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.

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

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map