Italy: Mantova – Charming beauty of Lombardy

Italian land is fascinating that I can never get over it. Being in this country no matter where I am at, I always find something so inspiring that I can write up and pour my feeling in it. It is colourful, it is intimating and somehow it is kind of sexy. That is what I feel for Italy and for Italian people.

DSC_3672

Mantova or Mantua, the small town of Lombardy seems to get so much charm but not many people notice it. You could easily miss it while heading to Verona, Venice or Milan. It is, however, a place worth to make a stop for one or two days. The cultural and artistic aspects got me chilled when I took my first glance in the late evening while on my way to Beatilla – my country stay for the long weekend. I was amazed by its entrance from the highway to the old town leading by a bridge slicing the river into two. It was like the road to a new kingdom which was far lost in the mystery. It was found and it dazzled me by its charmingly Italian vibe.

I stayed in a farm resort and took a bike ride to Mantova one day. Crossing multiple land fields, cow farms, and I realised that was kind of fun, somehow different from most my travels. Staying in the city sometimes could be hectic even though I gotta admit the convenience. Mantova is not so big but going on a bike made me feel like putting myself into the non-tourist lifestyle. I was not yet in the old town but it was overwhelmed enough with all the old architectures and the massive Palazzo Ducale. The place is nowhere to be missed because of its performance on the outside and also it stands right at the beginning of the old town entrance. Each room of Ducale is a master piece and you wouldn’t help but wonder how all those paintings could be made. It seems to be something normal for those who visit palaces or castles often but Ducale could surprise you and give you a hint of what you could expect from this small town. If you haven’t found it impressive enough, you would be speechless by the time you stood under the roof of Sala dei Giganti painted by Giulio Romano at Palazzo Te, just like I was.

It was a calming walk in the sun to small alleys which I found so pleasant to be surrounded by old houses with full of warm colours. Being in Mantova reminded me of the time when I was in Genova because somehow the atmosphere was very similar – not packed by tourists, things going slowly and no hassle for tourist attractions.

It might be a small town but its popularity for food is known. Quattro Tette is the finest typical Italian dining which you gotta rush to try their food. They only open for more than 2 hours a day (12:00 – 14:30) but it is worth to try their Tortelli Di Zucca or Risotto con Salsiccia/Alla Pilota – the traditional dishes from Mantova.  The other day, I went easy on food so there I took a Piadina – a quick snack looking like a tortilla crepe at La Piadeniria. Even that simple tortilla Italy could make it so right. When the night came, I couldn’t miss that Aperitivo time when I could get my exquisite Italian wine with some small snacks. That stroll around Mantova got me discover Cue C’é C’é Bar which the design caught my eyes completely because of its contrast from the town. It is nothing like an Italian cafe bar and certainly it got the industrial look going on with a touch of French flavour. That chic bar turned from a hippy place for coffee during the day to a classy hangout spot for youngsters for the Aperitivo time.

By the end of the trip, I actually thought that I could move myself there one day. I got hooked by the Italian culture and lifestyle in this place.Things seem so easy-going, and people are always welcoming. If that could ever happen…


Quattro Tette

Vicolo Nazione, 4
(Opening time: 12:00 – 14:30)

La Piadeniria

Via Giovanni Battista Spagnoli, 18
Website: lapiadineria.com

Cue C’é C’é Bar

Via Calvi Pietro Fortunato, 11

Gelateria Pappa Reale

Via Giovanni Chiassi, 89
+39 0376 365517

 

 

Beatilla farm resort – A break from the city

Getting the city girl out of the city is not  easy but it is always great to have a bit of change. So there I left the city to the country. It could not be any better to be out in the countryside in a small town of Italy because somehow I knew that the farm life wouldn’t be boring in this colourful country. Certainly, I was right.

After arriving very late in the town called Mantova, I was fancy for a gelato even though the breeze was pretty damn cold but I always say – “It’s always the best time to eat ice-cream”. In that chilled night, I did not bother to think about anything else because that stay in Italy was going to be exciting. I got driven to Beatilla farm resort where I would be staying for the weekend. And there where I got to meet Bianca, a white cute little donkey who has her own hut from the whole farm resort.

DSC_3643

Waking up in the warm sun and breathing the fresh air with a smell significantly from the farm, I realised that I was out of the city. It it not that the city cannot get quiet but the still from a farm house is different. The horse, Malebu, neighed first thing in the morning and made that an alarm for people to feed him, I supposed. People talking in the background in Italian got me feel that I was on a holiday. I walked up to the reception to get some breakfast and apparently, all the goodness from that breakfast were homemade – from the delish chocolate cake to grain bread, fig marmalade, yoghurt. The music from Damien Rice was playing, leading me to the home feeling in the weird way and getting me more comfortable with the quietness. Luca was the host who invited me to come over to get inspired and I was not yet inspired by the place but by him. He is an artist and creates his art in his own way with different dimensions. He created all pieces of furniture in the resort and you can see his art works in every room. Beatilla is a great place to be because you do not only experience the farm life which is not perfect as it is said by Luca, but you are going to live closer to the Italian culture in the artistic way. Thank Luca because he has created a cosy farm resort with tasteful self-made interior by reusing dumbed products.

Life isn’t perfect. Staying in hotels might give you all the comfort you need when you travel but not shows you the reality – said Luca.

The farm life is truly calming and has its own beauty. I was lucky to see it for a short period. I was surrounded by an Italian family, which made me learn a bit more about Italian culture and how they celebrate their lives everyday. Life seems to be more true and real out there… In the end, being out of the city might make me miss the hassle of the city life for a bit but we all deserve sometime to rest our mind and soul to stay true to ourselves. And that’s what Beatilla farm resort gave me – an eye open to see the real life, and a different lifestyle.


 

Beatilla Farm Resort

Address: Via Mantova 21, Corte Barco, 46045 Marmirolo MN, Italy
Website: www.agriturismobeatilla.it/en/