Mara and Rocco moved to Australia in April 2002 from a small picturesque town in the North-West Italian Region of Piemonte, called Cavour.
They have been in the hospitality industry since 1975 when, after getting married, they opened their first restaurant in Cavour. Rocco got his diploma, as a chef, at the Hospitality Institute in Torino in 1968 and has worked in many well renowned restaurants in Italy, France and the United Kingdom, before starting his own. He has been a culinary teacher as well, at Villa Prevert Hospitality School in Pinerolo. Mara has been his partner all along, managing the front of house, taking care of bookings, events and the many guests who eventually became life-time friends.
Mara and Rocco visited Australia for the first time in July 1981 and fell in love with this beautiful country. Rocco worked in Sydney for a few months at Villa Jonah in Palm Beach, but eventually both had to go back to Italy to take care of their other business.
In April 1984 they had the joy of a baby girl named Silvia and had to put the Australian dream on hold for a while. When Silvia was old enough they started travelling to Australia for holidays, and eventually, after a few years, made a life-changing decision: they moved permanently to Australia!
Firstly, they settled in Brisbane, where in 2003 they opened a brand new restaurant: Conte Cavour, in Clayfield, where customers were delighted with a taste of the traditional Piemotese regional food and culture. Mara and Rocco also choose to import directly from Piemonte a few of the most prestigious wines, such as Barolo and Barbaresco, Barbera, Arneis e Erbaluce and Asti Moscato, just to name a few; these were normally served to compliment traditional dishes such as “vitello tonnato”, “agnolotti del plin”, “tagliolini al tartufo” and “brasato”.
Conte Cavour Restaurant was a great success, but Mara and Rocco were looking to move to a place by the sea. So, after selling the restaurant to another passionate Italian couple, they moved to the Sunshine Coast.
Finally, they decided to call beautiful Hervey Bay home and started to set up a new business: Villa Cavour Bed & Breakfast.
And here they are now, ready to share their beautiful house, their passionate culture and their love of food with their lucky guests who get to experience an unforgettable stay in Hervey Bay.
Mara and Rocco are member of Piemonteis Association of Queensland and help the committee to organise the association's functions which takes place in Brisbane annually.
Parliamo italiano On parle francais Parloma piemonteis
If you would like to view more information on our home town please follow the links below:
Our friends in Italy: