Friday, 20 April 2012

Italy Part I: Castello di Barbarano

We had a fantastic time in Italy!  We have lots of photos to share (though most are from our iPhones due to a dead camera battery.  Doh!) and we'll share them over a number of posts.  I'll start with our accommodations:  Castello di Barbarano.  This place was amazing and it was one of the cheaper options we were able to find in the area.  Seriously folks, if you're looking for a place to stay to get a true Italian experience stay here!!

We rented a small apartment in an 18th century building on the grounds of the villa.  It wasn't fancy, but it was just perfect for us.  Whenever possible, we always try to get a place with a kitchen when we travel.  We end up eating out less and we always have a good time exploring grocery stores in foreign countries.

Anyway, here is a brief tour of our accommodations:

The villa is on a hill overlooking the town of Barbarano Vicentino on one side and an expanse of Italian gorgeousness on the other side.  Here is the entrance from the street:

It took us a while to find the place because we were thrown off by the church next to the entrance.  We just assumed the entrance was part of the church grounds, but it turns out that the church belongs to the villa.  It is described as the "family noble chapel" and was built in 1709:

You enter the grounds through a small tunnel running through the main villa which was built in the 15th century on the grounds of a medieval castle (hence the name of the villa:  Il Castello).  

If you look straight ahead as you enter through the gate, down the long driveway lined with lemon trees, you see the 18th century building where we stayed:

This building has been broken up into four lovely apartments.  I didn't get any good pictures of the inside, but it was really lovely.  Trust me.  You can see pictures of the inside by visiting their website.

Beyond this building is a large walled in garden:

Charlie loved running around and inspecting the weeds vegetation:

She also took long, contemplative walks while pondering the meaning of life:

The grounds are absolutely stunning.  There is a lemon orchard and lots of old stone staircases and charming details everywhere you look.

As I mentioned, the villa is set up on a hill.  Here is the view from the grounds into the little city below:

The town is pretty sleepy, but they do have an excellent gelato shop!

Here is the view from the other side:

It is truly stunning there and the owners are friendly and helpful.  We hope to go back again!  In the meantime, stay tuned for more Italy posts!

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