Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2244: Villa Vigneto, Villa Vigneto
2bed/2bath apartment near San Marzano Oliveto, Piemonte
July 2006, 2 weeks
Villa Vigneto is in Piemonte a short distance from a main road 5-10 minutes from both Nizza Monferrato and Canelli. The location was quiet with no neighbors right nearby. The immediate area is nice with vineyards and views to surrounding hilltop towns. There were no noise issues, barring the occasional tractor.
You should have a car. It is possible to walk into San Marzano Oliveto but it is about 1/2 hour and mostly uphill. There are many very good restaurants all within a 15 minute drive. Canelli, center of Asti wine production, is about five minutes away. Nizza Monferrato, a good size town with a large market, is under 10 minutes away.
The building is a conversion of a typical Piemontese farm building. We (two adults, two kids under 7) stayed in an apartment with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room and eat in kitchen. The apartment was clean, modern and well sized for an extended stay. The apartment is located on the ground floor at one end of the building with entrances on two sides. The back entrance is only used for the apartment so there is a good sense of privacy from other guests at the hotel. The rest of the building houses eight hotel rooms and the owners quarters. We had family and friends in three of the hotel rooms.
Around the front of the building is a lovely shared covered outdoor space with a large dining table where breakfast is served (not included with apartment but available) along with a couple of comfortable couches for afternoon lounging and a mini-fridge stocked with drinks, snacks and the house made Barbera. The pool area is new and has lounge chairs and a dining table perfect for poolside lunch. We used it a lot as anyone with kids knows how hard it is to get them out of the pool on a hot day. Outside the back entrance to our apartment, we had a private patio area with a dining table and chairs. This was usually our breakfast spot.
We spent two weeks here, joined part of the time by five friends who stayed in the hotel rooms. We did not feel lacking in anything home wise during that time. I will admit to buying paper plates and glasses as there is no dishwasher. There is a TV with limited channels. The kids did enjoy finding some cartoons they knew from home and trying to figure out what was going on because it was in Italian.
The furnishings were simple but up to date and comfortable. The beds were comfortable and the lighting was good. Bathrooms are modern and spacious. We had no trouble finding electrical outlets when needed.
The kitchen was not huge but perfectly acceptable. There were two tables in it which helped when in need of more counterspace. Equipment was basic but in good condition. We had a lot of meals there being with kids. At times the fridge was quite stuffed but we didn't feel like we didn't have space for things.
Problems or Bonuses
For us, the surprise was in how much we enjoyed Villa Vigneto. We are used to staying either in private houses or large hotels. I had always been leery of the small hotel/B&B type experience. Robert and Sissel made us feel very welcome while not making us feel any loss of privacy or intruded upon in any way. Huggie, the house dalmation, was a nice surprise. My kids (not used to big dogs) just fell in love with him and spent hours playing catch with him. He is a very well behaved, well trained and friendly dog.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I booked this myself after an exhaustive internet search. We were new to Piemonte and used to villa rentals in Tuscany. Being unable to find a suitable house to rent in the area, we decided to rent at Villa Vigneto. Robert and Sissel, who own and run the place, were truly lovely. They've both lived all over the world and speak English, Italian, Norwegian and French. They were delightful hosts, very helpful and warm. They provided us with restaurant recommendations, shopping tips, sightseeing ideas and maps to get us everywhere we needed to go. We were even able to use their computer whenever we needed to check emails and such.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I already did! I was the one who chose and booked this for all of us (family and friends). Everyone enjoyed the accomodations and have told me they would not hesitate to stay here again.
Things to do in this area
Lots to do and see. The location is great. Torino, Aqui Terme, Alba, Asti, Barolo, and many interesting smaller towns are all within an hour's drive or less. There were many memorable restuarants and food experiences. The people of Piemonte were warm and friendly and we did not see many tourists and almost no other Americans.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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