Friday, February 11, 2011

Castello Pavone, Ivrea - Piedmonte, Val d'Aosta Italy

Courtyard of the Castello

A very brief visit to Castello di Pavone in the town of Ivrea on the outskirts between the Val D'Aosta,  and Piedmonte, Italy was worth every Euro. Luky to have come in on the tail of two groups who vacated that very day and the weekend before Valentines, we had the place all to ourselves. The historic site has been lovingly restored and is dutifully maintained. You will find yourself immersed in an environment with most of the modern comforts you might desire and a nice dash of hardship to remind you how difficult it is to live in a castle, even today.

The courtyard
 The owner is the only one who has a vehicle in the upper portion of the grounds; all us lowlifers must park below the dwelling and climb a nice steep set of flagstone stairs to the outer wall where there is a door built into the rock (remember this when you pack your bags...).  :-)  You must ring the bell to enter and the door will then slowly open automatically. As it opens the view beyond comes alive and you descend into a short tunnel of brick terraces until you arrive to the front of the castle. They provide help when asked, to bring your bags up to the castle and then to your room and if you are not young and strong, take the offer because the stairs do not end here. :-) Getting to your room could add in quite a few more and every step is worth it in my opinion. The staff is wonderful, helpful and happy.
Stained glass window of the suite
We were welcomed to our Royal Suite Pavone with a glass of Prosecco and promptly reserved our table in the dinning room for dinner. Having dinned there months prior, we knew dinner was a must; the ambience is fabulous.

The suite had one window and three portholes, yes a dark room with the dark wood ceiling but so typical of these old structures it just makes the whole experience more of an adventure.  There are no elevators here and wondered how they received deliveries in the winter and during the rainy season because there is the old original river rock stone drive and I suppose their suppliers have a very difficult time during inclement weather (horribly slippery). Be sure to stop in the bar (the armory) and have a glass of wine and some outstanding appetizers.
Sunrise from the one window of the suite.

The dinning room is an experience and it is not just one room but made up of various adjoining rooms; one seems to be a little celestial room, up a few stairs off to the left of the fireplace in the main room and then to the right there is another room but I did not get a chance to see that one. The tables are large and round and stately; just perfect for a romantic and leisurely repast. The wine celler is well stocked so you can accompany their excellent food with an excellent wine. If you stay more than one day, I suggest requesting to have your bottle of outstanding red wine opened before dinner to let it air. Such a shame to not order one of these wines because you do not have time to let it breathe properly. We suggested they try out a Vinturi and see for themselves how this could give them a greater amount of flexibility with client satisfaction (and sell more of those fabulous reds).

We did not have the chance to taste breakfast but I am convinced it was nothing shy of their standard. After a late dinner, there just was not room for breakfast even though they called at 10 to ask if we would like them to bring breakfast to our room. Check out is at 11 so if you would like a slower morning, I would ask them if they do late checkouts; even at a price it is worth it. The spell you fall into while there, is  a shame to break so abruptly in the morning with the hassle of getting breakfast, packing and hauling your things back to the car. I was truly amazed watching these young waiters whisk platters of food up staircases to well hidden meeting rooms and small dinning areas for private parties and the like; I think I would have liked to have a job like that when I was young, what a great way to work and get exercise!


leigh said...

great pics and interesting post!


Snow White said...

Hi Leigh,
Thanks for stopping by! It is nice to know once in a while my blabbering provides some entertainment. :-)