03 Jun Holiday Farm in a Castle
Living in a medieval castle is the dream of every child (and even of many adults, such as myself for example). And if we add very good home cooking, stunning views over the hills and a pool just ready to be dived in, I would say that the picture is perfect. And that’s what we found in Maranzana, a small village not far from Asti and Alessandria.
The farm and farm-stay Ma Che Bel Castello (“What a beautiful Castle”) is named after a famous Italian nursery rhyme and Paola and Giorgio, the owners, have thought of every detail to accommodate families. The two rooms have separate bedrooms, perfect for couples with kids. They also collaborate with the food blogger Camilla Assandri to organise (on request) a fun pastry workshop for children.
“The thing that surprises many foreign tourists is the family atmosphere of the farm-holiday.” – told us Paola – “Children are always free to play and explore the castle and gardens, enjoy themselves and have their own space“.
The kitchen is the kingdom of Giorgio’s mother, Rosy: the cooking is very homely, with homemade bread and pasta freshly prepared each day. Each dish is very creative and made using the garden’s vegetables plus plenty of local products.
Built in the year 1300 under the Marquis of Monferrato and passed under the dominion of the noble family of Ghilini of Alessandria, the castle was later divided into three parts and sold in the ‘800. One of the buyers was Paola’s great-grandfather. After being a partisan’s base during WW2, the father of Paola restored the property. Gradually the idea to revive the castle began to take place, and in 2014 Paola and Giorgio opened it as a farm-stay, starting to grow vegetables in the neighbouring lands.
“At the beginning, we thought it would take a lot of effort, however, many tourists started to immediately appreciate the magic of the place. Of course, we work very hard, but living in the countryside close to a small town and, at the same time, being able to host always new people from all over the world is really fulfilling. And, come on, we live in a Castle after all!“.
Agritourism Ma Che Bel Castello
Address: Piazza Marconi 10, 14040 Maranzana AT
Phone: +39 0141 777 210
Mobile: +39 377 438 0341
Facebook: Azienda Agricola Ma che bel Castello
Written by Tommaso Zavattaro | Edited by Monica Marescalchi | Photography by Alessandro Ghisoni