By far the most important members of the Villatalla household are Nellie (an elderly but loveable chocolate Labrador), Bonnie, a fluffy and rather scatty American Spaniel, and Pickle, an eccentric cat who walks like John Wayne.
Aside from the fact that Casa Villatalla is in a splendid location situated in the midst of the Ligurian hills which run all the way down to the equally gorgeous Ligurian coastline, you just have to visit this idyllically located bed and breakfast simply to see a cat which walks like John Wayne!
Oh and I know a little about the countryside in this area of Italy and can certainly assure you that it is an area which is well worth visiting. If I’ve whet your appetite and possibly piqued your curiosity, then read on.
Casa Villatalla Guest House and B&B
Place: Località Villatalla, Dolceacqua.
Region: Liguria, North Western Italy
Website: Casa Villatalla
Casa Villatalla is the home of Roger and Marina Hollinshead.
Retired solicitor Roger Hollinshead was born and brought up in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England. He is an occasional golfer, who also enjoys walking in the area around Villatalla, which means that avid walkers will find Roger’s knowledge of local trails invaluable. Golfers may find that he knows a little about local golf courses that are worth visiting too.
Italian Marina Hollinshead is from Liguria, although her mother was Swiss French, meaning that Marina is bi-lingual Italian/French.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
Marina is a trained horticulturalist, and during her 25 years in England spent much of her time teaching Italian language, culture and cookery at Adult Education institutes.
Painting, Creative writing and Yoga Courses.
In addition to their bed and breakfast business, the enterprising owners of this well located guest house also organise painting, creative writing and yoga courses. Full details of up and coming courses can be found on the Casa Villatalla website.
Casa Villatalla has 5 double bedrooms for guests, each of which is named after plants found in the grounds of Villatalla. Each room has its own ensuite shower room (with hair-dryer), tea and coffee-making facilities, and direct access to a balcony or terrace.
All bedrooms are comfortably furnished, and in the cooler months benefit from modern central heating with individual thermostat control. Windows are double-glazed, and fitted with shutters. One of the rooms (Quercia) has a double bed, and the others all have twin beds, but these are of such a design that they can be joined together to make a double bed if guests wish it.
Villatalla has a sitting room and bar facilities, and email addicts will be pleased to note that a wireless connection to the internet is available for their use.
- A candlelit dinner with at least 3 courses, inclusive of mineral water but excluding alcoholic drinks, is offered at €25 a head. The dinner will be prepared by Italian Marina Hollinshead who is passionate about Mediterranean cuisine: she uses fresh local produce according to season, and her dishes will include certain Ligurian specialities.
- Wine lovers will be pleased to hear that Casa Villatalla has a cellar containing both house wine (red and white), and a selection of other quality bottled wines.
- Lavender, lemon, and rose perfumed terraces with stunning views of the countryside surround the Villatalla.
- On the terrace at the front of the house there is a 12 x 6 metre swimming pool.
- Open all year round. No minimum stay period, except during the months of July and August, and the Christmas/New Year period, when guests are expected to stay two nights.
- Although Villatalla is a no smoking establishment, smokers may smoke outside the building or may smoke on the balconies or terraces.
- Arrival time can be any time after 3pm, but if after 7pm please let them know a little in advance. Guests are requested to vacate their rooms by 12.00 on the day of departure.
- Close to the fabulous coastal resorts of the Italian Riviera and the French Cote d’Azur (also Monte Carlo), the pretty perched villages in the mountains, and the famous mountain walking trail known as the Alta Via, a walker’s paradise.
For more information and details on pricing, please visit the comprehensive Casa Villatalla website.
Oh, and while you are there, maybe you can manage a day trip to visit this interesting area of France, which is not too far down the road: Sainte Croix Lake – it really is well worth seeing as I know very well.
Why stay at an expat run B&B? Maybe this post will answer the question: Expat B&Bs in Italy