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Milan is known for its stylish boutiques in the Golden Quadrilateral, lean models walking the runways and art students sipping Spritz at the cafes of Brera. What many don’t realize is that the Lombardy region of Milan has some of the best golf courses in Italy. The Poggio Verde Country Villa is strategically located in the village of Barzanò, in the lush green landscape between Milan and Lake Como and surrounded by the top golf courses in Italy!
Golf in Italy
Golf was first introduced into Italy in 1889 when British expats built an 18 hole course on land belonging to the Princess Demidoff, thus founding the Florence Golf Club. In 1934 the course was extended and today is known as Ugolino Golf Club. The growth of golf as a sport in Italy was interrupted due to WWII but then slowly gained new popularity. According to the Italian Golf Federation, there are about 250 golf courses in Italy, 71 of which are in Lombardy alone!
Italy will host the Ryder Cup 2022
The prestigious golf tournament between the best 12 European golfers and the top 12 Americans, the Ryder Cup, will be held here in Italy in 2022. It will be the third time that this important golf competition is to be played outside of Great Britain. In 1997 the Ryder Cup was hosted by Spain and in 2018 by France. The Ryder Cup takes place over a total of six days; three of which are practice days and three are competition days. The tournament does not include a prize pool; the only prize being the cup and the honor of winning. Having the Ryder Cup hosted in Italy will certainly raise awareness and promote golf destinations in Italy.
Best golf courses in Italy / W. Verloop
5 Golf Courses in 7 Days
Willem and his golf buddies go to a different golf destination each year / W. Verloop
I spoke with Willem Verloop, a businessman from the Netherlands who each year travels to a different golf destination with 5 other golf enthusiasts. Willem and his golfing buddies came to Milan for a one-week Italy golf holiday. They stayed at the Poggio Verde Country Villa and each day teed off on a new course.
He told me, “Every year we go to a different country. We went to Spain, we went to Portugal, we went to Scotland and Morocco. Next year we’ll probably go to France or the United States.”
When I asked him how Italy compared, he said “Scotland was absolutely spectacular. Spain and Portugal are fantastic but in Italy you really get the feeling of something very authentic and not too touristy.”
Tee-time, Golf in Italy with Willem Verloop / W. Verloop
They played a different course each day, yet still leaving time for rest, relaxation and of course time to enjoy local gourmet specialties. They played at Villa d’Este Golf Club on Lake Como, Albenza Golf Club in Bergamo, Garda Golf at Lake Garda, Varese Golf Club, and on the last day Castelconturbia Golf Club in Agrate near the Malpensa airport.
When I asked “What do you look for in a golf course?” He replied, “Our group, well, we all pretty much have the same handicap between 10 and 14 which means we can really appreciate a course with a little bit of a challenge but not too much. We really appreciate playing on a course that has hosted a golf championship, for example, the courses that hosted the Italian International. It’s nice to play where some of the pros have played. A good golf club has, you know, the whole package – it has a beautiful course, a nice clubhouse, and a good restaurant for lunch.”
Italy’s golf courses offer some of the most spectacular views / W. Verloop
Italy’s terrain offers a variety of golf courses with varying degrees of challenges.
Ranked number one on golf blogs, the Villa d’Este Golf Club is known for its beautifully maintained course, challenging and pitching into unpredictable greens and a quintessential Italian style clubhouse.
Golfers love Albenza Golf Club in Bergamo for its layout with small fairways and extremely fast greens. One golfer said “Each nine has its charms and challenges, you have to use every club and shot in the bag.” The entrance and scenery is spectacular, and the friendly staff make a day at Albenza a wonderful experience.
Picturesque yet challenging golf courses in Italy / W. Verloop
Garda Golf at Lake Garda is known for its challenging course and magnificent greens. The pro shop at Garda is well supplied with the latest gear and golf wear.
Apart from beautiful greens and views of the lake, the Varese Golf Club clubhouse was once a convent thus setting the perfect tone for a serene and calming day on the course.
Castelconturbia Golf Club / W. Verloop
Castelconturbia Golf Club in Agrate has a beautiful course with signature designs by Robert Trent Jones Sr. such as undulating two-tier greens. Tee-times start as early as 7 AM and the clubhouse has equipped changing facilities and a lovely restaurant.
Willem said “We enjoyed the variety of the golf courses very much. They were all well maintained, but I think the best one was the one we played on our last day at Castelconturbia near the airport. We went there in the morning, played a good game, had showers and a beautiful lunch at the club house and then went straight to get our flight. It was a great way to end the trip.”
Where to stay
Poggio Verde Country Villa accommodation for small and large groups / W. Verloop
The golfers stayed at Poggio Verde Country Villa which is located in the village of Barzanò, in the countryside between Milan and Lake Como and is surrounded by the best golf courses in Lombardy.
Willem shared his experience saying, “The Villa Poggio Verde was fantastic! It was close to all the courses, apart from Garda which was a longer drive. There was no need to take highways, we took small scenic roads, there’s beautiful scenery there. The atmosphere at the villa was comfortable and of course the surroundings at the villa, the pool and the gardens – it was absolutely spectacular. When we show pictures to friends, they really want to go and see it. It was really authentic and we could feel the history. I would recommend it for couples or group of friends.”
Willem and his golf buddies enjoying a gourmet lunch on the terrace at Poggio Verde Country Villa / W. Verloop
The Poggio Verde Country Villa
The Poggio Verde Country Villa is strategically located near the best golf courses in Italy
The Poggio Verde Country Villa is an exclusive Italy travel destination catering to private groups and organizations looking for unique experiences and an all-inclusive trip to northern Italy.
Originally a 16th century farmhouse, it was the Crosti family home and farmstead. The stables and dairy barn have since been transformed into accommodation and residential suites while still maintaining a welcoming home ambience. The Poggio Verde Country Villa can host up to 22 guests, but small groups and families are always welcome. The villa is quiet and secluded, surrounded by a lush estate yet close and easily accessible to Milan, Bergamo, Lake Como and northern Italy wine country.
Guest can rent the villa with self-catering service or with all-inclusive service with a chef and pre-planned day excursions.
Gretchen your gracious host will do everything in her power to make your trip extraordinary. Contact Gretchen by phone +39 335 813 4309 email gretchen(@)ilpoggioverde.com or visit the website.
To learn more about Golf Holidays in Italy at the Poggio Verde Country Villa use the link below or contact us about this experience.
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Celia is the founder and managing editor at MilanoStyle.com. Originally from New York, she now spends her time between Milan and Lake Como sharing her discoveries and experiences living in Italy. Follow @CeliaAbernethy on Twitter