We started our trip to Italy by flying to Milan from New York after a 5 hour layer. Once in Milan we met up Valeria our sales director for Palazzo a Ricci, rented a car and headed off visiting the beautiful towns of Masera and Domodossala in Italy.
Masera is located on the Italian, Swiss border. This mountain town is so beautiful and charming in every way. We stayed at our friends B&B Casa Toma. Last time we were here it was March and still cold.
This time spring and summer was in full bloom and just spectacular. The mountains are lush and green and flowers were blooming everywhere. As we walked up the path to our B&B the intoxicating smell of honeysuckle filled the air.
Our amazing host Arriana had made us a beautiful lunch! A charcuterie board with local cheeses, procuitto and delicious bread. Along with a simple but very delicious pasta salad made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella balls and basil! My favorite kind of lunch!
With very little sleep on the plane we went to our room to rest for 45 min. Then we were off to explore!
Exploring Masera Italy
Our friend Matias owns a lovely market. It is filled with all kinds of local meats and specialty cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Plus other needed groceries like chocolate! We always stop in to buy a few yummy snacks to keep on hand.
Masera is filled with historic old villas that make my heart go pitter patter. I feel like we are on a movie set when exploring some of these beautiful old villas because it just doesn’t seem real!
The Villa Caselli in Masera Italy
We were able to go into the Villa Caselli to see some of the historic beauty of the French style chateau.
The Italian family that built this French style chateau were the private gold smiths to the French royal family for several generations. At the onset of the French revolution the family moved back to Italy and built this grand chateau.
Some of the original frescos are still in great condition. The walls in many of the rooms were hand painted! I thought it was wallpaper! So incredibly beautiful! The chateau is absolutely enormous with so many hallways and rooms! Unfortunately over the years many things have been stolen… like fireplace mantles and other details on the outside of some of the buildings on the property.
I thought the fabric covered walls were so unique.
There has been some water damage in parts of the château most likely due to holes in the roof.
As we walked down a few hallways a few bats came out to greet us!
Beautiful finishing in every room, mouldings, trim, frescoes, marble and fabrics everywhere!
The creepy cellar area
Down in the cellar area of the French Villa was astounding! There is a room with what we think was a version of central heating! It was used to heat the entire chateau.
Also check out this gigantic oven! It takes up an entire wall. I bet there was some seriously delicious food coming out of that oven.
We also found this room filled with lots of tin cans. These were cans of food sent from America during the war! How incredible is that! I don’t know why they kept all those empty cans though?
There was a secret tunnel running from the main house to the servants quarters. This particular house is where the head servant would live with his family. It was kind of like a ghost hunt haha.
Here you can see a quick sped up tour that I took of the chateau. (If I kept it regular speed it would be rather long)
Amazing dinner at Michelin star restaurant
After our exploration it was time for dinner. Our sweet friends took us to an incredible Michelin star restaurant. Wow was it impressive! We started our gastronomical experience with appetizers that looked like a work of art! I don’t know what we ate but it was delicious.
They also served whipped butter that looked like it was a dessert for our bread.
Oh and the bread ….. homemade with locally grown wheat. TO DIE FOR! Plus long skinny breadsticks made with rosemary.
I ordered a pasta dish with two different tomato sauces mixed with some pesto topped with creamy burrata cheese.
It was exploding with flavor! My hubby had some beautifully prepared risotto and our friends had other incredible dishes.
I just can’t remember what they were but so beautifully presented.
Then they served us an abundance of different chocolates on a gold platter in the shape of Italy! The entire meal was just stunning!
To end the evening we walked around the beautiful square In Domodossola.
School had ended for summer so it was filled with happy children and teens playing a little soccer and enjoying their first day of summer vacation.
This my friends is what real Italy looks like in a small village at the beginning of summer.
The chateau is amazing – if those wall could talk….. but I want to know about that tree in the market! I love it!
Karins Kottage says
That tree was handmade by the owner. Isn’t it amazing?!
Oh that looks just fabulous! Such yummy food and while I would not have been okay with the bats I do enjoy exploring older houses/mansions/ etc. and seeing how they lived.
Karins Kottage says
It was so fascinating to tour that place but the bats kinda freaked me out 😵💫😳😂 I may have his in another room 😂
Rita C at Panoply says
Karin, this is absolutely a dream come true for you, and a genuinely educational virtual experience for us! Those hand-painted bird frescos and textile wall coverings are still stunning. Wouldn’t surprise me if you end up expanding throughout Italy!
Karins Kottage says
Rita… I wish I had taken even more pics inside that old château it was really unbelievable. We do hope one day to expand through Italy. There are just so many incredible areas it will be hard to choose where to do another one!