Sydneysiders with a travel bug know how long and tedious (and expensive!) it can be to reach certain parts of the world. Take Italy for example.
Getting to the country, which boasts the Trevi Fountain, the Leaning Tower of Piza and the Colosseum, as well as tasty pasta and delicious gelato, can take over 22 hours – if you fly from Sydney to Rome; A flight to other Italian cities takes even longer! Not to mention; Sydney Airport is ridiculously busy at the moment.
However, if you’re dying to learn your Italian without the risk of long flights and jet lag, there is an alternative. About a forty minute drive from Sydney’s CBD is a little hidden Italian village that will take your Instagram feed to the next level, it’s so picturesque.
The “village” is actually part of a quaint bed and breakfast called guest country AKA La Casa Del Disaronno, owned by Jenny & Peter Guest. During COVID, the two decided to renovate their sprawling property, adding a stunning Little Italy if you will, and now offering an immersive experience for anyone who chooses to stay there.
Upon arrival, you are encouraged to prepare a delicious meal for yourself Disaronno Fizz cocktail from the complimentary ingredients in your private room, or as Jenny & Peter call it, “Villas” – and quite frankly, the rooms really are like villas. They’re all huge, with stunning Italian-inspired furniture, and each has its own balcony and large bathroom.
Then feel free to explore the grounds which offer beautiful gardens and a huge swimming pool. Of course, you can also just sit back and relax in the Tuscan-inspired mini-village or “piazza” from which all villas are accessed.
The piazza – where you should be capturing the bulk of your Insta pics – features stunning architecture, a long, winding cobblestone street adorned with nice, subtle touches like a red Vespa, and the trattoria – where you can cook yourself free breakfast in the morning.
While at Guestlands you can also participate in the dinner activities; which I can highly recommend. One evening you can make your own wood-fired pizza using fresh, delicious ingredients, and after your meal you’ll be treated to a performance. I won’t spoil what the performance is, however, as it’s quite a nice surprise.
The other dinner on offer at Guestlands is an exquisite three course meal prepared by Chef Kim Blume and I cannot express how enjoyable it was; Seriously, the entree, a pumpkin ricotta crespelle with burnt sage butter, was the best I’ve ever tasted.
I will admit that there isn’t much to do in Guestlands apart from wine, food, relaxing and photography (quite in keeping with the slower paced lifestyle that Italians are known for). So if you are looking for an exciting and dynamic getaway, this B&B might not be for you.
But if you want a relaxing break where you can read by the pool, take a nice stroll, and enjoy red wine and cheese platters (which are free), then skip the flight to Italy and head to this small Italian village instead. It’s simply Bellissimo!
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