The Asti Hideaway

Alfiano Natta, Piedmont, Italy Book from Book from £315 per night

A sparkling new barn conversion with sumptuous interiors, spacious gardens and a swimming pool with panoramic views (sleeps 2-8)
Sandwiched between a small vineyard and a peach tree farm, this blissful barn conversion is the passion project of UK owners Mark and Sara, whose enthusiasm for the Monferrato and Asti regions of Piedmont is infectious. This Unesco-listed landscape is carpeted in lush vineyards and medieval hill towns, all sitting quietly beneath the watchful eye of the Alps. It’s one of those delightful Italian regions with superb food and wine and spectacular cycling and walking trails, and yet somehow the crowds don’t come. It’s easy to see why the pair fell in love with it.

Eager to share their slice of little Italy with us all, they embarked on an enormous project to renovate a run-down barn near the hilltown of Alfiano Natta. And the final result is dazzling. They’ve transformed the space into a contemporary three-bedroom retreat that showcases smart design using natural materials – solid oak doors, exposed brick ceilings, polished Lucerne stone worktops. It’s good value ideal for families, with masses of space indoors and out, and a big swimming pool that comes with sweeping views over the hills and mountains beyond. Slotting into the slower pace of life here will come naturally. Go wine tasting next door, mingle with locals in the village, and shop for ingredients at the market in nearby Moncalvo. Return to cook with your produce, then head into your garden to see the sun turn rouge as it dips beneath the Alps. A fantastic find for foodie friends and families.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Very high-spec design, with lots of natural materials and luxe features (log burner, antique furniture, four-poster bed)
  • The owners’ passion for the region is wonderful; they are brimming with top tips and information about the local area including the many wineries hereabouts
  • The views from the saltwater pool look heavenly: a rugged scene of vineyards, tree-lined hills and snow-topped mountains
  • All three bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms, and there's even a fourth bathroom downstairs
  • Fabulous for foodies: you get a welcome pack with local produce, there’s a vineyard next door, and the open-plan kitchen is a wonderful space for cooking in

Lows

  • Because it’s so new, the plants in the garden haven’t had time to grow and bloom yet, so it’s looking a little bare outside
  • No shops or restaurants within walking distance
  • The barn is attached to the owners' house on one side, but completely independent
  • Although it's great for families, there isn't a huge amount in terms of provisions for little ones such as toys, but Sara and Mark are very accommodating so do ask if there's something you need

Best time to go

In spring for the flowers and fine weather, July/August if you like it hot, autumn for the wine harvest and the annual truffle season, winter to ski on the distant Alps.

Our top tips

Get into the swing of local life and head into the village each morning for freshly baked bread and pastries from the little shop. Or have coffee and brioche at the cafe, which is the hub of the village.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Country Hideaway (sleeps 2-8)
  • 3 bedrooms
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 2nd - 31 January & February
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The house is split over two levels, with the bedrooms upstairs and the living spaces downstairs. Muted pastel shades are used throughout, creating a very calming and contemporary feel. The open-plan living area has lots of natural light and features sweet little hanging baskets, industrial-style lampshades, a log burner and a sofabed. There’s a fourth bathroom here, too, which has a striking sliding door made from reclaimed wood.

Upstairs there are two double bedrooms and one twin room. All three bedrooms have exposed-brick feature walls, steely blue colour schemes and ensuite bathrooms. The master suite is particularly gorgeous, with its four-poster bed and mustard-yellow accents.

The outside area spans 800m2 and includes a large lawn, a sun terrace and a shaded pergola with cushioned seats. Steps lead down to the swimming pool, with plenty of space around the edge for sunloungers.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dishwasher
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Mosquito net
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Swimming pool
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • Washing machine

Eating

Keen cooks will love the kitchen, which features pretty Portuguese-style tiling, antique wooden worktops and an island. You also get a double fridge and lots of cooking equipment. A welcome pack of tea, coffee, fruit, vegetables, butter, bread and wine is provided, and the nearest supermarket is a short five-minute drive away. Dine inside at the table for eight, or head out to the terrace on warmer days and fire up the barbecue.

The nearest restaurant is a five-minute drive away, or you could head into Moncalvo (10 mins) for a choice of pizzerias and bars. Interestingly, Piemonte is second only to Lombardy for the number of Michelin starred restaurants in Italy per region, and there are 16 within 45 minutes drive from the house. Mark and Sara can provide more details.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Oven
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • There are dozens of great walks from your front door, as well as road/mountain/ebiking routes – ask for advice on local hire
  • Winetasting is obviously a must, and there are plenty of vineyards to choose from; Castello Razzano is the closest
  • Other food-related activities in the area include truffle hunting, beekeeping (500m away) and T'asti artisan bakery and cookery school (5km away)
  • Visit the historic small city of Moncalvo (10 mins’ drive), home to a bustling weekly market, pastel-coloured architecture, a theatre, and lots of little cafes for taking it all in
  • Asti is well worth a day out (20 mins’ drive). Wander its historical centre, visit the weekly produce market or come in September for the town's palio (horse-running festival)
  • Longer day trips can take you up to museum-rich Turin (the famous shroud is stored in the Capella della Sindone in the Duomo), the fashion capital of Milan (the drive into the city is not for the fainthearted), or to the coast around Genoa

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wine tasting

Kids

This is a fine choice for families. It’s quiet, secluded, and comes with lots of private space. Kids will enjoy playing on the lawn and splashing in the saltwater pool, and you can keep an eye on them from the sun terrace or pergola. The area has lots of family-friendly activities, like cycling, horse riding or cookery classes.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

There's an ensuite twin room that's ideal for kids, and the lounge has a sofabed if required, sleeping two extra guests

Baby equipment:

  • High chair
  • Stair gates
  • Baby cot

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Horse riding
  • Cycling
  • Tre Querce Adventure Park
  • Skiing

Families Should Know:

The pool is unfenced, and the steps leading into the garden are fairly steep

Distances:

  • Airport: 70 mins (Turin)
  • Hospital: 20 mins
  • Supermarket: 10 mins
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Asti Hideaway is located near the quiet town of Alfiano Natta in the Monferrato region. It's about 20 minutes' drive from Asti and 10 minutes' drive from Moncalvo.

By Air
The nearest airport is Turin (70 mins). You could also fly to Milan Malpensa (90 mins).

From the Airport
The best way to get there is to hire a car, as you will need your own transport to explore the region and to visit restaurants.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Turin Caselle 70.0 km TRN
  • Milan Malpensa 127.0 km MXP

Other:

  • Beach 135.0 km
  • Shops 7.3 km
  • Restaurant 7.2 km

Rates for The Asti Hideaway

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