia you are transported to another world. The two neoclassical villas of La Foleia mirror each other on either side of a private lake that is carpeted with pink water lilies and lotuses. The lake takes its source from the nearby Ticino river, feeding it fresh spring water that hums with wildlife, home to ducks and dragonflies. Surrounding the lake and villas is a lush forest-like garden, overflowing with a diversity of trees, flowers, and wilderness.
Each of the pale rose-coloured villas of La Foleia boasts two large bedrooms, private kitchens, and ample indoor and outdoor living space. From the verandas of both Villas Padiglione and Ottagonale the lake laps at the doors, so close you can dip your toes in. A picturesque private wooden boat on the lake is available to guests. Nearby two pink rock pools overlook the villas, where you can relax and enjoy tailor-made wellness treatments and massages. A private chef can be arranged to make full use of locally sourced produce as well as the vegetable garden near Milan belonging to friends of the owners Gemma and Niccolo who describe their wish to ‘put the farm-to-table concept into practice.
The interiors are impeccably designed, each room with its own spirit. In Villa Ottogonale every room possesses a spectacular view. The living room features arched windows that let in all the lakeside glory and the terrace, supported by the ancient vine wrapped columns, is encircled by plants and flowers. In Villa Padiglione the living area is decorated with beautifully frescoed walls, echoing the scenery and loveliness of the exterior, and has French windows opening onto the veranda.
The young and talented couple, Gemma and Niccolo, who took on the task of transforming La Foleia from a private home, run the property and organize an array of special services and experiences for their visitors. A heritage Land Rover is on-site for the use of guests and water sports, horse riding, and boat tours are readily organized for those seeking an adventure.
If you can tear yourself away from the oasis of La Foleia, the region is rich with history, nature, and wonderful cuisine and wine. On Lago Maggiore, with its elegant palm-lined promenades, sits the pretty town of Stresa from which you can take a trip to the three spectacular Borromean Islands. The lake is scattered with historical villas that are well worth a visit, including Parco Pallavicino and Villa Taranto, with their renowned botanical gardens. Orta San Giulio perches above the nearby Lake Orta with its UNESCO world heritage site of Sacro Monte, a religious site devoted to the life of St Francis of Assisi. Explore further into the beautiful surrounding countryside and charming villages.
The experience of staying at La Foleia is one of complete enchantment. It takes you into a world of your own where new memories will be made. The only drawback is you may never wish to leave!
A few segreti (secrets) from Gemma:
Take a short ferry ride from Stresa, or our private boat for the day, to the Isole Borromee on Lago Maggiore, and more specifically to the “Isola dei Pescatori” to dine at the magnificent Albergo Ristorante Verbano – the food and views from here are spectacular. Finish off with a walk through the lovely cobbled streets, and don’t forget to check out the gardens at Isola Bella too!
Have a drink at the beautiful Feriolo and finish off the night with the lake’s best pizza at Fior Di Latte Pizzeria
Have a meal at one of our all-time favourite places, La Zucca near Lago d’Orta. Don’t miss out on their amazing cheese cart!