Rustic-chic: inside new Villa Giara

The former CMO of Versace, Stephen Croncota and designer Ricardo Baptista Fernandes have transformed a tired villa in Piedmont, Italy, into a charming, boutique guesthouse…

Green walls and chilled design scheme inside bedroom

Sheltering just 10 keys, Villa Giara is more of a home than it is a hotel guesthouse, which is the exact vibe the couple Stephen Croncota  and Ricardo Baptista Fernandes wanted to create when renovating the villa into an endearing guesthouse, full of character.

Villa Giara living room - calm, home-from-home feel

Image credit: Claire Menary Photography

Villa Giara is situated in Piedmont’s ‘Golden Triangle’, the area between wine town Asti, truffle town Alba and thermal bath town Acqui Terme. Perched atop a mountain near the quaint town of Calosso, the bed-and-breakfast property is surrounded by vineyard-lined rolling hills and comprises two former farmhouses, manicured gardens with yoga deck and a large pool with panoramic views of the valley below.

10 bedrooms, each with their own unique charm and personality, are filled with artwork, textiles and antiques hand-picked by Stephen and Ricardo on their travels. Italian artisanship is celebrated throughout, with luxurious Italian mattresses and bath products adding a slice of authenticity. All rooms offer sweeping vineyard and mountain views, or look out on to the historic hilltop town of Calosso, via French doors, balcony or terrace.

A olive green wall in bedroom with light design scheme

Image credit: Claire Menary Photography

Breakfast is served daily in Villa Giara’s Limonaia room, while daily aperitivos and antipasti are available on the terrace, the perfect spot in which to soak up the sunset before heading out to a local trattoria. Private on-site dining experiences can be arranged on request.

The opening of the villa comes before more restoration works on a separate outbuilding at the base of the property’s hill are almost complete and will provide further accommodation for up to four adults.

A mid-century art piece in living room at Villa Giara

Image credit: Claire Menary Photography

Croncota and Fernandes, who hail from the US and Portugal respectively, began renovating properties alongside their ‘day jobs’ more than 17 years ago and made this passion their full-time occupation in 2017. After living and working in several countries including the USA, Germany and Argentina, the couple finally settled in Italy, where they discovered an abundance of beautiful but neglected properties across Puglia and Piedmont crying out to be restored to their former glory.

Rolling hills in the background and outdoor pool

Image credit: Claire Menary Photography

Typically, the couple either live in, rent or sell the properties after renovation, however in Villa Giara they uncovered a gem too special not to be shared with the world.

Main image credit: Claire Menary Photography