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Review 4890: Owner, La Casa del Professore

www.lacasadelprofessore.it

Recommended
Review by Lucy dArville from Australia

4bed/2bath house near Villafranca d'Asti, Piemonte


La Casa del Professore, photo by

When

December 2010, One week

Location

La Casa del Professore is perfectly situated in the heart of the Piemonte countryside. Roatto is a quaint little town although very quiet with a corner shop and a small cafe. Villafranca d'Asti is a 10 minute car drive away or 60 minute walk where there are more shops and access to a cash machine.

The house is surrounded on all sides by a garden with a beautiful view of the mountains on a clear day. You will experience no disturbances as it is a very peaceful location.

There are numerous walks to do in the countryside from the house.

It was very easy to explore the delightful towns in the Piemonte region. The ones we saw were Asti (30 minute drive), Alba and Barolo (60 minutes), Canale (90 minutes) and Turin (50 minutes).

There is a train station in Villafranca which can also take you to the main destinations.

Nearby Amenities

There is a corner shop no more than 100 metres from the house. The corner shop owners are absolutely delightful and while they speak no English they are kind and generous, always giving you samples of some local delicacy to try (sweet pastries, salami etc.). This shop has an excellent range of meat, cheese, pasta as well as providing the basics (milk, tea, coffee, bread).

There is a cafe in Roatto but it is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,

Maretto is a 15 minute walk and there are some more shops in this town. However, in winter when we were there it was all closed.

Villafranca d'Asti is the closest town after that to get to restaurants and a greater range of groceries. There is a fabulous market at Villafranca d'Asti on a Tuesday - homemade pasta, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and a plethora of cheeses and meat.

It is possible to get by without a car (you would need a taxi to get the house with luggage) but to explore the towns mentioned above and see more of the region, a car is recommended.

For a large supermarket you need to travel to Asti.

The House/Apartment

La Casa del Professore is a stunning home with a historical feel both in its build and furnishings. There is an old-fashioned stove in the kitchen, a gramophone in the living room and a collection of old radios in one of the bedrooms - all of which gave the home a unique and special feel.

The house was in immaculate condition and well cared for. On the ground floor there is a living room, large kitchen and then adjoined to the kitchen a large bathroom with both a shower and a bath.

Upstairs there are four large bedrooms and one bathroom with a shower only.

The house is perfect for a game of hide and seek!

The setting is idyllic and serene.

Garden

The outside area to the home is private. In summer there is a pool and the option of sitting outside, but we were there in winter, so did not make use of this area.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The furniture was all in excellent condition and comfortable.

The living area had one sofa (could seat two or three people) and then there was a table with four chairs.

The kitchen could seat six comfortably around the table.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The bedrooms were comfortable although the mattresses varied in each room and may not be to everyone's liking. The mattress my husband and I had was fine, but in another room the mattress was found to slope inwards and was a bit awkward for my husband's sister and her boyfriend.

The downstairs bathroom was excellent and was the main one used.

The upstairs bathroom was convenient to brush teeth in the evening but the shower often ran out of hot water after one person showered (which was not the case in the downstairs bathroom).

The bathroom towels were a little thin, but this is a very minor point and the only possible criticism we have from our entire stay.

Kitchen

The kitchen was fantastic and equipped with every possible accessory one could want. We cooked three large family meals in the kitchen with ease and much enjoyment!

You will not find a toaster (we used the grill in the oven) or a microwave but this was not a hindrance.

The equipment was all of excellent quality.

Problems or Bonuses

To name a few of the wonderful surprises in store for us when we arrived:

  • In speaking to Angelo before making the booking, I enquired whether the house had a piano. When we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see that he had arranged for a piano to installed in the living room. We had a lot of fun with his family in the evenings sitting in the living area playing duets and singing. It made our stay even more special.
  • A generous selection of food supplies was provided covering essentials such as tea, coffee, pasta, milk as well as extras such as gourmet parmesan cheese, dessert wine and olive oil.
  • A computer and Internet to help do last-minute research on the local area and check train times.
  • A comprehensive selection of interesting books in numerous languages and music records. You could spend the week in comfort curled up in the living room with the books!
  • Angelo arranged for a birthday cake to be made by a well known patisserie and delivered to the restaurant where we were having my husband's birthday dinner. The cake was absolutely divine - white chocolate with the sponge soaked in a subtle liqueur.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

The owner, Angelo, is a truly special person. He could not have been more accommodating and helpful leading up to our stay in his Great Grandfather's home. He handled the booking and was there to meet us when we arrived. He ensured the house was heated for our arrival and gave us a tour of the home so we knew where everything was. His English is perfect.

Everything we read about the place leading up to our stay was accurate and the experience was even better than we had imagined.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

We would stay again at La Casa del Professore without a moment's hesitation and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a family farmhouse for a week or two.

Angelo will go out of his way to ensure you have an unforgettable stay.

Things to do in this area

We had four very special experiences:

  • Crotin 1897 for Christmas lunch. We will remember the service, home cooked food and Moscata d'Asti for a long time. It was a leisurely 40 minute walk from the farmhouse.
  • Cooking school at Peggy and Jason's home, Cascina Bella Vista Asti (a B&B). Peggy and Jason went out of their way to treat to us an Italian feast!
  • Pasticerria/biscuit shop run by a father and his son in Barolo. You cannot miss the shop walking down the main street in town on your left walking away from the castle, slightly up the hill. We were spoilt with many biscuits and chocolates to sample.
  • Birthday dinner at Aldo's in Asti. We had our own room for the seven of us and a very animated and passionate hostess. Plates of food were brought out showcasing the specialties of the region.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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