As rich in history as the land surrounding it, Agriturismo L’Unicorno in western Lombardy, nearby the lake of Garda, embodies refined rural living with irrepressible Italian charm. Since 1654, this Roman-style villa has been the centre of a working farm whose acres of vineyards and land still produce red and rosé wines, grappa, preserves and extra virgin olive oil. Now owned by husband and wife team, Corrado and Gabriella, their passion for good food and fine wine is the foundation of this sumptuous 10-bedroom bolthole close to Lake Garda, Verona, Venice and Milan. It’s an idyllic vision of vineyards and cypress trees on the outside, and a romantic portrait of vaulted, fresco ceilings, antique furniture and stone carvings inside. Each bedroom tells a story of a historic local event such as the Mille Miglia room, inspired by the famous open-road endurance races from 1927 to 1957, or the hopelessly romantic Royal Suite Guiliette e Romeo, featuring its own balcony. In Verona nearby, guests can find themselves under the original balcony where William Shakespeare imagined the love of Romeo and Juliet. Agriturismo L’Unicorno’s restaurant makes the most of its own organic home-grown produce and wines to deliver daily-changing dishes characteristic of the region, while Caffè Novecento serves fine Italian espresso. But for those wanting to sample the local wine, the 16thcentury wine cellar stocks vintages of Garda’s groppello grape, best savoured with a selection of local cheeses and meats from the valleys of the Alps. In the large three-hectare park surrounding the historic residence, guests can find an oasis of peace with the chirping of spring birds, and in the summer, find refreshment in the beautiful salt water swimming pool and two regenerating hydromassage beds. For golf lovers, there’s an 18- hole course just minutes away from the hotel. Within the area, there’s Arena di Verona — a music venue that hosts representations of Verdi’s Aida every summer. Sailboat lovers can head to nearby Lake Garda for the annual Superior Centomiglia sailing regatta, complete with stunning lakeside views. Don’t miss: Santa Giulia monastery in Brescia, a UNESCO World Heritage.

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