With the greatest pleasure I think back to many memories I have made in elementary school. Sometimes these memories seem to be hidden or locked up in a room, since opening that door might arouse some kind of nostalgia. Those waves of nostalgia always manage to carry me to another state of mind, filled with sincere emotions and many beautiful childhood stories, which have by now been imprinted into my today-mind.
Equally pleasant I remember spending some days at the first residential school / guesthouse, I have ever attended. While I have always been attending school in a very usual and modern way, I would have wished to sleep at college and also to be taught in an open-air school, which was a very common concept in Italy during the First and Second World War. Indeed my grandmother, being a school teacher, has told me a lot of fairytales from her school days, first walking up the mountain to reach the school “en plein air” she had attended in the late 1930s and 1940s, and later being accompanied by a band of her own pupils. Apparently they even used to fight for the honourable gesture of carrying her teacher books.
Similarly acclaimed might have been “la maestra”, which used to reside at “La Scuola Comunale”, located in the remote town of Lusiana, in the Vicenza hills, back in the 1920s. This former public school would have fallen into decline, if not a Veneto couple would have recognised the faded beauty and the unique atmosphere of this place and transformed it into a unique Maison d’Hôtes, called “La Scuola Guesthouse”. Indeed the nearby villages recall that same aesthetics and appreciation for the old and the used, which always is the more authentic and the more thoughtful.
After saving this school gem, Valeria and Marco, the current lovely owners, curators and caretakers of La Scuola Guesthouse, have decided to keep the sensation of an old school, relating each room to a school subject. Thinking back once again to those good old school days, I remember being keen on every subject related to History and Literature, while lacking of interest for Science and Mathematics for I always preferred words over numbers and philosophical thoughts over static facts.
At Scuola Guesthouse you can chose your classroom, without fearing a bad grading by the teacher, which is still nowadays located in the attic of the building, exuding a ray of relief and picturing a perfect retreat, not only because of an eye-catching and body-releasing bathtub in a romantic corner of the room, but also because of the lovely decorative elements.
As Valeria recalls moments of carefully selecting furnishings and pieces for decorating every little corner of her new old school, her eyes light up and confirm her heart being passionately entangled in the whole theme and conversion of the place.
Similarly selective is the daily breakfast selection, consisting of high-quality local farmer’s products only, which brings me again back to my childhood days, which I had the fortune spending in a small village on the countryside, where every meal has been prepared with products from the vegetable garden and fruit cultivation.
Breakfast at La Scuola Guesthouse is served on the ground floor that was once used as classrooms: today it has been restored, but kept as original as possible, whereas during the summer months, you can enjoy breakfast in the lovely courtyard in front of La Scuola, in the shade of the linden trees and in the shadow of a unique and memorable experience.
Adding more memories, you might decide to visit one of the many lovely towns nearby, such as Asiago, Marostica, Stra, Piazzola sul Brenta or the well-known Bassano del Grappa, all of them filled with magnificent architecture as well as authentic old boutiques, offering handcrafted products and goods, which dispense some two Italian qualities: taking care of beauty and aesthetics and taking care of taste and the art of creating high-quality food and wine.
Every single street corner, every single fresco and every single bite of sweets overwhelmed my heart with beauty and well-being, depicting a strong character, especially in this challenging period, which will hopefully lead to more awareness towards the pulchritude of small, authentic and handmade places, wealthy in affairs of the heart and the soul.
Find out more about a unique stay at La Scuola Guesthouse
Via Campana 20, 36046 Lusiana, Vicenza (Italy)
Special thanks to Valeria and Marco (in collaboration with La Scuola Guesthouse)
Claudia Paone (photographer)
Vittoria Santarelli (accessories)
Villa Freischütz (costumes)
Rubatscher Lingerie (clothing)