B&B and beyond - Quartopiano, Emilia Romagna: 'A sleek, speedy, gourmet getaway'

This antiques-filled guesthouse is the perfect base to enjoy Modena's fast cars and fine food, says Sarah Gilbert

The birthplace of Enzo Ferrari and home to one of the world's best restaurants – Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana – Modena makes the perfect base to indulge in two of Italy's great passions: food and fast cars. Just 25 miles from Bologna, Modena is the place to savour artisanal balsamic vinegar, parmigiano reggiano, new-wave lambrusco wine, as well as Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Now, this prosperous city has a suitably chic bolthole. Set on the attic floor of an apartment building, Quartopiano is just a cobblestone's throw from the magnificent main square, lined with terracotta- and ochre-hued buildings.

The bed

The two rooms and cosy living space are decorated in a mix of re-upholstered vintage furniture, objets d'art and flea-market finds. A battered old leather suitcase doubles as a bedside table, there's a retro sign urging you not to smoke and a cut-glass decanter for your water. The bed is covered in linen sheets, slippers are tucked into a chest of drawers and vintage shoe stays sit in a wooden wardrobe. The bathroom has a powerful shower, fluffy towels and Argan lotions

The breakfast

Breakfast is served in the country-style kitchen. Feast on freshly baked pastries, home-made jams, cold cuts and fruit. Or make like a Modenesi and walk two minutes around the corner to the owners' restaurant Mon Café (00 39 059 223 257; mon-cafe.it). People watch over a double espresso, freshly squeezed juice and perhaps a roll filled with mortadella sausage, a regional speciality, .

Quartopiano Quartopiano The hosts

Quartopiano has been a labour of love for Alessandro Bertoni and Antonio Di Resta, who met while Alessandro was working at Osteria Francescana. After fulfilling their dream of opening a restaurant, they bought the attic apartment three years ago and remodelled it, inspired by Provençal decor and their eclectic finds from French and Italian antique markets. Gracious hosts, they're never far away – their apartment sits across a flower-filled walkway – and they're always happy to recommend restaurants and arrange excursions.

The Weekend

The Piazza Grande is the heart of the historic centre, with its 12th-century Romanesque cathedral and imposing bell tower. Across the cobbles, the stalls of the Mercato Albinelli (mercatoalbinelli.it), are laden with hunks of culatello ham, handmade pasta and giant wheels of parmesan.

Enzo Ferrari's humble family home is now the site of a museum dedicted to the man and his work (00 39 059 439 7979; museocasaenzoferrari.it; €15/£12). To see more, head to Museo Ferrari in Marenello (00 39 053 694 9713; museo.ferrari.com; €15/£12 or €26/£21 combined). To explore more of the Motor Valley, including visits to the Pagani workshop and to get behind the wheel of your fantasy car, contact Via Emilia Tours (00 39 348 444 2435; viaemiliatours.it; half-day tours from €99/£80pp).

Combine cars and cheese at Hombre Organic Farm (00 39 059 510 660; hombre.it), owned by the Panini family, of the eponymous stickers. Learn how they make parmesan before admiring the rare Maseratis and more at the Collezione Umberto Panini Motor Museum (00 39 059 510 660; paninimotormuseum.it).

For some of the region's finest balsamic vinegar, head to family-run producer, Acetaia Boni (00 30 059 797 560; acetaiaboni.it), where you'll learn about the fermentation process and taste different varieties.

The Pit-stop

At L'Erba del Re (00 39 059 218 188; lerbadelre.it; six-course tasting menu €65/£53 without wine), Luca Marchini's sophisticated menu includes fava bean gnocchi with squid and green tagliatelle with a ragu of five meats.

At Franceschetta58 (00 39 059 309 1008; franceschetta58.it; dishes €8.50/£6.90) – the wallet-friendly little sister of Osteria Francescana – Marta Pulini adds whatever's inspired her at the market to the menu: calamari stewed in red wine, tomato and baby spinach.

Some of the best panini are served at Bar M Schiavoni (Via Luigi Albinelli 13), or newly opened Da Panino (00 39 059 875 4382; dapanino.it). For something more filling, Trattoria Aldina (00 39 059 236 106; three-course lunch around €17/£14) serves ricotta tortellini in butter and sage.

The Essentials

Quartopiano, Via Bonocurso 27, Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (00 39 059 875 5487; bbquartopiano.it). Rooms from €130 (£106), B&B.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam