Franciacorta, Lombardia | Italy • by Eleonora Paulietti, Private Voyage Advisor
Most people think of L'Albereta as the sanctuary of holistic well-being thanks to the 2,000 square meter signature spa by Henri Chenot. When I stayed at the relais, I found out that there's much more to it than you know.
Not everyone knows that the resort is owned by the Moretti family, who are also owners of Bellavista, one of the most famous wineries in the Franciacorta area. The family vineyards extend all around the relais, thus ensuring a panoramic view on the bucolic surroundings from every single corner. Guests at L’Albereta will have a sneak peek from their rooms on the small tractors irrigating the vines and grapes.
Last year, Lido La Tesa has been designed in a large grass area among the vineyards: a ‘green beach’ with extensive views, just a few steps away from the hotel building. Suspended hammocks between the trees and sun loungers are available for you to savor some peace while reading a book, sunbathing, having a delicious picnic or simply enjoying the view.
The culinary offer has been masterfully led for years by the glorious milanese Chef Gualtiero Marchesi, the inventor of modern Italian cuisine. After his passing, young chef Fabio Abbattista has taken up Marchesi’s legacy and infused it with its eclectic personality at Leonfelice Vista Lago. Created from the merger of fine dining restaurant Leone Felice and the more informal Bistrot Vista Lago, the new restaurant intends to explore and develop the Italian innate art of hospitality, recounting the spirit of the resort through local dishes prepared with great technique.
If you’re longing for more casual dining, you should try the new kiosk La Filiale. Advertised as ‘pizza like you have never tasted‘, it offers a unique dining experience that combines a menu entirely dedicated to the iconic pizzas by Franco Pepe with outstanding wines from Franciacorta and beyond. Being quite popular with the locals, the place gets booked up pretty easily. So don’t forget to reserve your table in advance. If you’re up for some romance, you could ask for one of the seven tables scattered in the woods where you can enjoy your delicious pizza far from prying eyes.
My suggestion for an ideal evening would be to first sip a cocktail at sunset on the terrace of Leonfelice Vista Lago while contemplating the mountains that plunge into Lake Iseo. When the sun has set, you can move to La Filiale for a gourmet pizza paired with an excellent Franciacorta wine.
Should you feel the weight of guilt on the morning after, do consider a private session with one of L’Albereta’s skillful personal trainers. He will guide you through a tailor-made outdoor workout session along the fitness trail that winds all around the estate, where you can make good use of the equipment scattered throughout the vineyards.
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