Casa Maria Luigia: A Countryside Escape Helmed by Italy’s Culinary Power Couple

| Mon, 03/11/2024 - 07:00
Living space at Casa Maria Luigia / Photo: Stefano Scatà
Living space at Casa Maria Luigia / Photo: Stefano Scatà

Ed.: The Inspired Stays series highlights hotels we love around Italy. Each property is independently reviewed by an Italy Magazine writer, who is generally hosted on a complimentary basis. Our contributors do not accept compensation or gifts in exchange for specific types of coverage. We only showcase properties we would genuinely recommend overall.

Why we love it 

Osteria Francescana — Massimo Bottura’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Modena — draws foodies from around the world, but Casa Maria Luigia is the only place where you can have breakfast by the superstar chef.

What to expect

Vegetableg garden at Casa Maria Luigia / Photo: Marco Poderi
Vegetable garden at Casa Maria Luigia / Photo: Marco Poderi

As you approach Casa Maria Luigia via a long tree-lined road, you see that instead of flowers in the pots on the balcony, there are two playful sculptures of ice cream complete with plastic spoons, immediately setting the tone. Bottura and Lara Gilmore, his wife, want guests to feel at home, so you’re free to put on one of the thousands of vinyl records in their collection, help yourself to the gourmet snacks in the fridge or a digestif in the lounge — if you manage to save any space between meals, that is.


A passion project for Bottura and Gilmore, Casa Maria Luigia opened in 2019 in an 18th-century farmhouse on the outskirts of Modena. They’ve gradually been expanding it, with the purchase of a neighbor’s acetaia (balsamic vinegar production space) and the addition of the wood fire-focused restaurant, Al Gatto Verde.

Location, location, location 

Casa Maria Luigia is about 20 minutes outside of Modena, where guests will likely spend most of their time. Car fanatics may want to drive the 20 minutes to Maranello to visit the Ferrari Museum and eat at Cavallino, Bottura’s restaurant created in partnership with the Ferrari family.

Where you’ll sleep

Bella Vita room at Casa Maria Luigia / Photo: Scatà
Bella Vita room at Casa Maria Luigia / Photo: Stefano Scatà

For now, there are 12 rooms in the main building and they’re all individually designed with comfy beds and contemporary art, but they’re currently renovating another building that will house eight more rooms. My room had wooden floors, a clawfoot tub, pillows monogrammed with the initials ML,” Gucci wallpaper and Ortigia products in the bathroom, an Illy espresso machine, Lambrusco in the minibar and Parmigiano Reggiano under a glass dome as a little welcome snack.

Dining & drinks

Breakfast at Casa Maria Luigia
Breakfast at Casa Maria Luigia

Inspired by Christmas morning, breakfast is included and it’s an event. Dishes include Emilian recipes like gnocco fritto and erbazzone, plus cinnamon buns and chocolate chip cookies as a nod to Lara’s American roots. In the evening, that space becomes Francescana at Maria Luigia, which serves a tasting menu featuring Osteria Francescana’s greatest hits at communal dining tables. At Al Gatto Verde, just about everything goes into the wood-fired oven — even the tortellini in parmesan cream sauce.

Service notes 

Bottura and Gilmore are very present and involved, often stopping by breakfast or dinner to chat with guests. Other staff members are unobtrusive, but happy to fix you a drink or help arrange a taxi.

Spa time

There’s no spa, but there is an outdoor pool. Oh, and don’t miss the gym — located in a building dubbed “Massimo’s playground,” which is filled with Ferraris and playful art by Joseph Beuys, Cindy Sherman and JR.

Family perks

Table room at Casa Maria Luigia / Photo: Stefano Scatà
Table room at Casa Maria Luigia / Photo: Stefano Scatà

Teenagers aged 15 and up are welcome.

You should know...

If you want to dine at Bottura’s restaurants during your stay, be sure to communicate that when you book a room. They will do their best to accommodate you, but it requires some advance planning. Guests of Casa Maria Luigia are also welcome to tour the Acetaia and taste the balsamic vinegar.


  • ADA friendly rooms/bathrooms

Features & amenities

  • Semi-rural setting
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Free WiFi
  • Free parking
  • Pool
  • Garden
  • Fitness room


Casa Maria Luigia  
Stradello Bonaghino, 56, San Damaso, Modena
Tel. +39 059469054