Lovingly restored to the highest modern standards, the Cascina Del Forno is a stunning Piedmontese farmhouse that blends original 18th Century and modern design features. It's generous open plan kitchen, gives wonderful views out from the huge French windows over the landscaped herb garden, to the rolling hills and Alps beyond. It's fireplace next to the long dinning table make it a wonderful place to relax over a delicious meal. The living room also has a fire, 2 sofas, one of which can be converted into a 2 person bed. This delightful room with original brick vaulted ceilings is a wonderful place to relax, watch TV or the large collection of DVDs. Upstairs there is a generous shower room, a double bedroom with balcony, a smaller bedroom with two twin beds suitable for children. The magnificent master bed room includes an en-suite bathroom, separate shower, WC. From the large double bed you can enjoy charming views of Mombercelli Castle and on clear days, the Alps in the distance.
For larger parties of up to 10 people, or if you require 3 full double beds, rental of an additional double bed and bathroom can be arranged with the owner, in a wing of the house, that is usually closed to guests.
Terraced garden: The house forms part of a secluded L-shaped courtyard, made up of three houses and their attached barn, all owned by the proprietor. Two of the houses have been fully restored, the 3rd is awaiting restoration. Guests have sole use of the whole site. There is a landscaped, terraced garden with a vegetable patch and a herb garden that guests are welcome to enjoy. A small pond with fountain, mean that Cascina del Forno is unsuitable for toddlers, and small children will need to be supervised at all times. The house is equipped with badminton, a ping-pong table and boules. Meanwhile, a spacious shady gazebo with gas barbecue grill, sun lounger and hammocks, make it idyllic for families or adults. It is the perfect place to sit with a glass of local Barbera or sparkling Cortese or enjoy a lazy meal, with the panoramic views of the valleys, and on clear days, the distant Alps.
Monferrato: a food & wine paradise: The Monferrato region is a foodie's paradise, well known for its white truffles, wild boar, fresh pasta and Nutella as well as glorious wine (Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Nebiolo Arneis and Moscato). Bra and Alba, the home of the Slow Food Movement are a short 30 minute drive away. Indeed, Cascina del Forno is located in Mombercelli, one of the key centres for white truffles. Our neighbour at the bottom of the hill is one of Piedmont's premier truffle experts who lectures regularly at Eataly. During the truffle season in October/November he is happy to take visitor's truffle hunting on his land or welcome them into his agriturismo restaurant, that specialises in dishes using truffles. But street markets held in every local town, offer an abundance of fresh local produce any day of the week you decide to go shopping.
Wine tastings and vineyard tours are a wonderful way to discover the authenticity and passion of the local independent winemakers. Particularly interesting are the magnificent cellars or ‘underground cathedrals’ in nearby Canelli, which have been designated a UNESCO world heritage site.
Festivals & other local activities: If you like swimming, June-Sept Mombercelli has a wonderful outdoor communal pool with jacuzzi, tennis court and football pitch and bar/restaurant. Its a great place to watch and meet the locals. There are lots of picturesque marked cycling routes on the local highways and byways. Walking and hiking in the local lanes or the Tanaro National Park are also a delight.
Experience one of the many annual local festivals, the most famous being the Asti Palio each September, older than the one held in Sienna. Then there is the medieval re-enactment of the Siege of Canelli each June in which all the locals dress up to become protagonists in the battles, cars are banished from the streets of the old town, and replaced with bales of hay, craft demonstrations and pop up street banquets. Meanwhile, there is the hilarious donkey palio in Alba, to rival & mock the equestrian version in Asti, or the renowned International Truffle Festival in Alba each October.
************************************************ GUEST REVIEWS ***************************************************************
We had a really good time in you fantastic house. It is an ideal place to relax. The weather was better than expected so early in the year. We had only two days snow and rain but all the other days a lot of sun.
The house is very comfortable and very well equipped. We were very impressed by the large and very nice bed/bathroom. We did some hiking in the region and also in the Aosta valley. We visited Asti, Alba and Turino.
These are very nice and interesting towns. Thanks a lot that we could experience this good time.
Wolfgang, Germany April 2012