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“At home with Rafaella”

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Agriturismo Il Gioco Dell'Oca
Ranked #4 of 10 Barolo B&B and Inns
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
102 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“At home with Rafaella”
Reviewed July 18, 2013

On our 22nd trip to Piemonte, we chose to stay in Barolo for the first time (all the previous times had been in Barbaresco area). We are loving the proliferation of lodging choices in the area, particularly the agriturismo options. The concept of "roughing it" should be forgotten when choosing to stay in an agriturismo.

But, like fabphil, we too thought the presence of the two roads to Barolo in such close proximity to the place would be a buzz kill. I'm extremely sensitive to street noise and thought "what was I thinking when I booked?" I knew about the road noise. Those thoughts lasted about 6 hours. For the rest of our four nights, it just became background noise. For the noise, I suspect some might think I should give Il Gioco dell'Orca only 4 stars, but that wouldn't be fair given the incredible warm welcome and comfy accommodations Rafaella provides. Besides, every time I told a local friend where we were staying, they responded with a resounding confirmation that we'd chosen a great place to stay.

We arrived on a warm day in June just a few weeks after three months of unusually persistent rain ended. The mosquitoes were out in full force, so we simply plugged an "anti-zanzarra" thingie in the plug and all was good.

When we walked into the dining room, we could see owner Rafaella hard at work needing dough for bread. I was sure we'd met before given the warmth of her welcome, but soon learned Rafaella has the personality and spirit owners and operators of agriturismo should (and usually do) have. So we were warmly welcomed, told we could use the kitchen as needed (which was great to store some goodies such as cheese and salumi we had nightly for dinner after a day of pigging out).

We later sat in the salon and enjoyed sipping Rafaella's father's wine with Bernese mountain dog, Chablis, and the cat providing fun companionship. The walls are decorated with intriguing old photographs.

Breakfast outside on the terrace was delightful. About 6 or so homemade jams and marmalades are provided along with bread, cheese, yoghurt, salami, juice, coffee and other of the usual suspects at an Italian breakfast (cakes, etc.). Eggs were offered, but we were stuffing ourselves with the goodies.

Although the road is a source of aggravation, it is also a great asset to get around fast to the other side of the Langhe. It takes only 20 minutes to get to Barbaresco from Il Gioco. The straight shot on the road that opens onto the autostrade with an exit at Neive is great. Alba is a quick trip, too. There is a BigStore in Castiglione Falletto, but also great options for local products in Barolo and on the main road to Castiglione Falletto before you reach the BigStore.

Barolo is a nice 25 minute hike on the less-travelled Barolo road from which you enter the agriturismo. We stayed on the road since the walking path is also used by tractors and the dust stirred up by them a mess. So after a day or night pigging out at any of the area's fabulous restaurants, a brisk hike to Barolo and up and down the village's cobblestone streets is a good exercise.

By the way, despite it being hot (in the 80s during the day) our room was pleasant and cool day and night.

All in all, Rafaella and her parents provide a wonderful place to make camp on your adventures in Piemonte. So bring your earplugs if you must and just kick back and enjoy the warmth and family atmosphere of Il Gioco dell'Oca.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that opens onto the courtyard.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank VillaArneis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Seoul, South Korea
2 reviews
Reviewed August 28, 2012

My wife and I stayed at Dell'Oca for 2 nights(8/16~18) during our visit to Barolo area.
This time we could realise again that it's "with whom" that matters more than "where".
Raffaella, the owner, is very nice, cheerful and caring about guests in every details. Most of all, breakfast was great, full of organic and natural foods just from the backyard.
Google Maps gives wrong info. about where it is. Actually it's 2km far from the center of Barolo(3min. by car and 25min. by walk). Rather than being inconvenient, it gave us an opportunity to get closer to Raffaella's family. Actually we couldn't book a rent-car 'cause there was no available car with automatic transmission in Alba and Asti offices in holiday season. So she and her father gave us a ride to and from the center of Barolo as long as they were available. Moreover 2nd day's morning, on our way to Barolo, Raffaella's father took us to his vineyards, which we could realise how he is proud of. We never forget the hospitality they've shown to us and can tell 100% sure we'll choose Dell'Oca again without hesitation if we have a chance to visit Barolo someday.

Room Tip: Wifi available. But in the room, signal is slightly weak. In the garden is good.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JongYun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
copenhagen
Level Contributor
65 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2012

My first impressions were of a beautiful house ruined by the close proximity of roads but a couple of days later Il Gioco was just "home". And this is the beauty of the place, you are treated as family.

The room was spotless, the bed comfortable, the bathroom small but functional. The gardens lovely and the breakfast outstanding.

Alistair Sawdie says the Gioca is all about Raphaela, and in a way he is right - she is a wonderful host, but she also has warm, friendly, informative staff who focus upon their customers needs. That said, Raphaela (spelling?) is a marvel and I would like to publicly thank her for making our short stay so memorable.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank fabphil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sant'Egidio alla Vibrata, Italy
Level Contributor
43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2012

We have been to this Beb &Breackfast last week for 3 nights, the Owner immediately solved the problem for one 2 more unexpected people. adapting 2 extra bed in one room. the Rooms are clean and old fascion fornished, giving the taste of an old farm. The Breackfast is aboundand and genuine all products hand made and delicious. The Kindnes of the Owner Raffaella it's relevant and not common, she also arranged appointments for wine tasting in the area. I will recomend.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank claorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Level Contributor
41 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2011

Upon arrival around midnight, after a hard day of work and fast travel to this farmhouse, imagine a fireplace, a pan with butter, boiling water on the fire, homemade ravioli on a plate ready to be cooked and a note inviting to collect some fresh sage, just outside the kitchen door. Imagine that it is not imagination, but the beginning of a four days experience, designed by Raffaella. Imagine that you follow her path, table reservation for lunch and dinner in nearby honest restaurants for the next 3 days. Imagine the flavors of everything that you can expect to find in this region. And more. And imagine this is not fantasy, but real life! Wonderful location, clean rooms and surroundings, honest and warm welcome: it's "feel at home in its best days"! Do not hesitate: if there is room available and if you stay at il Gioco dell'Oca, you will be astonished by this famous Italian region! Raffaella Bravo! AND THANK YOU!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Stéphane A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2011

Our friend recommended Il Gioco dell'Oca after having stayed there twice before. No wonder they continue to return. The rooms are spacious with comfortable furnishings. Rafaella is the most charming hostess we've met. She guided us daily for dining and touring -- all were great! Her breakfasts are spectacular. The location is convenient. The gardens are nicely maintained. Our water pressure was a bit low but otherwise, everything felt "comfortable".

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Sharon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nice, France
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2011

Il Gioco dell'Oca is a charming,old farmhouse b&b.The bedrooms are somewhat quaint but are comfortable and clean with fascinating old photograghs on the walls and retro items.It is very dog friendly and they have an affectionate Bernese called Chablis.The pretty garden is well mantained and secure.We had the huge breakfast sitting out in it which was lovely.The staff could not have been more friendly and helpful and there was complimentary coffe/tea and homemade cakes on offer all day.There is ample parking but the entrance is somewhat concealed so you have to be careful when driving out back onto the main road.It is situated about a three minute drive from the town of Barolo itself which has quite a few good restaurants.The surrounding vine yards provide great walks with stunning views and there are lots of outlets in the vicinity to purchase the superb Barolo wines.We strongly recommend this accomadation to anyone thinking of visiting the Barolo area.

Room Tip: All rooms are fine but if you have a dog with you the groundfloor are best as you can just open the...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank renee182734
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Agriturismo Il Gioco Dell'Oca

Property: Agriturismo Il Gioco Dell'Oca
Address: Via Alba 83, 12060 Barolo, Italy
Location: Italy > Piedmont > Province of Cuneo > Barolo
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Barolo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
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