When planning the second part of our summer holidays, we looked at the map and asked ourselves what options we have besides taking the usual “Autoroute du Soleil” from Paris to the south of France. We have taken that highway dozens of times, and yet there obviously are a lot of sightseeing along the route, we wanted something new. We had four nights to spend somewhere before our arrival in the French Riviera.
Upon a friend’s suggestion we decided to make a small detour and cross the Alps to the Italian side and head toward Piedmont, home to the Slow Food movement, Eataly, truffles and Unesco World Heritage sites.
I had made some inquiries about what to see in Piedmont and everyone had told us to head “south-east of Turin” because this is where the famous wine-producing area called Langhe is. It almost seemed as if outside Turin and Langhe there wasn’t a lot to see… However, we had found on Internet a very charming small boutique-like hotel in the north of Langhe and wanted to stop there. And what a pearl we found!! Our first stop in Piedmont, Italy was Ca’ San Sebastiano, a fantastic wine resort and spa. Look at these photos and the colours –no Phohoshop needed!
We fell in love with the style, described as “…an almost Provencal style with the addition of some charming details and authentic objects, mainly found in the various Italian and French ‘brocante’ and antique markets” in the hotel’s website.
At arrival we were taken to our room, the Lavanda Apartment. When we had called, we had just made a general booking for two adults and a four-year old without asking too many questions, so what we walked into was better than we could have expected. The apartment had a big bedroom with a fireplace and an even larger living room with an equipped kitchen, a sofa bed and a balcony facing the garden.
The pool area where we spent the rest of the day was overlooking the hills, wineyards and Medieval churches. It was serene and pleasant. There were mainly Italian tourists, a nice mixture of couples of all ages and families. For dinner the hotel had suggested a buffet table that we had prior to the arrival been hesitant about (mainly because of the price, 25€/person), but it was so worth it. It was straight from an Italian movie featuring romantic life in the countryside: fresh homecooking dishes with tons of delicious vegetables, pasta of course, fresh herbs, dark red wine from the local grapes… Our daughter, a big fan of grissini, spinach and olives, was in heaven.The next morning we had a breakfast (a combination of homemade cakes and cookies, jams, cold cuts and cheese etc.), purchased some wine to take home, said hi to the swimming pool, and hit the road. We did not try the spa and its famous vinotherapy and hay bath, and missed the wine tasting and cellar visits, but we will definitetely be back. Maybe we will rent bikes and tour the nearby hills.
I think in future we would fly from Paris to Turin, visit some of those famous museum including the famous Egyptian Museum, rent a car and drive to Ca San Sebastiano, located only one hour from Turin by car.
This was our first-ever agriturismo* experience, and we now regret not explorig the concept before but better late than never, right!
- There are many differents kind of accommodation options: mainly rooms and apartments but there is also an other apartment called Orangerie located 8 km from the hotel that can host up to 5 people. I personally thought the booking options were not that simple to understand, so best to call the hotel directly and tell them what you need. And if the hotel is not full, visit different options like we always do! E.g. we saw a family with a baby on the ground floor and their apartment had a small terrace where the baby could play.
- There are mosquitos in the evening -a lot of them!!- so be prepared.
CA’ SAN SEBASTIANO: Via Ombra 10 -12 Fraz. Castel San Pietro – 15020 Camino.
Phone: +39 0142 469595 Cell: + 39 339 5030545 email@example.com
PRICE: 70€/room including breakfast (such a great deal, especially considering this was in early August!) and 25€/buffet dinner/adult (our four-year old didn’t pay).
*Agriturismo: the word basically means “farm stay” but in practise the concept goes beyond that. Here is a great article to learn more about agriturismo: https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/hotels/what-is-an-agriturismo