Saturday 29 November 2008

First snow: ready for skiing!

The first snow has fallen - heavy and thick!

If it stays it will be a white Christmas!

Saturday 25 October 2008

Farm shop and historical beauty at Lucedio - Piedmont

Lucedio’s Abbey was built in 1123 by the Cistercian Monk, coming from The Fertè, on the grounds of the marchionesses Ranieri of Monferrato.

The Cistercian reclaimed the territory introducing for the first time in Italy the cultivation of the rice at the beginning of the XV century. With the passing of time the Abbey became a true economical and political power: three Popes passed from Lucedio, confirming the role of the Abbey and its lucky geographical position along the Francigena Way.

Because of its increasing political and economical power and its location, Lucedio was the reason behind some of the fights between the Italian dynasties. Owned by the Gonzaga family and later on by the Savoys, at the beginning of the XVIII century the Abbey became property of Napoleon. Subsequently it went to the marchionesses Giovanni Gozani of San Giorgio, ancestor of the present proprietor, the Countess Rosetta Clara Horses d' Olivola Salvadori of Wiesenhoff.

The splendid medieval rooms of the Abbey are opened to the public for guided tours, wine and food tasting events, receptions, congresses and concerts; some of the rooms are also used for television filming or are used as the setting for some adverts.

From the naturalistic point of view it must be remembered that Lucedio is located inside a protected area whose regulation, together with technologies of low environmental impact used in Lucedio’s Farm, facilitated the return of the typical fauna of the rice field: as well as the frogs, a number of herons and of Italian knights have chosen Lucedio as their residence.

As well as visiting the historical part of the Abbey, it is possible to visit the Farm of the Principato of Lucedio and, in particular, to see the machinery used for the entire production cycle of the rice. It is also possible to combine the visit of the grounds with a sampling experience of the typical products of the territory followed by a tour of the Farm shop “Temptations of the rice” where visitors can buy all the products of the "Principato of Lucedio".

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Price freeze - 2009 at the cost of 2008!

SPECIAL OFFER DEADLINE: 30th November 2008

Book Villa Mimma for 2009 before the end of November and you will pay the same price as 2008.

The prices for 2009 will soon be published and then the new prices will apply.

Hurry!!! Book now and save!!!!


Tuesday 30 September 2008

Theatre - Carlo Felice in Genoa

For those who love concerts and the opera, there is a variety of theatres that are reachable in approximately an hour from Villa Mimma.

Here I would like to point the attention to the theatre in Genoa, the "Carlo Felice". This is a new theatre that was rebuilt after the original theatre was bombarded during the Second World War, as nicely described on the theatre's website.

Its fame is due to the fact that the inside is like being in a "covered" square. The photo shown in the main website doesn't give you the full feeling, so why not taking a trip there?

The calendar for the 2008/2009 season can be found through the following links:
- Opera and ballet;
- Symphonic season.

If you attend any event or if you visit this unique theatre, please do let me know and I'd love to see some recent pictures.


Saturday 6 September 2008

September in festival - Food and Wine

On the weekend of the 13th/14th of September in Asti there is the Festival Delle Sagre, where the big Campo del Palio (the square that hosts the traditional horse racing event - this year on the 21st of September) hosts stalls from about 50 local towns, where you can sample the food and wine of the region. On Sunday there is also a parade with floats representing traditional farm themes. The official website is in Italian!, but it can give you an idea of what to expect.

Also, in Asti there is the Douja d'Or wine festival from the 12th to the 21st of September, where you can sample around 400 local wines (you can also buy them!). Some information in English can be found on the world events guide.


Tuesday 2 September 2008

Palio di Asti - 21st of September 2008

The traditional festival of the "Palio di Asti" is getting closer again.

The medieval town of Asti is hosting its renowned Palio on Sunday the 21st of September, although celebrations will start on the Friday and Saturday before then. Music, food, wine, market stalls, parades, fireworks... will be part of the fun.

The first notion of the Palio goes back to 1275, so it has been around for quite a few centuries.

Don't miss the opportunity to take part in it if you are in Piedmont at the right time!

Thursday 28 August 2008

A day at the beach - Arenzano

If you decide to spend a day on the beach, you better aim at the village of Arenzano near Genoa. In fact, you can reach it very easily from Villa Mimma by joining the A26 motorway towards Genoa. When you are by the coast, you need to leave Genoa to your left and follow for Savona. The Arenzano exit is easily found and you won't find yourself stuck in traffic because you would have avoided Genoa completely. It takes less than an hour from your accommodation at Villa Mimma to the beach!

Once you are in Arenzano, you are spoilt for choice. Its sandy beaches are split between public beaches and different private beaches where you can hire a sun-bed or an umbrella with deck-chairs for the day. If you are quite keen in a bit of privacy and in the comfort of your own area, though, don't leave too late especially in August because you could be disappointed and find everything full.

The village offers plenty of restaurants and bar, both along the seashore and in the streets.

Don't forget to try a bit of "focaccia" and if you like basil and fancy a restaurant, you must have the "trenette al pesto".

Enjoy your day!

Monday 25 August 2008

Shopping for food and wine

If you are staying at Villa Mimma and are looking for a food store, you have various options. In order of size, from the tiniest to the biggest, here are some ideas, although the best way for you to know the area is to take a drive and see where it takes you:

1 - Treville

There is a butcher with the most wonderful meat, ham and salame (he makes them), ravioli (made only on some days or on order) and a deep freezer with ice-creams, pizzas, vegetable, etc.

Also, there is "La rata birata", which is a wine-bar that serves hot-meals and that also has a small food section with fresh produce such as cheeses, bread, milk, butter and basic provisions. It has also pasta and sauces!

2 - Ozzano (2km from Treville)

If you want a bit more of a choice and some fresh fruit and vegetables, Ozzano is your nearest option. Along the main road that cuts through the village, there is a food store that has everything. It is very small compared to a supermarket, but has all you need.

3 - Supermarkets

Well, for a proper supermarket you are spoilt for choice if you are prepared to drive for 10-15 minutes. You can either go to Casale to the Iper-Coop (a real shopping centre) or you can go towards Asti-Moncalvo and stop at the Penny supermarket, which faces a Gulliver supermarket, where you can find all you need.

Saturday 28 June 2008

Last Minute - €550 week/6people July/August 08

There are still a few weeks available at Villa Mimma for July/August 2008, some in self-catering accommodation and some in B&B. Lovely base for your holiday with children or to explore Piedmont, Liguria, the Lakes and the Alps. Also, great for golfing, horse riding or simply relaxing!

Amazing offer : €550 for a week for 6 people!

Contact us ASAP if you would like to take advantage of this promotion.

We would love to welcome you in our corner of paradise.

Sunday 22 June 2008

Natural Park of the River Po - Valenza

I have already written about the river Po and the natural trails that you can enjoy near Vercelli. You can also enjoy the river if you go towards Valenza from Casale Monferrato. We discovered this area because we were particularly interested to find a place where the children could dip their toes in the water without too many dangers.

We stopped at at the bridge over the Po, parking on the Valenza saide of it (be careful to park before the Natural Park sign because you may get a ticket - we did!, although it was only a warning). Here not only you can enjoy strolls along the banks, but you can reach the shore and enjoy the wide pebbly beaches and low water level.

This is a photo taken near the spot that we chose. We were there during a Spring weekly day, when Italian schools were still open so there was only another family on the other side of the river.
The weather was hot and the children enjoyed bouncing flat pebbles in the water. We dipped our toes in the chilly water, but I cannot say if it is safe to swim there as the currents can be quite strong. It was a lovely spot and very easy to find so we are planning anotehr visit at the first occasion.

Saturday 21 June 2008

Harley Davidsons meeting in Piedmont

There will be a Harley Davidsons meeting in Casale Monferrato on the 6th of July 2008. This is the 5th meeting of this kind in the Monferrato region where the bikes will travel around the villages and stop for refreshments before heading to Casale.

They will pass through Treville too, where they will be offered a glass of wine - cheers!

Villa Mimma will offer 15% discount on the accommodation price for bookings between the 28th of June and the 13th of July 2008 to people attending the meeting.

Friday 20 June 2008

The Natural Park of the River Po - Fontanetto Po

The River Po is the largest Otalian River that starts from teh Monviso Mountain in Piedmont and stretches across Northern Italy from the West to the Eastern coast, where it ends in the Adriatic sea.
There are many walks and stretches of the river where you can enjoy peaceful strolls looking for natural beauty spots, searching for animals and plants, dipping your toes in fresh waters.

Here are some photoes to tickle your imagination so that if you are in Piedmont you may want to dedicate one day or half a day to this marvellous part of the region.

You can reach the river Po from Fontanetto Po, on the way to Vercelli. At the beginning of the walk that takes you along one of the banks of the river there is a map to show you where you are and what you can expect to see.

Not far from the end of the road where you can park your car, there is an old water mill with a picnic area where you can find some tables and benches if you want to stop for some refreshments before or at the end of your walk.

Lines of trees are growing along this stretch of the river and you can walk for miles along this sheltered lanes, listening to nature's sounds and the gurgle of the water of the river nearby.

You finally reach the river bank, although here it is not particularly suitable for bathing as the banks are quite steep and covered with wild vegetation.

Saturday 31 May 2008

Festival of the flowers in Piedmont (Italy) - 15th June

For the lucky who are in the Piedmont/Monferrato area on Sunday the 15th of June, you may want to take a trip to Cella Monte, near Casale Monferrato.

Cella is a lovely village with all the houses brought back to the original limestone bricks typical of this part of the world. In June they celebrate the fact that Cella Monte is proud of its flower-displays throughout Spring and Summer, so they have a festival dedicated to it. If you can go, do it because it is definitely worth it with many events organised throughout the day as well as the usual Italian music and food/wine.

Also the wineries and the private "infernot" (cellars excavated in the limestone) of the area are open to the public for visits.

Unfortunately the website of Cella Monte doesn't seem to have a detailed programme of the day, but I can assure you that it would be a lovely experience of the Italian life!

Saturday 24 May 2008

Weather - Rainy May!

Well, we cannot say that May has been the usual self this year!
We are used to lovely weeks of sunshine where people can take strolls in the lovely medieval villages that are scattered around the Monferrato hills.
Last week for example it constantly rained and when it stopped it was very cloudy and miserable.
We feel sorry for all those tourists who came to our Piedmont area on holiday in the past week or so and missed on the usual cheerfulness of blooming flowers and bright skylines. We hope you had a good time anyway and that this gives you a reason for coming back another time, when may be you will be luckier with the weather.

Friday 23 May 2008

La Mandria - Regional Park in Piedmont

North of Turin, near the hunting palace La Venaria Reale, there is a beautiful regional park called La Mandria certainly worth a visit, especially on a beautiful day. La Mandria was created in the 16th century as a hunting reserve for the Savoy family and also was used as a holiday retreat for the King and his Court. There are several buildings that can be visited, including Royal apartments.

We went just for a couple of hours after visiting La Venaria Reale and we did have a relaxing time indeed. Scattered around the grounds there are farms that have been transformed in restaurants, bars and other attractions. One has a bike-hire facilities so for only a few Euros we got a bike each and pedalled around the park. The children absolutely loved it!

We spent a few minutes at the stables where there were two little foals and a few ponies and horses. We fed them straw that was around the paddocks and loughed at the little ones still struggling to stand steadily on their legs!
We ended up having an aperitif at one of the bars, enjoying the sunshine of 6pm. The children asked for some crisps. Since they didn't have any, compliment of the owner, they served us a massive portion of roasted potatoes with rosemary: delicious!
If I'd known it before, I probably would have spent the day at La Mandria, visiting the various buildings throughout the day. It is a much more child friendly environment than La Venaria Reale as you can have a mixture of sight-seeing and free-running!

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Venaria Reale - Turin

"Venaria Reale" is the hunting residence of the Savoy family between the 16th and 18th century. The palace is set in a magnificent park north-East of Turin, at the edge of hills stretching towards the Alps and covered in woodlands.

The palace was used as an army camp and left in disuse for centuries, but it was restored to its original splendour in the new millennium. The interiors of the palace are quite bare and there is no furniture. Instead, the rooms are hosting an exhibition of paintings and rugs mixed with film and photography art that recreates the court life.

We went with our children who found the palace a little bit boring though! The gardens instead have been also restored and it was lovely to stroll around them on a sunny day.

On a practical note, when you reach Venaria you need to follow the indication for the palace that take you to a side entrance. To your right there is a long road with trees either side if it and entering a gate that indicates "La Mandria" park. You need to park along this road. During the week it is free parking, while at weekend there is a fee to pay. You can then walk to the side entrance of the palace or enter from the gardens. Tickets for the gardens and the palace can be bought jointly or separately.

If you intend to have lunch there, it is better if you take your own lunch. We found the cafe in the gardens to have only a limited choice of sandwiches, especially for children. We also had a coffee and ice-cream in a kiosk by the roses archways.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Recycling... the old way: barrels and gates!

Do you know how our elders recycled their old wooden barrels?

This is an old wine press that we have in the cellar of Villa Mimma. It is made of wooden slats kept together by metal ribbons.
The wooden slats were used in the wood-burning aga and fire-stoves in the households while the metal ribbons were used to build gates!

This is the front gate of Villa Mimma and it was made using the metal from old barrels.

I've been to Villa Mimma many many times in my life and it was only last April (08) that my Mum told me this fascinating story. So armed with my camera I went in the cellar hunting for barrels and took some fab pictures of a few samples. Then I moved onto the gate.

Taking a closer look, you can see the holes of the original nails and the battered metal that was straightened to make the gate!

You never stop learning!

Saturday 10 May 2008

ADSL comes to Treville

Fantastic news: ADSL is now available in Treville too! It took years of persuasion but now TIM (Telecom Italian Mobile) has decided to reach this part of the world too with a fast Internet connection.

Villa Mimma has off course signed up for it and we are now investigating a Wi-Fi network solutions to allow our guests to connect to the Internet for free. A few thick walls to bypass but it will be soon available!!! So, watch out for any update!

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!!!

Saturday 22 March 2008

Buona Pasqua - Happy Easter

To all of you who are in Italy for Easter Villa Mimma wishes a "Buona Pasqua"!

Friday 14 March 2008

Discount on accommodation for golfers!

Latest news: Villa Mimma is offering 10% discount on the accommodation price if guests are coming to Italy to play golf.

Check our Trip Ideas posts for golf courses details.

Saturday 8 March 2008

More about Piedmont golf courses

There has been a thread about golf courses in Piedmont on the slowtrav website.

Other two golf courses that can be easily reached from Villa Mimma are:

I Girasoli
Location: Carmagnola (90 km from Villa Mimma)
Address: Strada Pralormo, 315 - 10022 Carmagnola (TO)
Telephone: +39 011 9795088
Holes: 18, Par: 71

This golf corse is designed taking advantage of the natural features of the landscape and you can enjoy beautiful views over the Alps.

La Margherita
Location: Carmagnola (90 km from Villa Mimma)
Address: Strada Pralormo, 29 - 10022 Carmagnola (To) (km da Villa Mimma)
Telephone: 011 9795113 - 011 9795204
Holes: 18

This golf course is also very near Turin and very close to I Girasoli.

Tuesday 4 March 2008

Easter Monday: "Pasquetta"

I love Easter Monday in Italy. After a day (Easter) spent at home with the family, with a long meal of many courses, "Pasquetta" (Easter Monday) is a day for gatherings and doing things with friends.

When I used to live at the Cinque Terre, about 25 years ago :-(, my Dad used to run the church choir and we had a heavy schedule of performances from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday. So when Easter Monday came, it was a lovely day of "freedom" that we spent going off somewhere with many friends and families for a pic-nick.

This meant that everybody cooked something to share, like cakes and quiches, and we either walked to a sunny spot on the cliffs or we drove to the inland and found a lovely grass area where we could spend the day organising games and having a good lough. A guitar was never left behind so singing all sorts of traditional and pop songs was also part of the fun! Grandparents and grandchildren were joining in - no exclusions.

I must admit, I haven't done this for ages, but it is a lovely way to spend Pasquetta and many people still do so, going off with friends and organising relaxing trips to the countryside.

Monday 3 March 2008

Golf courses in Piedmont from Villa Mimma

There are many beautiful golf courses that you can reach from Villa Mimma in 30-60min drive. You could tea off looking at the Alps or at the seaside, admiring Lake Maggiore or the wineyards on the hills of the Monferrato region.

Here are a few suggestions:

Golf Club Margara
Location: Fubine (22km from Treville)
Address: Via Tenuta Margara 25, I-15043 Fubine (AL)
Telephone: +39 131 778 555
Holes: 18, Par: 72
Annual Closure: Mondays

Golf Club La Serra
Location Valenza (35km form Treville)
Address: Via Astigliano 42, I-15048 Valenza
Telephone: +39 131 954 778
Holes: 9
Annual Closure January

Bogogno Golf Club
Location Bogogno (60km from Treville)
Address: Via Sant’Isidoro 1 - 28010 Bogogno (NO)
Telephone +39 322 863 794
Email: -
Holes 36, Par 72
Annual Closure No

“The first work” of the American designer Robert Von Hagge is set amid the splendid scenery of the hills behind Lake Maggiore and already fully merits its inclusion among the best courses in Italy and Europe.

Golf Club Villa Carolina
Location:Capriata d’Orba (63km from Treville)
Address: Via Ovada, 51 - Tenuta Coltella, I-15060 Capriata d'Orba (AL)
Telephone +39 143 467 355
Holes 27

Description: “Hic dulcis canitur - Here one grows old gracefully”.
This is the first message one sees on entering the magical peacefulness of Villa Carolina. Bria Silva designed the course taking into account the wonderful hilly nature of the place.

Circolo Golf Torino
Location: Fiano Torinese (73km from Treville)
Address: Via Agnelli, 40, 10070 FIANO T.SE (TO)
Telephone: +39 11 923 5440
Holes 36, Par 72
Annual Closure Mondays

The Turin Golf Club was founded back in 1957 in the grounds of “La Mandria”, once the hunting estate of the House of Savoy and now a natural park. Within the club grounds there are two different 18-hole courses set in the ancient woods of the park and furrowed by natural streams that create many suggestive views.

Golf Club Colline del Gavi
Location Tassarolo (80km from Treville)
Address: Strada Provinciale, 2, I-15060 Tassarolo
Telephone: +39 143 342 264
Holes 18, Par 73
Annual Closure January

Golf dei Laghi
Location: Varese (80km from Villa Mimma)
Address: Via Trevisani 926 - 21028 Travedona Monate (Varese)
Telephone: +39-0332-978101 Fax: +39-0332-977532
Holes: 18
Annual closure: January

Eighteen holes set among a wood, pools of water, the backdrop of the Prealps and the majestic horizons dominated by Monte Rosa. Golf dei Laghi is definitely one of the most interesting courses among those recently in the limelight in Italian golfing.

Tuesday 26 February 2008

Online Italian Recipes

Many of my friends ask me about food and "real" Italian recipes, so I have decided to publish a few online as time allows.
I normally jot down a few instructions on pieces of papers but in this way they are online for all :-)
So, if you are a keen cook and wish to see what my suggestions are, please visit my recipes, on my personal blog designed with the Web&Blog technology! Fantastic!

Saturday 23 February 2008

Boat trips to the Riviera and accommodation in Piedmont

It occurred to me that people may not realise that it is possible in a day to go to the Riviera from the Monferrato region and spend the day along the shore in a nice boat, enjoying the sunshine and the seaside, while keeping the base for the accommodation in Piedmont.

I am trying to put together some possible practical itineraries for you to consider. In the meantime, if you have any particular request about boat trips do not hesitate to get in touch with me (Claudia) at or drop a comment to this post.

Watch out this space!

Sunday 17 February 2008

Women's day - La festa della donna

The 8th of March is not far away and Italy recognises that it is the International Women's Day. Thanks to community, I just discovered its historical origins and I have been humbled by the significance of this day, that I have certainly underestimated in the past.

Today, I doubt that generally people know where "La festa della donna" started from.

According to Wikipedia:
International Women's Day (IWD) is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.

If you continue reading, the website gives the historical origins of this commemoration:
The first IWD was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

The idea of having an international women's day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions. By urban legend, women from clothing and textile factories staged one such protest on 8 March 1857 in New York City. The garment workers were protesting what they saw as very poor working conditions and low wages. The protesters were attacked and dispersed by police. These women established their first labor union in the same month two years later.

More protests followed on 8 March in subsequent years, most notably in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. In 1910 the first international women's conference was held in Copenhagen and an 'International Women's Day' was established, which was submitted by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin. The following year, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. However, soon thereafter, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City killed over 140 garment workers. A lack of safety measures was blamed for the high death toll. Furthermore, on the eve of World War I, women across Europe held peace rallies on 8 March 1913. In the West, International Women's Day was commemorated during the 1910s and 1920s, but dwindled. It was revived by the rise of feminism in the 1960s.

It is a tradition in Italy to give a yellow mimosa to women on the 8th of March. It is a beautiful scented flower, theat is in bloom early in Spring. Unfortunately this day si now becoming a celebration like Valentine's day, and the social and political reasons behind its historical origin are often forgotten.

Friday 15 February 2008

Attedning a wedding: advice

I read various threads on about attending a wedding in Italy and what it is "proper" and what is not. Things are evolving and differ between regions but here is my advice:

OUTFIT: Although it is becoming more popular to get married in the afternoon with evening reception, morning ceremonies are still very popular. I would never wear a black or white dress at a morning wedding, nor in the evening, unless specifically requested. You may ask and people may do it, but it is considered "tacky".

GIFT: Wedding lists ("Lista nozze" ) are quite popular and they are the easiest way to please the bride and groom without worrying about what you can get them. The amount of money that you spend is totally up to you. There is no fashion and there is no link to what the wedding reception costs at all. If you are travelling from abroad and attending an Italian wedding, a token from your Country may be the best idea. Consider that your Italian friends will know that you are committing quite a bit of money to attend the wedding in terms of travel arrangements, so they won't expect you to go OTT - unless you can afford it!

TOASTS: Italian wedding receptions do not evolve around a specific scheme, like in England where the speeches have a specific format and have to be of a certain length. There are no such a thing like speeches and people just sit and chat all the time. If there are lively groups of friends or cousins, people may end up cheering the bride and groom or asking for a "bacio" (kiss) towards the end of the meal, but nothing formal and always very spontaneous.

Saturday 26 January 2008

Tapestries and Carpets by Vera Vermeesch

The Belgian artist Vera Vermeesch has now got a house in Treville where she comes several times a year. At the beginning of May Vera will bring some of her items to exhibit in Treville. Details to come so watch this space for more information!

Tuesday 15 January 2008

Self-catering in Piedmont - survey

It has accurred to me that our self-catering apartments seem to be more popular than the B&B rooms with foreigners. I wonder if it is because of the slow travelers coming to the Monferrato region, who like cooking and living at home away from home or if there is any other reason.

I would love if people left a note here about what are the reasons for booking a self-catering accommodation instead of a B&B or a hotel. Things I can think of are:

1) I love to feel at home away from home.
2) Self-catering if more economical in teh long run.
3) Self-catering is more flexible.
4) Other - please specify.

Pleeeeeease, do write your views!

Saturday 5 January 2008

Wine Tasting in Monferrato - Piedmont - Italy

We have put together an exciting experience of wine tasting and food sampling, thanks to a collaboration with local experts!

Participants will visit four of the most prestigious wineries of the Monferrato region (Piedmont, Italy), see their cellars and their "infernot" (caves excavated in the limestone and unique to this area, where the wine is stored), while learning the characteristics of the wines of the region from a professional sommelier ... and off course tasting local products - well in tune with the Italian mentality of wine always accompanying food.

This unique programme includes:
- Tours of the four wineries;
- Wine and food for three nights;
- A sit-down meal with entartainment for the fourth night;
- Accommodation in double/twin room at Villa Mimma. Single room upgrade available - price on request.

All of this for €360 per person (minimum 5 people, maximum 15).

This experience can be organised any time during the year for groups of a minimum of 5 people. In the meantime, we are proposing the following dates:

18th - 22nd March 2008 (closing date for registration 4th March)

Nativities exibition still on!

"The cellar of the nativities" at Villa Mimma is still on until the end of January. Visits on appointment only - tel. 0142 487953 or email .

The amazing cellar of Villa Mimma, aged a few centuries, where the Nativities are displayed.

Andrea Gandini, the master of this exhibition, reflecting on the Nativity during the opening cerimony, lead by Don Franco, parish priest of Treville.

The original Nativity made with bottles and damigeons. You will not find anything similar!

Thursday 3 January 2008

Piedmont under the snow!

It is all white again and it looks like it is snowing more, putting down that fine thin snow that really sticks and lasts. It is a bit inconvenient but most magical!

Tuesday 1 January 2008

Lentils with peppers!

I cooked lentils and "Zampone" for new year's eve. I decided to add a quarter of a finely chopped pepper to my usual recipe and the lentils tasted delicious!!! Worth keeping it in mind for next year.