La Villa Delenda…
Now, let us for a second imagine that I am not an Armenian native, but a visitor from another country.
I appear in Yerevan. Where should I stay? Which place offers the *real* old, traditional Yerevan staying experience? Which place offers the wonderful cozy bed in a room that looks as though you are in the 30s (but you still have WiFi), that you wake up either from the sound of a “roaming” seller selling fresh berries and fruits, or from the sound of a Yerevan wind hitting your semi-open window? (chillier now, autumn is here). Walking down a beautiful swirling flight of stairs to the smell of Armenian herbal tea and Armenian breakfast of sweet bread, eggs, apricot jam, mulberry preserve, melting butter and fresh lavash… (I think I got carried away).
In other words, Villa Delenda feels like home. And I am sure that it becomes a heart-warming home to anyone who comes to stay in it.
This is Villa Delenda, a lovely Bed and Breakfast located in a narrow lovely Yerevan street (Koghbatsi), in a house built back in 1906 by the Mnatsakanyan brothers as their private residence. It is in such a “secret” place and I found it so unexpectedly that no wonder it is called “The Hidden Treasure”.
My most sincere, warm feelings of appreciation go to Signore Antonio Montalto for preserving and renovating this wonderful home and turning it to something much more. This wonderful piece of Yerevan is run by his “Family Care Foundation”. The income from the Bed and Breakfast is used to support Spitak Art School and Maternal and Child Health services throughout rural areas in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
The Art School in Spitak was started soon after the disastrous earthquake that struck Armenia in December 1988. It provides children and adolescents with an opportunity to develop creative and cultural skills in a warm and caring environment, otherwise damaged by poverty and natural disaster.
Below the Bed and Breakfast is a wonderful showroom of crafts that have been handmade in the Spitak Art School. The profit gained from that displayed artworks also goes to the School.
If that wasn’t enough, the Villa also offers language classes in Italian, French and Spanish.
(a part of the showroom with old B&W photographs of the original building)
(the entrance to the stairs that go to the rooms and a visitor’s bike)
(crafts from the Art School)
(the dining room )
(the kind and hospitable staff of the Villa)
(the “language” room)