Italian Alps self catering accommodation

“Live the Alpine dolce vita from a beautiful mountain farmhouse with views to die for. Sit back, switch off & soak in the breathtaking Engadine valley from your very own balcony. ”

Highlights

Italian Alps | Lake Como | St. Moritz | Medieval villages | Wildlife | Three of the largest National parks in the Alps within easy reach | Optional: walking, skiing, canoeing, swimming, Crotti (cave) restaurants, ice climbing, sleigh rides (in winter)

Map

Our top tip:
If hiring a car, consider a smaller vehicle which is better suited to the narrow mountain roads.
Room description:
1 double, 2 twins (sleeps 6) set in a beautifully restored 300 year-old farmhouse.
Ameneties
Bathroom, sitting room, balcony, kitchen (& utensils), log fire, washing machine etc. Family-friendly.
Meals:
Self catering but in-house cooking can be arranged at a fee. Hypermarket and local deli's are easily accessible as are some fantastic local restaurants!
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Italian Alps self catering accommodation

With the help of local craftsmen, we have restored a traditional mountain home on the Swiss-Italian border. The walls are several feet thick and we even have granite slabs on our roof instead of tiles, however we also have double glazed windows, electricity from hydroelectricity and one of the most modern stoves available that uses recycled paper pellets to heat the house. We are the only guest house in the village and as well as buying and restoring the house, we employ local people to clean and cook. Close to the house are some of the largest National Parks in the Alps for you to enjoy. We help to support them by paying 5% of our income to Orobie National Park. We also participate and help organise voluntary work in the park, which is less common in Italy than it is in the UK. We will give you information to help get to know the mountains and the National Parks better: on our website and in the house. You can also visit the visitor centres of the parks and get involved in activities such as guided walks. We will help you to reduce your impact on the local area. To conserve water, youíll find a shower (a good one!) in the house rather than a bath and toilets with reduced water flush. Split waste disposal is available in bins at the entrance to the village (paper, plastic, cardboard, glass) and further split waste disposal (organic, metal) is available 6 days a week in the local town. Our accommodation provides self catering holiday home in the Alps that allows you to relax and enjoy a responsible approach to holidaying.

Reviews of Italian Alps self catering accommodation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 04 Sep 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Dream place - location and the view are just amazing. The house itself is a very nicely restored granite/wood house - very well done! Perfect infrastructure!

Most memorable for me was the evening biking trip up from Chiavenna to Pianazzola... 300m altitude, 10 hairpin curves (if you count also the exit from the main Chiavenn-Maloja road).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


There are many absolutely beautiful little roads up to alps and local valleys nearby (e.g. Val Bodengo, Olmo, Alpe Dalo, Sant' Antonio Albareda, Castasegna/Soglio/Maloja, Uschione and more) - fantastic biking! Maybe a bit steep, but great training, very low traffic and beautiful views.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Hard to say, but I suppose so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


One of the best places I have been - hope to come again.

Reviewed on 20 Jan 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We enjoyed being in a smaller town with less commercial activity. Pianazolla is certainly in a lovely part of the world.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It is important to understand that the house in Pianazolla is 20 minutes from Chiavenna by car. It is a very steep drive and for those not used to mountain driving it can be pretty scary. We were disappointed that it took more than an hour to get to the ski resort from the house. In the advertisement it is suggested that it is 20 minutes away. This is certainly not the case.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Our holiday with our family was very enjoyable. The house was clean and well maintained with mostly good facilities.

Reviewed on 25 May 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Really lovely family walks and we took our dog. Charm of the little house and village we stayed in.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Definitely recommend a car.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Hope so, but not sure exactly how.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Beautiful setting and charming little house, perhaps a little bit tired at the edges and a few hiccoughs on arrival but owners very kind and helpful. We really enjoyed our holiday.

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The location of the house is in the most amazing, authentic Italian mountainside village called Pianozolla - known locally as the balcony of Chiavenna. It has cobbly streets, windy paths around charmingly rustic buildings. The balcony has the most amazing views over the valley with mountain ranges in full view and raptors, bats and lovely sunsets to watch in the evenings with a glass of very quaff-able local red wine. There are fabulous waterfalls nearby where you can swim or paddle, mountain walks to villages such as dallo and soglio in Switzerland or easy meanders around national parks and along rivers for the slightly less fit! Take walking boots or trainers though as many paths are slippery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


You need a car in our opinion, the walk to the house involves lots of steps and the drive is up a steep, vertical, hair bending road! If you plan to arrive on a Sunday there is no shops open and the house does not have any provisions provided such as milk plus many of the restaurants were closed by the time we arrived in the evening. Bergamo seems to be the closest airport but the drive to the house along the lake como can get extremely busy on a weekend so would advise arriving on a weekday if at all possible. Plenty to do throughout the year - it's an all season destination.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The local people were fabulous, we tried to shop at local delis and independent shops rather than at the large ipera supermarket which should help the local economy. The house has energy saving light bulbs but could perhaps use some more eco friendly goods such as washing up liquid, cleaners etc. You can walk from the house to chiavenna and get around by foot reasonably well but it's a fair trek back up the mountainside with shopping etc (a good hour with small children).

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A lovely family holiday or romantic getaway, off the beaten track, true Italy at its best. Some fabulous restaurants in chiavenna and wonderful food and drink, simply gorgeous views, fresh air and zillions of places to go and see from lakes to quaint villages to deserted mountain treks. The locals are warm and friendly and the tourists are there but not in droves. The house itself is well presented, quirky, clean and well equipped. with comfort in mind. Highly recommended.

Reviewed on 10 Jun 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The location - in a traffic-free stone village, in a lovely old house where you can even lay in bed and gawp at snow covered mountains! Many evenings we just sat on the balcony - coffee in hand - and gazed at the ever changing view around us. Magical! But there is also so much to do and see within a short distance - most of which is free because its natural! Great for all ages.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Brush up on some basic Italian - this isn't a tourist area like Rome! You can get by easily enough but a few phrases are much appreciated by the locals (even if you are totally lost once they reply!). Hire a SMALL car, preferably an automatic, if you're not familiar with Italian roads. We hired an automatic Corsa or Nova, as we'd been advised the road to the village was quite narrow and consisted of multiple hair-pin bends. We ended up being given a huge Dodge Nitro 2.8 (think larger version of a Range Rover!). It made for some exciting journeys but I would recommend something a bit smaller.

Take some binoculars - you'll use them a lot. If you go for the walking (which is the main attraction along with skiing) do some exercise before you go - preferably lots of cross-trainer etc! Walking to and from the village and elsewhere uses muscles you never knew you had!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It probably doesn't contribute to the local village very much as you cant spend money there, apart from at a little bar (which we never found!), although a local lady does look after it I believe. Everything is quite eco-friendly, however, and the proposed installation of solar panels will also be beneficial. Main thing however is to limit your carbon footprint and walk rather than drive as much as possible!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent - one of the few places we would definitely hope to go back to. If you want a get away from it all holiday with opportunities to engage with nature and escape the rat-race it would be hard to find anywhere better.

Reviewed on 23 Jul 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


In the evening, you could sit on the lovely balcony, overlooking the beautiful valley, while eating some nice Italian cheese and salami and enjoying a good glass of wine from the local shop. Thatís the moment when you could make your plans for the next day, pointing your finger at one of the near mountain peaks and knowing that you will be climbing those soon.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's a really nice place to go with the family to vary the mountain walking with some relaxing days at the lake Como. Go there if you like to be tucked away in a quiet and lovely mountain village, looking for peace and good (slow) food.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The place is an old mountain farmhouse that is renovated and left in it's original look. Really nicely renovated. The local people benefit if you do your shopping at the (some very nice and organic) local shops, although they can only be reached from the house by a 30 minutes walk downhill (and up again) if you want to avoid using the car.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very nice place. The house is kept in it's original look, but with all the necessary comfort you need.

Reviewed on 07 Sep 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


This is quite hard to choose! Driving over the Passo Del Spluga into Chiavenna and then up into Pianazzola, then going into the accommodation and realising that the view from the balcony was ours to see for a whole fortnight. Wonderful.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We drove over using biodiesel (we use biodiesel made from recycled veg oil, so is 'good'!). That minimised our impact on the environment. We didn't manage to easily find biodiesel on the way, but you can buy it in Bellano (on Lake Como - good swimming and great pizzas). The Passo del Spluga is quite hairy if you are not used to hairpin bends, and we wouldn't recommend it if you are going to drive it for the first time in the dark. This is summer only, Splugen is probably closed for the winter. (We are not winter Alps experts!). Eating out is quite expensive, but we loved shopping locally, and cooking - but part of our holiday was having time to cook together and eat together. Pianazzola is a great centre to explore up into Switzerland and down to the Lakes, and the town of Chiavenna is great for mooching about and shopping for pretty gifts too. The house in Pianazzola is gorgeous, clean, and in lovely condition. The walk down to the house from the car park is down some steep and uneven steps, so you may want to consider how your bags are packed for easy carrying. (I just took my seventeen year old son, who is cast in the heroic mode, who carried a very large heavy suitcase which had about 30% of its contents swapped for some lovely local wine to take home!). This would not be suitable for anyone who has mobility problems!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I hope so! We tried to shop locally, and bought cheese and butter from local shops which was made by the shop owners brother.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Wonderful. Just waking up to the view was worth every penny. The few days of rain at the end didn't really dampen our spirits, just us! (We got very wet walking the 5km back to Pianazzola after a meal in Chiavenna!)

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The accommodation had great views of the Alps, and the town of Chiavenna. The hikes outlined in the handbook, made by the owners, was the best guide for what to do, and where to go.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


You have to have a car. This place is 90 minutes of uphill climb to walk from the train station. Except for food, you will have all that you need in the way of amenities, and there is even some food there too. The directions to the village are good, but the house id hard to find. The Pianazola locals are really helpful in finding it, but know the place as casa de engleses.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It definitely minimized the impact on the environment with all manner of energy saving equipment. The electricity shutting off periodically, was annoying, and was the cause for some spoiled food.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was okay, but if you were looking for solitude, this would fill the bill.

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Thereís so much to do within an hour of the house. The house itself had fabulous views and was well equipped and comfortable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


On the practical side, car hire was a must for us (complete with baby) as the village itself did not have a shop and wasn't too pram friendly! In terms of things to do, try out one of the crotto restaurants and take a trip to Val di Mello. Both were recommended in the house's welcome book which was packed with really useful suggestions that did not disappoint.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent. We were travelling with a baby and the house was all set up with cot, highchair, toys, etc for us.

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