Casks & Tubs in Cave di Moleto, Italy

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Casks & Tubs in Cave di Moleto, Italy

Topping the vineyard laden hills of the Piedmont (Piemonte) region in Italy are charming little ancient villages with quaint lodgings, wonderful food and wine specialties. With a romantic getaway in mind, Claudia, hostess extraordinaire, took us on a driving tour down the lovely rural lanes of Monferrato to show us her favorite villas. She insisted that we choose one for our evening‘s accommodations.

The calming beauty of our trip was broken -- just once -- when a madcap, out-of-nowhere Vespa driving maniac whipped around our car and Claudia exclaimed, “Mamma Mia!,” her hands gesturing wildly. Italians actually say that in real life! We had mistakenly thought that the phrase was a cliché limited to Super Mario Bros and bad canned spaghetti commercials.  We learn something new everyday.

We strolled through several medieval villages then settled upon staying at Cave di Moleto. Moleto is a small community that includes a working vineyard and winery, restaurant and hotel. A small outdoor theatre with a 360 degree panorama, hosting fantastic jazz concerts. The view the from theatre is spectacular, overlooking the Valle dei Frati (Valley of the Friars) and the rolling hills at the feet of the Alps. Romantic?  Si.

The name Cave di Moleto comes from the ancient quarries of marl (clay) in the area but is also a clever bit of word play. Cave in Italian is the word for mines or quarries but in French it means the place to store wine. The village itself dates back to the late 700s and in 1992, the estate was bought and extensive renovations were undertaken. The winery incorporates the old wine cellars with the technologies of today. The renovations are impressive and were obviously done with much love and the utmost care.

We were given a tour of the lodgings, while listening to the vineyard workers in a spirited game of ping pong. There were twelve spacious rooms in all, each with distinctive and whimsical touches, utilizing the art of Trompe l'oeil (we spent a least an hour just staring at the ceiling above our bed). We selected the Camera Sant'Orsola for its wonderful little balcony overlooking a little chapel, the beautiful bed with its ornate wooden headboard (like cathedral doors) and the biggest bathroom we had ever been in. 

Since choosing a room for its bathroom was a first for us, it seems a detailed description should be made: In the middle of the huge room stood a free standing, deep, no, VERY deep, white cast iron, four legged tub. The toilet and bidet each were nestled away with deco-like, back lit partitions with a step-up vanity tucked between. The ceiling was extremely high and elaborately painted. A full wall was dedicated to windows overlooking the courtyard. Molto bella.

We spent our evening strolling around the village, jaws agape in historical and architectural wonder, then hiking through the vineyards at sunset. We finished with a bottle of the estate’s Barbera del Monferrato perfect for the “Symphony of our own sausages to cutting board Monferrato” in a candlelit courtyard. Little details were everywhere -- even the lanterns were made from wine carafes. Cosi’ romantico.

To end a perfect day, we retired to our room to drift off contemplating the ceiling.

David & Veronica,

To see more pictures of beautiful Cave di Moleto (including the bathroom!), go to

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sylviandavid says:
What a lovely place.... sounds so perfect! We only go on travbuddy and don't go off the site.... your descriptions are so great! I'll watch for your other blogs and reviews! Sylvia
Posted on: May 17, 2009
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