Friday, 25 April 2008

Cold April by the fire!

We have just come back from a visit to Villa Mimma, from the 12th to the 21st of April. The weather was still quite chilly and rainy, so the kitchen and living areas of Villa Mimma were still warmed up by the old stoves.

Waking up in the morning and lighting up the fires is always magical: the scent of the wood burning, the crackling noise of the flames and the heat that comes from the "terracotta" stove or the old aga in the kitchen are something really special of this old mansion in Treville that I have always loved.

The children are fascinated by this world that is quite far from our everyday life and are following "Nonna Paola" and "Nonno Alberto" with sticks and pieces of papers hoping to be given the chance to be helpful.

And how much fun it is helping "zio Andrea" loading the trolley to refill the stock of logs for the evening. How lucky we are to be able to experience this lifestyle!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Discount & Accommodation - XXIII UIA Congress


The 23rd UIA World Congress will be in Turin from the 29th of June to the 3rd of July.

This is a major international event that takes place every 3 years and this time Turin won the bod for hosting it.

Talks, Main Sessions, Special Sessions, Special Events, Lectio magistralis, large and small exhibitions will all be part of an intense programme over the week, which will see Italian and International experts exchanging the latest knowledge in the field. There will also be a photographic exhibition dedicated to the relationship between photography and architecture. Participants will also have the chance to browse through a well-stocked library dedicated to architectural publishing production.

If you are new to the area why not complementing the conference with a visit to the area of the Basso Monferrato or Monferrato Casalese with the many architectural and natural beauties.

Stay at Villa Mimma (less than an hour's drive from Turin) and receive 15% discount on your stay (2 nights minimum) if you are a UIA participant. Mention this article for obtaining the discount. Proof of registration is necessary. Obviously, if your family/partner/friends are accompanying you to Italy, the discount applies to your group.

Rooms are still available, but hurry if you don't want to miss a unique opportunity.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Breakfast at Villa Mimma B&B

I thought it would be useful to mention what you can expect for Breakfast when you are coming to stay at Villa Mimma B&B.

Breakfast is served in a lovely room of the house, where you will have your own round table.

A buffet is prepared for you every morning with fresh bread, butter, a selection of ham and salami and some cheese too. As well as savoury things you can count on honey and various jams in individual pots.

Andrea is happy to make you an Italian coffee, but if you prefer an American coffee there is a percolator (simply turn the button on!) or if you fancy a cup of tea you can help yourself with boiling water from the kettle.

There is also a "proper" toaster for some hot toasts. Choose how light or burnt you like them and take control!
Unfortunately we cannot offer cooked eggs or home-made cakes because of the B&B rules in Italy, but croissants and pre-packed pastries will also be available for those with a sweet palate.
If you have any special dietary requirement, do not hesitate to let Paola know and your desires will be satisfied.
Enjoy your mornings at Villa Mimma!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Jazz concerts

There is a tradition of Jazz concerts in the Monferrato area.

If you are around in June, there are going to be three concerts in Treville, organised by the council and taking place in the village square, overlooking the hills of the Monferrato. These concerts are on Fridays and on the following dates:

6th of June
13th of June
20th of June

If you are thinking of having a meal before or after the concert, I would recommend the "Ristorante dell'Opera" in Ozzano (2 miles from Treville) or "La Rata Birata", a wine bar that also serves food in Treville (200 yards for the concert area). They have completely different styles, but both worth a visit. L'Opera is a more traditional restaurant and you can also find some truffle dishes most of the time (although the famous white truffles are mainly in Autumn).

The other place where you can enjoy live jazz music is "Le Cave di Moleto", where every Thursday night you can have a traditional dinner at their restaurant (with really lovely wine) and then stay for the jazz concert. This happens throughout the year, with the difference of the location, i.e. it is inside a renovated barn in winter and outside in Spring/Summer time.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Newsletter - April 2008 - Theme holidays, special offers, events


There are many ways to spend your time while at Villa Mimma, whether you are a sporty person or an art lover. Here are only a few suggestions:
Piedmont and the North-West of Italy boast some great golf courses where you can play occasionally.
Imagine swinging your golf club with the Alps in front of you or while strolling in the park of an ancient Italian Villa. Some of the clubs have also swimming pools and club houses where other members of the party could spend the day if they don't want to join the golfers around the golf course.
I have gathered info on quite a few places and published them on Villa Mimma's blog and I will post comments as I receive them. Also, as an incentive to encourage golf holidays, Villa Mimma is offering 10% discount on the accommodation cost - simply mention this at the booking time and present your receipt of the green fee/s at the time of settling the balance.
In Treville there is a private tennis court that can be booked hourly or, alternatively, people can gain unlimited access by joining the private club that the owners run. It is a tennis court in earth (not in the peak of its condition but good for a fun match), surrounded by beautiful trees and with a gorgeous view of the hills. The court is mainly used in Spring time, but it is available through the Summer and Autumn months too. Please ask for details at the time of booking your stay.
Cooking with Paola
This is not a cooking course by all means, but you can always enjoy helping Paola preparing an Italian meal that you can then share. Please ask at the booking time if you wish to try this experience.
Wine safari and grapes harvesting
During the harvesting season (September/October) we can arrange for you to enjoy
picking the grapes and making wine. There are various options so it all depends on how keen you are and whether you want to include a wine tasting experience or not. Let us know and we will go through the various possibilities with you.
How is "salame" prepared?
If you are at Villa Mimma when the local butcher is preparing his famous salame, you can go to his atelier and watch the process while it happens! You cannot help because of health and safety reasons, but you are more than welcome to watch....
Bees and beauty - an art altogether.
Near Villa Mimma there is a bee-farm with a factory that produces honey, but also creams and beauty products, all from natural extracts.
Wine tasting.
In Monferrato you are in the heart of a wine country and wine tasting occasions are not to be missed. You can arrange an appointment with one of the local wineries or you can take part in a proper experience guided by a sommelier. Whatever are your wishes, we will try to arrange the right thing for you. Simply ask!
The rice country and the old ways.
Not far from the hills of the Monferrato there are endless rice fields that are like mirrors of water that transform into these infinite green fields when the rice is growing to end up like brown squares after the harvest has finished. Well, about 30 minutes' drive from Villa Mimma there is a museum where they can show you how the rice used to be processed at the beginning of the century, with machinery still operated by the power of a water mill.
Horse Riding.
If stables are what you are after, there are a couple of places within a few kilometres of Villa Mimma where you can go for a ride and possibly a lesson.
Strolling around the Monferrato Casltes .
Giarole and Camino are two of the best preserved castles in the Monferrato region. Thanks to a collaboration with local experts, we can arrange guided day trips to view these castles, normally closed to the public. The day involves quite a lot, including traditional lunch and evening dinners and a horse ride in one of the best stables of North-West Italy. Ask for details if you are interested.
Venaria Reale and the Savoys .
This magnificent palace and the park surrounding it has been recently restored and is now open to the public. The palace, dated back to the XVII century used to be a hunting residence for the Savoy family before it became the country residence of the Royals with the first King in the Savoy dynasty, Vittorio Amedeo II, at the beginning of the XVIII century. It is definitely worth a visit and there is so much to see that you can spend a whole day here.

We have introduced a new special offer for golfers of 10% discount on the accommodation.
Check our website and our offers because we have several discounts for people belonging to different groups or associations (schools in the UK, TCI, ANBBA, Surrey Alumni, etc.)

3rd May : The artist Vera Vermeersch will exhibit her carpets and tapestries in Treville. It is an exciting event, so if you are in the area, do try to come to Treville and pay a visit to this unique exhibition.
6th, 13th, 20th June: Jazz concerts on the village square. More details on the programme of each evening will be available nearer the time on the Events page of Villa Mimma's website.

Many thanks again to those who came to Villa Mimma over the past few months and have taken the time to post reviews of their stay! We really appreciate your effort because having online reviews means that new guests can taste our hospitality even before getting to Villa Mimma. Thanks a lot!!!