A week in the Langhe - a Fantasy Vacation in a Monastery
Some of the greatest wines in the world are produced in Piemonte. The Langhe could be considered the heart of the Piemontese wine industry. We are not just talking about Nebbiolo, Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera. We are also talking about Roero Arneis. Historically the local cuisine is elaborate and complex. The Langhe was the favorite vacation destinations for the Kings in Turin. This brought the best chefs and winemakers to this small area in Piemonte. Numerous small castles and monasteries are found in this area. They are smaller than the palaces in Turin or Alessandria but are still castles with 3 foot wide walls fabricated with hand cut and fitted stone.
Monasteries are very similar to castles. They may have been filled with monks but they are formidable fortresses with limited access routes, internal water and food sources and dominating tactical positions making them easy to defend. These characteristics also give them marvelous views and a wonderful ambiance. These hidden gems are a unique opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience of culture, food and wine.
A recent article showcased a neat agriturismo in Alba. The Relais San Maurizio Hotel of the Monastery S. Stefano Belbo is the opposite end of the vacation experience. The XV century monastery was recently restructured. The renovation maintained the original structure and façade. The cellars cleaned but left amazingly authentic. Every little corner of this hotel holds something interesting from the river stone walls to the arched brick ceiling of the wine tasting room. Ceilings are hand painted murals with support beams intricately carved images and decorated in gold leaf.
The services are also at the top end of luxury. The hotel offers complete spa facilities as well as conference rooms and high-speed Internet access. The restaurant prepares regional dishes with gnocchi, tartufo, stewed meats, wild game, elaborate sauces and wonderful cheeses. The wines of Piemonte are all available to compliment these marvelous culinary creations. Gaja, Giacosa, Ceretto, Produttori del Barbaresco, Giuseppe Cortesi and many others are always available.
This hotel is in a great position geographically. It is located just south of hills of Monferrato (Turin), north of Genova, east of Cuneo, and a hop skip and a jump from Asti. More information about this hotel is available at:
Relais San Maurizio - Hotel del Monastero
Località San Maurizio, 39
Italy - 12058 S.Stefano Belbo (CN)
Tel.: + 39 0141 841900
Fax. +39 0141 843833
Tags: Italian Vacations Piedmont Alessandria Castles Travel Italy Wine Vacations