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Bed & Breakfasts in the Northern Italian Hills

View from Bella baita Porch photoPiedmont (Piemonte) is the northwest region of Italy tucked against the foot of southern the Italian and French Alps. The name means essentially “at the foot of the mountains”, and is known as a region rich in its own unique cuisine flavors, its wines and steeped in the cultural legacy of the rulers of the house of Savoy who controlled this part of Europe from northern Italy into Switzerland (see Chateau d’Aigle). The mountains of Piedmont are known as much for truffle hunting, as are its hills covered with wine vineyards and grand restored Savoy palaces. The regional capital of Turin (Torino) is known for its famed “shroud” and as the home of Italian auto-maker, Fiat. In 2006 Turin and the nearby mountain resort of Sestriere hosted the Winter Olympics, but visitors to Italy looking for off-the-beaten path experiences, seek out the Piedmont for its quiet countryside beauty. In the Piemonte region you can stay in a castle (see Castle Hotels of Piedmont) or the peaceful family style of a bed & breakfast. Within 30 minutes of Turin are two country bed & breakfasts established by English speakers with a passion for cooking and a flair for family style hospitality.

Bella Baita Mountain Retreat
Italian Alps Views in Chisone Valley

Set in the natural beauty of the southern Italian Alps hills of the Piedmont Chisone Valley, the Bella Baita Mountain Retreat Bed & Breakfast in Pinasca offers a balance between feeling like one of the family and having your own space to relax in a mountain atmosphere. Perched on a mountain hilltop at 3,608 ft, the panoramic view of historical Germanasca Valley to the French border is breathtaking. The location offers easy access to walking, cycling, rock climbing, wildflowers, and spotting wildlife all in a tranquil peaceful setting. Torino is 30 miles to the east and Sestriere and Briancon in France 50 miles through the southern Alps to the west. The relax conversation coupled with the culinary and cultural offerings of Piedmont makes this a special place to stay and explore.

View Rommat Bella Baita photoThe hosts at Bella Baita, American pastry chef Marla and her Italian restauranteur husband Fabrizio, offer cooking classes in association with the local Eco Sustainable Tourism organization, intimate "Cooking Together" sessions, drawing on local traditional recipes and seasonal availability. They will arrange tastings with local winemakers and assist with explorations of this off-the-beaten-path historical region.

Fortress di Fenestrelle photoWithin an hour radius of the Bella Baita Mountain Retreat are the ski resorts of the Upper Chisone valley, Sestriere and Praelato, sites from the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Fortress di Fenestrelle, the largest mountain fortress in Europe, encompassing nearly 4,000 steps to the reach the top, called the “Great Wall of Piedmont”, Mantre Castle, small unique museums, an underground 18th Century Talc mine at Scopriminiera, a chair lift at Prali to high alps meadows and the shopping markets Pinerolo with its old medieval center.

The rooms at Bella Baita have private entrances and free broadband wireless internet access and many have views to the French border out the doors. Rates start at 55€ for a double. DVD and kitchen facilities are available in a common area.

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Bella Baita Mountain Retreat

Cascina Bella Vista
A Place to Call Home in Catarana

Tucked away in the rolling hills and vineyards of Cantarana (meaning “Singing Frog”) to the east of Turin, a restored farmhouse near Asti offers a unique and tranquil home away-from-home getaway. Relax and enjoy the nature of the Piedmont region of wood, meadows, wild boars and white truffles. Take a walk, a mountain bike or horseback ride around the Cascina Bella Vista to discover the unique gastronomic and cultural life of Southern Piedmont. The Cascina Bella Vista makes for a charming family style accommodation ideal for exploring the region. Go into Turin for an orange cappuccino in chocolate-lined cups in hip designer bar or visit the Ferrero chocolatier in Alba to watch the rolling of its golden Rocher chocolates. Return to the The Cascina Bella Vista for gastronomic creations of local cuisine cooked up in the kitchen to make a stay both mouth-watering and memorable.

The rooms at the Cascina Bella Vista are named after wildflowers and decorated with original art complimenting the beauty of the surrounding hills which bloom in the colors of spring. Each of the bedrooms have ensuite facilities and central heating. Guest rooms start at 40€ for a single, 60€ for a double, or 75€ for a family suite which sleeps four. Smalls pets are welcome. British ex-pat hosts Peggy and Jason speak English, Italian, Dutch and German. © Bargain Travel Europe

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Cascina Bella Vista

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