The villa

The Villa belonged to important Italian noble families: Maffei, Medici and Balis Crema.

History

The villa, thanks to its exceptional location, next to the church of Sant’Andrea Apostolo in the centre of Romagnano, affords an extraordinary panoramic view of the valley.
It was probably for this reason that the powerful Maffei family were drawn to the villa at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The Maffei family embarked on an ambitious project for the agricultural development of the area, engaging the local people with long lease and work contracts and fostering the profitable cultivation of vines and olives, for which this territory has always been renowned.
The presence of the Maffei family can be traced back to 15 April 1602, when ownership passed to Vincenzo Francesco de Medicis of San Michele alla Porta.
During the seventeenth century, the villa was modified with structural and decorative improvements, as well as the planting of vines, olive trees, morari and other shrubs.
Later, the property passed to Ludovico de Medici, who married Chiara Portalupi, sealing the union between these two prominent Veronese families. On Ludovico’s death the property passed from descendant to descendant, until the last of the Veronese branch of the Medici: Maria Veronica. In the mid-1830s, Maria Veronica married engineer Luigi Balis Crema, whose family inherited the villa on his death on 5 August 1880.

Villa Balis Crema has undergone extensive and painstaking restoration and refurbishment, thanks to the Zecchini family, who acquired it in 2008, and who bear witness to an entrepreneurial tradition that has always been closely tied to this area.
Architect Roberto Facchinetti oversaw the historical restoration of the entire complex, while Silvia Bettini took care of the interior design in its conversion into a hotel.

The entire complex is immersed in a large garden-orchard (brolo) that runs around the perimeter and borders the land cultivated with vineyards and olive groves, which belong to the Azienda Agricola Villa Medici, owned by the Zecchini family.

The residential complex

Villa Balis Crema consists of three units: the central body (the main building), the left wing, known as “la Barchessa”, and the right wing, known as “la Casa del Custode”, which perfectly embrace the garden overlooking the hills and the valley.

The main building
On the ground floor of the Villa you can find:
The reception: spacious surroundings and cozy armchairs from which you can comfortably breathe in the atmosphere of an ancient holiday residence.

– The breakfast room: in the charming rooms of the Villa and beneath the brick vaults of what was once the cellar, you can enjoy a breakfast prepared by chef Giacomo Sacchetto, your gourmet start to the day, rich in local and homemade products reflecting the seasons and the creativity of the kitchen brigade.
– The reading room, the historical archive of the Medici family: under the frescoes that form a pergola, while comfortably seated on a capitonné leather sofa in front of the fireplace, relax with a good book and a drink surrounded by period documents and curiosities about Villa Balis Crema.
– The bar: we devote great attention to the bar service during your moments of relaxation. An aperitif, a glass of wine chosen from our list, sipped at the bar or comfortably seated at the tables outside, enjoying the fine weather, or perhaps accompanied by a cocktail recommended by our barman. Without forgetting, of course, “cicchetti” prepared by our chef.
– On the first floor there are two large halls with sixteenth-century frescoes, which have been restored by the architect Facchinetti in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Heritage of Verona. They are equipped with a kitchen and restrooms and are used for events, private parties, weddings, anniversaries and ceremonies.
– On the second floor there are 6 rooms, 3 of which are suites ranging from 55 to 77 square meters and complete with a private spa. But also for team-building or meetings, with the availability of a video projector and sound system.
– On the second floor there are 6 rooms, 3 of which are suites ranging in size from 55 to 77 square meters and complete with a private spa.

The Barchessa is on three floors and has 10 rooms, including a triple room.

The Casa del Custode, houses “Bottega & Cucina” where reservations can be made for lunch or dinner and where one may buy products prepared in our restaurant, including fresh ingredients from our garden.

In the Brolo (garden), on a lower level of the courtyard and connected to the Casa del Custode, there is the La Cru Restaurant, 1 Michelin star in 2020 and Michelin Green Star in 2021. An innovative glass and steel structure with a view that opens onto the organic vegetable garden and the sweeping valley.
The courtyard also houses a chlorine-free organic swimming pool, equipped with a natural filtering system using stones and plant roots, without added chemicals, in keeping with the principles of nature, with an adjoining relaxation area.

Spaces

Winter Garden
A corner of Nature in the room adjacent to the Villa’s historic barrel cellar, with lemons and aromatic plants from the garden: the ideal place to savour a moment of relaxation together with a good drink.

Outdoor Garden
In the shade of the centuries-old plants in our garden, which are listed with the Cultural Heritage authorities, you can have lunch at the tables of our Bottega&Cucina during the summer or enjoy an aperitif at sunset, taking in the magnificent view of the valley.

The Park
We can organise private parties, weddings, anniversaries and ceremonies, with custom cuisine.

The Bottega
Located in the Casa del Custode, the Bottega is a unique venue where you can taste the dishes of Veneto tradition. There are two rooms, one with a fireplace, in which to enjoy the cozy atmosphere of winter, and in summer to lounge in the shade of the centuries-old trees in our park.
A classic menu with verve and in step with the seasons, exalts traditional dishes and the fine selection of local and national wines, as well as the chance to take home a tasty treat, our Souvenirs of Taste: jarred preserves, prepared with products from the garden, sauces and gravies, jams and mustards, vegetables in oil and other delicacies from our territory and from renowned brands that we like to champion.

The Restaurant
The restaurant La Cru 1 Michelin star in 2020 and Green Star in 2021, is located in a newly built structure with burnished steel, partly taken from salvaged railway sleepers, and large windows overlooking the Valpantena. It gives onto the biodynamic vegetable garden, vineyards and olive grove, which provide much of the ingredients for the cuisine.
The layout of the room allows guests to enjoy ample space and a variety of sensations. Chef Giacomo Sacchetto defines his cuisine as territorial, authentic and seasonal. A formula that is nourished by memories and constant research.
The vegetable garden
The organic, biodynamically focused vegetable garden, occupies an area of 2,000 square meters and overlooks the restaurant, only a few steps away from the kitchen. Its particular shape of concentric circles brings us back to the perfection of nature and its circularity: an ecosystem of spontaneous plants and vegetables that grow in symbiosis. It is a self-sustaining and self-defending vegetable garden, thanks to what we like to call the “collaboration” between plants: those that are able to stimulate each other’s growth in nature are placed close to each other. A circular system that also involves recycling vegetable waste from the kitchen to make our own compost. In addition, we preserve the natural environment by hosting our own small colony of bees.