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Our Standards

The Best of the Best. The top in quality, not cost.

No one wants to waste time or money to have a bad travel experience, stay at a mediocre hotel or eat an average meal. You are in Italy! Living La Dolce Vita! 

So please come here to our beautiful corner of Italy and relax! We have done the research for you. We take the guesswork out of traveling this area so that you can choose from and experience only the most interesting and satisfying adventures. We have personally visited, toured, tried and tested hundreds of tours, businesses, services, restaurants and accommodations in Piedmont. Only those experiences that meet our high standards of excellence, quality and service make our lists of recommendations.

Our recommendations are the culmination of a lifetime of travel, many years in the guest service inducstry and countless hours of research and discovery. Our recommended tours and activities are not just copied from other Top 10 lists but are things we have done and had an amazing time doing. We only recommend third party representatives (tour guides, rental owners, teachers, etc.) who we know personally and trust implicitly.  

We include only restaurants which serve 100% in-house made offerings and feature locally procured ingredients. If they don't make the breads and the sauces and the desserts, they don't make our list.  Piedmont is, after all, the home of the Slow Food Movement so the bar is already set incredibly high. 

Our Accommodations recommendations feature only classically Italian lodgings that preserve and maintain the historic Italian heritage and integrity of the home and surroundings. By booking with us you don't risk booking a property on a busy intersection or across the street from a factory or in the middle of nowhere. These properties are all located in scenic historic villages or in beautiful country settings very near to historic villages or small city centers. 

None of our listings are booked as partial or shared property rentals. When you book with us you will have the entire property to yourselves, with no sharing of floors or kitchens or bathrooms with other parties you do not know. When you stay at one of our recommended accommodations, you will know that you are in Italy  -- in beautiful stone structures with frescoed ceilings, working kitchens, locally handcrafted furnishings and established grounds and gardens. 

Our standards are high, we are particular, we are proud to include and stand by the businesses we feature. We know you will find our recommendations top notch! 


We (Lisa and John) are friends who, a few years ago, decided to realize our dream of moving to Italy. During several transatlantic trips, we traversed the country from east to west and north to south to find the area of Italy we wanted to make our home. Classically Italian. Undeveloped historic towns. Quaint small cities nearby. An abundance of natural beauty. A local economy. And eventually, we found our spot -- Monferrato. A highly unspoiled, protected, Unesco World Heritage area in Piemonte, an hour or so drive from some of Italy's best cities and places - Turin,  Milan, the Lakes Region (Como, Orta, Maggiore...), Genoa, Portofino, the Dolomites, the Italian Riviera... 

Once we drove through this undisturbed secret pocket of Monferrato we knew we would look no further.  We found our perfect country house perched on top of a hill with a garden, old growth trees and meadows, a few fine, friendly neighbors and a 360 view of a dozen verdant, green hilltop towns. We are in the country but just five minutes away from four picturesque hilltop villages and  twenty minutes away from the vibrant and historic cities of Casale and Asti. 

We bought our country house for under $200,000. It is 8,000 sqft of living quarters plus a wine press room, two cantinas (cavernous wine cellars), two barns and eight acres of land. It took us about five years of searching to find our spot and then our house but once the bid was accepted, we got in high gear.  We were on a plane and received the keys to our new home just four months later. 

Lisa worked for many years in Hollywood and on Wall Street, John has a doctorate in Italian Art History. Our passions, not in any particular order or shared-ness are travel, adventure, Italy, traditional Italian homes, cooking, horticulture, and perhaps above all, living a lifestyle which treads as lightly on mother nature as possible.