Buongiorno Italia! One of my favourite places in the world, a magical country with the perfect combination of the 3c’s – class, culture and last but not least the amazing (italian) cuisine.
I simply love that every trip to Italy is a new adventure, our trip two years ago to Milan was all about fashion, design and historical sites while this trip to Monforte d’Alba, a town situated only a three hour drive from Nice and only one hour drive from Turin, was all about disconnecting, enjoying the countryside and a good (few) glasses of wine.
Although the weather wasn’t quite on our side and it was slightly chilly and rainy, we decided to keep the trip as it is and make the most out of it. It’s Italy, what could possibly go wrong?
Although the 2.5 hour drive from Nice to Monforte d’Alba was rough and rainy, the sight of the picturesque mountains, vineyards and breathtaking architecture was certainly worth every minute of the drive.
I have this thing with boutique hotels. The intimacy, the strong attention to detail is something that I find very important and I don’t often get the same feeling when I stay at large chain hotels.
So for this trip, I chose La Ribezza Boutique Hotel located right in the centre of Monforte d’Alba.
Upon arrival, I knew we made the right choice, the hotel was in a perfect location, situated next to the Conterno Fantino winery.
The hotel looked like it was taken from a fairytale book, with details and designs influenced by La Belle Époque. The outside walls were painted in a light gray with light pink and blue decor circling the building. Pillared balconies were facing the amazing view and my favourite part – the outdoor sauna and swimming pool in the garden were just indescribable.
The hotel staff welcomed us so nicely, we were told to choose one of four different soap scents that we liked best and were given a bag with two pairs of slippers, a shower kit with soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion of our choice and a range of other toiletries for our 24 hour stay in Monforte d’Alba.
Our room had everything we could have asked for, with attention to the smallest details.
The freestanding bathtub made my day, the only thing I had in mind was enjoying a hot bubbly bath with a glass of wine whilst enjoying the view of the vineyards from the window. The room had a walk in closet that I wish I could have taken home with me and a large bathroom with an italian shower.
The bathroom was equipped with a hairdryer, bathrobes and plenty of towels and the cupboards in the rooms were filled with bottles of wine, a nespresso machine and cold beverages.
Bottom line, the hotel totally exceeded our expectations and I would definitely visit again.
Monforte d’Alba is a very small town, yet offers activities that match the specialities of the area such as wine tastings and truffle tours (depending on the season). As we were limited to 24 hours in Monforte d’Alba, we decided to focus on the local activities, otherwise I would totally recommend the hour drive to Turin or half an hour drive to Alba.
We visited Conterno Fantino one of the local winerys situated right next to our hotel. The well known wine of the region is the Barolo and the Barbera d’Alba, after tasting them I can safely say that there’s no turning back. To make sure of that, we bought a couple of bottles to take home with us.
After that we head down to the town centre and discovered a small farmers market selling locals products such as cheese, truffle oil, pasta and wine. The first thought that came to my mind – parmigiano! So we head over and bought 1kg (!!) of parmesan cheese for only 20€, need I say more ?? we all know what we’ll be eating for the next 6 months (bye bye diet).
After all that wine, our appetite was screaming “I’m HERE”, so we head over to “the” most recommended restaurant in town – Le Case Della Saracca.
The restaurant was designed like a cave, with bricks everywhere, candles and glass floors with wine bottles underneath. As we entered the bar to our right, there was an aperitif spread out all over the bar for guests of the restaurant to enjoy. The owner then asks you “how many cups of wine do you normally drink?” (hummm) and then hands you a glass of wine for each course that you are having, one for starters, one for secondi (normally a pasta in Italy), one for main (meat) and then, one for dessert. I managed to reach the end of my secondi glass (and meal) but had to take a time out after that!
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Know about more interesting things to do in Monforte d’Alba ? Leave me a comment below!