Corte Mainolda, Mantova Italy
Set in the blissful rural area of Sarginesco, Corte Mainolda is a 17th century manner that has been restored gracefully with a mix of old and new style. Set in a small village in the grounds of a farm, it is the epiphany of true Italian countryside where you wake up to the sound of chickens, geese and ducks that run free in the backyard. The atmosphere is quite and rural, elegant really and a perfect escape to a blissful getaway.
This place captured my heart in so many ways from, the hospitality of the owners down to the tasteful decor and furnishing. A walk around the garden with a whiff of rosemary as you pass the bushes, while the pomegranates hang beautifully in front of the courtyard. Here you feel at peace, in the midst of true serenity. Corte Mainolda is run by a lovely family affair that involves 3 generations. You are often greeted by the family golden retriever that runs around freely on site, it almost feels like home here. Giulia, the lovely daughter is the same age as me whom was a wonderful host with an impeccable visual eye to detail. The building portrays a refined beauty with captive architectural detailing to the very last decor of frescoes and wooden beamed ceilings, that definitely satisfies my inner design-freak. Here, you understand the beauty of simplicity that is by far more effective in all ways. I can feel the history and warmth here and while writing this, I miss the place so much! With a simple pot of roses or orchids set in a rustic bag on the dining table or a freshly handpicked bouquet of picked flowers, an afternoon espresso was like no other in this atmosphere.
Let me tell you how we came across this place...After staying at the Rivera and overwhelmed by the amount of tourists in Portofino and Cinque Terre this hidden gem was a breath of fresh air. Mr. N found Corte Mainolda by chance and thus we canceled our stay at the Riviera and decided to leave a day early to come here. We were saddened by our brief visit, but completely excited about visiting back next year for our honeymoon. We were actually very close to have our wedding here! ♥
I must say, a real highlight of the stay was the typical regional cuisine at their lovely restaurant! It was incredible, that is all I need to say! You could tell that the quality of the food speaks for itself as the restaurant was full by nearby locals. *Slurp* my stomach begins to rumble as I think about the vitello tonnato or the fiorentina steak that was cooked to perfection. The food needs a blog entry in itself, so I will make a separate one on that too! The food is locally sourced and from all the times that we have traveled and eaten all over Italy, this was one of the best cuisine experiences ever. It tastes like true rustic Italy; unpretentious and simple, packed with glorious flavour. Something we will not forget.
In terms of the rooms, we stayed in the suite on the top floor, that was spacious and totally amazing. It was characterized with a mix of rustic and modern with some masculine interior features. With 2 sofas, a large bed, a great bathroom and walk-in closet, this room was wonderful. The location is perfect if you have a car and want to get away from the city hassle and tourists. We drove around nearby cities, lots of cute medieval and historic villages that are great to explore. Larger places nearby are also picturesque Verona, Modena, Parma and of course Mantova itself. Road tripping around Italy is so much fun as you get to discover wonderful new places like this. I highly recommend you make Corte Mainolda a stop on your next visit to Italy.