If you think coming to the countryside would be too, well, ‘country’ for you, then visiting La Pietra B&B in Le Marche will change your perspective – and how you travel forevermore.

More self-contained apartments than a B&B, La Pietra B&B is undoubtedly one of the most chic getaways in Le Marche. They say never to judge a book by its cover and by the same metaphor, viewing La Pietra from the façade by way of first impression would be a sin. For, once the front door is opened, you are immersed into a world of design, travel, wonder and beauty.

Owner Cicki Ovanjo has a wealth of information on Le Marche. With a background in fashion, it is perhaps no surprise she has re-located to Le Marche, a region that is considered the manufacturing heartbeat of Italy (80%+ of all Italian shoes are made here). Whatever you wish to find or do – be it visiting artisanal producers, trying local cooking classes, exploring the hinterland of Le Marche or tasting some (very tasty) vino cotto, Cicki Ovanjo is your go-to person for suggestions, introductions and recommendations.

The bedrooms are, well, several rooms. Featuring the bedroom, a small living room area and bathroom, this is one of the most indulgent spaces we’ve come across – more akin to a hotel suite than a room. The beds are large and oh-so comfortable. The bathrooms are functional and feature Arket products (a Nordic brand with the most wonderful textures and scents). The living room space is as notable for its incredible view of both the pool and the hinterland of Le Marche (all too often a Tuscan-attributed setting) as well as its serenity and comfortability.

The rest of the B&B is equally stunning.

We loved the monochrome, almost hygge feel of the space: the colours range from black, to charcoal grey, to pure white throughout La Pietra. Interspersed in this colour scheme are subtle personal touches from the owner’s travels. The word travel is used lightly for in fact Cicki Ovanjo has lived in different countries and continents, as opposed to merely visiting. We loved the authenticity of these objets d’art – a far cry from the ‘traditional’ Mediterranean diet of art and design.

Breakfast is taken in the salon area. Organic choices from free range scrambled eggs to yogurt and fruit (with the majority of fruit being organic and home-grown) are on offer.

An hour or so after a lazy breakfast you may be inclined to visit the pool. You may, in fact, be inclined to stay at the pool. A swirly black bottom shows off the enticing blue of the pool, set with a frame of Le Marche’s rolling hills. The pool is a sea water pool with sand filtration, ensuring the most relaxing and refreshing of dips. At sunrise or sunset, this is definitely THE place to be.

Given the owner’s peripatetic, adventurous and unconventional life (and spirit) it should perhaps come as no surprise that La Pietra, with its unassuming façade, in a somewhat languorous village, should be so spectacular – yet overwhelmed we were with this gem. This is a property that raises the bar in terms of standards not just for Le Marche, but for all of Italy.


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