Here you will discover a really special and historical setting for a relaxing and memorable holiday just a few miles from Lake Iseo. Wandering the narrow medieval cobblestone streets and exploring the luxurious vineyards leads to one discovery after another: loggias, porticoes, windowsills with flower boxes, and exceptionally beautiful panoramas.
You will find yourself in the wonderful wine producing region of Franciacorta in this beautifully restored hamlet surrounded by vineyards and green hills. It is a setting worthy of painting a picture and one that will leave beautiful images in your mind to remember forever. The pace of life is truly relaxing with an atmosphere of a bygone era which has been carefully preserved by the loving hands of the family that have restored this ancient hamlet.
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You can enjoy a wine tour and tasting of one of the oldest wine cellars in the region. The oldest part of the wine cellar here dates back to the 16th Century and it is located at the foot of the hill. Villa Franciacorta has been producing the highly acclaimed sparkling wine Brut since the year 1978 after several trips to the Champagne district of France - and thus are pioneers in this field in Italy. Villa Franciacorta also produces other wines including Rose and the grapes are typically harvested at the end of August. Wine tours are usually held on Tuesdays at 16.30. As a guest you are entitled to a 10% discount off the purchase price on all products.
Villa Gradoni also organizes guided cycling tours in the immediate area. One of the tours focuses on hilly landscapes while another trip focuses on gastronomy, including of course the local wine production. The distance will be approximately 20 - 25 miles. There is a guide on the trips and the bike hire, helmet, insurance and water are included. If you are interested, you can ask for prices and options when you arrive.
When hunger calls, a fine dining experience awaits you at 'Il Borgo' - an intimate, welcoming restaurant for those who wish to sample the traditional dishes of Franciacorta. Arduino Franchi, who has decades of experience, proposes a menu tied to the land, and to the freshness of the ingredients, which he personally selects. The menu follows the seasons, and among the many dishes include favorites such as: casoncelli alla bresciana with browned butter and sage, risotto with scamorza cheese and arugola sprouts, kabobs and beef tagliata with green pepper and thyme. You can choose from an extensive wine list that includes the entire range of Villa’s renowned Franciacorta and Curtefranca wines. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner but is closed every week on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The complex is further enriched by the “Borgo del Benessere,” - a health centre which is a perfect place to dedicate a few hours to yourself. Tiziana Belleri, expert practitioner of shiatsu and the Ayurvedic techniques, welcomes you to enjoy a number of therapeutic treatments at the new wellness centre, with the assistance of a physician who also has many years of experience with Oriental medicine, physiotherapy, and dietology.
The villa has a large swimming pool that is shielded from the road with sun loungers all around providing a truly relaxing corner to hide away in. There is also a separate children's pool in this area. There is a small common room with vending machines near the pool area, where it is possible to buy coffee, other drinks and snacks. There is Wi-Fi in public areas by the pool and on the veranda in front of the reception, but not in the apartments. Guests will find ample and free parking on-site, a communal barbeque, free mountain bike hire, a small laundry (for a fee) and a children's playground.
The small village of Monticelli Brusati is a sweet place to explore and there are a number of restaurants in and around the village which you can also try. A trip of approx. 8 km will take you to the shores of the enchanting Lake Iseo which is surrounded by cute towns and panoramic spots. Monte Isola - the Island in the middle of the lake is a remarkable day trip in itself and is said to be one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Italy. The favourable location of the hamlet allows you to quickly and easily reach a number of cities, including Bergamo, Brescia, Mantova, Milan, Verona, and Venice.
You can choose from one of twenty apartments either located near to the swimming pool or in a property with an enclosed courtyard next to the reception. The community is not that big so wherever you stay you will be no more than 150 metres from either the pool, restaurant or reception. You have your own private terrace where you can enjoy sitting outside in the warmer months and appreciate the wonderful surroundings. Note that if you order towels, they are priced per apartment, not per person. Note that one of the 2-bedroom apartments is equipped for people with disabilities.
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Even though we the latest 15 years have visited Italy several times a year (the latest 10 with children) it's very few places we have stayed at more than once. We have now visited Suite 18 at Villa Gradoni 2 years in a row - fall 2016 and summer vacation 2015.
(1) It's an incredibly big, lovely and well-functioning apartment with a fantastic terrace. There's (after Italian standards) a big and well-equipped kitchen (coffee machine, gas cooker, oven, nice wineglasses, okay pots and pans (but absolutely nothing that can cut). Our 2 primary point of criticism in 2015 was lack of internet and air-condition in the apartment ... but both have been fixed, so every night we would stream danish tv without problems (however the router is on the terrace so in parts of the apartment you can have troubles with the internet)
(2) The vineyard/vacation block is really nicely renovated. Very beautiful buildings, a fantastic calm in the evening, a nice pool (it was however closed in mid-October). Villa makes a great Franciacorta, and you can get a tour and buy their wines at reasonable prices. The staff is competent and service minded.
(3)Villa is very central (in car) for a lot of activities in this fantastic, quality-conscious and relatively non-touristy part of Northern Italy. Within 15 minutes by car you've got fantastic shopping (Outlet Franciacorta, Auchan by the Roncadelle A4 exit, Le Porte Franche mall by the Rovato A4 exit, etc.) lots of great restaurants in Iseo, countless vineyards that takes visitors, a surprisingly nice waterworld (Aquasplash) and not least Sulzano where the ferry goes every 20 minutes to Monte Isola. Arrive with the ferry in the morning, take a 9-10 km. hike - first to the church on top of the island and then further to Carzano and back along the lake to Peschiara. Continue a bit out of town to Pizzaria Dorada sirectly at the lake shore, and enjoy a well-earned and really outstanding pizza at the terrace in the sun. Within a 45 minutes drive you're in Bergamo Alta, in the mountains up north or by Lake Garda.
Then why only 4 stars? The view from the terrace is of a courtyard and not as you would dream of, of mountains, vineyards or the lake. There's a lot of noise and traffic during the day, since it's actually a workplace. You can do absolutely nothing without having to drive - Villa is beautiful, but the same cannot be said of the residential areas and industry, which surrounds it ... and then it's relatively expensive.
Firstly: The complex lives up to all of your promises. Clean and very lovely apartments, a beautiful and suitably, big pool, and well kept area. Pictures don't lie!
We did travel though, at a time when the nights were around 30 degrees C and 40 during the day. We therefore would have wished we had an air condition in the apartment. I definitely wouldn't go here again, without a regulated apartment complex...
But otherwise, the place was almost without flaws.
I have to point out that, Lake Garda at Lago d'leso is really a couple of years ahead tourist-wise, and also the most beautiful of the two lakes. Without setting Lage d'leso in a bad light.
Next time I travel I want to find an apartment/house which fulfils these criteria:
1. Location with a direct look over a lake (makes the night way better).
2. Air condition in the rooms, so you can cool everything down at once.
But these are of course personal preferences, that don't necessarily fit for all.
We had a lovely week at a beautifully renovated vineyard. There is a lovely mood and an accommodating staff. The apartment seemed simple, but all worked well. We had a lovely balcony with a view over the mountains. Common area's including pools were clean and nice and, and it was always possible to get a lounger. The restaurant at the place was good and enjoyable.
We stayed at Villa Gradoni for 2 weeks in Summer 2014. We used this place as a base to explore the areas nearby. We were a family of four (2 kids).
Great apartments with a lot of equipment. We stayed at first floor and had access to a big terrace that we shared with four other apartments.
We wasn't bothered by the others, but next time we will choose the ground floor, as you get your own terrace.
Nice pool area, but it have been better if there was a children's pool too. It would have been nice if the were a place to buy real coffee, a drink or some snacks near the pool. But instead there were a vending machine were you could by coffee and some kind of chocolate.
Great restaurant with reasonable prices. Be aware that the restaurant is busy by lunch because of guests from outside.
The internet connection is fine to check Facebook or e-mails, but have patience. Overall a nice place to stay.
Absolutely wonderful with kids. We were on Vila Gradoni in 2013 also. Since then, they have upgraded some of the common areas. We'll probably visit them again, with kids.
You have to be aware that it is a big place, with a lot of Nordic people.
This was our first trip to North Italy.
We chose 'Agriturismo Villa Gradoni', as we needed to attempt a wedding nearby. We were very pleased with that choice. It was nice and clean. Very nice area. Great vineyard, fantastic family friendly with pool and a big playground.
Vi stayed at apartment 8 the first night. It was a bit dark and with a smell of Basement. So we asked to switch the rooms, and it only took them a couple of hours. We got the apartment 10 instead. Very fast and great service! Apartment 10 was just perfect and we were very satisfied. One big bedroom with a double bed. One bedroom with two single beds. Big bathroom with shower. Our kids watch TV, Italian cartoons. He couldn't understand anything, but liked it!
Just to warn you that the two extra beds is a sleeping couch in the living room.
Very peacefully and quite. You use a key to open the port to the playground, the swimming pool a reception.