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.

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
i100
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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

    Junior Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?