I recently had the pleasure of meeting an extraordinary local woman who is working together with another special local entrepreneur to create a unique Italian experience like no other. It’s the kind we all dream about after watching “Under the Tuscan Sun.” A submersive experience where one can live like a true Italian in a quaint but bustling village, where the food, wine and community give us much more than a glimpse of that life on screen.
Gina Marcello and Valerie Raffetto met through the beautiful town of Spring Lake and have found a way through Valerie’s thoughtfully restored Bed and Breakfast “Villa Tre Angeli” in Italy to not just bring you to Italy, but to invite you to live it. The Villa is within walking distance of the quaint town of Bedonia, where Villa Tre Angeli is located. Bedonia, Italy is home to over 15 restaurants and cafes. The Villa is also just an hour from Parma and walking distance to the factory where wheels of Parmesan Reggiano tower to the skies, stacked in perfection.
From the moment you enter the Villa, Val and Gina want you to feel you’ve come home to family, not a hotel of strangers. Each room is thoughtfully restored with comfort and care, and includes its own kitchen and bathroom.
Val and Gina also share with you their friendships with winery owners to bring you personal, and often private, tours of prosciutto and cheese makers, artisans and chefs alike, who come together to welcome you to taste their wares, view their craftsmanship and hear their stories in a way no store shelf can convey. This is the immersive experience that anyone who has ever dreamt of living in Italy will immensely appreciate. Their tours typically last one week and are offered with a special theme for each of those weeks during the summer months.
Valerie’s family is from Ognio, and the B &B is her husband’s ancestral family home, but she grew up here at the shore in Spring Lake and loves to connect her neighbors at the Shore to “la dolce vita” in Bedonia. Gina is still a resident of Spring Lake and does the marketing for the Inn for the summer tours and started “PS Italy Tours” in January 2020 with Val, as she wanted to offer others the special experience she had when she first visited her friend Val in Italy.
She describes the B&B as “visiting family” and Bedonia like a slice of paradise and wanted to bring that joy to others who share her love and passion for Italy. Even transportation is familial, as Val’s husband GianCarlo takes guests straight from the Milan airport to the Inn in a spacious van, as well as around local regions to taste, walk, bike, drink, and bathe in the Italian sun. Some of the other wonderful experiences include walking to the village for the many varied summer events in town, listening to local musicians, and dancing the evenings away under the stars in the piazza. The town is always bustling.
The website is www.psitalytours.com where a set table filled with treats, wine, and a glass jar of biscotti welcomes you to take the next step and join in on the magic. They had me at the biscotti, and I cannot wait to dive in! Click!