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Review: Self Arranged

Specialist Holiday - Food & wine


Villa Sampaguita Piedmont and Italian Lakes

  • By SilverTraveller SP

    1 review

  • Apr 2011
  • Wife

134 people found this review helpful

As a youngish man with a young family I was very grateful for any financial help my parents-in-law could help with overseas holidays. Being court hairdressers in Chelsea, even in the early 1970s they still provided services to a number of very well connected if ageing clients. It was under these auspices that we were able to have for two weeks in 1974 the use of large and comfortable holiday home in Rapallo, Italy which belonged to a British ambassador and his wife who were posted in a neighboring country. The holiday was wonderful and I remember the style and scenery of Rapallo, Portofino and the Liguria Coast with much nostalgia.

Barbara and I were therefore delighted to finally arrange a long overdue visit to a former colleague in the satellite business who had retired to Asti, Piedmont just north of Rapallo. Tim Brewer and his partner, Rina, opened a B&B just outside Asti nearly 10 years ago and it has gone from strength to strength ever since. It was from this B&B, Villa Sampaguita ( ) that I was able to retrace my steps to those wonderful sunny days of my comparative youth in Liguria and also to discover the beauty of the Piedmont’s countryside and the Italian lakes.

Set in 10 hectares of rolling countryside, with woods and vineyards, Villa Sampaguita offers a complete break from the formality of a hotel while maintaining a very high standard of accommodation and comfort. Evening meals if required are provided “en famille” with all guests and Tim and Rina’s family seated at the same table to enjoy Rina’s excellent Italian cuisine and wine from Tim’s own vineyard, part of the Villa Sampaguita estate.

Tim and Rina made us feel most welcome from the start after our drive from Milan. The views from the large and well appointed rooms are magnificent. Tim is really an expert and strong supporter of Piedmont and has a vast knowledge of the local culture, cuisine and wine. If one needs any information on where to go in Piedmont, whether it is for a bank, local garage or restaurant Tim will know. We thoroughly enjoyed our three night stay and very much appreciated the relaxed and informal family atmosphere of the Villa Sampaguita. We would thoroughly recommend it. Tim and Rina are to be congratulated on providing such a comfortable and relaxing experience in a most beautiful setting.

Apart from revisiting the Liguria coast from Villa Sampaguita, we also made it to the fascinating port city of Genoa and the Italian lakes of Orta and Maggiore. We loved the beauty and tranquillity and beauty of Lake Orta with its Isola San Giulio. It calls itself the most romantic of all the Italian lakes and it certainly is romantic and smaller than Maggiore and Como.

We stayed one night at the Hotel Giardinetto Ristorante, Pettenasco on Lake Orta with a room with lovely lake view. The dinner in the restaurant overlooking the lake was special not only because of the cuisine, but also the ambiance and romantic surroundings. It was pity the walls of the room were a bit thin so we could the German couple in the next room chatting in the night!

Using Villa Sampaguita as a base one can easily reach some of the most beautiful parts of Italy to enjoy the flair, good humour and style of the Italian way of life. Thanks to Tim and Rina, Villa Sampaguita makes such a homely base from which to travel in that part of the world – it’s a real home from home! A glance at the Villa Sampaguita Facebook page will show that the accommodation is very suitable for all ages.

Living in Australia, we travelled to Paris from Brisbane on Singapore Airlines and to Milan (Malpensa) from Paris Charles de Gaulle on easyJet. We used Hertz Malpensa for car hire and a Garmin GPS to navigate and preserve our marriage!

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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