|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
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Castello di Montestrutto. Romantic Italian castle at the foot of the Alps, majestic with all the comfort and warmth of an old country house. Quiet and private, the castle stands on top of a hill overlooking the small village of Montestrutto and the beautiful countryside. Accessible through a panoramic staircase of 230 steps, the castle definitely caters to the nature oriented and is also accessible from the village through a picturesque medieval road, a 10 minutes walk. Unfortunately, the castle is not wheelchair accessible and the closest access by vehicle is the village below. If desired, our guardian will carry the luggages for you up to the door. Remote yet close to everything, the castle is located a 45 minute drive from Turin and just 12 kilometers from lake Sirio at the entrance of Ivrea, main city of the region of Canavese. Ideal for nature lovers, active young families with children, who enjoy fresh air , hiking, mountain climbing, cultural activities and restaurants that offer fine regional cooking.
The view at any time of day is striking. Depending on where you set your eyes, looking from the beautiful terrace you can see the valle d'Aosta and Settimo Vittone, the Canavese the castle of Montalto and the lovely river Dora.
The three story building can accommodate 10 people comfortably, to a maximum of 12. From the lobby decorated with lovely frescoes, at your right, you will find the homey country-style dining-room and a fully equipped kitchen. To your left, a few steps lead you to the double living-room that gives you access to a lovely terrace facing the gardens. On the first floor you will find two bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other with queen size bed and a single bed, both rooms share a full bathroom. The third floor hosts the royal living room with its large decorative fireplace, the master bedroom with it's beautiful wood balcony and a queen size bed, three smaller bedrooms, two with single beds and another with a queen size bed, two full bathrooms and the winding staircase that brings you up to the room of the tower. The room of the tower has two single beds. You can also use the comfortable sofa bed in the Royal living room.
Imagine waking up in a peaceful room undisturbed if only by birdsongs, the sun pouring from the windows. The castle is constantly exposed to the sun yet the garden that encloses it and the tall trees provide plenty of shade all through the day and the temperature inside its thick walls is comfortable.
You will spend many relaxing hours in the gardens and on the terrace with it's view of the mountains, reading, sipping wine, enjoying your meals and at night enjoying the beautiful starry skies.
The Conad grocery store is at the entrance of Settimo Vittone, so if you walk up to the castle from the side of the stairs (230 steps!), take the time to pause now and then, to take your breath and enjoy the scenery of the mountains and the river down below.
You can plan excursions to the small neighbouring village of Cesnola up to the romantic ruins of its castle among the trees, or take the old medieval road of via Nomaglio that leads upwards to the village of Andrate. Should you decide to visit one of the many castles of the Valle d'Aosta, Fénis, Issogne and the outstanding fortress of Bard with its museum of the Alps are waiting for you. Italy is the land of great wines and the Piemonte region is no exception, just a few kilometers into the valley, you will find Carema reputed for it's exceptional red wine made mostly of Nebbiolo... You can decide for a journey to Cervinia and Gressonney in the mountains or to the roman city of Aosta or two hours south you will find yourselves on the mediterranean side of Ithe Italian Riviera.
Keywords: castle. castello. mountain. climbing. hiking. views. family reunion.
We are brother and sister, living now at both ends of Canada, respectively Montreal and Vancouver and have spent many of our childhood summers at the castle. This historical monument has a lot character and we want to share the experience of this very unique and magnificent property.
How the property came into our family.
Monique Arnoldi our mother was born in Brussels in 1926. A few years after the death of his Belgian wife, our grandfather, who was a doctor, remarried with Maria-Teresa Scalero one of the three daughters of the Italian composer Rosario Scalero. Our mother was still a child at the time and followed her father and stepmother in Rome, spending some time in Montestrutto that was brought in 1930 by the composer Rosario Scalero and used as a summer house. Our father André Arnoldi, a Canadian journalist from Montréal had joined the army and was sent to Italy as a captain. While stationing in Rome, he befriended our grandfather who in turn presented our mother to him. They married in Rome and came back to live in Canada after the war.
Maxime et Dominique Arnoldi purchased this castle in 1930
The castle has been in the family since 1930. Art and most importantly, music has been part in its life. Our great-grand father, Rosario Scalero, was a violinist and composer who gave composition courses in America from 1919 to1947, notably at the Curtis Institute of Philadephia. Between 1930 and 1934, he brought some of his students to the castle in the summers to immerse them in the atmosphere of italian music. Amongst his students, Nino Rota, Samuel Barber, Giancarlo Menotti and Rudolf Schirmer were the most famous to spend time at the castle. The property has been lovingly restored by our mother, Monique Arnoldi, passionate about it's beauty and history and who received there many guests over the years until her passing away in 2007. The castle is a 45 minute drive from the Torino airport of Caselle and a two hour drive of the Milano airports, Linate and Malpensa, and located in the easily accessible village of Montestrutto, Settimo Vittone. Cars can safely be parked in the church parking lot. There are two ways to access the property: from the village, a 10 minute walk uphill will bring you through a lovely medieval road and to the gated orchard of the property. Access can also be gained from the other side of the village, from the state road SS26 where cars can be parked in the field at the bottom of the hill. An energizing hike over the 230 steps (!!) will bring you to the walled property and you will be rewarded with it's beautiful views. The remote location of the castle makes it's a very private and unique setting.
Peaceful, the beauty and unique character of it's architecture, the enjoyment of the countryside yet still close to facilities and grocery stores, the regional cooking, museums, the mountains, concerts and weekly outdoor markets, charming one day trips to fascinating surrounding towns and cities such as the beautiful northern lakes Lago Maggiore, Lago di Como and Lago d'Orta, one hour away. Some of our favourite rituals is to cook with the wonderful regional ingredients and sipping the varied exceptional (and very affordable !) wines, enjoy long dinners spent on the terrace overlooking the mountains, in the shadow of the castle, surrounded by the subtly lit gardens.
An historical overview...
The name Montestrutto derives from the latin “Monte Obstructus”, that confirms the extreme strategic importance of the castle as a post to guard the passage in the valley. It is thought that the first installation goes back to the Xth century. The castle is first mentioned in 1221 in a document evoking a conflict between two cities of the Canavese. It is destroyed in the 15th century during wars between the French and Spanish. Towards the end of the 18th century the castle was passed from the Marchese and Marchesa di Muraglio to the Pecco family who completes a small house and the actual tower in 1915. In 1919, Broglio, a Milanese industrialist acquires the premices. He wishes to rebuild the castle on the model of the feudal residences of the Valley of Aoste. He engages the best cabinetmakers and craftsmen of the area under the direction of the prestigious architect Vittorio Mestturino that finds his inspiration in the historical castle of Issogne. Construction is completed in 1924. Reverses of fortune oblige Broglio to sell the property to a Swiss, Abbegg from whom Rosario Scalero ultimately buys the castle in 1930...
This castle is located in a perfect location to explore Northwestern Italy. In three weeks we covered Milan, Turin, Mont Blanc, Barolo, and a lot more. There are endless adventures less than an hour from the location and this is a relatively undiscovered part of Italy, so you won't run into many tourists, which is refreshing!
The castle itself is really cool. It's not for everyone. For starters, its about 250 steps from the valley floor to the entrance. I got used to it pretty quickly, but it was too much for my 75 year old parents. Also, this is not a luxury accommodation. No air conditioning (which wasn't the end of the world, there was a cool breeze at night), and fairly rudimentary bathrooms.
Still, its a castle! There's a "secret passageway" that my kids absolutely loved, and there is a medieval church outside the gates that rings in the time. Beautiful high ceilings and ancient woodwork throughout. It's definitely a memorable experience!
The owners were very easy to communicate with and the caretaker Ibrahim was also very helpful.
Overall, a great vacation. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary in an overlooked and fabulous part of Italy, Castello Montestrutto is a great choice!
1. Driving in the first day, castle on the hill, climbing the step, thru the gate - wow! It's even better than the photos!
2. Dining on the terrace, valley lights below, stars above.
3. Croquet at the castle!
4. Italian food and wine.
5. Castle history - Napoleon's general stayed here!
6. Driving up the valley and into the mountains. A quick dip into Switzerland!
7. The roman bridge in the small village up the road.
8. The umpah band leading the hikers on the local mountain trails, all viewed from the castle.
9. Homemade gelato from the village below.
10. A great place to get together with friends and explore Italy!
Thanks to the owners and caretakers for such a wonderful experience!
If you're looking for a unique experience, this is it. The castle is truly amazing and the owners have managed to create a very comfortable environment for guests. The kitchen is well equipped and the cooking of meals was very manageable. The temperature of the castle in mid-September was comfortable and had been a concern for us on chilly evenings. The one drawback was the 230 steps it took to get onto the castle grounds. Not for the faint of heart. Doable, yes, but a challenge for some of those in our group. It is a unique experience and one I'd recommend for those who are searching for something you wouldn't expect to get in most parts of the world. A real find.
Don't let the steps intimidate you...think about it as an extra serving of pasta. They really aren't bad and about half way up there is a beautiful view to enjoy. Nine women went for 10 days and loved every minute. Everything we needed or wanted was there. There is a wonderfully complete kitchen for when we felt like cooking then a long dining table to enjoy eating. We had nice mornings drinking coffee on the terrace overlooking the beautiful valley (watching the serfs got to work).
Within walking distance there is a wonderful grocery store, some restaurants, coffe shops and bars and a marvelous gelato store.
Within driving distance there is the great wine country of Asti, Alba and Barolo and of course there is local wine. There were places to go if you felt like it (we drove to Switzerland for lunch one day) and places to sit and read while sipping your wine when you felt like it.
When exploring the castle we could always find a new detail to enjoy. Obviously we all liked it.
Our stay at Castello di Montestrutto was one of our most memorable vacations ever! We felt very lucky to spend ten days here and were surprised about the many things the region has to offer.
The hike up the steps was well manageable for all ages in our family (4 to 77) – we did not rush and took the time to enjoy the amazing views. The inside of the castle is a well-done mix of antiques and recent additions in the bedrooms and kitchen that don’t interfere with the spirit of the castle. The owners treated us like friends of the family - they were very accommodating and it was always a pleasure to communicate with them. We also received many good recommendations, both via email and from the owner’s notes at the castle. The never-ending choice of activities, many of them within less than an hour’s drive was wonderful. Whether it was a hike to the next village, grocery shopping at the market in Ivrea, swimming at Lago di Viverone, visiting Turin, taking a gondola up Mont Blanc or going on a boat ride on the Lago Maggiore, we found a new activity every day. In the evenings though, we really enjoyed relaxing on the terrace and drinking the local wine. We all hope to come back to Castello di Montestrutto one day soon!
We loved everything about this place! The castle itself, the surrounding area, and the helpfulness of the owners and the caretaker were all outstanding.
From the pictures, we were expecting the physical structure of the castle to be very impressive, but were expecting interior creature comforts more on the rustic side. We couldn't have been more wrong! The kitchen, parlors, bathrooms, and bedrooms are all very well appointed. The spacious interior, with bedrooms and common areas spread over three floors (actually four floors if you count the very cool bedroom up in the tower, reached by a winding staircase) made this an ideal place for our group of 4 adults, 3 20 year-old guys, and 2 17 year-old girls.
We had been elsewhere in Italy before, but had never been to this part of Italy. Northwestern Italy is now our favorite region! The Canavese region where the castle is located, and the nearby Valle d'Aosta are not overcrowded with tourists in summer, but offer an amazing variety of things to do and see. One week was way too short!
This is the perfect area to visit for wine lovers, food lovers, history buffs, outdoor recreation enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates beautiful scenery and picturesque small towns. Most of our excursions combined most, if not all of the above, and the furthest we drove was less than 1 hour from the castle! For example, the hike that starts right outside the castle gate up to hill to the village of Nomaglio, on an ancient stone road, through woods, vineyards, and past ancient buildings.
Another day we drove up the nearby Champorcher Valley into the Alps, parked the car when the road ended and went for a hike. Besides the spectacular scenery, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of salumi, chestnuts in honey, and polenta with stewed beef at a trailside refugio.
We also visited the city of Aosta, with its Roman ruins in the town center, spent a relaxing day at nearby Lago Sirio, and spent a day in Torino. And of course, we spent time enjoying our castle!
For wine afficionados, visits to the Carema and Donnas wine cooperatives just five and ten minutes up the road, respectively, are highly recommended. Wines from both these co-ops are available in my local wineshop in NJ, but at nearly 3 times the price! And whether you're a wine lover or not, the vineyards are very picturesque, with their curious stone and concrete pillars and pergolas on stone-walled terraces on impossibly steep slopes.
Rock climbing in the village of Montestrutto, at the foot of the castle. Hiking on the medieval road leading to the castle to the top of the mountain. Visits of a multitude of medieval and renaissance castles, both in Piedmont and in the neighboring province of the Val d'Aosta, 6 km away from the castle. The Bard fortress, the Castello d'Issogne, Castello di Fenis to name only a few. Sightings of the roman bridge at Pont St-Martin. Vineyards in the neighboring region of the Langhe, slow food, eco-tourism, swimming at nearby Lago Sirio, the Alps, 2 hour drive away, free concerts in many churches of the region, local cuisine. 1 hour and a half away from northern lakes, Lago d'Orta, Lago Maggiore, Lago di Como, and the Alessi factory at Ormegna. Driving times to Turin 45 minutes, Aosta 40 min., Milano 90 min., Genoa 2 hours, Geneva Switzerland 2 hrs., Lyon France 3.5 hrs.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest|
Regular fee 2940 euros per week (7 nights) based on an occupancy of 6. Additional guests are 175 euros per guest, per 7 nights, every additionnal day is 420 euros. This property is rented for a minimum of 3 days . Multiple weeks are acceptable.
450 Euros per night for Holifday season. (December 23-January 3)
Deposit of a third of the value of the stay required upon reservation.
Balance due two weeks before the start of the stay.
No refund of deposit If reservation is cancelled 30 days or less before arrival date.
50% refund of the balance if cancelled 48 hours or more before arrival.
No refund if cancelled in less than 48 hours.