4 museums to see in Monferrato

4 museums to see in Monferrato

Monferrato: green hills, warm sunshine, long walks in the open air...but not only that!

Let’s face it: very often, planning a winter weekend, we are a bit intimidated by the idea of visiting the Piedmont hills at this time of year. Somewhat because Piedmont also offers wonderful snow-capped mountains on which to ski, partly because we think there is not much to do in Monferrato in winter. I’ll tell you what: we suggest beautiful museums in the Monferrato region for you to admire between a spa and a glass of wine, you after your visit have a chocolate and tell us how it went.

Leonardo Bistolfi Civic Museum and Plaster Collection – Casale Monferrato

Two museums in one: on the second floor is a valuable Pinacoteca filled with works ranging from the 14th to the 19th century; on the ground floor is the Gipsoteca, which houses a wide variety of pieces created by Leonardo Bistolfi. A journey through time that testifies to the evolution of art in the Monferrato Casalese, dotted with masterpieces such as the Allegory of Music by painter Angelica Bottera; but also a fascinating journey into the reality of the sculptor’s craft.

In fact, the final stone of the work was rarely carved directly; much more often, a plaster work, identical to the finished work, was created first, on which measurements were taken and notes pinned to create the final masterpiece. Gypsum libraries are a testimony to a long and laborious process, a “behind-the-scenes work” that, like many behind-the-scenes jobs, is in danger of being forgotten in the face of the splendor of the final result.

Hours are Thursday from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. and Friday, Saturday, Sunday and midweek holidays from 10.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. For reservations, prices and other info we leave the link: https://www.comune.casale-monferrato.al.it/museo-info

Palazzo del Gusto – Nizza Monferrato

What are the basic pieces of Piedmontese fritto misto? Why is bagna cauda so popular in Monferrato? And again, what differentiates Roccaverano robiola from other robiolas?

In the halls of the eighteenth-century Palazzo del Gusto you will discover the answer to these questions and more: you will immerse yourself in the tradition of a fascinating and mysterious land, follow the story of the men who revolutionized the concept of wine in our cellars, and listen to the story of a choral Journey along the Po’ Valley made by the famous Mario Soldati. When you leave the Museum, stop by the Regional Enoteca to taste a new barbera.

Access to the museum is managed by the Nice Regional Enoteca: here is the link for hours and reservations. https://enotecanizza.it/

Alfieri Palace – Asti

Do you know The Saul? It is one of Vittorio Alfieri’s greatest works. Born into nobility, intolerant of social conventions and military obligations, far from the world of politics, he is one of the most important playwrights of the eighteenth century. Right in Asti is his birthplace, a wonderful palace now consecrated to his life and memory.

As you wander through its scenic halls, you will not only delve into the life of Piedmont’s most famous playwright, but also breathe in the life that was led here, near the future first capital of Italy, in the shadow of the Savoy family and alongside France.

The palace is open Monday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last entrance at 6:00 p.m.): for information, prices and reservations here the link!https://www.museidiasti.com/palazzo-alfieri/

Archaeological Museum – Acqui

In the imposing Paleologi Castle in Acqui there are not only stories of ladies and knights: there is also evidence of the passage of men and women who have lived in these lands since Paleolithic times. Walking through the streets of Acqui, you will surely have noticed the Roman-era Bollente and the very pretty old town: here you will delve into its history, a fascinating history of peoples, dominations and coexistence of cultures.

It should also be noted that the Castle itself is an Archaeological Museum artifact: built before 1056, it has gone through epochs, renovations, and changes of inhabitants, until it officially became a museum venue in 1970.

The Museum is currently undergoing a massive refurbishment that greatly limits the exhibition space, but it’s worth marking on your calendar!https://www.acquimusei.it/

Of course, this is just a small list of good pointers whether you are planning a Monferrato vacation or want to learn more about your area and perhaps treat yourself to a Saturday afternoon as a tourist in your own home.

From there, it’s up to you to visit the Monferrato, stroll through the streets of the towns, cast an eye over the buildings that seem most interesting to you, and let serendipity capture you, that unique thrill of discovering something unexpected and random.


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Christmas gift ideas 2023: the Christmas gift guide to taste and wellness!

Christmas gift ideas 2023: the Christmas gift guide to taste and wellness!

Christmas is coming and gift ideas are scarce? With this little guide you will find your favorite gift in no time.

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Christmas time is a magical time: strolling the streets of festively lit cities eating treats, celebrating with friends and family…and giving gifts! Whether they are for the boyfriend, for girlfriends, for mom and dad, it is easy to get caught up in indecision: we always want to make the people we love happier than the previous Christmas. We have the solution: in this guide we offer you seven gift ideas to make Christmas 2023 the most special.

Gift ideas for the traveler

We all know such a person: dynamic, curious, always looking for new places to visit. For her, there is no place that is not worth trying to discover. It is almost impossible for her to be found wrong somewhere: it is the thrill of novelty that motivates her. For her, a night in a Relais in the heart of Monferrato is ideal: a magnificent nest from which to start visiting a wonderful and still little-known corner of Italy.

From 280€ to 350€ per night

Borgo Suite NightVilla Suite Night
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Christmas gifts for boyfriend

Raise your hand if you haven’t thought of giving yourself a self-gift for Christmas! All kidding aside, giving an experience to the person we love is always nice. Besides making her or him happy, we make ourselves happy and give ourselves most valuable asset: quality time to spend together. SPA Day & Dinner package is a perfect gift for our love: a spa day and an a la carte dinner To rediscover themselves in love like the first day.

120€ per person

Spa day and dinner
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Christmas gifts for girlfriends

What could be nicer for a group of girlfriends than spending a day all together? If then the day is spent in the spa, between a waterfall, a whirlpool and a steam bath, it’s all even better. With the undated gift vouchers, make the gift now and you have plenty of time to find the right weekend to get everyone on the same page.

60€ per person

Spa Entrance
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Gift ideas: a unique weekend trip

A special gift that combines the travel experience with a foray of taste and discovery into one of the regions most famous for its cuisine and wines? Here it is: with the package From Dish to Dish, the person receiving the gift will dream for Two nights in a wonderful Suite of the fully restored 1700s, will discover the world of grappa with a visit and tasting at Distillerie Berta And will savor Two fantastic Piedmontese dinners. Finally, he will be able to rest freely in the spacious SPA arranged on three floors. For an absolutely unforgettable gift.

840€ per pair

From dish to dish
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What to give at Christmas to those who have everything?

We all know a person who has everything: the classic person for whom the right idea doesn’t seem to exist…well, here it is! You certainly can’t say no to a nice spa treatment. Ours are all 50 minutes, perfect for taking a little break any day of the week. Be enchanted by our menu of treatments without the stress of choosing anything: your recipient can be guided by the professional in choosing the treatment best suited to his or her body. If you want, complete with a daily spa admission and your perfect gift is ready.

85€ to 145€ per person

Treatment
berta lab

Original Christmas gift ideas

Under Christmas we receive many gifts and thoughts, and we would always like to find something original to give to the people we love: and what could be more original than a bottle of grappa to be made entirely with one’s own hands? With the Berta Lab experience voucher, you will give the opportunity to create A unique and personalized label, adapted to his taste or inspiration of the moment.

35€ per person

Berta Lab

We hope this small list of ideas has given you some ideas: for additional information contact Berta Distilleries or Villa Prato, we will be overjoyed to help you find the perfect gift!


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Gift certificates: emotions to print and give to whomever you want

Gift certificates: emotions to print and give to whomever you want

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Let’s find out together how Villa Prato and Distillerie Berta gift certificates work!

Here we go: a special occasion is coming up.

Your best friend’s daughter is graduating, your parents are celebrating their wedding anniversary, you want to give an unforgettable Christmas gift to your brother. Or maybe it’s your loved one’s birthday andyou want to make this occasion a unique moment, just for the two of you.

You’re searching social and search engines for an idea that strikes your fancy, but nothing really seems to convince you, until something has caught your eye: gift vouchers for experiences and stays by Villa Prato and Distillerie Berta. Days in the SPA, romantic Suites overlooking the hills, original afternoons creating your own grappa label: you finally found the gift you were looking for. Before clicking “add to cart,” however, you have some doubts…

No problem: giving a moment of happiness is also quick and easy. Here you will find answers to the most common questions, if you have other requests you can write to us at info@relaisvillaprato.it or info@distillerieberta.it. We are at your disposal!

Why give a voucher as a gift?

An experience is always a precious gift:it lasts a few hours, but the memory remains forever. Of course, we all have so many commitments that it’s hard to book a day in advance for another person: the open-date gift certificate allows you to give someone you lovea special moment that you can take whenever you want!

How do gift certificates work?

Each voucher has a unique and unrepeatable code that identifies just your gift.All the person who receives the voucher has to do is keep it in a safe place and remember to communicate the code when they book their experience. The big day will bring us the good and voila: his special day will begin. Vouchers are valid for one year after purchase, but if you find before the expiration date that you won’t be able to visit us in time, you can call or email us to extend the voucher by additional 6 months.

Do I need to tell you the name of the person who receives the voucher?

It is not necessary: the code on the voucher is the basis for booking.If you have received one of our gift vouchers, please keep it carefully and don’t share the code with anyone – if you want to post your gift on social we would be happy to, but remember to cover the code.

I want to supplement the voucher with other services!

Vouchers that can be purchased onlinealready offer the ability to customize your gift: you can choose, for example, whether to donate an experience for one or two people, whether to add a spa day to your massage, or the size of your Distillery gift certificate. If you wish to add treatments or customise your package, please contact: Distillerie BertaVilla Prato.

Is the price found on the voucher?

The vouchers are meant to be printed and given away as is: on the voucher you will find a description of the experience you have given away and all the information you need to use it, but not the price of the package. Only the “Berta Tour and Purchase” package is an exception, in which the size of the voucher spendable in Enoteca is indicated.

I purchased a voucher! What happens now?

Fantastic, thank you so much for your purchase!

In a few minutes you will receive an email with your order summary and vouchers in pdf format. Download them and print them on the paper of your choice, choose a pretty envelope and write your best wishes: giving an emotion has never been so easy!

Within one week of your purchase our administrative office will send you an invoice for your order.

I received a gift voucher from you: what do I do now?

Wow! Sit in comfort and think among the warm vapors of the SPA and the delicious flavors of the Workshop, or perhaps at the Distillery to discover a new, very special grappa…if the idea has already made your eyes sparkle, calendar in hand and book your experience! Remember, when you book, to give us the code you find on the gift voucher and to bring a copy of the voucher with you on the chosen day. We cannot let you enjoy your experience without. There you go: indulge in wellness and experience your gift!


The Infernot: wine places in the Sea of Monferrato

The Infernot: wine places in the Sea of Monferrato

The Infernot: small Monferrato wonders hidden underground; But what are they and especially how to visit them today?

Infernot

Descending into the depths of the Monferrato, underground, where air and light do not easily penetrate, beneath the dwellings of the farmers and cellarers, are secret little gems; are the Infernot; At first sight, this word seems to have a very clear reference to Hell; who is also underground; in fact, the origin of the term would seem to derive from ‘enfernet“an old French term for prison cells;

I mean, however you look at itthe name doesn’t really do justice to these places: yes underground, yes usually small and isolated, but wonderful signs of a peasant era, where practical sense and intuition came before study.

The infernot of the Monferrato are gems with a unique flavour, well preserved in the belly of this incredible UNESCO territory;

Infernot

What are Infernot?

To immerse ourselves in the world of the Infernot del Monferrato, let us start with a definition; Infernot are small underground chambers without light or ventilation, used to store bottled wine; The most extraordinary and suggestive component, however, lies in their material of construction; the Cantoni Stonea unique quality of building stone found only in Monferrato; What distinguishes a wine cellar from a true Infernot, in fact, is that the latter is entirely excavated in Monferrina sandstone.

To understand the origins of the Infernot del Monferrato we must make a little effort of imagination and think of ourselves, for a moment, as farmers in the 19th century: these were the years when the idea of bottling Barbera and the other wines so typical of this generous but in some ways difficult land began to become conceivable; Tending the vineyard is hard work that knows no breaks during the year: the soil is tiring, the rain is heavy and on winter mornings the fog envelops everything and the blades of grass are stiff with frost. The grape harvest and cellar work are only the culmination of total dedication to the grapes and their needs; Soon the farmers realised that the wines, made even more precious by their labour, would risk not surviving the warmer months.

Guided by this intuition, they began to excavate small rooms, even more protected than the already existing cellars, in the sandstone on which the houses were built: thus the Infernot were born, places to preserve, protected by the Cantoni Stone, the best wines.

Infernot
Infernot Pietra da Cantoni

These farmers and quarrymen, who knew little about geological eras, but knew perfectly well the cycles of the seasons and the properties of all things in life, had in fact guessed and understood the geological cycles and the properties of all things in life; the potential of this strange but beautiful stone, essentially linked to its status as a natural insulator: Pietra da Cantoni, in fact, manages to insulate rooms very well against heat and cold, constituting an excellent barrier against heat and cold; exceptional protection from temperature fluctuations. The fact that the Infernot were shielded from the light and had no ventilation points, with the exception of the entrance, made them truly cosy little wombs, warm in winter and cool in summer, in which to take refuge to find a glimmer of comfort in the harsh peasant way; A sort of small private winery!

Infernots can be of various types: single-room, multi-room or corridor. Moreover, each quarryman imprinted the mark of his style and care in his work: some show smoothed finishes, others still show the picconic views, still others are simply natural split. You can find niches carved into the stone or tiers to house the bottles: some have even created a continuous tier system in their Infernot. Decorations and other elements are then the mark of each person’s flair. There is astrict specifications that stipulate what can be Infernot and what cannot and also classify Infernot according to three criteria: type of construction, bottle storage solution and finish. The full specification can be found here.

Infernot

La Pietra da Cantoni

As mentioned above, the history of the Infernot is inextricably linked with that of the Cantonian stone, a sandstone formed from calcareous and marly marine layers with incredible thermal insulating capacity. Let’s go back the years again: let’s go back to when man did not exist and the ground was walked by animals as tall as buildings. At that time, the Monferrato was a sea, deep and teeming with life. In its depths of more than 200 metres, gigantic marine reptiles, unimaginable creatures and tiny molluscs were born, fought each other for existence and finally, dying, were deposited on the seabed, forever guarded by the sands and other sediments that slowly overlapped in the cradle of the sea; In the meantime, life on the planet continued to move forward: around 3.5 million years ago, hills began to emerge from the sea and the Monferrato finally emerged; What remains of that sea, its seabed, a mosaic of clays, calcareous algae, small animals, gigantic sharks, fossilised leaves, is today the Pietra da Cantoni and bears witness to the inventiveness and skill of ordinary people, who managed to create small masterpieces out of practical needs;

Ecomuseo della Pietra da Cantoni Infernot
Infernot

Visiting the Infernot

After our time travels, let us return to the present: The Infernot, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are part of a circuit of fourteen Monferrato municipalities, between the provinces of Asti and Alessandria.; Joining all the municipalities is that of Cella Monte Monferrato, which hosts the Widespread Ecomuseum of the Pietra da Cantoni and one of the most characteristic infernots in the area. Now, the Infernot are almost all built in private houses, so they cannot always be visited: some of them can only be visited on Fridays and Sundays by appointment, others only open their doors to visitors on particular occasions of the year; On the Ecomuseum website there are all useful references for organising one’s visit to the Infernot of the circuit, municipality by municipality. And while we’re at it, why not take a stroll through the Monferrato villages and perhaps enjoy a nice glass of Barbera?

After visiting the Infernot, you may feel like taking a trip outdoors: here are three must-see viewpoints!


3 panoramic viewpoints overlooking the hills in Monferrato

3 panoramic viewpoints overlooking the hills in Monferrato

Monferrato is a land of hills. We certainly couldn't limit ourselves to just three scenic spots: we added two more, so you'll have fun exploring wonderful new landscapes!

If you are reading this article, it only means one thing: you are planning a trip to Monferrato or want to learn more about this wonderful hilly area. You will therefore already know that we are talking about an area between the provinces of Asti and Alessandria that is practically 100% hilly. Imagine: 2,500 square kilometres of hills alone; It goes without saying that in Monferrato there are many heights and viewpoints to admire this wonderful landscape from above.

A scenic Belvedere is not just a place to visit; you can think about walking to the destination to make the day more eventful, or you can take the opportunity to visit a nearby winery, or you can treat yourself to a stroll through the village.

Most of Monferrato’s viewpoints are also free and open-access: perfect for children, dogs, solitary explorers or groups of friends!

Castell'Alfero

Castell’Alfero is a beautiful municipality that, as you can easily imagine, owes its name to the presence of an imposing castle. Right here is a fantastic lookout point with views of all the surrounding hills; and if that’s not enough for you, a few miles from the village is Big Bench no.204!

Castle of Moncalvo Monferrato

Did you know that Moncalvo Monferrato is the smallest town in Italy? In fact, this tiny town still proudly retains the title of a city despite its small size-we speak of about 3,000 inhabitants. There is so much to see, and by forwarding along the ramparts of Charles Albert Square, what remains of the ancient castle, you will enjoy a unbelievable view.

Tower of Agliano Terme

Agliano is a small but very active town on the top of a hill; as its name suggests, it is home to a thermal spa and is also one of the municipalities of the Nizza DOCG. The Aglianesi wine producers’ association is very active and often organises tastings and events in the village square, surrounded by a beautiful garden. Just arrive in the central square (it’s a bit uphill!) to realise that the town has a beautiful view all around. But if you want to enjoy something unique, you have to climb to the top of the tower, an ancient remnant of Agliano Castle, which was destroyed in 1600: from here the entire Monferrato will open up to your view.

Thanks to Barbera Agliano for the material.

Thanks to Roberta Garello and the Municipality of Mombaruzzo for the material.

Giant Swing of Mombaruzzo

A pochissimi passi da Villa Prato, here is a surprising and very Instagrammable corner: l’Altalena Gigante, inaugurata da pochissimo. The swing stands in one of the most favorable spots, overlooking the hill facing north: from here it is possible to admire not only the neighboring villages, such as Fontanile with its stunning cathedral, but also to see majestic Mont Blanc in the distance. The swing then, so colorful and playful, is an ode to carefreeness and play, to become children again even if only for a moment while observing the magnificence of Nature around us.

Tower of Roccaverano

We are in Roccaverano, the heart of the Langa astigiana and the highest municipality in the area. This is where people come during the hottest summer days to seek coolness and to taste the typical robiolas of pure goat cheese so typical of this small town; and right here, among the foliage and trees of a small garden, in the historic center, stands a Tower almost thirty meters high, the remnant of a Castle that has been lost; the forests of the Alta Langa dominate here a landscape where the hillside begins to resemble the mountain.

Small bonus: just outside the village of Roccaverano is a second tower, the Tower of Vengore, facing the Acquese: it was an ancient lookout tower that protected the safety of all citizens.

Thanks to Marta Mingolla for the material.

Conclusion

Monferrato is a land rich in landscapes and natural beauty; small wonders to discover to make an unforgettable Piedmontese trip or to fall in love once more with one’s homeland.


Visiting Monferrato with a dog: 3 Dog Friendly places

The days are getting longer, the sun is starting to shine…and the vacations are approaching. Finally, we can take advantage of the free time we have to spend a little more time with our beloved animals and experience unforgettable moments together, perhaps right in Monferrato!

Today the offer of dog-friendly facilities is very large and we hardly have any problems in finding a hotel or residence that welcomes us together with our friend: for example at Villa Prato restaurant accepts pets and it is also possible to bring your dog into the Suites for a small extra fee.

But we know that a trip with your dog is not just about accommodations: to fully enjoy every moment together, it is necessary to find activities and places to visit that are suitable for all family members, including four-legged ones. That’s why we propose here three places you can visit in Monferrato with a dog in tow and one special place we just discovered now!

Bau Camp Dog Center

Is it too hot to take walks? Want to take a day to have fun with your dog? The Centro Cinofilo Bau Camp, in addition to the more classic training services, has a very large equipped area that you can book to test yourself on your own or with the support of a trainer and also a swimming pool to take a bath with your four-legged friend!

Castle of Grinzane Cavour

The Castle of Grinzane Cavour is located on top of a hill not far from Alba and from the top it dominates the whole Langa: from its wonderful garden it is possible to admire the whole surrounding panorama. But that’s not all: the Castle that belonged to Camillo Benso, one of the proponents of the Unification of Italy, can in fact be visited in its entirety. You can stroll along the Castle’s perimeter ramparts and admire In Vigna Open-Air Museum, a barrier-free pathway that tells in parallel the growing cycle of the vine and the work of the winemaker. Upon entering the castle you can visit its rich halls and trace the history of this proudly Piedmontese and rural area in the Langhe Museum. And at the end of the tour, why not end with a stop at the Regional Enoteca? All areas of the Castle can be visited with your dog; just keep him on a leash!

For info, tickets and closing times, visit the Official website of Grinzane Cavour Castle.

Broom Trail

After culture, it’s time for a nice walk-nothing like a scenic trail through the hills to experience a different sense of freedom and communion in Monferrato with your dog. For example, the Broom Trail is a loop-shaped route that joins trail 531 (“Pilgrim’s Trail,” a long route, created for the Jubilee of 2000, that connects Acqui Terme to Tiglieto) and trail 537 (“Acqui – Cavatore Trail,” a scenic route from Acqui up to the village of Cavatore): with a simple detour along the 531C variant, a beautiful loop trail with a total duration of 15km is realized. It is certainly not a short walk or suitable for completely inexperienced people, but it will certainly be a marvel for our dog to let off steam and we humans will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery!

Important: Before setting out, it is necessary to inquire about the feasibility of the route based on training conditions, weather and travel time. Find all the information on the site of the Cai section Acqui Terme.

Berta Distilleries

We are there too! We are open daily for guided tours of the distillery plant and cellars (by appointment) or short unguided tours of the museum (free admission). We are also happy to meet your dog with no size limit, as long as it is on a leash and, where necessary, a muzzle. You’ll not only spend a couple of hours among the scents of distillation, the music of the cellars, and the flavors of grappa and spirits tasting; the short walk between the bottling plant and the cellars will make even your dog happy! Distilleries also took part in the March 26 episode of “Dalla Parte degli Animali,” dedicated to pet-friendly facilities in the Piedmont region.

For information and how to book visit our website.

To conclude: useful links

In this article we have listed 3 activities for visiting Monferrato with a dog; you can find out about other pet-friendly places by contacting directly the tourism boards in the area or city you plan to visit.

We also leave you with a couple of useful links to find per-friendly facilities and travel throughout Italy:

https://www.vacanzeanimali.it/

https://www.zampavacanza.it/


The Park of Wonders

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Venture carefully into the eight hectares of the Roccanivo Park: you might make some strange encounters;

In the Park of Wonders, everything is its opposite, every attribute is transformed and every adjective is its contrary;

Drink me, says the bottle on the coffee table, and you shrink down enough to look the ladybirds and ants in the eye. Eat me, says the biscuit tin, and you get up enough to touch the highest branches of the ancient oaks.

Follow the white rabbit as it runs up and down the forest, but try to keep up with it; you may lose track of it. Too late: you lost your way and the white rabbit ran off, always late for something even he doesn’t know what it is. Who will help you?”

You see a big top hat: its owner is a rather nice man, who talks non-stop about time, space, birthdays and unbirthdays; You agree with him that celebrating a non-birthday is much more convenient because there are many more non-birthdays, but when he shows you his watch that doesn't tell time you get a little suspicious; Perhaps it is better not to accept his tea and continue on your way;

You’re a little hungry, but you just don’t want to risk eating another biscuit, just when you’re back to normal size: you approach a cherry tree; “Halt!” a spade card stops you “the cherries are not yet ripe. It would be a shame to eat them now! Have an apricot instead, they are very sweet these days.”

The hunger problem is solved, but you still don’t know where you are or what time it is. You try to approach a card of hearts, but you hear it mutter to itself something like “cut off his head“, so you think it’s best to steer clear. A flower card tells you something strange… “There is someone in this Park who should not be there.

You’ve been wandering around for some time now (But does time really exist or is it just a construct? If there is no clock, can we swear that time has passed?) when you discover, hidden in a corner, an ace of diamonds. “Please don’t look at me!” seems a little strange to you so you want to know more;

“My family is friends with the Hearts family, the nobles of my kingdom: I live in the castle with them, in luxury. But gold bores me and I do not like lace. I prefer to stay here in the cool of the park and enjoy the real wealth, the Nature that surrounds me. Where is the exit? I’m sorry, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. I’ll never get out of here. Don’t tell the Ace of Flowers that you’ve seen me!”

You walk away quickly, ready to swear you have never seen an ace of diamonds in your life, and continue your walk: in a clearing surrounded by trees you notice something.

First a smile appears (with slightly sharp little teeth!) then two pointed ears, a big tail… and then a cat looks at you slyly.

You’re not sure whether to ask him something, give him a pat or run for the hills, but he doesn’t seem threatening and then he’s looking right at you, so you have no choice, at least for politeness.

"No, I don't know how to get out of the Park," he tells you, still with the same smile, "We were born here and it is the Park itself that created us: we are not separable from it. But there is someone who, like you, arrived by following the white rabbit: I will take you there, he can help you."

You would have thought anything, but not to find yourself in front of a little blonde girl, dressed in cards of all suits, with eyes as good and old as time; “I am Alice; Like you, I got lost behind the rabbit and like you, I looked for the exit: but after finding it, I realised that the hustle and bustle, the noise, the hustle and bustle of everyday life could not hold a candle to the calmness that one breathes here; In this timeless place, I live in harmony with my animal friends and my plant friends: I sleep when I feel like it, I do not suffer from hunger or thirst; This is my place: I don’t need anything else; Come, I will walk you towards the exit, but remember: the doors of the Park of Wonders are always open for those who want to taste its peace.”

When Alice waves her hand, you notice a path leading upwards to a large flower terrace and a large Borgo with arches and stained glass windows; But how is it possible that I hadn’t noticed it before? You thank her and walk on; she waves to you while stroking the smiling cat;

Here you are on the terrace, looking down on the Park of Wonders from above: looking at the Casalotto clock you realise that not a minute has passed since you followed the white rabbit into the park.

The gates of the Park of Wonders are always open for those who want to taste its peace;


2 castles in Monferrato worth a visit (+1 in the Roero!)

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Piedmont is rich in castles, but where to start? We present here two castles in Monferrato and one in Roero!

Castles, enchanted and austere places of charm and mystery, in which to stroll to breathe in History at the top of your lungs. Piedmont is a region rich in castles: traditionally, in fact, these buildings served as dwellings for nobles and for protection reasons were built on hilltops so that lookouts could spot enemies from afar.

Today, those days of knights and courtesans are over, and tthe high towers of the castles are wonderful vantage points from which to admire the colours of the hills and the small villages of Piedmont.

We have updated this article with other castles in Monferrato and Langa that are worth visiting. For the last one, you'll have to go a bit far, but it's worth it: prepare for a trip to the Roero.

Balbi Castle of Piovera

Piovera Castle stands on the remains of a monastery that belonged to the Templars and over the centuries has passed several times from hand to hand, without ever losing its beauty. From the Visconti to the Sforza, passing through the Spanish royals, it then returned to the hands of the Savoys; from here it passed to the marquises Balbi, whose name remained linked to the castle, and finally to Count Niccolò Calvi, the current owner. Today, it is possible to visit the castle by choosing from three different routes, all by reservation.

Per info e giornate di apertura: https://www.castelliaperti.it/it/strutture/lista/item/castello-di-piovera.html

https://castellodipiovera.it/

Castelnuovo Calcea Castle Area

Unfortunately, all that remains of the Castle of Castelnuovo Calcea today are the ramparts and the watchtower: in fact, this area was over the years the site of bloody clashes between families of the most varied nobility, which very often destroyed entire portions of the castle. Today the whole area around the Castle has been turned into a public park: you can walk freely in the area and see the fascinating remnants of this turbulent past.

Guided tours are available on specific days. Trovi le date qui: https://www.castelliaperti.it/it/strutture/lista/item/area-del-castello-di-castelnuovo-calcea.html

Monastero Bormida Castle

Here we are not talking about nobility but clergy: the Castle of Monastero was originally a monastery. During the 15th century, a first defensive structure by the Marquises del Carretto; gradually, the entire small village of Monastero Bormida developed around the castle. Today this village can be reached by passing over the striking medieval bridge; what awaits you is a walk through History. The castle has elements of the 1500s and 1600s, with frescoed rooms and splendid walkways. A curiosity: Monastero Bormida is the birthplace of Augusto Monti, who in Turin was the professor and teacher of many intellectuals of the time, such as Cesare Pavese, Leone Ginzburg, and Tullio Pinelli.

For infos and openings: http://www.comune.monasterobormida.at.it oppure https://www.castelliaperti.it/it/strutture/lista/item/castello-di-monastero-bormida.html.

Thanks to Michele Monti @mic_omt for the photo;

Castle of Costigliole d'Asti

Costigliole d’Asti Castle stands atop the fortress, in the historic center of the village; a village with a long past, if we consider that the first inscriptions bearing its name date back to 1041! The history of the Castle is intimately linked with that of Monferrato; the first lords of Costigliole, the Lancias, descended directly from Aleramo, a knight at the court of Saxony and the legendary founder of Monferrato.

Over the years, the most important families of the area took over the Castle until 1625, when the conti Asinari found themselves sharing the title of Counts of Costigliole (and thus the Castle) with the family of Verasis. This will be very important for the Castle, which is thus divided into two separate parts: two souls therefore come together in the Castle, daughters of the tastes of each family and their common desire to excel and surpass the other in beauty, class and refinement. In short, a place full of stories and legends of the people who lived here, with all their virtues and human weaknesses; one of the most interesting castles in Monferrato to visit.

For infos and openings: https://www.castelliaperti.it/it/strutture/lista/item/castello-di-costigliole-dasti.html o http://www.comune.costigliole.at.it/

Monteu Roero Castle

Let’s move completely; here we are in Monteu Roero, about an hour from Mombaruzzo. The municipality of Monteu was once nicknamed Monte Acuto because of its height: in fact, the village rises to an altitude of just under 400m; We are surrounded by the Rocche del Roero, a 32 km long fracture that stretches from Bra to Cisterna d’Asti and that makes the territory of this area so unique, and from the top of the Castle we see the hills of the Langa rise up towards these wild and labyrinthine peaks.

The foundation of the Castle dates back to 1299 and there are many myths surrounding it, practically one for every inhabitant who has lived within these walls over the centuries. Despite the great earthquakes of the 1500s and 1800s, which damaged some parts, the Castle retains its ancient beauty; it was with this beauty that we fell in love when, in about 2012, we decided to buy it from the individuals who lived there and make it available to the community. Today the visits are managed by the Bel Monteu association, created by the citizens of the village, who are deeply in love with their castle.

For infos and openings: https://belmonteu.it/ o https://www.castellomonteuroero.it/

Our trip to Piedmont's castles has just begun. Many other magnificent manors are just waiting to be discovered: let's grab our backpack, the adventure among the castles in Monferrato begins.


Cantine Aperte 2024: here is the program!

Cantine Aperte 2024: here is the program!

May 26, 2023 from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

As every year, in collaboration with Movimento Turismo del Vino, the appointment with Cantine Aperte is back! Tastings, winery tours and food specialties are waiting for you to enjoy a Sunday of taste, fun and beauty!

Appointment Sunday, May 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.: click below to add the event to your calendar or read on to find out more details!

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Discovering Grappa

Throughout the day, from 10.30, there will be no-stop guided tours without reservation: discover firsthand all the secrets of grappa, from the arrival of the pomace to bottling, via distillation. Inebriate yourself with the scents of the three Aging Cellars,each immersed in the harmonious notes of classical music. Experience the world of Distilleries As you’ve never seen it before.

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Guided tours are free of charge. Drinks are charged.

A Walk in the Park

At the exit of the Cantina of the Barriques, you will find a path that leads you into the Park of Wonders. Don’t hesitate and feed it: a ten-minute walk among the fruit trees and the Park’s amusing inhabitants (Hatters, large white rabbits, playing cards that speak in a foreign language, and strange smiling cats) will take you on the Terrace of Borgo Roccanivo, where lots of news and surprises await you!

Are you uncomfortable with the idea of tackling the walk in the park? No problem. Indoor park mobility is provided free of charge by Audi Zentrum Alessandria!

Do you wish to know more? Continue reading To get some previews!

All About Yoga

Reconnect with Nature: Yolanda Lleò, Hata-Raja Yoga teacher, is waiting for you for a Yoga in Wonderland Park session.

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All around you

Tastings, Pic Nic baskets, cocktails…on the Terrace of Borgo Roccanivo there is room for all your desires!

Distillate Tastings

Discovering the secrets of Distillation makes one thirsty. That’s why on the Terrace of Borgo Roccanivo you will find a tasting point of Berta grappas, distillates and liqueurs: take your glass and enjoy a tasting experience of your favorite spirits with the guidance of our Spirits experts!

PS: save your glass! You will also need it to taste wines and cocktails.

Grappa tasting is included in the price of the glass. Cocktail and wine drinks are charged separately.

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Food

Check out all the dishes, burgers, and desserts prepared by Villa Prato’s chefs…and if you’re hot, cool off with a creamy homemade ice cream!

There is a charge for food consumption.

The Savory

  • CHICKEN AND ZUCCHINI CARPIONE
  • SPRING HERB SAVORY PIE (VEG)
  • MINI RICE ORANGES SHIMMED WITH ROCCANIVO, TALEGGIO AND ARTICHOKES
  • MINI ARANCINI RICE BALLS WITH MEAT SAUCE AND SAUSAGE

The Focacce

  • STUFFED PROSCIUTTO CRUDO AND STRACCIATELLA DI BURRATA
  • STUFFED CREAMED BUTTER AND CANTABRIAN ANCHOVIES
  • STUFFED RAW BEEF SAUSAGE AND ROCCAVERANO ROBIOLA CHEESE
  • SIMPLE

Burgers

  • VILLA PRATO BURGER (Burger buns, Piedmontese fassona Veal, Bra cheese, Green salad, Mayo )
  • ROCCANIVO BURGER (Burger buns, Mixed fassona burger and beef sausage marinated in Barbera d’Asti, Raschera, Caramelized onions, Mustard and yuzu sauce )

Sweets

  • MUFFINS CHOCOLATE PEARS AND GRAPPA
  • HAZELNUT CAKE
  • APPLE AND CINNAMON CAKE
  • CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
  • CREAM ICE CREAM
  • HAZELNUT ICE CREAM
  • CREAM ICE CREAM AND GRAPPA BRIC DEL GAIAN

Cocktail

What could be better than a cocktail on a warm late spring day? If then the cocktails are based on Berta spirits and prepared by Marco Fara,you can’t help but be happy!

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At Cantine Aperte drinking a cocktail has another meaning: for every cocktail purchased, one euro will be donated to Piccolo Cottolengo in Tortona, to help children living with disabilities and disabling illnesses.

Not just Grappa

Yes! We won’t be the only ones to brighten up your Sunday afternoon: whether you’re in the mood for a glass of wine from Serra Domenico or Monte Ruello, or whether you prefer a freshly squeezed apple juice from Poderi Sartoris on the Terrace of Borgo Roccanivo, you’ll find plenty to quench your thirst!

With wine, you know, eating a little something is better….With Mencos Brothers you’ll find farinata for your teeth!

In addition, a corner will stand out where Italian cigar tastings will be offered reserved for overage smokers only in collaboration with the club “Tuscan Friends.”

Wine, farinata and soft drinks are charged.

Open day Wedding Location & Design

Are you looking for a location to say your big yes? You can’t miss Borgo Roccanivo!

The Borgo’s venues will be dressed up by White Events: find out how exciting it can be to choose the design of your most important day. We will be available to provide you with all the information you need.

Have we intrigued you? Save this event to your calendar or share it with your friends!
See you at the Distillery, May 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 7. p.m.!

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Sponsors

As every year, we would like to thank all the partners and sponsors who help us in this wonderful occasion.

We thank:


Vinitaly 2024: Distillerie Berta presenti

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Brace yourself: from April 14 to 17, Verona is tinged with wine!

Vinitaly reaches its 56th edition with news and important moments

From April 14-17, one of the most anticipated events for exhibitors, professionals and WineLovers returns: Vinitaly!

The Vinitaly annually hosts more than 4,000 exhibitors, 125,000 visitors and 33,000 foreign buyers . In addition, this year the event will be divided into several thematic areas including. Vinitalybio , International wine , Vinitaly tasting , Vinitaly design , Micro Mega Wines Sol&Agrifood e Enolitech .

Infine, anche quest’anno il centro di Verona sarà animato daVinitaly and the city :una vera festa per i Wine Lover e le Wine Lover!

Berta Distilleries will participate in the fair again this year, as always proudly in the Piedmont Pavilion 10: you can find us at booth N3!