Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5576: Owner, Ca'Ginota
2bed/1bath house in Cocconato, Piemonte
June 2013, 8 nights
Ca'Ginota is a recently renovated house originally built in the 1970's in the lively hilltop village of Cocconato, about 25 minutes north of Asti. This area of the Monferrato, while not as touristed and popular as the Asti-Alba corridor to the south, has many delights. The house is at the beginning of the village, situated on a hillside so you have an extraordinary view down into the valley. There are neighbors close to the house, but we rarely heard them, just the roosters and birdlife around us.
It's about a 5-10 minute walk uphill into the village, or you can easily drive up and park in one of the small parking areas that ring the pedestrian zone. In the village is a fantastic salumeria for salumi and meats, a laatteria which makes their own fresh robbiola, two nice bakeries, a few other shops, and a small Punto grocery store. The shops are open in the morning, close at noon until around 4, and are open till 7 or so in the evenings (except for Mondays). On Thursday and Saturday mornings is a small market in town. There is a large supermarket around 15 minutes away in Castel' Alfieri.
Cocconato has several restaurants - a popular agriturismo just down the road from the house; and in the village three more restaurants.
The house was barely finished being renovated, and we were the first weekly renters. The house had belonged to a family member, and the owners had lived in the village so were very helpful in orienting us.
You enter to a living/dining/kitchen area with a spectacular view from the huge picture windows. To the left are a few steps up to the two small bedrooms and the new bathroom.
From the window area is a door with very steep stairs down to the garden; we always exited through the front door and took the few steps down alongside the house to go to the back yard.
In the back of the house the owners were still working on the garden area. There was a table and four chairs, with a big umbrella to provide shade. The hillside plantings were quite overgrown, and the owners plan to take down much of the growth to open up the area to the wonderful view. I anticipate this will be quite lovely when completed.
The house was clean upon arrival, with simple furnishings. There was a sectional sofa in the living area; though we spent most of our time in the two armchairs in front of the picture window. The chairs were comfortable if somewhat worn, and the owner told me she plans on replacing them at some point. The dining table had four chairs, and it was nice to sit there and enjoy the view while eating. The windows in kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms had pull-down screens, a nice touch. The picture window does not have screens, but even after a wet Spring and then a hot spell prior to our arrival, there were no mosquitoes.
Bedroom furniture was simple and functional. The double bed was new and very comfortable. Also in the bedroom was an armoire with hangers, a dresser, and two night tables with lamps. The bedrooms had pull-down external shades to block out light and heat.
The pretty bathroom was totally new, and everything worked wonderfully. A shower curtain even kept the water inside the shower stall.
The kitchen was a small galley kitchen, with sink, cook-top, oven, full size fridge, and lots of storage. The appliances and Ikea-style cabinetry were not new, but in good shape. We prepared several full meals with no problems, and had enough cooking materials and utensils. Most of the work space is a small table with a large chopping block under the window, not a lot of space, but adequate. There is a small Moka-style coffeepot.
Problems or Bonuses
Just how much we enjoyed this cozy little house, and how much there was to see and do in the area.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners were extremely responsive both before the trip and during, promptly responding to emails or phone calls and sending many photos. Karen is a British ex-pat who is very committed to making this cute house into a good rental experience. We found the price very reasonable.
Currently they owners do not have a website but you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I'd definitely stay here again, and heartily recommend it to those who want a small house in a village in an untouristed area.
Things to do in this area
It took a bit of searching out information, but we found plenty to do in the area. The owners left a good supply of tourist office brochures. Within an hour of the house are many interesting villages and towns (Asti, Montiglio Monferrato, Moncalvo, Castel Afiero, Casale Monferrato) gorgeous drives along ridges (the drive from Moncalvo to Vignale Monferrato is stunning; any of the white roads are wonderful). We particularly loved visiting the many Romanesque churches. (Vezzolano, San Lorenzo, San Secondo, etc.)
In Cocconato, we enjoyed eating at the agriturismo Cascina Rosengana (stuff yourself on traditional cooking at a reasonable cost), and Cantina del Ponte (you can get lighter meals of salumi and cheese, with excellent wines here).
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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