To say walking into the rustic Borgata Cantone bed and breakfast in Garlenda (just outside Alassio, Italy) was an lovely experience would be an understatement — perspective: a 16th century farmhouse in the rolling hills of the Italian Riviera converted into a swoon-worthy escape for travelers. I mean…yes, please.
When I launched The Western Charm, I knew I needed to indulge in a creative to hone my creative vision and sharpen it for success. There was no better place in the world to do that that Italy – a place always special in my heart.
Italy is in my roots. I was raised my my Italian grandmother and my most treasured memories from childhood are the weeks I spent with her visiting her family’s farmhouse in Abbruzzo, Italy. Back home in the United States, my diet was a fine balance of pasta, bread and probably the only toddler to have an unquenchable thirst for espresso (an addiction I still proudly carry into adulthood). And of course, my main source of discipline was a wooden spoon – to which I credit my work ethic.
Fast forward 10 years and it’s where my now-husband and longtime pen pal followed me during my Europe trip in college. We met in Germany face-to-face a few days (for the first time) and three days later, we knew we wanted to be with each other forever. He followed me to Rome for three of the most magical unforgettable days of our youth.
Now I’m 25 years old, the owner of a fresh new travel and lifestyle brand and Italy was the setting where I solidified my creative vision for the future and honed a clear path to my ambitions and professional goals.
Simply put, Italy is the stage for my milestones. It’s a place where I’m in sync with heart and mind, and staying at the Borgata Cantone was one of the latest settings for this exciting time in my life.
This gorgeous farmhouse is owned by husband and wife team and one of Alassio’s most influential retail families. From the century-old exposed beam walls to the brickwork that makes you feel like you’re nestled into an Italian cottage dream, there wasn’t a moment here I felt less than cozy.
The most adorable part of my room (and their were plenty of decor goals to compete with) was when it rained on the glass windows above my bed, it was everything. You could experience the thunder and lightening dancing around each other in the illuinated night sky. Italian rainstorms give the southwestern ones I grew up with a major run for their money.
Visitors have the opportunity to eat an al fresco lunch in the B&B’s patio or on the terraza – the owner doubles as a former chef so the meals are nothing less than authentic Ligurian cuisine. The mesmerizing view from the terreza is everything, so I recommend soaking up this view of farmhouse-lined mountain ranges and the endless mountain-meets-Mediterranean air – with an aperitivo in hand, naturally – whenever possible.
Though in the farmlands of the riviera, the property is about a 15-minute drive from the heart of downtown Alassio – where you’ll find a thriving nightlife, beach scene and variety of the city’s finest boutiques. Secret: the Milanese opt for Alassio as a holiday spot, so there is no shortage of studded Valentino heels and classic Prada bags on the street style front. Activities around the B&B include hiking trails, cycling, horseback riding and lounging by the pool…because when in Italy.
For couples passing through the Ligurian region, or even solo travelers, Borgata Cantone is a perfect break from five-star hotels and offers and authentic vibe of Italian living – because Italy is a country meant to be experienced from all perspectives, even the country one. This gorgeous Italian retreat begins to feel like home quickly, so be prepared to have major difficulty saying arriverderci.