Archive for the ‘Day Trips’ Category

One of my favourite towns in Piedmont is Monforte d’Alba.
Every time we visit, I drive my husband mad by searching for properties for sale! I can just imagine living here in this beautiful town.

Whilst staying at La Villa in Mombaruzzo, we could not resist popping back on our way to lunch at Antica Corona Reale da Renzo in Cervere. Monforte is in a great position, not far from many of the hill top towns we love to visit. The countryside that surrounds it is beautiful- valleys covered in vines, church spires topping hill top towns whilst the mountains in the distance form a perfect backdrop.

Countryside around Monforte d'Alba

Vines surround Monforte

Across the rooftops of Monforte d'Alba

View across the rooftops of Monforte

We sat outside Caffe Enoteca Rocca in Piazza Umberto, the main square of Monforte, chatting to the locals. I’m sure this would be my morning ritual if I lived here!

Caffe' Enoteca Rocca in Monforte d'Alba

Caffe Enoteca Rocca

Across the piazza, you can see Ristorante La Collina and the ‘Madonna della Neve’ Church

'Madonna della Neve' Church with Ristorante Il Collina in the foreground

View across Piazza Umberto

To the left in Via Garibaldi, a new hotel has opened next to the Barola Bar , a great spot to taste the beautiful wines of the region

Via Garibaldi in Monforte d'Alba

Via Garibaldi

We wander up the steep, narrow streets behind the cafe. The village is as pretty as ever.

The colours of Monforte d'Alba

The colours of Monforte d'Alba

Entrance to Azienda Agricola Alessandro e Gian Fantino's Cantina in Monforte

Azienda Agricola Alessandro e Gian Fantino

Entrance to Osteria La Salita in Monforte d'Alba

Pretty entrance to Osteria La Salita

Painted wall at Osteria dei Catari in Monforte d'Alba

Painted wall at Osteria dei Catari

Keep walking up the hill as the road lead to the historical, upper part of the town.


The view from here is spectacular

View from the top of Monforte d'Alba

View from the top of Monforte

The older part of Monforte d'Alba

Beautiful houses in the older part of the village

At the top of the hill is the Bell Tower, the only remaining part of the Santa Maria Church and the St Elisabetta Oratory.

Bell Tower in Monforte d'Alba

What is behind the wall?

Behind the wall is this small open space with perfect acoustics which is used as an auditorium. Horszowski Auditorium is filled with music in July when Monforte holds it’s well known jazz festival.

Monforte d'Alba's outdoor auditorium

Imagine leading jazz bands playing here

Le Casa de Saracca in Monforte d'Alba

Entrance to Le Case della Saracca

This beautiful old building is home to Le Case della Saracca, a quirky little B&B of six rooms contrasting the old and the new, with a bar and restaurant. It is a perfect place to stay for the Jazz festival as it has its’ own entrance to the auditorium.

Further up the road is another fabulous place to stay. Villa Beccaris, with their beautiful rooms and stunning gardens and pool, it is a perfect retreat to return to after a day exploring.

Entrance to Villa Beccaris, Monforte d'Alba

Entrance to Villa Beccaris

Two years ago we were staying in Monforte in early October. One night, the weather changed dramatically for the worse but when we opened the windows in the morning, the view of the snow on the mountains was spectacular.

View of the snow on the mountains from Monforte d'Alba

View of the snow on the mountains from Monforte

Would you like to live here?



Villa Beccaris
Via Bava Beccaris,1
Monforte d’Alba
Tel: +39 0173 78158
Villa Beccaris

Le Case della Saracca
Via Cavour,5
Monforte d’Alba
Tel: +39 0173 789222
Le Case della Saracca

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From Trapani, you can go almost anywhere.

Combine Segesta and Erice for an easy day trip
Segesta and Selinute were constantly at war with each other. Unlike Selinute, the temple and the theatre at Segesta are well preserved.
Buy a ticket for the bus to take you to the theatre with it’s amazing view to the north


The Temple at Segesta, built in the 5th century BC, can be easily reached on foot.


Sitting on top of Monte San Giuliano, the drive to Erice, on a clear day, offers spectacular views.



Erice is the quintessential tourist village. Meander through the paved alleyways and narrow streets to see the small churches and stone houses.



Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main street, is lined with souvenir and pastry shops, none more famous than the Pasticerria di Maria Grammatico.


Mamma Maria

On another day visit Favignana, the largest of the Egadi Islands, a thirty minute ferry ride away. It’s clear blue waters, especially at Cala Rossa, have been receiving a lot of publicity lately as the place to visit. Marettimo is the most isolated and unspoilt island, a little further away. The weather must be perfect to visit Marettimo for a day trip as the ferries will not run if the sea is rough. Levanzo is the smallest island of the group

The main square of Favignana is a short walk from the port. Hire a scooter, take a taxi or jump aboard the small tourist train to explore the bays around the island.




San Vito di Capo has been voted the best beach in Sicily. In forty minutes you could be lying on the white sand and swimming in clear blue water. Take a book, hire an umbrella and lounge, and relax.



From here it is an easy drive to the northern entrance to the Zingaro National Park and the walks that start from here.


If you haven’t already visited Marsala, it is only thirty minutes away. Return via the Salt Route.
In just over one hour you could be in Palermo, eating street food found in the Ballaro markets.
No wonder Ryan Air, who fly into Trapani, are very busy with weekend visits!

Stay in San Vito di Capo

B&B Le Biciclette
Via C. Gulfi, 3
Tel: +39 3456707437
B&B Le Biciclette
Rooms are small, but it is clean and cute. Great breakfast on the rooftop.

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