After a memorable meal in the Italian countryside, simply retire upstairs.
Some of Italy's finest kitchens and vineyards are fuori pista, so off-piste that finding a place to stay after a languorous meal or wine-tasting can be a challenge. A handful of entrepreneurs have responded by adding rooms to their menus.
When Franco Pepe, a third-generation baker and well-respected pizzaiolo, opened Pepe in Grani in October 2012 in his native Caiazzo, 50 kilometres north-west of Naples, diners flocked from all over Italy. They came to taste his flawlessly executed thick-rimmed pizze topped with locally sourced mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, seasonal produce and cured anchovies. There was only one problem: there was no place to sleep off their pizza dinner. A first in Caiazzo, Pepe in Grani opened two simple yet comfortable rooms above the pizzeria in December, using local artisans to fit and furnish.
Pasticceria Besuschio, founded in 1845, is a landmark in Abbiategrasso, 26 kilometres west of Milan. Andrea Besuschio, a fifth-generation pastry chef, has added two well-appointed rooms above his bakery for travellers and overnighting Milanese, drawn to his Saint Honoré and tiramisù.
An hour's drive north-east of Venice, near the UNESCO-listed town of Cividale del Fruili, is Orsone, a tavern and restaurant run by celebrity restaurateur and vigneron Joe Bastianich and his mother, Lidia. In August, they opened four attractive double rooms upstairs, making this an excellent base for exploring vineyards in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and neighbouring Slovenia.