Friday, 24 February 2012

ArchBlog Holidays: Villa Angela, Istria, Croatia

One of my favourite ever holidays was to Croatia with wifey HanPicked. The highlight of the trip was a wonderful week on the remote and unspoilt island of Vis. It was a while ago (Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick for En-Ger-Land v Croatia when I was there) but we often long to go back.

Given my general hard-on for Croatia, it's no surprise that I was immediately captivated by Bry OB Ben Wilson's piccies of his family's drop-dead gorgeous 18th century stone house in the northern region of Istria, Croatia's northern-most peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. As you can see from the (reasonably) exclusive piccies I'm posting right here, the villa really is top, top banana.

While regular readers will be aware that ArchBlog isn't exactly an interiors blog (!), it is impossible to plug Villa Angelo without raving about the tasteful botanic prints, delightful eiderdown and satisfyingly 'beat-up' armchairs. I'm also a whopping fan of those 'trapped' lights in the bathroom. They remind me of the Prisoner of Conscience stained-glass window in Salisbury Cathedral (in a good way). And a special ArchBlog gold * goes to the artful way in which the hat is perched on that chair by the SMEG. Elegant.

Below the piccies, I've posted some Wilsonian blurb about the villa, the local town and what to do in the area.


About the villa:

Villa Angelo is an early 18th Century stone house perched on a hillside in the scenic medieval village of Motovun, Croatia. South-facing and with a large terrace and loggia, the house has uninterrupted views across the valley below and offers guests spacious luxury with a personal touch.
The property has been lovingly restored using the best of local and modern materials. Attention to detail is apparent in every room. Whether in the Istrian limestone floors equipped with under floor heating, the custom-designed beds and cupboards built with reclaimed timber, or the handmade, tin-lined copper bath, each space has been carefully considered and artfully realised. Arranged over 3 floors across 250 square metres, the house accommodates 6 adults comfortably with 3 generous bedrooms (2 double beds, 2 single beds), a master bathroom, bathroom with shower, large living room, eat-in kitchen, terrace and loggia.
Decorated with a playful balance of modern and antique furnishings, the house is finished with the very best appliances for added comfort and convenience. The kitchen has a top-end Italian range cooker, stylish Smeg fridge/freezer, Miele washer/dryer and dishwasher. Wireless Internet is also available throughout the property.
Running the length of the house, the terrace is perfect for entertaining with an el fresco dining table, barbecue and outdoor shower for those hot summer months. Three sets of French doors open into the living room where guests can enjoy the tranquility of the panoramic views while making the most of the large open fire and comfortable sofas. There is also a flat screen television and sound system provided for further entertainment.
Children are welcome and pets may be accommodated with approval from the owners. Parking is free and the town square is a five-minute walk from the house.

About the town:

Motovun is located in the heart of Istria, Croatia’s northern-most peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. The town grew from the site of an ancient Roman city called Kastelijer and was ruled by the Bishop of Poreč in the 10th and 11th centuries. It was overtaken by the Venetians in 1278 and fortified with a perimeter wall which is still intact today and used as a footpath with singular views across the four corners of Istria. In addition to its ancient fortifications the town is linked with a network of towers, churches and city gates containing aspects of Roman, Gothic and Renaissance styles.
Today the town is home to nearly five hundred permanent residents and has everything visitors could need including several excellent restaurants, cafes and bars and a local hotel with a spa and swimming pool that can be used by guests of Villa Angelo. There are shops that offer the best of local truffles, olive oil, cheeses and other delicacies and stalls where residents sell their fruit, vegetables and homemade wines & liquors. There is even a daily fishmonger who delivers a variety of freshly caught seafood from the back of his van.
The annual Motovun Film Festival is a renowned independent film festival screening a wide variety of European and international films and attracting an audience of thousands. Described by The Guardian in 2007 as “a cross between Glastonbury and Sundance” the week of the festival is by far the busiest time of the year in Motovun. The outdoor screenings and accompanying celebrations make the festival the most popular event of the year so book early to avoid disappointment.


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