Tenuta il Sogno
We spend the Easter 2005 in Piedmont, Italy. More precisely nearby a village called San Marzano Oliveto in the Asti-province in the north-west corner of Italy. We packed our suitcases and leaved for the Norwegian main airport Gardermoen. It was I Morten and Tone and 4 kids from 4-20 year.
We woke up in the morning with an amazing view. It was wine stocks and small farms all over. The terrain was consisting of small hilltops with small roads which circled back and forth. The day we arrived the temperature was about 25 degrees C. the rest of the holiday we had overcast and 9-15 degrees C. We stayed at Tenuta il Sogno and used our days to travel around in the area to watch the life and visit the local markets.
We find very fast out that we weren’t in a typical tourist place; on the contrary we did feel as the only one, with the benefits and disadvantage that bring along. The benefits were many, we were in a quiet area and we could relax and enjoy our vacation as planned. What did surprise us a little was that practically nobody spiked English. So we had to use our little dictionary and together with arms and head it went quite well. As opposed to what we have heard about the French, the people in this area is tremendously co-operative and willingly trying to understand us.
The food and the restaurants.
It was very much to choose from, in the area it is 2 restaurants with a star each. We ended up with two nights on a typical pizza place, one evening in a little local restaurant in Canelli where they also served pizza (good for the kids). Two nights we did make the food our selves at home and the last but one night we walked up to San Marzano Oliveto. It was about 2 km in beautiful scenery. There we went to a restaurant where we was served the most delicious dishes you can think of by a gentleman with the name Paulo. The food for 3 ended up with 75 €. So with a lot of tips it come to 100 €, not at all expensive. The Italians eat their dinner between 19:30 and 22:00, so most of the restaurants are open likewise. We did experience some difficulty holding our little girl awake, but otherwise it was totally ok.
The menus are a little different that we are used to. They start with first course (antipasti), preferably 3-4 sorts (warm & cold). Second they have at least 2 main courses and ending up with dessert. Pane cotta was our big favorite.
Most of the local wine is Barbera d’asti. It is as the name made from the Barbera grapes. This wine is reasonable and is much used in everyday wine. Close by you can find the Barolo and Barbaresco with use the grape Nebbiolo. This is quality wine equal to the best in Bordeaux. These wines are very powerful in taste and maybe not the first wine to try out if you are just starting to taste red wine. A third grape in this district is the Dolcetto, which are common in Alba. Alba lies about 30-40 km south-west of Asti.
After a week with wine, chicken and gooses it was time to go home. The suitcases were full and the little Norwegian tax quota was purchased long ago. We hoard olive oil from Liguria (no tax quota here) and bought an extra suitcase to get it all in place. We drove to Malpensa and delivered the rent car, went on the plane and gone was Italy.
Are you fond of good food & wine in peaceful surroundings, this is the place to go.