Paraiso Madera Bed & Breakfast
"Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
After so many lodging "adventures" that were not so pleasant at times, we have found a little paradise here in Villa Bartolomea, a Bed and Breakfast in a beautiful rural setting but still close to endless sites to see...Verona, Montova, Ferrara, Venice, Padua and many more. These places are about an hour away so a rental car is definitely required at this location.
Each room here is color coded and we are in the red room. Luckily, red is one of my favorite colors, along with orange. We are in our own little cabin, away from other guest rooms so it's nice and quiet. All of the rooms and the large lounge are completely separate from the owner's home so all guests have plenty of privacy. We have a kitchen with a gas stove and there is a grocery store ten minutes away. With only one exception, I have been cooking our meals while staying here which has saved a lot of money.
We have the world's most amazing shower! It looks like a time travel capsule to me and John thinks it looks like a sanitization chamber. It has a ton of jets to choose from, in addition to a rain shower and regular hand held shower with adjustments to use only one, some, or all of them. It has its own fan inside the shower, lights with several different settings, and music if you like. It is quite the machine!
The most wonderful thing about this place is the owners. They are, seriously, the most kind and generous people we have ever met. They go above and beyond to make sure their guests have a great stay here. They provide everything you could ever want, including things that I have never seen any other place provide. In addition to breakfast, they supply shampoo, conditioner, soap, laundry detergent, snacks, bottled water, drinks (including wine and beer), without limitation, to all their guests. In the lounge there is a refrigerator that is stocked with drinks of every kind and a snack table at all hours. They also picked us up at the train station, which was a 40-minute drive for them, each way. They helped us acquire and pick up a rental car after we got settled. They took us and other guests out to the best dinner we've had since we arrived in Italy, their treat.
They speak no English and we cannot (yet) speak any Italian, but we are communicating well. When things are not clear, we are grateful to have Google Translate though we have learned it cannot be trusted completely, especially when using the microphone, hahaha. All I can say is proofread your screen before you share it with the other person and, even then, hope for the best. Sometimes there is no existing word in another language to correctly express what you are saying but you can always figure it out, at least close enough to manage. Google occasionally takes some creative and not-always-friendly liberties when transcribing. This will, no doubt, improve as the years go by. We find it is amazing how much you can relay and understand with gestures...maybe charade-type gestures but, still, it works!
Another thing that John and I love are all the dogs! When the owner pulled into their driveway upon our arrival, we were giggling with delight to see dogs coming toward the car. First a couple, then another, eventually seven in all! Stella, Sarah, Romeo, Juliet, Kiko, Luna, and Piccolo. The dogs were a wonderful, unexpected surprise. John and I both love animals so very much. Dogs, cats, and all others so it has been wonderful sharing this space with them.
During the beginning days of our stay, there was a couple here at the B&B from Rome, Alessandro and Barbara, with their dog, Olivia, who had come up to visit nearby family. Wonderful, kind people and it was such a pleasure getting to know them a bit. It was a great treat for all of us that Barbara spoke English and was able to translate some of our communications. John adored their dog, Olivia, and they quickly built a sweet relationship. He also felt very close to Kiko, pictured here (on the left) and took great care of him for several hours on the owners' behalf during a situation that arose.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), quoted above, was an American author, poet, and educator. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. He was one of the five Fireside Poets.