El Profesor

Activities / Trips

In this page we list some ossible activities and trips


If you are looking for peace and quietness you will have plenty of it: you can borrow many English (or even Italian, French, German, Greek and Latin!) books from our small library, play the upright Petrof piano, or use chessboard; you can become an expert in wine tasting or fine food by visiting the caves and restaurants in the surrounding villages; if you like sport there is a tennis court and a boules court at walking distance, horse riding at 1KM, golf course at 20KM; moreover you can walk in the woods and use our bicycles. The 2006 Turin Olimpic Games sky trails and sky slopes are little over an hour away by car.

In summer we install a five-meter diameter above-ground swimming pool; children they can also use the twin swing, the sandbox and many toys.


You can buy everyday items in the small shop that you will find on the way to Roatto (the meat and salami are outstanding). A supermarket is in Villafranca (Gulliver, you will find on the road for Asti, 500m on the left side). Open 8-20 and even on Sunday morning and afternoon.
In Maretto (1 KM) there is a very small street market on Sunday morning (vegetables, cheese, etc.); another is in Monale (3KM)
You can find larger and more interesting street markets in Villafranca (5 KM) on Tuesday morning and in Villanova (12KM) on Thursday morning, but the biggest street markets are in Asti (Palio and Alfieri squares) on Wednesday and Saturday (morning for fruits, cheese and vegetables, all-day for suits, shoes, etc) give a look at the remaining stands for agricultural tools in Palio square. In Asti (Catena square) there is a very good daily street farmer market too: the northern part of the square is for farmer, whilst the southern part is for dealers. Try the very good home-made cheese (only on Saturday, north-east corner)
The complete list of village markets is in thislink
During the summer there are country festivals all over the region list
The local sports: "tambass or tamburello a muro", boules (petanque)

Short trips

Mombarone (near Asti) old underground houses photo tour

Pliocene marine fossil outcrop and a fossil sanctuary near Asti: Valleandona

St. John Bosco was born 10KM from the house: here is hisbirth house

Museo di arti e mestieri (old rural society museum)Cisterna d'Asti

Romanic churches around Roatto:

Roatto is in the middle of the Romanic area: 30 well preserved churches or chapels, dated 1000-1300. For a map, list and many photos: www.osservatoriodelpaesaggio.org select “Guida alla scoperta del Romanico” The most interesting are:

Asti (18KM)

Enter the town, plenty of parking places (but not in the centre and not Wed/Sat – big market); to park inside blue lines you need to pay a fee (about 1.2 Euro/hour). Medium-age town, you will find many towers, old buildings and churches. Reserve half-day. Visit the center by walk: San Secondo square, with the city hall (1700) and the church (1400); the Cathedral (1300) and the nearby square. Give a look at two old shops: "Merceria Cantino" - Via Garibaldi 23 (haberdashery) and "Casalinghi Terzuolo", Via Brofferio 32 (old cellar under the stree level, you can find pots, saucepans, lids, plates, glasses).


Nice town, famous for truffles, many shops in the main street; interesting church and square.

Trip to Lakes (2 hours drive):

Our good choices: Lago d’Orta and Lago Maggiore. Lago d’Orta: by car, go toward Asti, take A21 highway toward Piacenza before entering Asti, after 30KM from Asti take A26 (toward Gravellona Toce), then exit Arona, take the road for Lago d’Orta, park at Orta San Giulio. Orta San Giulio is a charming village on the lake, it is advisable to take a boat and go to the little island in the middle of the lake. Lago maggiore: same road up to Arona, then take the road for Stresa. Park there and (if you like) go to magnificent Borromeo’s Islands (gardens, villa).


You can reach the Mediterranean coast in slightly more than one our by car, go toward Asti , take A21 highway toward Piacenza before entering Asti town, then after 30KM take A26 highway to Genova, pay attention to speed limits and after 60KM more you will reach the sea; Genova is not a good place to swim, so follow signs for Sestri Levante, after 30-40 more KM you can choose between Recco (then walk up to Camogli – charming village - or take a boat for secluded San Fruttuoso spot), Rapallo (boat for Portofino), Sestri Levante (very nice beach and village). If you are past Genova, near Recco (one hour and 20 minutes from Asti) around noon, you can test: Ristorante La Tavernetta, Piazza Matteotti 4, Recco - http://www.ristirantelatavernettarecco.com/menu/focaccia-formaggio-recco the tipycal recipe is "focaccia al formaggio"; whilst if you are near Sestri Levante (one hour and 45 minutes from Asti) around noon, you can test: Ristorante Polpo Mario - Via 25 Aprile 163, Sestri Levante (Ge) - http://www.polpomario.it the tipycal recipe is octopus with potatoes. Another option is by train: park the car near Asti Railway Station (Piazza del Palio, you will find free parking everyday but Wed/Sat - the big market), from Asti to Rapallo the train take 1h40m, check http://www.ferroviedellostato.it/util/inglese.jsp . Cinque Terre is a bit longer, and the only local viable option is by train (Asti-Monterosso from 2h30m), check the site for best timetable choices (Cinque Terre – five villages - railway station are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore).

Torino - Turin

The capital of Piedmont region is a city with a majestic architecture, an elegant appearance and an old-fashioned air. This city has been the Italy capital, and this is still evident in its architecture. The monument symbol of the city is the Mole Antonelliana, today housing the National Museum of Cinema. Turin is the city of the very big and wide streets with their beautiful arcades that lead to the Po River. Turin city of the mystery, it is called “the city of the devil” (with Lyon and Prague it is one of the three cities which compose the “devil triangle”) but at the same time here is preserved one of the most celebrated relics: the Shroud of Turin. The Egyptian Museum is the feather on its cap, the second museum in importance after the Cairo’s one. The best way to reach Turin center is by train from Villafranca-Cantarana railway station. From the valley, take the road for Villafranca; at the roundabout take left for Asti, after 1KM you will find the station on your right, look for the free parking. You can buy ticket at the automatic machine. For timetable visit http://www.ferroviedellostato.it/util/inglese.jsp the train takes 35 minutes to go to Torino Porta Nuova, in the city centre. Arriving at Porta Nuova Station, go along Via Roma, stop in Piazza San Carlo and in Piazza Castello (Royal Palace, Armeria Reale, St. John church with the Shroud of Turin). Visit nearby Egyptian Museum, Via Po, pass from National Museum of Cinema hosted in Mole Antonelliana, arriving in Piazza Vittorio and the Po River. Follow the Po riverside up to Castle and Park of Valentino, visit the nice reproduction of a medium-age village (built in 1884 by copying different part of real medium age castles around Turin).
With the car, you can reach some Residence of the Royal House of Savoy around Turin, a group of structures added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list; the most interesting are: the Villa of the Queen, the Palace of Venaria Reale, the hunting residence of Stupinigi. Check in advance on Internet for opening hours. Another interesting place is the Car Museum, hosting many very old cars, among other the Itala (winner of the 1907 Beijng-Paris Race).