A boutique hotel in the city of 100 horizons
The distance between Asolo and Venice, both located in the Veneto region of northern Italy, is only one hour by car. But Asolo, a relatively sleepy but exquisitely beautiful town, feels a world away from the bustling piazzas and canals of Venice.
The five star Hotel Villa Cipriani in Asolo, is a common thread that connects the small town of less than 10,000 inhabitants to the world-famous tourist Mecca of some 260,000 inhabitants.
A villa at the top
For centuries, Asolo has attracted poets, writers and artists inspired by the city’s breathtaking scenery. He was the Italian national poet Giosue Carducci who describes it as the “city of a hundred horizons”.
Another follower of Asolo was the English poet, Robert Browning, who late in his life acquired an 18th century Palladian villa a short walk from the town centre. After his death, this property with a breathtaking view of the hills changed hands several times before serving as a summer residence for a wealthy family, then as a country inn.
But it was under the ownership of the famous Guinness family (yes, the Irish brewer) – more than 50 years later – that the management of the inn passed to none other than Giuseppe Cipriani.
Already a successful hotelier and owner of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Cipriani transformed the property into the classic hotel that still bears his name, Hotel Villa Cipriani.
Villa Cipriani has 28 unique rooms, including two suites with spacious private terraces. The tastefully furnished rooms with antique pieces and rich architectural details are divided between the original villa and an annex garden house.
A lush inner courtyard between the two buildings is filled with olive trees, cypresses, fragrant rosemary bushes and flowering plants. Adjacent to this is a heated infinity pool with a lounging area. From here, guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the green valleys, the majestic Monte Grappa and the panoramas described by writers and poets and painted by artists.
The rooms and public areas of Villa Cipriani have been lovingly maintained. Renovated about four years ago, the property has the patina of a place that has aged gracefully.
The food and wine experience at Villa Cipriani
Asolo Proseccothe most famous wine of the region, since 2009 has held the DOCG designation, the highest classification granted to Italian wines.
Combining the region’s importance in the world of wine with the legendary name of Cipriani, it’s no surprise that a stay at Villa Cipriani is designed to appeal to food and wine lovers.
The two on-site restaurants, the Villa Cipriani restaurant and the more informal Rosmarino Bistrot (where meals are served on a shaded outdoor terrace) offer well-prepared, local and regional seasonal dishes, creatively presented and paired with excellent wines . Floor-to-ceiling windows in the restaurant overlook the garden with stunning views from every angle.
In season, you can taste specialties such as radicchio from Treviso, white asparagus from Bassano and porcini mushrooms from Montello. The menu also includes dishes that are Cipriani classics.
The intimate American Bar with paneling and leather club chairs was designed by Mr. Cipriani himself. He modeled it after his iconic bar in Venice, including the reduced but comfortable height of the tables. It is the ideal place to enjoy a aperitif. Of course Bellinis are one of the most popular libations on the menu, served with Venetian dishes cichetti (small plates).
An ideal location to discover
Villa Cipriani is located within walking distance of the historic center of Asolo, named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. All the winding streets seem to lead to the 16th century fountain, surrounded by the main church (Dome of Santa Maria Assunta), the civic museum, the castle of Caterina Cornaro and shops, restaurants and bars. During the evening, locals can be seen sitting in bars or taking a break Passeggiata.
Just a short walk from the hotel is a small but charming museum, Villa Freya, which was once the home of travel writer and explorer Freya Stark. Also nearby, a hike to the top of the medieval fortress (La Rocca) offers some of the most spectacular views in the Treviso area. On a clear day, you might even see Venice.
Cyclists and hikers will want to explore the surrounding roads in the rolling hills of Asolan. Villa Cipriani’s concierge organizes personal tours to see museums, Palladian villas and castles, as well as nearby wineries that offer tours and tastings or day trips to Treviso, Vicenza, Verona or Venice .
A tradition with timeless charm
Since its opening in the 1950s, Villa Cipriani has served as a discreet hideaway for royalty and celebrities. Marcello Mastroianni, Orson Welles, Barbara Streisand, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth are among the notables who have stayed here. The hotel is also a popular destination for food and wine lovers, architecture and history enthusiasts, and those simply seeking pampered relaxation and renewal in an authentic Italian setting.
The intimate size of Villa Cipriani lends itself to personal yet discreet service. Shortly after you arrive Susanna or Camillo at reception or Marco at the bar seem to anticipate your needs.
It’s easy to fall in love with this charming property. This was the case for its current owner, coffee heir Massimo Zanetti (owner of the Segafredo Zanetti Group), who purchased the hotel as a gift for his wife in an effort to preserve its beauty for future generations.
Hotel Villa Cipriani has been named to two lists of the World’s 25 Best Historic Hotels