As regular readers will know, I have a bit of a thing for towers and old follies.
This splendid edifice is called La Torre del Piano – the tower of the plain – and it is owned by Alana and Joe Mazza, Yorkshire folk who have forsaken God’s own county to open the very beautiful Casale San Pietro, their new luxury bed and breakfast, lovingly created from a former Italian farmhouse-turned-restaurant in Lazio, in the hills south-east of Rome, about an hour from the city.
The tower was built in 1080 as a defence. Imagine owning a tower! I was so excited when I saw it. If you look carefully, you can spot Joe and Alana at the bottom of the picture.
Casale San Pietro is quite astonishing. The term ‘bed and breakfast’ does not really do it justice. We spent three nights there in September and it was blissful. It has six incredible ensuite rooms (the bathrooms – oh my) and lots of lovely spaces inside and out for dining and sitting and reading and chatting. Plus a beautiful pool. The attention to detail is stunning. They have their own local wine, and you can have dinner there. Joe and Alana are wonderful hosts, the food is out-of-this-world traditional Italian, and Joe knows pretty much everything about the history of the area, not to mention Rome too, so it’s all fascinating, tasty and addictive. Once you’ve stayed, you’ll be thinking about when you can get back there. The pool is heavenly (and boy, does Joe keep it clean).
They have their very own eight acres of olive groves, surrounding the casale, and Alana reckons they have the best olive oil. She makes a mean cake with it, which is available for breakfast along with lovely cured meats and breads and eggs from their own hens.
There are some beautiful old towns close by, especially Anagni and Fiugi, so there’s lots to do and see. It’s a real experience, and it feels unspoiled, which is amazing when you consider how close Rome is.
It’s olive harvest time at Casale San Pietro right now, and so Joe and Alana are having a special weekend, in which guests help harvest the olives and see it being pressed, and have a harvest festival party. They’ve had a wedding there too. The whole of the casale can be booked for special events.
Themed breaks are going to be a big part of Casale San Pietro. As well at the November harvest parties, there will be a special 3 night Easter break and a lovely chance to see the local events happening in the nearby towns. Joe and Alana will give plenty of ideas of what to see and where.
Take a look at the website for booking, and you’ll see it’s great value, especially considering the beauty and luxury of the place, the expertise and friendliness of the hosts, and the sheer thought that has gone into every aspect of making a stay there perfect.
It’s here: http://www.casalespietro.com/
They are booking now for next year’s special weekends, as follows: Easter weekend at Casale San Pietro, April 14-17 2017: All guests receive an Italian Easter egg and a bottle of Prosecco on arrival. Good Friday, Breakfast on the Terrace, Light Lunch on the Terrace. Saturday, Breakfast on the Terrace, A fun Pizza evening, starting with aperitifs in the Long Room followed by a traditional Italian antipasti starter, Pizza made in the Casale’s wood fired pizza oven. Easter Sunday, Breakfast on the Terrace, Easter Egg hunt in the Olive groves and grounds, Easter lunch Italian style, starting with aperitifs in the Long Room followed by a 4 course Easter Sunday lunch. Monday, Breakfast on the Terrace.
There will also be Cookery Masterclasses in March and May (both fully booked, but due to popular demand there will be another one starting Thursday 12th October for 3 nights.
And there will be a Yoga Retreat break which is for 4 nights from the 12th May 2017.