It’s no secret that I’ve lost my heart to Italy more than a decade ago. However, the feelings seriously evoked again when I recently visited an old vineyard in the pantry of northern Italy; Piemonte. Last-mentioned offered both interesting wine tastings, well cooked food, sunshine and strolls around the charming streets of the small Italian villages. If you’re planning a weekend get-away – or if you’re a fan of ‘the good life’ we’ll strongly recommend that you keep on reading. We’ll guarantee that a visit at the vineyard Villa Vigneto will only ad more relaxation and bon vivant to your holiday!
Towards southern skies
Wednesday morning we find ourselves impatiently waiting in Copenhagen Airport. It’s a foggy morning in November and it’s really quite dreary. We’re on our way to Milan from where we’ll head south towards Genova. Well, actually we’ll only go half way to Genova, cause last stop is the small authentic village of Nizza Monferrato. If you could have a love affair with the genuine Italian way of living, this would be the place to start – but we’ll get back to that. The vineyard where we’re about to settle for the next couple of days is situated on a picturesque hill just 10 minutes outside the village.
Luckily we’ve left the cloudy weather in Denmark, because when we arrive in Milan the sun is shining from a cloudless sky. A car is rented and approximately 2 hours later we arrive at the driveway of Villa Vigneto, which is fringed with vineyards, flower beds and, apparently, a whole lot of truffles! Piemonte is home to this expensive viand, which we get to taste just hours later.
We’re greeted by the Danish hostess Eva who quickly leads us to our room. It shows out it has a view of the biodynamic vines and grazing cattle, which not only sounds incredibly idyllic – it really is! Nevertheless, we know that this is an everyday occurrence at these latitudes.
Villa Vigneto is owned by Norwegian Richard, who’s dividing his time between north and south as well as Eva, who’s the Danish travel guide and hostess. The actual vineyard is more than 200 years old and it’s the little details here that reveals the long-time activity that has been going on here. In one of the wings we find an old well, which is now covered, but definitely has been used for water supply in ancient times. Today Villa Vigneto functions as both a meeting point for companies, who choose to have their seminars here, but also for couples and families in need of tranquil surroundings during their vacation. Guests are welcome in both summer and winter, but an average stay consists of three nights.
Normally Northern Italy is quite chilly this time of year, but when we arrive it’s so warm outside that lunch can easily be consumed on the terrace. We’re happy to find lovely Italian specialties on the table along with local white wine. In fact, the wine comes from the vineyards own biodynamic production; La Mano Verde. They’re intense and aromatic, which is quite normal for Italian wines, but they fit perfectly with the signature dishes of the region; risotto with truffles, ravioli and rabbit.
Our schedule during our two days in Villa Vigneto is tight and there’s not much time left for strolling around the area. However, the trips can be customized exactly as one wishes. Whether you prefer relaxation in the local area, gourmet experiences or wellness and spa adventures it can be arranged! The area of San Marzano Oliveti is perfect for active holidays including bicycling, hiking and golf, as the terrain is very hilly and placed 300 meters above sea level.
Our room is light and welcoming with a nice view, and we don’t have to think about anything but ourselves. The food is prepared by the staff of the vineyard, but if you travel in a group you can choose to live in the spacious apartment with a separate kitchen.
The good life ad libitum
The summer months in Piemonte are often quite hot and here you can choose to lay by the pool from where there’s a splendid view to the surrounding landscape. If you’re feeling peckish you can pick from the fig-, walnut- or orange trees, which encircles the farm. In other words; it’s the good life ad libitum – the life that so many people dream of, but fail to pursue. At Villa Vigneto you get the whole package; beautiful nature, plenty of gourmet food, a pleasant climate (even though winters can be quite tough) and world-class shopping just an hour’s drive away. So where should you go next time you feel the need for pure relaxation and a piece of heaven? We suggest Piemonte in Italy – and the vineyard Villa Vigneto.
(Editor’s updated note: Villa Vigneto is now closed for visitors).