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Emilian Dreams

LARA GILMORE, Massimo Bottura’s partner in life and in business, is the soul of a new project called Casa Maria Luigia.

It’s a 12-room place in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy where guests can sleep, food is served, and works of art by masters like Ai Weiwei and Joseph Beuys can be admired, along with a swimming pool and elegant Italian-style gardens where guests can lounge lazily and smell the Emilian countryside as part of their experience.

“There will be food served all day,” says Gilmore. So that means more than just the hearty breakfast offered at traditional B&Bs. “But it will be nothing like what we serve at Francescana,” she adds, referring to the couple’s Michelin-starred restaurant in Modena, which is currently ranked #1 in the world by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Traditional products from Emilia-Romagna will be featured, of course, from Parmigiano-Reggiano to culatello—which is more tender than prosciutto—with Modena balsamic vinegar and lots of tagliatelle al ragù and tortellini, the signature pastas of the region. The new twist is that greens and fruits will be grown on the property, and the house will make full use of its wood-burning stone fireplace to cook everything from vegetables to bread. Casa Maria Luigia is set to open in May, with prices from €450-€750 per night.