Read what our guests have said about our B&B accommodation here in Piemonte, Italy. We also provide a link to the original web review, where appropriate.

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"Tranquility in the Piedmont Hills"

Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana provides travellers with the best of all Worlds - peace and tranquility, easy access to beautiful Piedmont towns and cities, and a warm welcome from owners Phil and Ingrid Blades. We were early season visitors, and stayed for just four nights, but it would be easy to find more than enough to occupy a week long stay - all within no more than a one hour drive. There are beautiful walks through acres of vineyards, and experts on hand to explain the whole wine-producing business. In the summer visitors would not need to move from the poolside to simply enjoy the magnificent views from the farmhouse.

Accomodations at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana are simple, clean and comfortable, with a great dining / lounge area for relaxing. Breakfasts were more than ample with mainly fresh local produce, and finding fabulous food in the evenings is also no problem - from the simple Trattoria 5 minutes away in the village, to first rate restaurants no more than 20min away by car.

All in all, we would recommend this delightful B&B as a haven for anyone interested in experiencing the delights of Piedmont and the generous hospitality of the owners Phil and Ingrid Blades.

Graeme, Palo Alto, California  Mar 20, 2007


absolutely quiet, very friendly and gently owners.
very well equiped rooms and absolutely clean!
swimming pool with a great view, and at least a great
we simply loved it!

Joe, Lucern, Switzerland, Feb 07

"A Room with a View in Piedmont"

If your looking for real Italy. Where the air is fresh and clear, the people are friendly, where the wine and food is local and affordable and where the scenery is stunningly beautiful then look no further than Piedmont. In particular try Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana.

This superb accomodation is run by 2 charming "brits" who have totally adjusted to the Italian way of life. Their house, set up in the hills, not far from Nizza is a modernised working vineyard. Imagine sitting in the warm evening sun drinking wine that has come from the grapes grown on the land belonging to the place you are staying. Or imagine an eating your meal of pizza or pasta at the place where all the locals eat. This gives you a real sense of belonging.

The roomy accomodation is sylsh and comfortable and Phil and Ingrid make it feel very homely.
They have a wealth of information on the area and can always offer you advice as to how to spend your days. If you are really adventurous or want to use it as a central location then within a couple of hours you can be in the Alps, on the Italian Lakes, on the Italian coast and if you are really stuck the French Riveria.

This is a place where the owners take a real pride it what they are doing and will do everything they can to ensure your stay will be one to remember and a place that you will want to return to time and time again.

Robbie, Cheshire, England, Feb 2007

"Nothing better"

What can you say. Phil and Ingrid are the perfect hosts. The B&B is charming and everything we could have asked for. They had just started to install the pool so we were not able to enjoy that part, but the room was clean, cool and comfortable. The breakfasts were fresh and filling. We loved the place so much, we decided to buy a house in the same area. We will be back when we come to close on our house.

Gary - Heidelberg, Germany, Feb 2007

"Simply delightful"

This was our second visit to Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana; Ingrid & Phil's super B&B and working vineyard. Only superlatives can describe the place, the environment and the hosts.

On offer? - excellent accommodation with superb new poolwonderful Piemonte landscape and renown wine growing area great base for travel to the lakes, Turin and Asti or just total relaxation in the care of Phil and Ingrid as hosts Discover this place and it will never leave you.

Oct 6, 2006 , Wales Carl & Chris, Mark & Debbie

"Return? You bet!"

Having read other reviews here and in the guest book at Santa Cristiana, I was at first intrigued that people wanting something so different from a holiday than myself have come away with exactly the same opinion; that this is a great place to stay. On reflection, it's not a surprise. It seems all is possible here.

Reasonable access to the autostrada (15-20 mins away) makes it easy to go far and wide and quiet local roads make it easy to potter around locally in an area that is still largely tourist free, but what makes that work for everyone is good, well equipped accommodation, a great setting (we were lucky enough to see the Alps from the poolside, unusual during the summer months - can't think of a better place to chill out and do nothing), wonderful food (personal favourite restaurant "Non Solo Crudo") and wine (including wine from the vineyard), and, in Phil and Ingrid, superb hosts.

Spend a few days here and you'll leave feeling you're a friend not just a visitor

Colin, Sussex


At the end of a long, hot day's driving from the chaos of Nice and the Cote D'Azur we arrived at our destination somewhere in deepest, wine-growing Piedmont. Aqua Termine had been a pleasant refreshment break just 20 minutes or so away and thanks to Phil and Ingrid's vividly concise directions all of a sudden we were at Castelnuovo Belbo, duly following the river, crossing the railway line and through sunflower fields, hazelnut groves, orchards and vineyards to somewhere very special. Our 14 and 12 years olds loved the pool ("No chlorine Mum, I can open my eyes under water), the pizzas (the world's best) in Monte-something down the road (just ask Phil for directions) and the wine tasting at Roberto's Cantina (despite Dad's well-intentioned, but ultimately lame efforts "poco" did not seem to be a word in Roberto's extensive and quite unique vocabulary)...within a timescale of less than 40 hours we felt refreshed, entertained, educated, relaxed and extremely sad to be leaving our hosts, their beautiful home and DOC, a friend to everyone other than motorcyclists - and his spouse Soleil, a friend to everyone with spare cheese, ham, salami etc..."fantastico" hardly does the place justice, next time we'll try to stay longer..."Piano, Piano" - an experience not to be rushed.

Sep 5, 2006 , chester

"Vineyard Retreat"

Phil and Ingrid would make your holiday feel complete no-matter where in the world you were. The fact that Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana is in Piedmont (much more beautiful than Tuscany) is simply a huge bonus.
Our two week stay in the Barbera apartment was very comfortable for two adults and two children. The newly completed salt-water swimming pool was excellent and the freedom to roam around the vineyard was perfect.
Being situated near to Nizza Monferrato—between Asti and Alessandria—means that the cities of Turin, Milan and Genoa are within easy reach by car, as are the delights of the Italian lakes and Alps (and if Phil tells you a place is only 40kms away, then you can bet it is). Plus, after each day of hectic sightseeing there's the prospect of retreating for two days of quiet relaxation in Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana!

Sep 4, 2006 , Northern Ireland

"A glimpse of paradise"

There is so much to rave about all the events and sights we were fortunate to be able to see in our 10 days at Vecchio Podere. We were made to feel so much a part of Ingrid and Phil's superb vineyard and to share their passion for local wines and environment. Their farmhouse and way of life is everything all other reviews on this website have described. What a marvellous place. Phil and Ingrid are so helpful, welcoming, and kind with their time, knowledge of the area and suggestions of where to visit and eat, etc.

This was a unusual break for us - being more used to beach type holidays and it was with a little trepidation of the unknown that we ventured forth and took a chance on doing something different. We need not have worried. Phil and Ingrid gave us a real warm welcome on arrival, settled us into our superb accommodation and uncorked a welcome bottle of vino...and that was just for starters. Their fantastic hospitality has to be seen to be believed, a BBQ for guests, wine tasting, expert tour of the vineyards,nothing seemed too much trouble.

We stayed on a B & B basis. Wow ! Ingrids sumptuous breakfast served on the terrace is fit for a King - home produced fruit & jams, choice of hams,cereal,bread,juices - you will not go hungry.

The environmentally friendly salt water pool has recently been completed and the finishing touches were being added to the swim up bar. Often we were the only pool users and even when all the guests were around, the pool is large enough for eveyones enjoyment.

Phil and Ingrids knowledge of the surrounding area and places to visit is second to none. And what an ideal location to explore the alps in the North or the stunning Ligurian coast in the South. Or you can just stay local and drive or walk through the rolling hills and quiet country villages. You wont be bored.

We thoroughly enjoyed our break at Vecchio Podere and will definately be making a return visit. Cheers Phil & Ingrid.

Aug 30, 2006  , Cheshire,

"Wonderful place to stay- Vecchio

Had a wonderful 4 day stay in July '06 with a couple of great friends thoroughly relaxing at the Vecchio Podere Santa Christiana. Thank you Phil and Ingrid for your hospitality. The tour round the vineyard was really informative and helped me understand what your vision is all about. The wines produced at the vineyard and from other local vineyards were fab and has definitely got me to re-think Asti as a wine region. The swimming pool was a wonderful extra, with fab views over the surrounding hills and valleys. I was rather glad that we helped you to christen your swimming pool bar!
An unhurried breakfast on the terrace meant the day got started at the pace which we soon became very accustomed to.

If you are looking for a beautiful place to stay with the aim of relaxing and dropping down a gear or 3 then I would thoroughly recommend Vecchio Podere Santa Christiana.

Jul 24, 2006  , London

"Paradise in Piedmont"

I have just returned from my second trip to Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana and cannot recommend it enough. Rarely will you find such magnificent accommodation, beautiful surroundings and generous hospitality in one place. The location is superb and within no time at all you can be at the beach, in the mountains or more importantly visiting the local vineyards!!

We stayed in the wonderful Barbera apartment and took breakfast on the terrace each morning. Our days out were nicely finished off with a dip in the swimming pool taking in the fabulous views of the rolling vineyards below, oh and of course the compulsory tipple of wine served from the swimming pool bar!!

If you are looking for a good choice of activities, enjoy good food, wonderful wine and friendly hospitality then this is definitely the place to visit.

, Cumbria

"A Beautiful, Peaceful Setting!!"

We visited Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana in May, 2006. We stayed in one of the two apartments, a beautifully decorated and lovely, quiet unit. We were the only visitors when we first arrived as it was just before the busy season. Phil and Ingrid were gracious and cordial hosts, opening up their home to us as we shared many stories about wine, travel and family. They were kind enough to invite us for lunch on the Sunday. What a wonderful day! Lunch lasted seven hours, lots of Moscato, and several bottles of wine. Ingrid is not only a warm and charming lady but also a wonderful cook and our lunch was fabulous as we ate under the gazebo, surrounded by the beautiful wisteria on the building beside it. After the meal, Phil, along with the two dogs Soleil and DOCC, took us on an indepth tour of the vineyards. We're looking forward to our next visit to Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana!!

Jul 18, 2006 R&C Davis, Toronto, Ontario

"Peace and Tranquility in the Vineyards of Piedmont"

We stayed for a week at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana in the hills of Piedmont, Italy in June 2006. This is a fully operational vineyard / orchard in the Asti region run by an English couple. The setting is idyllic as the "podere" (grand house) is located on a hillside surrounded by the vines and fruit trees. The accomodation is very good as it has only recently been re-furbished, and the pool had just been installed when we arrived. The location of the pool is particularly good as it provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

There was a choice of B&B or fully self-contained units sleeping up to 6 people - we had a self-contained unit and found that was ideal as it allowed us to cook a lot of our own meals using local produce from the markets in Nizza and Asti. All units have satellite TV and there is a satellite broadband internet facility. There were also many options in the area for eating out - one of the best parts about the stay in this area for us was that it is still relatively uncluttered with tourists, and has the feel of the "real Italy" that is more difficult to experience nowadays in places like Tuscany. The owners will arrange for tastings and visits to other vineyards in the area through the network of producers they are associated with.

If you want to visit part of Italy that is not overrun by buses and over commercialisation, combined with owners who can provide an interface with the local community - and taste the local wine as you go - we can recommend a stay at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana.

"A little bit of Heaven"

We have just returned from a truly enjoyable holiday in the Piedmont area of Northern Italy, staying at the working vineyard of Vecchio Podere Santa Christiana which is situated about 1.5 miles from the local village of Castelnuovo Belbo. This proved to be an excellent base from which to explore the area, being within easy reach of many interesting places which our hosts, Philip and Ingrid Blades who are very knowledgeable about the local area, willingly advised us to visit.
As a party of 5 people whose requirements comprise 3 single and 1double en-suite rooms we often have difficulty in finding appropriate accomodation in similar establishments but in response to our initial enquiry we were advised on how their flexible accomodation could cater for our needs. This was well appointed and extremely comfortable with excellent service and attention to detail. We opted for B&B accomodation (self catering is also an option) and with an excellent continental style breakfast usually served outside under a Gazebo allowing stunning views over the vines and the countryside, "a little bit of Heaven " was how one of our party described it.
A recent addition is a well appointed outdoor swimming pool with bar, and a fine selection of wines produced from their own and surrounding vineyards are available.
We hope to return one day, if you are interested visit [---------------]but be advised we recommend you have your own transport.

Jul 2, 2006  , Harrogate, England

"Sun-Drenched Vineyards, Beautiful Accommodations and Terrific, Friendly Hosts"

We spent a memorable, sun-drenched week among beautiful vineyards and the stunning panoramas of the Italian countryside. Our self-catering apartment was fully equiped for comfort and privacy and we felt like it was home before the week was over thanks to Phil and Ingrid's friendly hospitality.

We don't know what was more beautiful - the rolling hills of green vineyards and ripe wheat, the B&B's fabulously restored, huge country farmhouse or the hilltop towns and ancient villas we saw as we drove through the countryside. Perhaps it was the beautiful towns of Asti, Alba and Acqui Terme that were short drives away through some of the most beautiful hills and valleys Italy has to offer.

If you want to be a part of the magic of Italy, Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana is where the enchantement starts.

Jul 1, 2006 , Houston, Texas

"Idyllic location, care-free holiday, great base for exploring Piemonte"

This two week stay (I used the upstairs self-catering flat) was my first tentative foray into Italy after years of annual holidays in France. But no Gites de France lottery here ! - Phil and Ingrid Blades have created an enchanting base within their little vineyard which proved a perfect location for exploring Piemonte and beyond. It's about 15 mins from the main Aosta - Genoa motorway, and so Lake Maggiore, Portofino, Cinque Terre, Genoa, Turin and Gran Paradiso are all feasible day trips. But why bother ? The local Monferato region with its pretty villages atop undulating hills, hundreds of independent vineyards and glorious local restaurants mean you can park your car for 2 weeks, get your bike out, and Go Native. The Blades have built up extensive local connections and can recommend all the best places to see and visit, and meanwhile back at the ranch - nothing is too much trouble, not that you'd want for anything much more than is already provided. As fellow guests come and go - new friends were made as we all congregated on the terrance of an evening viewing the distant Alps beyond the vines as dusk approached - aided by the variety of Phil's wines, some made from the very grapes you are surrounded by. The fact that the pool was finished on the day after my departure merely strengthens my resolve to return soon !

Jun 26, 2006 , Norwich UK

"Sun, Relaxation, and great wines"

A great refreshing holiday, good weather, relaxing atmosphere and interesting conversations - with local wine producers and the hosts and other guests.

World Cup football was on for those that needed, and with WiFi and satelite tv in each room it was possible to stay connected should it be necessary.

A short stroll down the hill to the local village for a celebration of the mayor's win brought the entire town out to party. it is there you see aspects of the Italian society coming through with introductions and networking as much a part of it as dressing up and looking cool and sophisticated.

it will even better when the swimming pool is finished later next week

June 2006 Mark W, London, UK

"a real find!"

We spent a long weekend in Asti, staying three nights with Phil and Ingrid. The accomodation was of a high standard and we were made to feel at home straight away. The setting is fabulous, with views over surrounding vineyards and the alps in the distance. What was most enjoyable, however was the way Phil and Ingrid included all their guests in whatever was going on, be it from the day to day life of the vineyard, or the local food and wine festival. Pity this year's wine wasn't ready for sampling, but that only gives us an excuse to go back!

June 2006 Jane & Onkar, Bedfordshire. UK

"At home in the vineyards"

We stayed 3 nights at this B&B and have nothing but praise.
The owners Phil & Ingrid Blades are expats from England. Located in a rural area southeast of Asti, this small working vineyard combines traditional wine making and tourisim. The house is completely rennovated to high standards: spacious rooms, comfortable beds, modern plumbing & fixtures, fluffy towels. They are in the process of building an in-ground swimming pool. The views are lovely and it is very peaceful, truly a retreat. Breakfast was above average for Italy, with pastries, breads, cereal, meats, cheeses, fruit, and homemade preserves. We stayed in the main house, but they also had two efficiency apartments on the property for larger groups.

It was our first trip to Italy, and they were extremely helpful with advice, information, local maps, and current events in the area, as well as a wealth of info about making wine.
Highly recommended.

June 2006 Don B & Ninette H, Hilo, Hawaii

"Happiness is infectious"

We have just returned from a week at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana. This bed & breakfast is glorious. Having received such incredible service at such a beautiful location certainly makes it the one to beat. In addition, Piedmont is so delightful that it is hard to imagine how we could have had a better time in Italy. The weather in late May was hot but not stifling, and when we stretched out on the shaded sun terrace with a bottle of Phil and Ingrid’s own wine….well you can imagine! The pool looks like being a fantastic addition to the property. It is full hotel size and Phil tells me there will be a swim bar too. We stayed in the well equipped 2 bedroom apartment not choosing the breakfast option for the week. However we did savour Ingrid’s breakfasts for two of our mornings and they were a real hit with us. The image shows us just about to sit out on the morning terrace in anticipation.

The nearby town of Monferrato and the further Asti are definitely worth viewing. Each is a real down to earth Italian town getting on with life, and the very few tourists mingle almost unseen. I would also recommend a train ride into Turin from Asti as the schedule was reliable and the carriages are clean and modern. We drove to Asti and left the car parked safely for the whole day. Definitely do not miss a trip to Turin.

We paid 865 euros for the week which is excellent value for the apartment, and paid additionally for the breakfasts, which were also tremendous value. Phil and Ingrid went out of their way to ensure our comfort and enjoyment and although both are passionate about their relatively new lives in Piedmont, they also understand the needs of their guests when it comes to providing peace and privacy at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana.

Happiness is certainly infectious at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana, so if you want to try some, Italian Style, I would say come and visit Phil and Ingrid and also discover this beautiful part of Italy.

May 2006 Carl J & family, Wales, UK

"The owners are so friendly!"

We (3 girls) stayed here during the 2nd week of the Olympics and we had a great time. Not only because of the Olympics, but also because of the great surroundings, the friendliness of Phil and Ingrid (the owners) who were always willing to help! Even picking us up in the middle of the night when our plane was delayed and we had difficulties finding the appartment the first time (lost in the darkness in the vineyard ;-)). The accomodation itself is also very nice, and breakfast as well!

Feb 2006 marieke smedinga, Rotterdam, Netherlands

"Wonderful place to stay"

Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana was a peaceful and relaxing respite following 3 hectic days in Torino for the Olympics. Phil and Ingrid are two of the best hosts you could ever come across. We felt like we were staying with old friends. They went out of their way to arrange a special birthday dinner for my husband at a fabulous restaurant (Non Solo Crudo - highly recommended!). They are warm, open people and extremely helpful for ideas around the region. The rooms are very clean and cozy. Modern bathrooms. Great fireplace in the living room. It is in the countryside, surrounded by vineyards, yet close enough for short drives to restaurants for dinner. Looking forward to returning!

Feb 2006 Art S, Colarado, USA

"Warm and Inviting"

I cannot begin to say enough about the warmth and graciousness of ours hosts Phil and Ingrid. We stayed for seven nights during the Olympics with our four children and could not have asked for better hospitality; accomodations and friendship. They opened their home and truly made us feel welcome. Our two bedroom apartment was nicely decorated; extremely clean and let us spread out a bit. The whole package made our adventure a truly memorable occasion for all of us. Location was perfect for day trips to Torino and Pisa.

Feb 2006 craig.jorgenson(at), Rheinland Pfalz, Germany

"Wonderful stay in Piedmont"

Our family of three young boys (8,6,4) my wife Gabi and myself had the pleasure of three nights stay at Phil & Ingrid's self contained two bedroom apartment last week. We popped down from Switzerland to explore Piedmont and only wish we'd had more time to enjoy their hospitality and beautiful property.
A lovely comfortable bed for Mum & Dad, cosy central heating kept the boys warm at night, and fascinating late night chats about the challenges and joys of growing your own grapes and making your own wine in Piedmont.
We have already recommended Vecchio Podere to our parents for an extended stay in a couple of months time, and we will surely be back.
Thank you Ingrid and thank you Phil. Your venture deserves to do very well.
Feb 2006 Mike & Gabi Holland, Singapore

"Almost heaven"

We stayed a week here and were stunned by the fabulous hospitality, scenery, wine and welcome. Phil and Ingrid are superb hosts who made our holiday truly memorable. Every detail was thought of, the rooms were cool and spotless and breakfast on the terrace was wonderful. They introduced us to the local vineyards and especially to Roberto Urscheler who was such fun and had such superb wines we were won over by his white wines - and that from two serious red wine drinkers! We would go back to this blissfully peaceful haven of good food, beautiful views and friendliness. Our advice is, go now.

Feb 4, 2006:  A TripAdvisor Member, London

"Oasis in the vines"

We stayed at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana in March 2005. Snow was still on the ground, but the vines were already being prepared for the summer. The house is peaceful and set in marvelous countryside, with views in every direction. A true oasis of calm amongst the vines.
Every day greeted us with a blue sky, and we toured the countryside bathed in sunshine. The local towns and villages were warm and interesting even in the winter season.
The accomodation was warm, comfortable and extremely well equipped. Whilst we were definitely on vacation, had we wanted to remain in touch with work via the net, the facilities were there for us if we had wanted them.
We would highly recommend Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana, and will be back there later in the year.

Brian & Christine, Warrington, UK

"Relax....Mmmm thank you"

What a great find! Fantastic accommodation in a truly peaceful location surrounded by vines. Our hosts Ingrid & Phil made us feel very welcome, and their knowledge of the local area was really helpful. Their vineyard is about 10 miles outside Asti and a few miles from Nizza Monferatto in the middle of the Barbera wine-growing region. We were there in the Spring, and the views of the Alps were quite stunning. The local area is packed with wine cantinas offering visits and tastings, and the restaurants are remarkable – great food at very reasonable prices. The room we had felt newly decorated and quality furnished, and the large en-suite bathroom was excellent. There is also a large brick vaulted sitting room with roaring log fireplace just for guests. We live in Australia, and found the place through friends' recommendation, and will certainly be visiting Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana again when we are in Europe next year.

Mike, Jill & Family, Gosford, Australia


Herr & Fr U, Bern, Switzerland

"Couldn't have been better!"

It was our first time in Piedmont, Italy and everthing exceeded our expectations. The scenery is breath taking, the food excellent and the people were very friendly. The working farm, Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana, is tucked away in the heart of stunning countryside, but has the advantage of being only a short distance from three airports. It has all the facilities you would require, including wireless internet connection (should you really want one) and DVD players to entertain the children whilst the adults sip wine on the terrace. The house is full of charm and ideal for a tranquil holiday. We had two 11 year old boys with us who loved the biggest swimming pool we have ever seen (at Aqui Terme) and the beaches on the Riviera. We loved the cafe culture, watching the world go by, the wine tasting and the fabulous restaurants.

Phil and Ingrid could not have been better hosts. A pefect relaxing break which we cannot recommend highly enough.

Stephen, Annmarie & family, Buckinghamshire, England

"Medieval sieges and wonderful wines!" 

We spent 4 wonderful nights at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana as part of a "grand tour" of Europe. Phil and Ingrid are superb hosts who generously organised several events to enrich our stay. The spectacular pageantry of the re-enactment of the Siege of Canelli was an unexpected treat (18–19 June 2005—lucky timing for us!). The accommodation at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana was excellent, and we spent a very relaxing and lazy day dozing and reading in shady spots in the gardens. Wine tastings at local cantinas and a relaxed barbecue overlooking the vineyards gave us a flavour of the wonderful life Phil and Ingrid have adopted. We wish them every success.

Kate & Tom, Leeds, England

"Beautiful relaxing retreat in the Piemonte region"

I have just returned from a very relaxing week at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana, a beautiful farmhouse / vineyard in the Piemonte region north of Genoa in Italy. The holiday started by travelling through a spectacular mountain range to get to our idyllic destination. It was an effortless hour from the airport with a huge diversity of scenery, from mountains to rolling hills covered with hazelnut groves and vineyard terraces.

Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana is set in a little pocket of Italy, as yet untouched by tourism. Based in an agricultural area, it is like travelling back in time. The passion of the local community is wine, over many generations. The views from my room were spectacular, white villages atop hillsides, vineyards as far as the eye could see. The host and hostess, Phil and Ingrid Blades, made one feel at home very quickly and were exceptionally knowledgeable of all the local places to visit and see, of which there are many. Also cities like Turin, Milan and Genoa are all very accessible in a day visit—I recommend you also try the local train service, very reasonable. Or alternatively, you could just relax on the veranda and just de-stress.

Lots of lovely local restuarants serving excellent traditional food, and of course don't forget to try the local wines, many of which are unknown to the UK market.

Whether you are new to Italy or are a seasoned visitor, I would highly recommend you visit this area, of which Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana is one of the best places to stay.

I will definitely return!

thanks again for a great memorable stay.

Diana, London, England

"Piedmont Perfection"

We spent 9 glorious days at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana in July. The accommodation is superb. Our bedroom had wonderful views and was tastefully furnished. Phil & Ingrid are excellent and generous hosts and their knowledge of the area certainly adds to the enjoyment of the holiday. Ingrid's breakfasts (which we ate on the terrace) were feasts served with care and style.

The countryside is jaw-droppingly beautiful, with excellent restaurants dotted about. Try the Trattoria di Bologna in Rocchetta Tanaro (10 minutes away according to Phil's driving instructions but about 25 minutes for mere mortals!) No menu, no wine list, no English spoken and no credit cards taken—but a gastonomic delight not to be missed. 7 or 8 courses—we lost count—all washed down with a fine Barberesco selected for us by the patron. A bargain at 110 Euros for two.

Should you wish to leave the haven of peace and tranquility created by Phil and Ingrid, Genoa and Turin are well worth a visit, as are the nearby markets and cantinas to sample the local wines.

If you are thinking of staying in the beautiful Piedmont Region, this is definitely the place to stay.

Jean & Richard, Hertfordshire, England

"Total relaxation"

Santa Cristiana is in a beautiful peaceful location. Phil and Ingrid were superb hosts and we were made to feel totally at home. Nothing seemed too much trouble, and they gave freely of their time, but we do now realise just how much hard work goes into the wine we enjoy! This truly is a place to relax and enjoy the good things in life: food, wine and friends. Salute!

A TripAdvisor Member, Burgess Hill, Sussex

"Traquility found"

When setting out to stay at a working vinyard in the heart of the Piedmont wine country, I didn't really know what to expect. My previous visits to Italy had centred on the sites, famous places and objects that everyone has heard of and would like to see in person. For a view of the real Italy, to see how the people live and work, you can expect few better experiences than my time at Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana. Phil and Ingrid, while only 'In country' for a year, have amassed a wealth of knowledge about the environs, the landscape, and the working rythms of their new home. I would have had no clue about the wealth of experience available to me if I had merely consulted the guide books. The pleasures of Turin, the elegance of Acqui Thermi, and the bustle of the Asti market may have been visible, but I feel that I got the 'insider's view' by the insights I gained. I can only marvel at the peace and quiet to be found at this magical place. Truly, highly recommended!

Bruce, West Vancouver, BC

"One of the best!"

We spent two nights at the wonderful Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana in late September 2005. We had seen the great reviews on TripAdvisor and were looking forward to a relaxing time in the Italian countryside. We were not disappointed. We frequently stay in B&Bs and can honestly say that this was one of the best. The countryside was tranquil and gorgeous, and the house was immaculate and comfortable. Phil and Ingrid were gracious hosts and we felt like we were visiting friends for a weekend. As this is a working vineyard, we particularly enjoyed learning about the process and sampling the local wines. Ingrid’s breakfasts were a wonderful start to the day, with lots of local produce and great coffee. Their high standards and quality of service were such that we were surprised to learn that this is only their first year in operation. We look forward to a return visit.

Lynn & Rémy, Alexandria, Virginia

Independent reviews of

Vecchio Podere Santa Cristiana

**New - extracts from our in-house visitors book