La Foleia is located in the woods of the Piedmont hills, just an hour’s drive north of Milan, and it is the brainchild of Gemma Richards and Niccolò Rignano. She studied psychology, he majored in economics, but shortly after graduation they decided to dedicate their lives to hospitality – and the development of this rather unusual property became their first calling.
La Foleia is an ensemble of two neoclassical-style villas, each for four guests. They mirror each other in a natural pond with pink lotus flowers and water lilies.
Cross the threshold of the green gate and prepare to enter a world out of this world. Sara, the house-keeper welcomed us with a friendly smile and then lead us into an octagonal villa, fittingly called …Villa Ottagonale. A sanctuary of pale pink walls. The large window frames, the inhabited pond and the ever-moving nature, in which the other villa, called Padiglione, is reflected.
Gemma and Niccolò went on several missions for “new” interior, searching local markets for the perfect pieces and combining them with gems left over from the past. Shiny floors, Toile de juoy upholstery, contemporary lamps, purple velvet fabrics, bookshelves containing precious volumes, neoclassical decorations. In the bathroom there is original marble and a star ceiling that “glows” when the lights go out.
We truly fell in love at first sight.
In the summer months, the external patios are an ideal place to enjoy nature. Lounging in armchairs with white and salmon-colored cushions you indulge in the beauty of the garden designed by Gianfranco Giustina. The waterfall splashes to the left, the lotus flowers sway, the forest landscape surrounds everything like a living embrace.
Villa Padiglione is similar, but somewhat smaller. Here, too, attention to detail dominates. The frescoed walls and the fireplace give the room a touch of bygone times.
On request, dinner is prepared at La Foleia and served on the terrace — by candlelight and with graceful staging. The chef creates each meal by prior arrangement, letting his creativity run wild with quality ingredients and favoring local produce. Even breakfast can be customized by letting the team know your preferences the night before. The table is set at leisure so that it is ready when the guests wake up. Every detail has been carefully thought out by Gemma: the special herbal teas, the organic muesli and the hand-made croissants. Extra style points for the original silver cutlery, of course.
The wellness area is located on a small hill overlooking the lake. There is a sauna and two small heated spring water pools (framed by beautifully arranged stone). The temperature can be adjusted to the guests’ wishes and can reach up to 40 degrees. Thanks to this gem, La Foleia is also an ideal retreat in the cold months when the vines blush on the terrace.
La Foleia is located in the province of Novara, in a corner of Piedmont a little off the beaten track. Courtesy of some cunning planning by Gemma and Niccolò, guests will discover some of the more hidden wonders of the region: Lake Maggiore (10 min), the Borromean Islands (20 min), Lake Orta (20 min), but also the Ticino, the wineries and the historical villas. The vehicle of choice for many of those adventures is an old light green Land Rover Defender 110, restored and ready to roll for those excursions. If you like, you can book a picnic in the countryside, a horseback ride or a motorboat trip on Lake Maggiore.
La Foleia is also an ideal place for weddings, banquets, parties, bachelor parties and family reunions. Enchanting tables can be set in every corner of the property, for example along the wisteria-lined avenue, in the covered halls or in the greenhouse.
Villa Ottagonale: High Season from 1100 euro, low season from 700 euro per night. Villa Padiglione high season from 1050, low season from 650 euro per night including breakfast. Private dinners and experiences extra cost.
Via Comignago, 23,
28010 Revislate Novara