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The Wonderful Library of an Old Italian Hunting Lodge

It’s not every day a girl gets invited to lunch by an Italian Count whose noble ancestors have been rattling around Italy since the 1300’s.

It had definitely never happened to this girl until one sunny day in the Lombardy region of Italy when I was included on an excursion to tour a rice farm in the Lomellina Valley with my friends Margo and Kathy.

We were welcomed warmly by the distinguished and gentlemanly Count Edoardo Visconti di Modrone and taken on a grand tour of his restaurant, Ristorante Corte Visconti, his sprawling rice farm which provides special rice for risotto, a community bar, and – my favorite – his family hunting lodge.

One day soon I will share with you the exquisite meal of local Italian specialties we ate that warm Autumn afternoon, but today I want to linger in a room that utterly stole my heart: the hunting lodge library.

Was there ever a more perfect spot for reading than this inviting couch?

We got to linger in this beautiful room twice. Once in the morning where we visited with the Count over glasses of Padron Bonarda Oltreopò Doc and a platter of thinly sliced charcuterie, and again later in the afternoon when we all retired to the library for a siesta where we got to rest on that lovely old couch.

How I love this room with its cracked leather chairs, marvelous old trunks and ancient paintings black with age.

One day, if I am ever old and rich and unencumbered by bills and emergencies, I will build a library just like this and happily live out my days in it.

How wonderful cold winter days would be spent by a roaring blaze in this marble fireplace, our dog sleeping peacefully on the hearth, a hot toddy steaming on the coffee table.

Yes, I would like that very much indeed.

I love the wooden shelves lined with very old books, their titles etched on the spine in gold leaf. Even untidy stacks of books on the writing table look marvelous next to opulent candlesticks. I like the hunting rifles lined up just so, and the chunks of firewood piled in a sturdy basket.

I’m especially fond of the changing light in this room, clean and bright in the morning, hazy and golden in late afternoon.

Some libraries in old European homes can be impressive but cold. Not this one.

It welcomes in every way, from furniture designed for maximum ease and comfort to windows flung open to allow the warm Autumn breezes to flow freely. There are even stacks of paper and inkwells at hand should inspiration strike.

It is a most splendid library.

I’m on week six (or is it eight?) of a cold/flu combo that just won’t let go. As I sit here today with a pounding head, stopped up ears, and sore throat, it is pure comfort to return, if only in my imagination, to such a happy place.

As much as I’d love to, I can’t flit away to Italy or build my own Italian hunting lodge library, but I can add bits of Italy to my little Aussie farmhouse: a stack of beloved old books on my desk, a glass of red wine with a good read at night, and a fanciful lamp tucked in a dark corner that makes me smile whenever I see it.

If you could design the perfect room for yourself, what three things would you love most for it to contain?

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Ben - You are such a talented and sensitive person…That sees beauty and harmony where lesser observers see just the ordinary.

Italian Inspiration and an Australian Easter Break » Rambling Tart - […] And this enchanting reading corner in a beautiful old Italian library. (You can see more of my photos of this exquisite hunting lodge here.) […]

Krista - I know exactly what you mean, Aude!! I wanted to move right in. 🙂

Krista - Isn’t it wonderful, Marie?! 🙂

Marie - I love the library with wooden floors and old books and lots of light. Would love to browse those titles.

Aude - This place looks amazing!!! If I’d been there, I never would have left 🙂 Hope you feel better soon.

Krista - Thank you, dearest Oz. 🙂 XO Oh yes, heaps and heaps of bookshelves with lashings of cookbooks to inspire us. 🙂

Krista - I hear that, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus !! It was a toss up, I tell ya. 🙂

Krista - Isn’t that just the best couch ever, El?! Sigh. I love it. 🙂

Krista - It sure is, @google-9c2cabc6737d76d3ba841e28d670a9c0:disqus 🙂 Thank you so much. I hope the doctors will be able to help me too. 🙂

Krista - “warm color on the walls” – yes, that is essential, @twitter-286462118:disqus 🙂

Krista - Thank you, lovely! 🙂 I’m heading in for an ultrasound tomorrow and hope to have a better understanding then. 🙂 xo

Christina Fields - What an amazing lodge. It’s so warm and inviting and I can see why you would want to go there while you’re feeling under the weather. A fireplace, a warm color on the walls and red wine is a must for the perfect room. Hope you feel better soon!

mlleparadis - oh man!!!! that sofa!!!!! gorgeous, gorgeous pics as usual krista.

hope the doctors instructions and meds have you sorted out PDQ. (pretty darn quick! – do people still say that?) come back feeling better soon!

LindyLou Mac - A lovely place to flit away to, hope you are starting to feel better. 🙂

El - How fun. I love libraries. And that couch- I love it!

Joanne (eats well with others) - I don’t know what would excite me more…lunch with the count or getting to see this gorgeous library! Gah…I hope you feel better soon!!!

Kitchen Butterfly - To be inspired. Oh to be inspired. What a thing of joy that is. To be inspired by cracked leather and aged bookshelves, by history, by books and by life itself. Krista, you have a way. If I had to design a room, it would have a comfy wide couch with lots of cushions and throw pillows, pictures on the walls and bookshelves which could double as ‘display’ spaces…..Did I mention cookbooks? and lots of them too!

Krista - Thank you so much, Katy – I’m really glad you like them. I know you would’ve LOVED this room. 🙂 Margo would’ve had to pry us out with a crowbar. 😉 An old charming piano would be the perfect addition. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, Andi. 🙂 I hope I will too. So glad you love this room too. 🙂

Krista - Hi Dewi – I went to the doctor yesterday and it is much worse than the flu. 🙂 Thankfully I have medication now and will go in for more tests soon. 🙂

katyabroad - I am now seriously envious I missed this part of the trip! (oh wait, I was in Peru at the time… but still!) These are some of your most beautiful photos Krista! That pile of books would be one of my ‘perfect room’ items, the others would be a piano (an old, charming one) and a fireplace with a real log fire. Yep, that would suit me fine!

Andi Perullo, L.Ac. - I hope you feel better soon! I would never leave this room, gorgeous!

Dewi - Your flu seems does not getting better Krista! Have you gone to see a doctor? I hope you will get better soon, in the mean time, take a good rest and hopefully you can find a good book to read.

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