Sydneysiders who have the travel bug know just how long and arduous (and expensive!) it can be to get to certain parts of the world. Take Italy, for example.
to the country that boasts the Trevi Fountain, the Leaning Tower of Piza and the Colosseum, as well as scrumptious pasta and delectable gelato, can take over 22 hours – if flying from Sydney to Rome; flying into other Italian cities takes even longer! Not to mention; Sydney Airport is ridiculously busy at the moment.
However, if you’re itching to get your Italian on, without subjecting yourself to long flights and jet lag, there is an alternative. About a forty-minute drive from Sydney’s CBD is a small hidden Italian village that’ll take your Instagram feed to the next level, it’s so picturesque.
The ‘village’ is actually a part of a quaint bed and breakfast called Guestlands AKA La Casa Del Disaronno, owned by Jenny & Peter Guest. During COVID, the two decided to renovate their sprawling property and added an impressive Little Italy, if you will, and now offer an immersive experience for anyone who decides to go and stay there.
Upon arrival, you’ll be encouraged to make yourself a delicious Disaronno Fizz cocktail from the complimentary ingredients in your private room, or as Jenny & Peter call them, “villas” – and in all honesty, the rooms really are like villas. They are all huge, with stunning Italian-inspired furnishings, and each has its own balcony and large ensuite.
Then you’re welcome to explore the grounds, which feature beautiful gardens and a massive swimming pool. Of course, you can also just sit back and relax in the Tuscan-inspired mini village or ‘piazza’, from which all of the villas are accessible.
The piazza – which is where you’ll want to take the bulk of your Insta pics – features impressive architecture, a long, winding cobblestoned street adorned with nice, subtle touches like a red Vespa, and the Trattoria – where you can cook yourself a complimentary breakfast in the morning.
While at Guestlands, you can also choose to participate in the dinner activities; which I highly recommend. One night, you’ll be able to make your own woodfire oven pizza with fresh delicious ingredients and then you’ll be treated to a performance after you eat. I won’t spoil what the performance is though, as it’s a rather nice surprise.
The other dinner on offer at Guestlands is an exquisite three-course meal prepared by chef, Kim Blume and I cannot express how enjoyable it was; seriously the entree, a pumpkin and ricotta Crespelle with burnt sage butter, was the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
I will admit there’s not much to do at Guestlands aside from wine, dine, unwind and take pictures, (very in line with the slower-paced lifestyle Italians are known for) so if you’re after an exciting and dynamic getaway, perhaps the B&B isn’t for you.
But if you’re wanting a relaxing break where you can read by the pool, take a nice stroll and gorge on red wine and cheese platters (which are complimentary) then save yourself the flight to Italy and get yourself to this mini Italian village instead. It’s simply Bellissimo!