03 Nov2016

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The journey door to door took almost 30 hours. A great flight on Qatar Airways from Manila to Doha, a pitstop in a phenomenal passenger lounge, an onward connection to Rome, then a horrendous wait in line at immigration, a longer wait in a crowded terminal before a tiny commuter flight to the city of Turin in Northern Italy, and finally a 2 hour drive to the outskirts of Alba, and we had arrived in the commune or town of Benevello. With a population of just 451, down some 10% from 520 in 1901, this is literally one of the smallest towns I have ever stayed in while on holiday in Europe. Home for a few days was the Villa D’Amelia, a “Small Luxury Hotels” member with a bistro and a Michelin-starred restaurant on the property.

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Located roughly 12+ minutes drive from the town of Alba, Villa D’Amelia had a beautiful bucolic setting and fairly comfortable (albeit somewhat small) rooms. A short walk would take you through the main street in Benevello and slightly longer trek uphill ended at a simple church and a pretty good view of the surrounding areas.

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The hotel had a beautiful courtyard that was the perfect setting for an outdoor lunch, or early evening cocktails.

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While we were there in late September, the daytime temperatures still warmed up to the 70’s, though early in the day it was a nippy 50’s, at least for those of us landing from tropical climes.

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Had I brought my swimming trunks, I probably would have given the pool a try on more than one occasion…

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We were quite tired when we arrived, and had a late lunch in the courtyard, a brief walk up to the church in town, a light dinner, and we passed out until early the next day. That’s me, the next morning, all ready to zoom, zoom, zoom all over Alba and the Piedmont area… :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. marilen says:

    Well, here we go, MM.. awaiting the rest of your posts on your Italian holiday. Hurray!!

    Nov 3, 2016 | 10:02 pm

     
  2. sha says:

    I just left Tuscany and you look fab.. and oh the weather in Italy is gorgeous

    Nov 3, 2016 | 10:03 pm

     
  3. Betchay says:

    So how long did you hold your breath? Kidding aside, you look fit and chic!
    And the balcony is so… Romeo and Juliet!

    Nov 3, 2016 | 10:39 pm

     
  4. ami says:

    Loving the green pants MM. When in Rome…

    Nov 4, 2016 | 9:32 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    ami, thanks. :) Betchay, the strategic dark green sweater, angle of the opening, strong stomach suck-in are all essential at my age. :) sha, there are no yachts in Tuscany, no? marilen, yup, virtual holiday. :)

    Nov 4, 2016 | 1:17 pm

     
  6. phil says:

    Fabulous outfit! And a dream small luxury hotel to stay and rural town to explore…
    I simply love the pair of shoes you’re wearing, a perfect match for the green pants. May I know the brand, if you don’t mind?
    BTW, did you try the Michelin-starred resto?

    Nov 4, 2016 | 3:00 pm

     
  7. Cheese says:

    Nice outfit sir! I just might copy your ootd :)

    Nov 4, 2016 | 3:06 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    Cheese, hahaha, I had to google “OOTD” to get the translation. :) phil, we did try the starred restaurant, will write about it soon. The shoes are Cole Haan’s, purchased at a Thanksgiving sale last year, 30% off at the store, and another 30% from my credit card, so they were very, very cheap. :)

    Nov 4, 2016 | 4:39 pm

     
  9. solivare says:

    Hi Marketman! Avid lurker since 2013 and had a chance to eat at Zubuchon Escario last weekend. Can’t wait till there’s a Zubuchon here in Manila. My friends have no idea why I was being such a fangirl urging them to eat there before we leave Cebu. hehehe. Also waiting on your posts from your vacation in Italy. A virtual vacation indeed!

    Nov 4, 2016 | 5:58 pm

     
  10. Marketman says:

    Hi Solivare. May I ask how your meal at Escario was last weekend? Anything we could have done to improve the service or food? We will be opening in Makati by late January 2017 if all goes as planned (that’s a big if I think)… so we hope to welcome you to the new place then…

    Nov 4, 2016 | 8:03 pm

     
  11. Natie says:

    Very dashingly handsome, MM! looking forward to the European posts

    Nov 4, 2016 | 10:10 pm

     
  12. Footloose says:

    …in Makati by late January 2017… Hear that BettyQ? Time to get ready for love.

    Nov 5, 2016 | 12:21 am

     
  13. yette says:

    Yey! A Zubuchon in Makati. Wohoooh!

    Nov 5, 2016 | 9:38 am

     
  14. Gej says:

    What a beautiful place!

    Nov 6, 2016 | 10:55 pm

     
  15. wendy says:

    Oh my MM!!! make sure this pushes thru .. I have been waiting for this for years …

    Nov 7, 2016 | 1:49 pm

     
  16. solivare says:

    Hi Marketman! The service was great and the staff were very attentive. We ate at around 8:00 pm and the place wasn’t crowded. I was with two of my friends and we ordered lechon, pinakbet and sizzling prawns with chorizo. We also had the ube cheesecake and dessert sampler. I loved the pinakbet and prawns. I was a bit underwhelmed with the lechon, primarily because the flesh was a bit tough but the flavor was perfect and the skin was perfect. My friends raved about the biko and I’ve always been a fan of budbod.I don’t blame Zubuchon for the sour mangoes though because it was off season. hehehe. I liked how clean the place was and everything that I hoped to see (after years of reading your blog) did not disappoint. Based on what we ate and the service at the time we dined, I’d give an honest rating of 4/5. I’m glad you’re opening in Makati because that’s where I’m from! I’ll certainly have a chance to try more of what you have on offer at the restaurant.

    Nov 7, 2016 | 4:17 pm

     
  17. Dianne says:

    woohoo! Zubuchon in Makati! Finally! Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers! :)

    Nov 7, 2016 | 10:20 pm

     
  18. Footloose says:

    @Dianne, just call him Marketman, we don’t want him getting swellheaded.

    Nov 7, 2016 | 10:30 pm

     
  19. Marketman says:

    Footloose, HAHAHA. Solivare, thanks for your comments, and so pleased you had a good meal, albeit with some areas of improvement possible. Will keep readers advised on the progress of our Manila adventure here on the blog. Thanks.

    Nov 7, 2016 | 10:55 pm

     
  20. Dianne says:

    Footloose, such an honor to have you reply to my comment! Haha!

    Nov 8, 2016 | 2:03 am

     
  21. ami says:

    Zubuchon in Makati by January? Good news indeed! I hope it’s in a very accessible and parking-friendly part of Makati :)

    Nov 8, 2016 | 10:21 am

     
  22. lee says:

    @footloose that is really funny!

    Nov 8, 2016 | 1:21 pm

     
  23. Christine says:

    You look great!

    I was in Cebu last week and had an amazing dinner at Zubuchon. The lechon was perfect! We even bought the frozen lechon to HK so we can share with friends. It was still amazing after the flight and re-heating. Staff was very helpful and friendly. I wish I had more room in my stomach to eat everything on the menu ;)

    Nov 9, 2016 | 12:46 am

     
  24. joyyy says:

    @Footloose too funny! you just made my afternoon, haha!

    Nov 11, 2016 | 4:46 pm

     
  25. gayedgc says:

    Wow! Zubuchon in Makati! Can’t wait for January. :)

    Nov 15, 2016 | 3:07 pm

     
  26. Myra says:

    Looking for the like button. Naah it’s not FB. Looking great Mr. MM.

    Dec 5, 2016 | 6:20 am

     

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