Best of the Best 2011: Resorts: CastaDiva Resort

Set against the fairy-tale backdrop of Lake Como, CastaDiva Resort (+, www.castadivaresort.com) in Blevio, Italy, evokes the spirit of its former resident, Giuditta Pasta—the 19th-century opera diva who served as composer Vincenzo Bellini’s muse.

The resort, which opened last June, encompasses 75 suites and rooms contained in nine distinctive villas (each named for a female opera character). At the far end of the property, the three-bedroom neoclassical Villa Norma (referencing Pasta’s most famous role) combines the service of a hotel with residential-style privacy and amenities, including a private dock, a wine cellar, a billiard room, a hot tub, and a terrace that affords panoramic lake vistas.

CastaDiva’s theatrical decor is the work of local interior designer Erasmo Figini. A bold palette of plum, persimmon, olive, cocoa, and gold hues; custom silks and velvets; a mix of modern and antique furnishings; gilded accents; and portraits of Pasta and Bellini all contribute to the story line. Chef Paolo Casagrande, who worked in Martín Berasategui’s three-Michelin-star restaurant in Spain, directs the cuisine at the resort’s two lakefront restaurants. ($575–$8,740)

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