Highlights of the year are too many to recount, but here are some:
- "Riso & Rose"
Once again Villa Mimma took part in "Riso & Rose", the spring festival that involves all the Monferrato villages through May. This year we had several exhibitors of craftsmanship and paintings. It was again a successful day with several people visiting the courtyard and all our guests certainly enjoyed the typical Italian village festival atmosphere.
- Tennis fun
Thanks to Shane's love for tennis, we got in touch with Mr. Luigi Boltri who owns a tennis court in Treville and went to have a few games there. It is only 10 minutes walk from Villa Mimma and if our guests want to play, Mr. Luigi is happy to have people around. He runs a small club to keep it going, but the fees are really reasonable.
- Paola & Alberto 40th wedding anniversary
Well, believe it or not, Elena, Andrea and I managed to organise a surprise party for our parent's 40th wedding anniversary. We invited friends from all over the place and asked them to turn up at Church on a specific Sunday. We even managed to prepare the veranda with tables and chairs on the Saturday when by chance our parents were away for the whole day and keep it all secret. It was really emotional when they realised what was going on. It was a gorgeous day and we couldn't be more blessed! Thanks to everybody who put up with it all, those who came from quite a distance and especially a warm thanks to all who helped.
Grapes harvesting with Isabella and Lorenzo
Grape harvesting or the "vendemmia" has always been a great memory for me as a child. I remember going to my Grandad’s vineyards on the tractor and spend what seemed like hours helping cut grapes - and also eating them! This year, while organising my parent's party, we got in touch again with a dear friend, Isabella, who invited us to visit Lorenzo's organic vineyard for an afternoon of late-season grape harvesting. The children absolutely LOVED it and kept filling more and more baskets, up and down the lines, with black marks on their hands and faces. Lorenzo was great with them and when we had done enough picking - more than expected, he showed us how to "make the wine": the children even tasted it! We ended the afternoon warming up by a massive wood-burning fireplace, with some delicious salame (i.e., the Italian for salami) from the area and Isabella's "focaccia ligure", while tasting some of Lorenzo's unique wines (he is actually studying and experimenting with organic grapes in the Asti region). It was certainly a great day!
Cooking with Paola
Italian hosting nature is in my Mum's blood and she cannot resist from sharing an Italian meal with our guests when the occasion arises, sometimes giving away some of the basic cooking secrets (e.g., not too much garlic!), while preparing dinner together. So, it seems to become a recurrent theme the hand-making of "gnocchi" and "malfatti", with my Mum's "magic book" becoming whiter and whiter from the flour. This is certainly not a cooking class, but a lovely way to welcome people from all over the world, who have chosen to stay with us instead of all the other possible places in Italy.
Reviews are important
Thank you to those of our guests who took some time to write a review of their stay at Villa Mimma. Whether it is a line or a full account of their vacation or just a photo and a comment, it does help. Take your time to read what they say about us and if you have a spare minute maybe add your comments too:
Trip Advisor Website (you need to register)
Slow Travel (you need to register)
Italia Dream (Italian website)
Homelidays (you need to register)
Looking forward to next year
The year 2008 is starting with an event straight away: "La cantina dei presepi" (The cellar of the nativities) is opened again to the public with new creations by Andrea. It has been cited amongst other Italian presepi (nativities) in a national brochure. This year we will lengthen the time it is possible to view the nativities to the end of January, although only by appointment from the 6th of January onward.
At the end of March we are proposing again "Le quattro serate dell'Infernot" (The four evenings of the infernot". Each evening a party of minimum 5 people is introduced to the secrets of wine making by visiting major wineries in the Monferrato region. Wine tasting with a professional sommelier is accompanied by food, with a final evening at a proper restaurant where entertainment will also be arranged. If you are thinking of a special long weekend with friends, consider that this is a really excellent and unique opportunity (it can be arranged at different times too). Do not hesitate to ask for further details.
The month of May will see us busy again with "Riso & Rose", although plans are going to be clarified later on in the year. It is normally the second or third weekend in May. Keep an eye on our website for further news.
Finally, we are always open to new ideas and initiatives to make Villa Mimma a special place. Please do get in touch if you have any particular need that you would like to be met while on holiday.
If you are thinking of coming to Villa Mimma next year (2008), you may be pleased to know that we have decided to freeze our apartments' prices through the next season!
Check our website and our offers because we have several discounts for people belonging to different groups or associations (families who have children in schools in the UK, TCI, ANBBA, Surrey Alumni, etc.)
I think I have summarised an exciting 2007 year for Villa Mimma. We are now looking forward to the festivities and the year to come.
From Paola, Alberto and Andrea I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2008!