Villa Parma is of the last-standing Swiss-Italian buildings in the Daylesford region. The historic beauty was built in 1864 by butcher and viticulturist Fabrizzio Crippa.
Crippa came for the gold rush and stayed to produce wine. Some of the grapevines that weave along the driveway are thought to be his original vines brought from Italy.
The building was abandoned in the 1970s and fell into disrepair. Today you can still see text from local vandals faintly scrawled on the external wall. Chris Malden and Wayne Cross took over in 2006, restoring the building and gardens.
While the bones retain their rustic charm, the interior is a decadent assemblage of European upholstery and marble. Four bedrooms, each with their own en suite, are split over two levels. Two of the bathrooms contain sizeable spa baths, and there’s a sauna in the private garden.
The villa comes under the wing of Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel, so guests can also make use of the facilities next door. Take breakfast in The Conservatory and dinner in The Argus Dining Room. The villa has a full kitchen if a famiglia-style feast is on the cards.
The gardens are also a highlight. The plot once harvested mulberries, pears, chestnuts, vegetables and tobacco. Today, grapevines and a veggie patch remain among manicured hedges and a fruitful fig tree.
Explore Daylesford further using our detailed Out of Town to Daylesford guide.