Throughout Italy and particularly in the Langhe and Monferrato regions of Piemonte one can find many old stone buildings which have been for many reasons neglected by their current owners.
These old rustic houses or rustici as the Italians call them, usually have a farming connection and consist of an L shape building with haylofts which usually include wonderful arches.
A typical rustico will be found in a rural area and have commanding views of the local countryside and as such can make an ideal location for your dream Italian home.
These old farm properties usually feature original cotto floor tiles and vaulted ceilings. Unfortunately the condition of these houses are usually in a state of disrepair and require complete restoration.
The renovation of these rustici is an expensive process but ultimately you wind up with a property built to your specification and if restored sympathetically could prove to be a good investment over the years. Traditionally restored farmhouses also prove popular for holiday rentals in Piemonte.
You need to be or have someone fluent in Italian to manage the project and be sure to get a quote for all the additional taxes involved as these soon can mount up.
So in conclusion if you can’t find the property of your dreams here in Italy, consider a rustico and renovate it yourself.
Winter in Piemonte continues to be very snowy this year with record snow falls recorded for more than thirty years.
Day to day life continues without disruption with local town communities working well to keep the roads and pathways clear of snow and safe.
Nearby Ski areas are experiencing exceptionally good skiing conditions with Limone Piemonte and Mondole Ski currently boasting 250 cm of snow with more snow falling as I write!
Skiing can be found both in the north and south of Piemonte, the areas in the north very well known – Valle d’ Aosta, Sestriere, Courmayeur are just a few…
The areas in the south less well known and not yet discovered by package tourism, you therefore ski in a relaxed manner and normally with local Italian families.
Limone Piemonteand Mondole Ski have good facilities and offer ski runs for all levels, snowboarding, play areas in the snow for children and of course many bars for those who choose only to participate in the Après-ski.
Mondole ski is infact three ski areas which are linked to each other by piste – Frabosa, Artesina and Prato Nevosa.
Italians enjoy winter and the snow and its delightful that the conditions are so good for skiing this year
Its been a strange time regarding the weather here in Piemonte. Usually from March onwards you can expect the weather to turn for the better, you know, summer is kind of around the corner. But as I said its been a funny old year weather wise, its just rained and rained now for 5 weeks
At the start of this cycle the rain was most welcome, we’ve had little snow and without question the land needs water. But now the tables are turning as the excess rain now poses a threat to the fruit and wine production of the area.
I’ve spoken to several of the locals including experienced farmers who reckon rain like this has not been seen for at least 50 years, some say they have never seen rain like this at all.
A lot of people say to me that it must be difficult to sell houses in this weather but we feel that if you like the area and the property in this freak weather you’re going to love it when the sun comes out. Warts and all approach.
The locals are all cursing of course as they desperately wait for the sun to reappear. But what are the alternatives? Its raining in Liguria, Nice and even Spain. Some say the weather patterns are changing, who knows.
Anyway we are into our second day of sunshine now and the weather rumor factory says there is a new cycle of pressure coming in which will yield plenty of sun and heat.
My views, of course I’d love some sun, but The Langhe region is still stunning in the rain. I love it.
Piemonte is situated in the North West corner of Italy and comprises the provinces of Alessandria, Asti, Cuneo, Novara, Vercelli, and Turin which is the region’s Capital. The area forms part of an industrial triangle created by Milan, Turin and Genoa.
Piemonte (or Piedmont as the English refer to it) has long been regarded as Italy’s little secret where Italians for many years and to this current day use the area as a vacation destination. The 2006 Winter Olympics have been a great advertisement for Piemonte and has served to introduce this beautiful area to the world.
The region is world famous for its wine production and the Langhe hills are home to the great Barolo wines and nearby Asti produces its Spumante. Food lovers around the world visit the region to sample its truffles and visit Bra the capital of the “Slow Food movement”. Continue reading →