Sunday, March 05, 2017

Where I stayed in Bologna: Fabulous B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa in San Lazzaro di Savena

A personal trait of mine is that I do give out compliments easily and generously. I often frown on people when all they say are nothing but pretentious and superfluous takes on their lives, their jobs, their children and their vacations. Like when you ask, ‘How was your holiday?’ I would expect a more actual and reasonable answer other than, ‘It was OMFG fantabulous – the BEST holiday we’ve ever had – it was smashing our expectations, it could have not gotten any better.’ Hogwash. I get you are being positive but let’s just go back to earth and plant our feet on the ground, shall we?

B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
Breakfast area B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

A lot of travel bloggers do this as well when they write blog articles with fetching headlines – ‘The Best blah-blah here and blah-di-blah there’ – ‘What you need to see or do before you die’. I mean seriously, what is best? What do you know of what I want in my life? For all I care, your best is not good as mine? And hello, I do not have ambitions to do skydiving! But I give them the benefit of the doubt because most of them are young and just want SEO (search engine optimisation) juice for their blogs.

So yeah, I dislike exaggeration. Very much. I try my best not to have misleading titles in my blog posts as much as possible. When I dish out compliments, I really mean it and they better be worth it if I write about them on my blog. This means that when I write my reviews of the places I have stayed and been to, I will for sure write them without wearing rose-coloured glasses. And I pay for these places anyway so I have all the rights and freedom to say whatever I want.

Sorry for the lengthy introduction, but I am happy to say that the B&B country house I stayed in Pianoro - Lazzaro di Savena near Bologna was one of the best I have been to, well so far. The property and the location were just fabulous and my short stay there was really a priceless experience for me.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the Read more link below]

When I visited the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy last year, my plan was to visit several places. Bologna, Modena and Parma were on the travel agenda. I also wanted to do a day trip to the little country of San Marino. I have 4 days to cover them all which was very doable considering that Bologna, Modena and Parma are half an hour away from each other. Of course, I wish I have more days to spend in each place, but I have to live with what I have.

Modena and Parma are small cities which I can easily do in a day. San Marino can be done in a day as well, and that leaves me with 2 days for Bologna, which of course is a much bigger city than the rest, but the advantage of it all is that it has a very compact old city centre with all the important sights accessible on foot within a few hundred metres. Just perfect.

Since I will be doing this road trip style, I rented a lovely Fiat 500 (so cute!) and decided to stay in the countryside. Parking would be an issue if I stayed in the city of Bologna so the nearby suburbs and villages were my first choice. During one of those evenings searching on Booking and using Google, I found B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa. When I first saw the pictures of the property, I was right away, totally sold. This is it.

B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

There is a small intercom outside the gate to call the owners. Once I have checked-in, the owners gave me an electronic remote control gadget so I can open the gates anytime.

Room at B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

One of the things I loved about my room, other than the lovely wooden floor, the skylight and the chalkboard headboard (ingenious!), it would have to be the big Italy map. As a travel enthusiast, I love maps of any kind.

Receiving area B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

The B&B country house has 2 receiving areas facing each other. This is one of them.

Here are the things I love (and less liked) about B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa:

  • LOCATION – The property is set on a hillside of a valley, on a 3-hectare private park in the Gessi Bolognesi National Park. It is an oasis of green here. It is a zen of a place. This was one of the major reasons that made me stay here.
  • THE VIEWS – It boasts not only of nature views but you get a glimpse of the city of Bologna as well. It’s just fantabulous. From my room window, I can see the hilly expanse, the valleys and the city in the distance.
  • THE HORSES – The owners have their own horses and ponies. They breed Irish cobs which are beautiful animals. If you are a horse lover, this is going to be a deal maker. They have fenced out the B&B property so the animals can run freely around and not directly get in contact with the guests and vice versa. The animals graze and gallop around the property and it’s just a lovely sight. Of course, you can always watch them nearby or ask the owners if you could pet them.
  • B&B COUNTRY HOUSE DESIGN – So tastefully done in the eclectic country and classic styles with a hint of kitsch but executed in an elegant manner. I have a background in Interior Design and this place just breathes creativity. The colours and combinations just make your eyes pop and your senses play. I loved it that they have placed floor to ceiling glass window doors in the breakfast room which offer splendid views when you enjoy your first meal of the day.
  • MY ROOM – I have a double room which was designed nicely. Everything was great, from the skylight, the bathroom tiles, the wooden floors, the blackboard headboard and the map of Italy, well, except for 2 things: There was no full-length mirror and there was no sitting area with a table. But I loved the fact that my room is facing the hillside part where I have great views to the green pasture and the city of Bologna.
  • THE BREAKFAST + VIEWS – The breakfasts were rather very simple (cheese, salami, toast, sliced fruits, yoghurt, cakes and biscuits) but I am not a huge breakfast person so this was just fine by me. On the second day, I realised though that I can request some eggs which I did. They do not serve this on the little buffet table, so if you want a sunny side up or an omelette, you will have to request this when they give you your coffee, tea and toast. However, there are 2 things that I loved about the breakfast. Firstly, it is the presentation, it is just so dainty, romantic and very lady-like. It’s like having breakfast at Downton Abbey, haha. Secondly, of course, are the views. The lady owner also makes the cakes and biscuits herself. Everything is homemade.
  • DISTANCE & ACCESS – Just 10 kilometres to the city of Bologna, it takes approximately 10-12 minutes by car to get to the city centre. Having said that, it is also very easy to get to the highway from here. Since I will be visiting other cities, this was a great home base for me.
  • PARKING – It is free of course. One can park the car in the garage beside the gate but if the weather is not cooperating (rain) then the owners have told me I can park the car in front of the country house. They have also given me a little electronic remote control to open the gate so I do not have to ring every time when I arrive. This was very handy because this gives me freedom of movement.
  • SERVICE – I have nothing to complain. The owners were professional yet very friendly and accommodating. They live in the white country house beside the B&B.

The location of the property on Google Maps:

I have spoken a few times to the lady owner as well, commending her on her lovely designed B&B and the gorgeous location. She said that it took them a while to find this place, and when they did, they right away bought it. They just fell in love with the views and the whole setting. The B&B idea came later though she said. The B&B country house was added years later.

When I paid for my stay, the lady owner invited me to her house since the card machine is there and I was able to see how they live. Her house is designed with the same style as her B&B. It is beautiful.

I really enjoyed my stay here and I highly recommend this place.

My picture gallery:

Because I took loads of pictures, I will be posting the rest of the outdoor photos and the animals on a separate post.


B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa in San Lazzaro di Savena
B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa in San Lazzaro di Savena

The B&B country house is perched on top of the valley.

B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa in San Lazzaro di Savena


Receiving area - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
Receiving area - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

The 2 receiving areas of the B&B, they are both facing each other. The furniture is a mix of country and vintage retro kitsch in bright primary and secondary colours which do play with your senses.

B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa in San Lazzaro di Savena


Breakfast area - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
Breakfast table - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

The breakfast area at the B&B has huge window doors with views of the valley. They already set the table for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

There is attention to detail on the table setting for breakfast. Lovely and impressive.

Kitchen - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

This kitchen is not for the guests use, though. The owners seem to use this for serving breakfast to the guests only.


Room at B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
Bathroom - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa in San Lazzaro di Savena

The tiles on the bathroom walls were very beautiful and remind me of Moroccan style design except of course for the colour. The mirror and lavatory both go together with their artistic curves.

Toiet - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
Double room - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadesa

I really liked the skylight as it gives me the sense of light and space. You can close it if you do not want it. That brown leather thing looks like a horse saddle methinks.

Room view at B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
Room view - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa in San Lazzaro di Savena

My views from the room, well, not bad at all, huh?


Sitting area - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
Hallway and stairway - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

That art installation hanging from the ceiling in the hallway and stairway is sure very catchy. Not sure if it was my favourite, but I agree that there should be something hanging on that space, though.


Breakfast table - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

I stayed here 3 nights and 4 days and every morning, I always choose a different table with a new table setting arrangement.

Breakfast - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
Breakfast buffet - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

A very simple buffet breakfast, but you can request warm toasts, fried or cooked eggs and even omelette. The lady owner makes all the cakes and biscuits herself.

Table setting - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa

The table setting here is really well-thought of. I am feeling Downton Abbey-ish here.

Breakfast and view - B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa
B&B Cà Bianca dell'Abbadessa in San Lazzaro di Savena

Travel Period: May 2016
Destination: San Lazarro di Savena, Bologna (Emilia-Romagna), Italy

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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