Holiday home of the week: a gourmand’s retreat in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

At the heart of ‘Food Valley’

Foodies will feel at home at this Italian holiday home, which is named after its owners’ balsamic vinegar business.

Il Borgo del Balsamico is an 18th-century mansion close to Reggio Emilia, at the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region’s ‘Food Valley’. The stone villa has been turned into a three-room boutique B&B and a private holiday apartment – for rent via Welcome Beyond from €200 per night – by owners Cristina and Silvia Crotti who run their family business from its cellar.

Peace and quiet tops the menu at the villa: though there’s wifi, there are no televisions and its communal spaces and Italian gardens are designed as serene havens. There’s also a shared pool to cool off in.

The 150 sq m private apartment overlooks Il Borgo del Balsamico’s gardens, and has been furnished with antique pieces collected from vintage fairs and auctions.

Il Borgo del Balsamico
Il Glicine apartment. Courtesy of Welcome Beyond

‘We brought together some furniture from the 16th century and mixed it in with some modern vintage furniture from the 1950s,’ says Cristina Crotti. Paintings and sculptures meanwhile date from the 19th century.

As well as being able to explore the 10,000 sq m property – which can only host a maximum of 11 people at any one time across the B&B and apartment – guests can see how the sisters’ make their balsamic vinegar, and sample it themselves.

Il Borgo del Balsamico
Courtesy of Welcome Beyond

Pilgrimages can be made to local producers too, including the nearby Parmigiano Reggiano dairies where you can see see how the legendary cheese is made. Reggio Emilia also has a vibrant restaurant scene, while Parma and Modena are also just a day-trip away.

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