For our last minute trip to the Veneto, we stayed at Ca’ de Memi, which I found in a rather roundabout way. I knew we wanted to stay near Roncade in order to pick up wine from Castello di Roncade. But I didn’t want to stay there; we stayed there last time and, while we enjoyed it, I wanted to sample some other offerings of the region. I usually start by plugging my chosen city/region and dates into Booking.com, Mrandmrssmith.com, Splendia.com and Agriturismo.it and seeing what turns up, then cross-check the traveler photos and category ranking on Tripadvisor.com (traveler photos are INVALUABLE when it comes to bathrooms, my pet peeve). Normally, I’m not a huge fan of Tripadvisor, but as a straight list of what exists in a region, they are pretty good. Plus, you can search in categories (hotel, B&B, self-catering, etc.), so I looked through the specialty lodging options for agriturismi, mapped them, googled for their own site and checked price and availability. I know that had I not pursued this tortured search method, I would never have found Ca’ de Memi.
Ca’ de Memi is located in Piombino Dese, a tiny town in the Veneto, notable because it has a Palladian Villa. It lies fairly close to Venice and makes a great base for exploring the Veneto region. Proprietress Michela and her daughter Giulia made reserving via e-mail very simple, even with our short notice. The buildings appear to be from the late 18th or early 19th century, with guest accommodation, breakfast room and restaurant in one structure and the family’s house in the other. There is also a large plot of land with a barn, chicken pen, fruit trees and vegetable garden, supplying the agriturismo with some of its food. Our room was small (as Giulia warned us it would be), but we’ve stayed in far smaller. The bathroom was immaculate with an enclosed shower stall. Both rooms appeared to have been recently refurbished (new tile in the bathroom and fresh ceiling beams in the bedroom) and furnished with a mix of vintage and modern wooden furnishings, including the large and comfortable antique bed. The rate for our stay was 70€ a night and free wi-fi was available in our room as well as common areas.
Our room included a great breakfast. House-made prune, peach and apricot jams were on offer every morning (also for sale!) with bread for toasting, yogurt, cereals and sweet pastries and cakes. Michela offered us made-to-order espresso drinks and eggs every morning, as well as advice on how to spend our limited time in the region. The day trip we took to Castelfranco Veneto, Bassano del Grappa and Asolo was entirely her idea and it was great! Lunch or dinner is also available, but only by reservation. We reserved dinner for Saturday evening, when they already had a large group in the main restaurant, so dinner was the fixed menu that the group ordered. It was outstanding. From what I’ve read, an agriturismo isn’t required to offer food, but if they do, they are encouraged to make it food they produce. I don’t know how much of the menu came from the farm, but there was a mind-boggling array of courses:
Leaving aside the huge variety on display here, we were struck by two things: first, dishes 2, 3 and 4 were not plated in the kitchen. The server came out with a casserole dish and served us at the table. This made it easier when she came around to offer us seconds on each of those items. Yeah, you read that right: seconds. The other remarkable feature was the price: 30€ a head. It was very reasonable for a nice, multi-course dinner with a bottle of wine. We were rather cavalier about it, as we didn’t bother to find out the price before going ahead, but we were pleasantly surprised when we paid up.
All-in-all, it was a great experience. You probably need a car to get there, but Ca’ de Memi was a total delight and we will unreservedly recommend it to others.