Elegant understated luxury Villa sleeps 10. 5 Bedrooms. 5 Baths, AC & Pool
Gretchen Romig Crosti
- english, french, italian
About Gretchen Romig Crosti
I grew up in Kansas and met Luigi when the bank I worked for transferred me to Milan. The home has been in Luigi's family for generations. We used it a lot when our children were young but now that they are living abroad we are pleased that others might share and enjoy this beautiful place. I love to cook and both Luigi and I enjoy sharing meals with friends, so when we decided to refurbish the kitchen, we joined 3 smaller spaces into one large gourmet kitchen and informal dining space, with plenty of space for sous-chefs and conversation groups, and all the utensils needed to facilitate a great meal. Over the years the house has been used for innumerable family gatherings, musical evenings, holiday parties, charity tea parties and family weddings. We love having the opportunity to share the beauty of Poggio Verde with our three children, all of our extended families and with friends.
Gretchen Romig Crosti purchased this Villa in 1897
Why Gretchen Romig Crosti chose Barzanò
With a deed dated November 1897, our great uncle Carlo Bondonio became the owner of Poggio Verde 'Green Hill', an 8-hectare property consisting of a farmhouse, a house with a barn, and a country house. The date of construction of the country house is uncertain but parts of the old farmhouse likely date from the 1500s. Photos from the early 1900s show that Poggio Verde was similar to its current appearance, but surrounded by oak forests and with a few cultivated fields. At the beginning of 1900, uncle Carlo built two farmsteads for dairy cows and pigs. Milk and butter were produced under the Bondonio brand as well as silk cocoons and wine. Uncle Carlo also installed two cannons. They fired when there was risk of hail and neighboring counties replied with the sound of bells. Any narrow escape was celebrated with copious libations. When uncle Carlo died in 1936 his daughter Fanny inherited Poggio Verde. She used to spend summers here where her husband, Gabriele Santini, director of the Opera of Rome, prepared his concerts playing the 1905 Schiedmeier piano still in our living room. Many artists visited Poggio Verde, including Arturo Toscanini. But with the outbreak of the war, Fanny took the decision to sell. Poggio Verde was then purchased in 1941 by her cousin and our grandfather Luigi, who had spent wonderful periods of his childhood in Poggio Verde. When the World War II bombing began, the family moved to Poggio Verde. Here domestic life was quiet; farmers cultivated the land, kept cows, chickens, turkeys, geese, silkworms and made wine in the Tinera. With the end of the war began the great transformation of Poggio Verde. A garden, a stone porch and an Italian garden were built. In the porch, grandfather Luigi, a passionate Latin scholar, had two stone plaques placed with quotes from Horace’s Satires. Like Horace, grandfather Luigi saw in Poggio Verde the fulfillment of his dreams and the hope of a peaceful old age among his affectionate family, friends and books.
What makes this Villa unique
Less than an hour from Milan yet immersed on a quiet green hill, this 18th c. villa gives visitors the pleasure of enjoying all the riches of the northern Italian countryside and cuisine, including a Michelin starred restaurant and several micro farm producers in the neighbourhood, with a kitchen that just invites experimentation and a stunning outdoor dining space, while at the same time giving easy access to the myriad of cultural riches of Milan and the cities of Bergamo, Lecco and Como, just to name a few. Biking along the Adda river in a charming state park is just 30 minutes away, the same distance as one of Italy's top golf courses where the Italian Open will be held in 2015. Mountain climbers need drive only 40 minutes to reach the Italian Alps, and a luxury Spa treatment is merely 10 minutes away. Monza's royal treasure, including the iron crown with which Napoleone famously crowned himself, is right in our neighbourhood. And of course, you can simply stay home and enjoy our lovely park, challenge fellow travellers to croquet or badminton or enjoy a book in the cozy Roccolo surrounded by trees. Indoors there is an excellent grand piano that was played by Toscanini, a Bose large-screen home cinema and several quiet spots to take a book. The house features air conditioning, high-speed internet throughout and an elevator.
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
A €500 cleaning fee will be charged for smoke use
Small dogs allowed. Please send detailed req
Minimum age of primary renter:28
The swimming pool is being shared by several other families.
Dogs must be pre-approved and may not enter the pool area
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
The villa in Poggio Verde was much more than anything we expected. We nearly didn't see the surrounding, because we didn't want to leave it... The swimming pool, the badminton court, the ping pong table, the piano room, the kitchen and other facilities - everything was perfect. And Gretchen is a perfect host: generous, responsive and kind. We'll sure be back.
Beautiful house with classic furnishings in a lovely rural setting
We loved our stay - Gretchen was so welcoming and helpful. She introduced us to the property and assisted with restaurant recommendations and suggestions of places to see. It is a bucolic setting, which we relished - some may find the location slightly isolated, but Milan is only an hour or so away, and the lakes about an hour and a half. Virtually all en-suite bedrooms were ideal for our party which included people from 9 to 83, and the well equipped kitchen was a pleasure to cook in. We were there during a heat wave, and the benefit of air conditioning in all the rooms (and the kitchen!) cannot be stressed enough! There is huge pool as well. Fantastic local restaurants nearby, but great supermarkets 7-10 minutes away for those who wish to stay home - Gretchen can also arrange for catering! We will certainly look forward to returning should we get the opportunity. Geoff & Emma, London/Hawaii
We loved having you G and E, our very first guests from Hawaii, and I hope you’ll come back. Frequently I get requests for recommendations but never before have I had every single recommendation followed to the T. I’m so happy you were pleased with the suggestions. You were super thoughtful guests: you received very high marks from our cleaning staff as well. Kudos on completing that complicated Last Supper jigsaw puzzle- That too was a first!
We spent a week at Villa Poggio Verde. Two families with six kids in total. The place is more than fantastic! We loved to spend time in the garden and the different terraces. The view is fantastic and the pool is simply perfect for both swimming and playing. Gretchen made us feel at home from the beginning, she has thought of everything when equipping this house. We played badminton, ping pong, fussball and even freespee competitions in the pool. Even when relaxing, there is a cinema in one of the big living rooms.
We loved, that the place is right in the heart of the backcountry of lake como. Lecco, como and even Monza are wonderful to visit. We spent a lot of time riding race bicycles around the lake. And can really recommend the hills close to Bellagio. And the cycling museum on top of the Ghisallo hill. We will definitely come back!!
Dear Rasmus, we really appreciated having two such a lovely families in our home. It’s what makes this satisfying. We are always trying to improve and beat our guests’ expectations. I’m thrilled you might come back, and when you do, there are still many very interesting and beautiful northern Italian places I think you and your family would enjoy visiting nearby : Bergamo old town, the Adda river walk/bike ride, the pre-alps in Valtellina: another excellent cycling and hiking (and dining and wine tasting) area. You can also take your children on a ferry trip to the opposite side of the lake from Belaggio to the Como Greenway, excellent for walks and picnics, with a gorgeous 18c villa and gardens to explore. Just to mention a few. Now that we know your preferences we have lots of good ideas.
Thank you for that nice review. It means a lot! Until soon we hope, Gretchen
We and all of our guests were totally impressed with the Villa itself. And even more so with thevhelpfulness and responsiveness of the owner. Our friends were so thrilled that they will tecvomend it to theorvfriends
We thoroughly enjoyed having your group to Poggio Verde. It is always a pleasure to take care of guests who appreciate and are curious about their surroundings. You and your group took full advantage of what Poggio Verde and our area have to offer, and we loved the feedback we received from home chef Marzia about your expert dining and wine choices and appreciation of our local cuisine. Your family and friends are welcome back any time!
Magical setting, all wishes catered for
Cannot recommend the property highly enough. Stunning villa in a magical setting.
We had an long list of wishes and every single one was catered for:
* Screen and projector to watch sports
* Private chef for 12 people
* Trip to Bellaggio with a minibus
The kitchen/portico area are amazing social places. We could have easily spent another 10 days at the property :-)
Thank you Thomas we really enjoyed your group. It’s a pleasure to be able to meet the needs of exacting guests. Northern Italy offers so much and we feel lucky to be well placed where our guests can enjoy it.
We had a superb holiday, Gretchen a wonderful host and the place is calm and well organised. Highly recommend.
Dear John it was really great having over guests who appreciate our area and home. You are and your family are most welcome to come back any time! Warm wishes. Gretchen
This lovely Italian country villa is ideally located for visitors wishing to explore northern Italy, from fashionable Milan just 50 minutes to the south to the parks and lakes in the foothills of the Alps just minutes to the north. The home and surrounding park is located in Barzanò, 20 minutes (12 km) south of Lago di Pusiano, a great favorite of fishing fans and naturalists. This pretty, largely undiscovered lake is protected as it is located inside the Parco Naturale della Valle del Lambro, visible in the distance from one of the terraces of the house.
The drive to Milan is 50 minutes and to the Lago di Como in Lecco 30. When our guests go to Milan, we do recommend that they drive 20 minutes to the Cernusco Merate train station and then take the 30-minute train ride into Milan where they will arrive at the Garibaldi station, right next to all the shops and attractions in the Corso Como area.
The other alternative for travelling to Milan is just to drive to Cascina Gobba parking lot, right next to the Green Metro line, Cascina Gobba stop, and then get into Milan with the underground. Once you are on the green metro line you can get anywhere: take it to the central station and switch to the yellow line to get to the Duomo. The Cascina Gobba parking lot is just off the highway Tangenziale EST (the exit indicates this name) and you will have to pay a toll (pedaggio) of €1,80. You can pay by credit card but be sure to get into the line that let's you use your card. Don't get into the line for "telepass".
We are located right on the edge of another beautiful but little known Regional Park, Parco Regionale di Montevecchia e della Valle del Curone and the adorable hill town of Montevecchia favorites of photographers, mountain bikers, hikers and mushroom-gatherers.
For gourmet food lovers, there is a large gourmet kitchen and the home is within walking distance of the one-star Michelin restaurant Pierino in Viganò.