Location: Perfect for us: the panorama from the dining terrace is breath-taking. The hilltop location, vineyard, pool etc made for a relaxing stay. It was near enough to Genoa airport for (relative) ease-of-access (see GPS note below).
As we had seen much of the region before and were looking for a get-away type of holiday, the location and its panorama were ideal. It is a romantic spot for couples.
However, if you wish to explore the towns of Alba, Barolo etc it would need to be a day-trip. If you are travelling with family, consider the full-board option at least for some of the stay as the nearest supermarket (we could find) was at Acqui Terme, 30km away. If you need anything specifically, let the staff know in advance and they will happily oblige.
Important note: You will need a GPS to find the Cascina as it is beyond the limits of Pareto (a small village in the region). Set the GPS to the "shortest distance" option NOT "fastest time" otherwise you will be going through isolated mountain roads at slower speeds than the "fastest time" setting assumes. The "Shortest distance" option is a much easier drive to the Cascina, and thus, faster.
Rooms: The Cascina was built fairly recently and thus the accommodation is of a high standard. They are in the process of upgrading to solar power for next season. There are 9 rooms in total. We had one of the bigger attic rooms and it fit 3 of us (2 adults and 1 toddler) very comfortably. The en-suite was roomy, although didn't have a bath (no concern to us but might be an issue for others). We thought that although the rooms are new it had a lovely rustic feel, nothing was lacking and the view was great. There is a large common area with satellite TV, fridge etc. downstairs if you feel you need more room. The grounds are extensive and you could go for decent walks without leaving the premises. The pool is just the thing to stay by on a hot day.
Cleanliness: The rooms are clean, new, tidy and well-maintained. They are not serviced every day but nor are they at other Agriturismos where we have stayed.
Service: The staff are unobtrusive during your stay but readily available if you need anything and happy to help. At all times the staff tried to speak English after realising our attempts to speak Italian were a bit embarrassing. There are three staff in total, two cook the meals and one tends to the grounds, which we think is a remarkable feat. The food is the characteristic rustic piedmontese fare but was well done and some of it was the best we have had in the region. The porcini mushroom risotto was a standout. Most of the produce is either from the place itself or nearby. You will pleased to know they don't keep animals except for a few cats so you do not have to meet your dinner. For dinner there are a comprehensive range of wines from the region (Arneis through to Barolo), available at extra cost, though we found the price to be very reasonable for the quality. Breakfast is very basic, but do leave room in your belly for the 3-course lunch if you are taking full-board.
Sleep quality: if it is possible to put 6 stars out of 5, we would. The location makes for a very peaceful and quiet stay. The mattress was quite hard but it ensured a restful sleep and our toddler was provided with a small bed of his own.
Value: There were no hidden charges. We always knew what we would need to pay at the end of the stay. We believe the price for what you got was very reasonable.
- Also Known As:
- Cascina Bozzetti Italy/Pareto