Gabriele and Gabriella Seresina are a couple with vision, authenticity and pride in what they do. Together, in 2004, they took management of a stunning estate that is perched on the edge of Italy's Lake Garda, that once belonged to the Counts Feltrinelli, and restructured and restored it to its ancient grandeur. Their ambition to do this was born a long long time ago; Gabriele had spent his life in the world of motors as founder and team manager of the automotive team Euro, which led him to be away from home and staying in hotels for large chunks of time. Despite staying in so many different hotels, he never felt comfortable in any of them; with more or less the same equipment in every room, complete anonymity and zero atmosphere, this is where Gabriele’s dream to create a hotel with character and charm was born, and only grew as the years went by.
Coming together, Gabrielle and Gabriella made a plan to create a place for people to not only relax and enjoy, but also to create an atmosphere that would make the property feel like a second home for each and every one of their guests – a place with a beating heart and an enchanting soul. When they saw the villa estate for the first time, they knew they were getting closer to their dream; with panoramic views of one of Italy’s best lakes, they knew it would be a dream escape for their future guests too. Once they acquired the property, it underwent extensive renovations and Gabriella’s expert sense of style and taste created a stunning interior space that now warmly welcomes guests from all over the world. With a preference for vintage, Gabriella’s natural sense of style does not depend on short-term trends, a quality held by many Milanese women but one that is particularly pronounced in Gabriella, and one that has allowed her to craft the beautiful interiors at Villa Sostaga into what they are today.
In May of 2005, the couple’s dream came true and Boutique Hotel Villa Sostaga opened its doors to the public. The hotel was run by the couple as well as their son Francesco at the beginning, but now Francesco has taken full control of the reins. Previously working in Milan in various industries, he too is a host with great heart and soul for what he does. Once a more casual lover of wine, Francesco’s adoration for it only grew once he started working at the villa and today wine is his biggest passion, and the reason Villa Sostaga’s wine cellar is home to almost 400 stunning wines from both local and international vineyards. When not busy with the running of the villa, Francesco visits wineries to find new wines instead of finding them in the usual mainstream labs, making the wine cellar even more unique!
Villa Sostaga has an extraordinary atmosphere, and what makes it so special is that it’s so incredibly unique; where else will you find another villa with such a rich history, with one of the most beautiful lakeside views in the world? Originally a private residence, Gabriele remains fascinated by the history of the people who lived there, and so he and Gabriella have made sure to take care to maintain a sense of original design and individual expression in each and every room, so that it remains forever in the memory of their guests. The nature and greenery that surrounds the estate is so beautiful and tranquil, it’s no wonder guests find it difficult to leave! It’s Francesco’s favourite part about the villa, which you can see through the careful work he has done on the grounds himself; you could say the forestry work is Francesco’s way of meditating, and he invites you to roam the grounds and let the beauty of the estate and the glistening lake send you into your own form of meditation.
Gabriella wanted guests to feel like friends here, and the fact that they do is her favourite part of the hotel. The work that is put in to make this happen feels so effortless that you can’t help but fall in love with the villa, the surroundings and of course this beautiful family. Not to mention that the recipe book of Gabriele’s grandmother, Martina Bazzani, is used as inspiration for the menu; she worked as a cook at the court of the great poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, and her original dishes sit rightfully at home on the restaurant menu, thus spreading the family spirit of this villa even deeper.
Aiming to create a place that tells stories of people, their joy and their destiny, one with its own character that emanates magic from every corner, we think it’s fair to say that Gabrielle and Gabriella Seresina succeeded. Entirely self-taught, they are a family not to be reckoned with; for if they can create the beauty that is Boutique Hotel Villa Sostaga, who knows what else they can do?!
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