Bella Collina golf course - no. 7
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 7
The rolling landscape at Bella Collina is like nothing else in the Orlando area. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Images
Bella Collina - clubhouse
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Bella Collina - clubhouse
The Bella Collina experience starts with its $100 million Tuscan clubhouse that looks like an Italian village. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - no. 1
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 1
To get an idea of how big the bunkers are at Bella Collina, just look at how small the golfers appear. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - 1st hole
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Bella Collina golf course - 1st hole
Right away, on the first hole at Bella Collina, there's real elevation change. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - no. 3
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 3
Large bunkers loom around and away from the green on the par-4 third at Bella Collina in Montverde, Florida. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - no. 6
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 6
The 358-yard sixth hole at Bella Collina plays over water. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - no. 8
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 8
The par-4 eighth, which is 460 yards from the members' tee and 521 from the tips, is Bella Collina's no. 1-handicap hole. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - no. 9
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 9
The par-5 ninth at Bella Collina plays alongside a hill. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - no. 10
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 10
The 10th, a 380-yard par 4 from the tips, is considered the easiest hole at Bella Collina near Orlando. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - no. 16
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 16
The 16th, at 186 from the tips, is the shortest hole at Bella Collina. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina golf course - no. 17
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Bella Collina golf course - no. 17
The 497-yard, par-4 17th is the No. 2-handicap hole at Bella Collina. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor
Bella Collina
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Bella Collina
Not surprisingly, Bella Collina is a popular spot for weddings and corporate events. Mike Bailey/GolfAdvisor

Bella Collina near Orlando: Is this picturesque golf course in Florida or Italy?

MONTVERDE, Fla. -- Overlooking vineyards and Lake Apopka and Lake Siena, Bella Collina is positioned in a setting that more resembles Italy than central Florida. And it all starts with a 50,000-square-foot, Tuscan-inspired clubhouse designed by acclaimed architect Mike Marsh.

Located about 45 minutes outside of Orlando, the clubhouse sits high above a golf course designed by Nick Faldo and Steve Smyers. The course befits the clubhouse with its elevated tees, wide fairways, rolling hills and variety of shots. It's a big golf course, 7,500 yards from the tips, and plenty of challenge from the members tees at 6,500 yards.

Plans call for the club to go totally private as the economy rebounds and million-dollar lots begin to sell again, but tee times are open to the public and quite reasonable (often around $75). The clubhouse, which features a spa, restaurant and magnificent locker rooms, is also used for special events and weddings.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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Bella Collina near Orlando: Is this picturesque golf course in Florida or Italy?
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