Stories that are hidden behind Villa Crespi’s Arabian arches, its iconic minaret-like tower and silk wall coverings.
INSPIRATION FROM THE MIDDLE EAST SET IN PURELY ITALIAN BEAUTY
Its first name was Villa Pia, in honour of Cristoforo Benigno Crespi’s beloved wife. His career as a successful entrepreneur in the textile industry took him on journeys all over the world, to the most exotic and fascinating places in Asia. But he fell in love with Baghdad, so much so that on his return to Italy he commissioned a palace that would have the same characteristics as the Middle Eastern ones he had visited as a guest.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
That was in 1879 and a hundred years later, Cinzia Primatesta found herself in front of Villa Crespi in her father’s car, as they drove down to the lake. She gazed at the villa, not realising at the time that it would change her life forever. Her father was on the phone with a colleague who was telling him of a talented young Neapolitan chef.
THE EXTRAORDINARY TRANSFORMATION FROM ANCIENT VILLA TO LUXURY RELAIS
1999 was the year the two 20 year olds decided they would undertake a grand project together. They would return the ancient, abandoned villa to its original importance, when it was the destination of travellers, poets and dreamers, by turning it into a 5 star luxury country hotel.
The first objectives are achieved and recognition arrived just a few years later, with the first two Michelin stars in 2003 and 2006, and then affiliation with Relais & Chateaux in 2012. But the greatest of all dreams came true with the arrival of the third Michelin star in 2022, taking their establishment to the Olympian heights of the finest restaurants in the world.
RELAIS & CHATEAUX
In 2012 Villa Crespi joined the Relais & Châteaux family, an association of independently owned and managed hotels of charm and exceptional restaurants, with their Maîtres de Maison owners and Chef patrons actively at the helm.
The association, present worldwide, is an open invitation to discover and explore that “Art de Vivre” which is the defining mark of the culture of each and every place, to share a journey which is at the root of unique stories.
Cinzia and Antonino are united in their desire to safeguard, revive and enhance the wealth of traditions of hospitality.
Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur, exceptional and remarkable tours designed to drive discovery of awesome local territories.