I wanted to surprise my wife with a short holiday for her 50th birthday. One of her favourite places is Carloforte on the Island of St Pietro. We had visited the Island on several previous occasions, staying at the Hotel Riviera. I booked the Riviera 3 months before her birthday, and this booking was confirmed. Much to my surprise the hotel phoned me 4 days before departure to tell me they could not accomodate us. The reasons given were not clear, and they were not overly helpful in suggesting alternative accomodation. After some investigation on the internet, I booked the Villa Pimpina in the hope it would prove a reasonable substitute for the Riviera. As it turned out I couldn't have been more delighted with my choice. From the moment we walked into the Hotel we felt at home. It is delightful. Set fairly high up in the old town, it commands beautiful views from its upper rooms. Our room overlooked the town, harbour and surrounding countryside, and faced south. The area is very peaceful both in the day and at night, but is only 6 minutes walk form the harbour. The decor in the hotel is a mixture of traditional and modern with a very artistic touch. The hotel is spotlessly clean. The hotel owner lives on the premises and both he and his wife are very freindly and helpful. Breakfast is included, and although simple, is of a perfectly adequate contenental style with homemade cakes and fruit included. We were very impressed, and hope to return to this hotel in the not too distant future.