the vineyard laden hills of the Piedmont (Piemonte) region
of Italy are charming little ancient villages that offer quaint
lodgings and wonderful wine specialties.
With a romantic
getaway in mind, Claudia, hostess extraordinaire, took us on a
driving tour down the lovely rural lanes of Monferrato to show us
her favorite villas. She insisted that we choose one for our evening’s
calming beauty of our trip was broken – just once – when
a madcap, out-of-nowhere Vespa driving maniac whipped around
our car and Claudia exclaimed,
Mamma Mia!, her hands gesturing wildly. Italians actually
say that in real life! We had mistakenly thought that the phrase
was a cliché limited to Super Mario Bros and bad canned spaghetti commercials. We learn something new everyday.
strolled through several medieval villages before settling upon
Cave di Moleto. Moleto is a small community that
includes a working vineyard and winery, restaurant and hotel.
A small outdoor theatre with a 360 degree panorama, hosts
fantastic jazz concerts. The view the from theatre is spectacular,
overlooking the Valle dei Frati (Valley of the Friars) and
the rolling hills at the feet of the Alps. Romantic? Si.
The name Cave di Moleto comes from the ancient quarries of marl
(clay) in the area but is also a clever bit of word play. Cave in
Italian is the word for mines or quarries, but in French it means
the place to store wine. The village itself dates back to the late
700s and in 1992, the estate was bought and extensive renovations
were undertaken. The winery incorporates the old wine cellars with
the technologies of today. The renovations are impressive and were
obviously done with much love and the utmost care.
While listening to the vineyard workers
play spirited game of ping pong, we were given a tour of the lodgings. There were twelve spacious rooms
in all, each with distinctive and whimsical touches, utilizing
the art of Trompe l’oeil (we spent a least an hour just staring
at the ceiling above our bed).
We selected the Camera Sant’Orsola
for its wonderful little balcony overlooking a little chapel,
the beautiful bed with its ornate wooden catherdral door headboard and the biggest bathroom we had ever been in.
choosing a room for its bathroom was a first for us, it
seems a detailed description should be made: In the middle
of the huge room stood a a free standing, deep, no, VERY
deep, white cast iron, four legged tub. The toilet and bidet
each were nestled away with deco-like, back lit partitions
with a step-up vanity tucked
between. The ceiling was extremely high and elaborately painted.
A full wall was dedicated to windows overlooking the courtyard.
in historical and architectural wonder, we
spent our evening strolling around the village, then hiking through
the vineyards at sunset. We finished with a bottle of the
estates Barbera del Monferrato perfect for the Symphony
of our own sausages
to cutting board Monferrato in a candlelit courtyard. Little
details were everywhere — even the lanterns were made from wine
carafes. Cosi romantico.
To end a perfect
day, we drifted off to luxurious sleep while contemplating the ceiling of our bedroom.
David & Veronica,