Get off the tourist track and experience real rural Italy at Casa Terracotta, a cosy self-catering holiday home in the peaceful mountain village of Masanti (810 slm). The village has just 24 residents, and nestles on the slopes of Monte Pelpi in the Ceno river valley, in the heart of the idyllic Apennines . Masanti has beautiful views, an abundance of wildlife, excellent walking, and a famous source of natural fresh mineral water which is bottled nearby. The stunning scenery has high peaks and passes, steep valleys, forests, tiny hillside villages, and hairpin bends taking you from one amazing view to the next.
The property, a little farmhouse built in the 1800s, has recently been renovated. It has a small garden with table and chairs and exclusive off road parking. Accommodation is accessed by a flight of stone steps. A lobby leads to the double bedroom featuring a stone arch believed to have been built in the 1700s. The bathroom has a shower, toilet, sink, electric shaver point and heated towel rail.
Stairs lead up to the second floor studio. The seating area has coffee tables, comfy chairs, reading lamps, satellite TV, a DVD player with a few DVDs supplied, and a radio/CD/tape player. There is a small dining table with chairs, and the kitchen is equipped with a fridge/freezer, toaster, kettle, microwave, small oven with grill and twin electric hob, and the all-important coffee percolator for making your own espresso.
Within a five minute drive is the local shop, Post Office and two friendly bars, which also offer good meals. Within ten minutes you will find, in one direction a very good restaurant, and in the other a pizzeria.
The nearest town, 12 km away, is picturesque Bedonia, situated amongst some of the highest peaks in the Apennines, and 96 km west of the beautiful city of Parma.
The area offers opportunities for cycling, skiing, hiking, trout fishing, trail riding, para-gliding, hang-gliding, and swimming, in the river Ceno or at the local swimming pools. It is perfect for photography, painting, bird watching and studying the diverse plant and wild life. Visitors can enjoy tours of the spectacular local castles, fortified towns and museums, and the excellent local produce in the informal and friendly restaurants. A really special treat might be a day being pampered at one of the nearby thermal spas.
Your hosts, Suzanne and Pietro, have a good knowledge of the local area; Pietro is fluent in English, Italian and the local dialect; Suzanne is English and is working on her Italian! They have been welcoming guests for several years. One recent guest wrote - "We had a wonderful stay at Casa Terracotta - the cottage is really lovely and quite unique with every comfort you could wish for and the whole surrounding area is just beautiful. The rates are very reasonable and the owners are extremely friendly and welcoming and supply plenty of information in the cottage about the local and wider area. I would very highly recommend a stay here and will be making a return visit."
Casa Terracotta is an ideal base for exploring the region if you are looking to purchase a new home in Italy. The area is relatively unknown to non-Italians and is therefore unspoilt and offers excellent value in a wide range of properties. Your hosts have good local knowledge and can help with the bureaucratic processes of house buying or renovation.
The closest large town is Parma, home of the famous violets, cheese, Barilla pasta, and ham. Masanti is also a great base from which to discover Milano, Portofino, Cinque Terre, Chiavari, Sestri Levanti, Santa Margherita, Pisa, Bologna, Lucca, Prato, Florence, Genova, Venice, Verona, Cremona, the exclusive Italian Riviera, Piacenza, Modena, Ferrara and Ravenna.
|Size||Sleeps up to 2, 1 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Chiavari 66 km|
|Nearest Amenities||3 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Parma 96 km, Nearest railway: Borgo Val Di Taro 16 km|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|General||TV, CD player, Satellite TV|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer|
|Rooms||1 bedroom, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (1), Dining seats for 2, Lounge seats for 2|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Private garden, Bicycles available|
The Region Emilia Romagna, in Northern Italy offers a wide range of topography; mountains, rivers, fertile plains and is rich in culture. Some of the best known food in the world comes from Emilia along with luxury cars like Ferrari. The Region has been referred to as a "great open-air museum".
There are numerous castles and fortified towns in the area, beautiful little cities such as Parma, Piacenza and Bobbio nearby. And further afield gems like Bologna, Ferrara, Ravenna or Faenza. Three cities in Emilia Romagna have been included in Unesco's World Heritage list.
During the summer months there are numerous local fates, fares and festivals too numerous to mention, each with their own local feel. With many of the major centres also holding spectacular Palio and other historical re-enactments.
The imediate area is about 96 kilometres west of the beautiful city of Parma and is predominatley mountainous, with two major vallies, for the rivers Taro and Ceno.
Masanti is situated on the slopes of Monte Pelpi in the Ceno river valley and has beautiful views of the Ceno Valley, an abundance of wildlife, excellent walking, and has a famous source of natural fresh mineral water which is bottled by Norda in its plant nearby. The area is also renowned for its Porcini or Cep mushrooms and truffles; Masanti is on La Strada del Fungo Porcino di Borgotaro. These delicious fungi are served in the many good restaurants in the area situated along the world famous Le strade dei vini e dei sapori. The scenery in this area is stunning, with high peaks and passes, steep valleys, forests, tiny stone villages clinging to the sides of the hills, and exciting hair-pin-bend roads taking you from one amazing view to the next.
Masanti has proper season's with summer temperatures are in the mid 20's getting much hotter lower down on the plains. The mountains in the winter time are covered with snow we have been known to experience - 20 in the winter!