Bella Montagna - Mountainside Gem!
The road from the floor of the Napa Valley winds leisurely up the Mayacamas Mountains offering spectacular snapshots of the vineyards and virgin forests of the towering Mount St. Helena. Upon reaching Bella Montagna, you are retracing the footsteps of renowned landscape artist Virgil Williams and famed author Robert Lewis Stevenson who recorded their explorations of this awe-inspiring scenery both in art and verse.
This setting was the home of Virgil Willams, whose paintings of the vistas hang in museums and galleries. A small, handmade stone cottage from the 1880’s remains intact as a reminder of those days. Bella Montagna stands on the site of the original main house, and is oriented to allow guests to experience the same enchanting views.
The 40-acre property is crisscrossed by natural springs and streams that burble down the hillside and feed a lovely pond surrounded with reeds and grasses. There are clearings with benches where you can stop and absorb the quiet beauty and even a rowboat for a leisurely paddle.
A rustic wooden horseshoe court offers a friendly game, and an outdoor firepit provides a gathering place to roast marshmallows or share a good story. A grill and barbeque gives a special flavor to fresh, local foods, which can be served alfresco on the home’s open stone decks.
The rolling meadow below the home falls away to stands of oak, mountain pine and cypress. Across the canyons are the craggy ridges of Mount St. Helena, which rises nearly 4,500 feet.
Trails once used by miners digging for cinnabar wind up the hillside where you can take a picnic lunch and hike to old ruins of a shack. The wind in the trees and the bright blue skies have changed little since the miners left their digs in pursuit of gold or other adventures.
California history runs deep in the Napa Valley and the mountains that rise above it. As you enjoy the delightful pleasures of Bella Montagna, you’ll make your own discoveries of the wonders that continue to draw people to one of the most fascinating regions in California.
The hand-quarried stone exterior and red tile roof of Bella Montagna are reminiscent of an Italian country farmhouse, yet the design is completely in harmony with its California surroundings. Built to welcome friends, the 3+ bedroom home invites celebration and offers plentiful space for camaraderie.
Pull into the circular drive that takes you under the stone arches and step up to the lustrous wooden door that swings open into a two story entryway. The slate floors lead to a central curved stairway with smooth carved banisters, and above, an artisan-designed iron chandelier sheds its light from the second floor ceiling. Care has been taken to use reclaimed and sustainable materials and woods throughout the home and each area has a temperature control zone and the floors have radiant heating.
Through a set of archways is a sitting room with comfortable furnishings and tall French doors opening out to a raised stone patio. The entire living area with its wide-plank wood floors and beamed ceilings is connected through framed doorways that encourage interaction. The living room has double doors to the decks and both east and west-facing windows that light up the generously proportioned space. A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace with raised hearth provides a focal point and above it is a large-screen flat panel TV.
The formal dining room seats 12 at a polished wood table with views to the decks and grounds of the house. French doors open on each side of the room, allowing guests to relax with a glass of wine and mingle on the broad decks—even dance to music on the outdoor sound system or just sit and enjoy the late rays of the sun.
The airy gourmet kitchen will bring out the urge to whip up fresh and delicious meals together. There’s plenty of room to chop, stir and prep on the long granite counters and the center island with four leather seats allows friends and family to share in the fun.
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