RELAIS VILLA GIULIA
Elegant Napoleonic residence overlooking the Adriatic
BUILT FOR NAPOLEON'S STEPSON in the early 1800s, Villa Giulia has been owned by generations of counts, princes and barons.
The house resonates with its illustrious past, and present owner Contessa Anna Passi – the most hospitable of hosts – loves welcoming guests to this living history book of a home.
Once the summer estate of aristocratic families, peach-coloured Villa Giulia is set high above the Adriatic and surrounded by lush gardens and olive groves criss-crossed by little paths. You’ll find orchards and a lemon store, a chapel, a gorgeous pool and a wide terrace looking down over the sea and the medieval town of Fano
. You’d be pushed to think of a more beguiling setting for hand-in-hand strolls and stolen kisses.
The house is full of traces of its past. Handsomely furnished rooms contain original antiques, objets d’art and rich fabrics
, not to mention assorted family heirlooms, books and paintings. Bedrooms vary in size and elegance (some are in the main house, while newer air conditioned rooms are in the adjacent carriage house) and each is individual.
Some rooms are sweetly old fashioned
Hit the Spot
Just south of Pesaro – 30 km from Rimini airport.
For the max in space and character, go for a private junior suite.
If you like your houses newly-packaged and pristine, this may not be for you.
Adriatic hilltop charmer with views to match.
, some are frescoed and some are simply enormous, while far-from-Napoleonesque comforts ensure you’ll find everything you need. Naturally the odd creaky door and window comes as standard. Guests have the run of the whole house and its salons, though you’ll probably want to spend most time out of doors, following the path through the family olive groves and hanging garden to the pool.
Breakfast is a highlight at Villa Giulia
, eaten in the family dining room or out on the sea-facing verandah, where the resident dogs may be snoozing. You’ll find a feast of freshly-made pastries and tarts as well as platters of fresh fruit and savouries. Dinner is bookable in advance, and features home-prepared fresh Adriatic fish and other local dishes.
Sandy beaches and the coastal cities of Fano and Pesaro are just five minutes away, while the hills of Umbria beckon
in the other direction. The little hilltop republic of San Marino is also close by. Friendly staff, tranquillity and an utterly hospitable hostess are the icing on the cake.
Relais Villa Giuila was reviewed by Room for Romance
Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.
Aside from the first-class breakfasts, Villa Giulia offers light dinners at night. Meals are served in the family dining room and major on traditional regional dishes. Naturally it is made with the best and freshest local produce
Try the fresh-landed seafood at Ristorante Casa Nolfi, in nearby Fano. Specialities include skate with caper sauce and pasta with squid sauce.
Relais Villa Giulia
Traditional regional food, washed down with plenty of local wine.
Dress the part
As casual as you like – you’re one of the family.
In the sociable family dining room.
See & Do
From sandy beaches to medieval hill towns, the province of Le Marche has it all. Splendid Urbino – an ancient university seat – is a short drive away and is often hailed as the gem of the Renaissance. The beaches of the Adriatic are just 1km away if you want to get bronzing. Needless to say thrill seekers can find all kinds of water sports on the beach.
Pesaro is known for its ceramic workshops and Majolica tiles, so is a great place for picking up pottery. Fashion slaves will be pleased to know there are some good-value designer outlets nearby – staff will be happy to give you directions.
You can work on the body beautiful in the solarium. A spa is coming soon.
How about sipping a bottle of local Verdicchio wine on the terrace and star gazing?
July – August
Take in some open-air arias at the Macerata Opera festival.
More music, this time jazz, at the Fano Jazz festival.
Rossini fans can see the great composer's works staged at the Pesaro Rossini festival.
Via di Villa Giulia, Località San Biagio, Fano, Pesaro
There is free guest parking
Fano station – 2 km
EUR 15 from the station or EUR 70 from the airport
Rimini – 15 miles
Rooms and suites
3 rooms, six suites
Comfortable rooms are furnished with family antiques and heirlooms.
There is a large outdoor swimming pool with panoramic sea views, a solarium and a private park.
EUR 150 - 250
Closed January - February
Minimum night stay?
Buffet breakfast is served until 11am. It's pretty special, with freshly-baked cakes and pastries, a huge selection of fruit and cereals, sausages, cured meats and hearty fare like omelettes.
In some rooms
Italian, English and French are spoken
Yes – with catering for up to 100 guests
A spa will be opened in 2008
Anna Passi – owner