Passion Points: Escape
Legendary hotels generally gain their reputations over decades, but one of the world’s ultimate spots for romance has operated as a hotel for less than a decade. Villa Feltrinelli, which is set on eight acres on the edge of Lake Garda in Italy, was built in 1892 as an extravagant family palazzo and was lavishly restored and transformed into a jewel of hotel in 2001. It’s fairy-tale charm is so overwhelming that one engaged couple who came to survey it as a place for their honeymoon were so enamored that they decided to elope and be married here instead. (They placated their families later with additional ceremonies.)
The mini-castle, which is set on Lake Garda, where the snow-capped foothills of the Alps meet the palm trees, oleander and bougainvillea of the sub-Mediterranean lakeshore, was built for two wealthy brothers Angelo and Giacomo Feltrinelli. The architect included such whimsical details as an octagonal turret, ornate parapets, star-shaped attic windows, ceiling murals, stained-glass windows, silks from Italy’s finest mills and sculpted wood panels and coffered ceilings. For the early years of the...
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