Welcome to Shangri-La!
That is what I call the alpine valley where my mother was born. Val Giudicarie is a sweet and open valley of little villages surrounded by mountains. Villa Banale is the name of the mountainside village where my mother’s house is located with a breathtaking view of the valley below. The river Sarche runs through it. There are castles and monasteries nearby, as well as thermal springs that date to Roman times that are especially beneficial for skin beauty and health. Vineyards and apple orchards are everywhere. There are glacial lakes, hiking trails and mountain climbing peaks in addition to cable cars that take you to majestic heights. Polenta is the main fare of the area and grappa distilleries are always willing to have you sample the local firewater.
Drive your car just over the bend and you descend onto Lake Garda. Italy’s largest lake has a unique and lush Mediterranean landscape of lemon trees and olive groves sheltered by alpine mountains. It is the windsurfing capital of the world. Nearby is Bardolino wine tasting country and Verona, famous as the home of Romeo and Juliet and the site of a Roman arena where opera is performed in the open during the summer, is just beyond the other end of the lake.
The living is easy here. The food is fresh, the air is pure and this is where Italians have the highest quality of life.
We would love to have you experience our version of Shangri-La.
Keywords: Cozy, Comfortable with Breathtaking Views.
My brother, Walter and myself, Tulllia, were born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up speaking Italian. Our parents were born in the Trentino Alto-Adige region of Italy. All our aunts and uncles and cousins live there still. Walter is an architect and I teach Italian at the School of Continuing Ed and Professional Studies at UVA in Charlottesville, VA. I have also led small groups to this relatively unknown area.
The Owner purchased this apartment in 1934
The house has been in the family for years. We have used the apartment as a base for our travels. This is the first year that we have decided to offer the apartment for rent. I have brought small groups to the area and know how much they have loved the area and the people.
There are two very charming hotels in this small village of about 200 inhabitants. They mostly serve the tourists who come here to enjoy the benefits of the thermal springs of Comano, an adjoining village. It's wonderful to hear the guests chatting at night and sometimes breaking into song. A river runs through a world class park that surrounds the spa facilities and its wonderful amenities, which is in walking distance. A 5 star hotel sits right in the middle of the park.
My husband and I spent almost a week in this lovely apartment and wished we could have stayed longer. The view from the window is breathtaking, the apartment warm and cozy, the bed comfortable, the bathroom large and roomy. We loved staying home in the evenings after a drive to some of the most spectacular mountains on earth! We cooked our own dinners in the perfect little kitchen and relaxed as we mapped out our adventures for the following day.
The photos do not really do the apartment justice--it is much larger than it appears. It is also clean and very well maintained with a large and very comfortable sofa to curl up on and read a book on a rainy day (we had a day of rain--it was lovely to simply stay indoors and enjoy the apartment -- we caught up with our washing --always a chore when on the road for several weeks) and the next day there was snow on the high peaks and the scenery was even more spectacular.
The owner is wonderful and so easy to work with. She welcomed us via Skype, and answered any and all questions we had. Carlo, who oversees the apartment for the owner is a delightful gentleman--his English is poor and our Italian is worse but we managed to get along just fine--he took us shopping for groceries and gave us the full tour of the apartment and all its amenities. There was even a bottle of wine, cheese and bread as a welcome gift upon our arrival.
Molveno is a gorgeous little jewel of a town that is a short drive away. We spent a day at Riva Garda having lunch and strolling along the lake. Our favorite day was spent traveling north to the Dolomites----Kastelruth is a small town located near some of the most spectacular mountains
we have ever seen--we want to return and spend more time exploring.
We loved our week in Villa Banale...and hope to return in the summer for the hiking and simply being outdoors. Despite some rainy weather, the scenery was gorgeous, castles and small towns and fields of green. I can't recommend this area and apartment highly enough.
We stayed in Villa Banale for 5 nights in July and enjoyed many things. Even before arrival, the scenery was spectacular. We passed Lago di Toblino and Toblino Castle just prior to a few tunnels and sharp curves that led us to our destination. This was the first of many gorgeous mountain lakes, castles, and beautiful sites. During our stay, we enjoyed lakes Idro, Garda, Molveno, and two in Switzerland during a long day trip to St. Moritz.
The village itself is quaint. It's fun to walk through the small village admiring the home gardens and fields of grapes, apples, corn, figs, kiwi and other produce. Just across the street is Hotel Bellavista. One late evening, we enjoyed "take out" pizza that was delicious. For church goers, the mass time varies village to village as I suspect they share a priest. Each village in the valley has a church bell tower which adds a wonderful charm.
The apartment is clean and comfortable. I was concerned it might be warm in July without air conditioning. It wasn't at all. There are many windows that provide great ventilation as well as gorgeous views. It was also refreshing to enjoy the clean, fresh air. The owners have a washer too which was a nice benefit for us mid-trip. The kitchen is ample and there's a pretty complete Coop grocery store and meat market in Ponte Arche. The bathroom has a good shower/bath. There are two bedrooms - one with a queen bed and the other with two single beds. We also took advantage of the movie collection.
Fun things near by: gellato, visited Fontanel cheese shop and Ca' de Mel honey shop in Fiave, gellato, wind surfing in Torbole, gellato, dinner in Molveno, more gellato!
Great "off the beaten path" place to stay! Clean, quiet and cozy. Owner was very helpful with suggestions of places to see and things to do. This is such a beautiful area to visit! Our children loved it here! We drove our vehicle and loved just driving around and looking at the views. To visit Limone is a MUST! A beautiful little town that is right on Lago di Garda! Would love to go back again!!
A comfortable apartment in a beautiful setting. There are trails that lead you to other nearby villages. Nice Torbole beach on Lake Garda is less than haf an hour away. So is the beautiful city of Trento.
This apartment was the perfect holiday rental for our small family. My husband and I stayed in the apartment for four nights with our 4 month-old baby and our dog. We felt it provided us a great place to relax and also do some sightseeing. We have traveled to Italy many other times and live in Germany. We wanted a calm, relaxing trip with some sightseeing, shopping, and of course eating! We drove our own car there and were able to visit the surrounding small villages (such as Rango and Fiave) along with Riva on Lake Garda. The entire area is stunningly beautiful! This property is a perfect place for exploring the surrounding areas. The description for this listing is accurate and the property was clean. The owner provided some very helpful information about sightseeing, local restaurants, and was very kind and eager to answer all of our questions. She also made sure that a local family would be there to assist us with anything we needed, like finding the grocery store and learning some key Italian phrases. We really enjoyed ourselves and would recommend this rental!