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)

Description of Italian Alps self catering accommodation

Sunday Times - Top 100 villas in Europe 2010.

Welcome to our lovely three bedroom self catering holiday home in the Italian Alps, on the Swiss-Italian border. We are about halfway between Lake Como and St. Moritz, at the end of Engadina, a beautiful valley that gets 320 days of sunshine a year.

The house is perched in a medieval village on a sunny hillside just above Chiavenna with a splendid view over the mountains. We’re surrounded by some of the largest national parks in the Italian Alps, many areas of which contain protected wildlife including: golden eagles, ibex, bearded vultures, capercaillie and fire salamanders.

The region also has some of the most dramatic granite mountains in the Alps. From nearby Soglio you can see the north face of Pizzo Cengalo (a sheer granite wall over a kilometre high), the famous Piz Badile (where mountaineering legend Cassin pioneered routes) and the spires of the Sciora peaks.

We’re also close to an abundance of fine restaurants, mountain refuges and ‘crotti’ (cave restaurants), the ideal accompaniment to walking holidays in the Alps.

Winter holidays and skiing accommodation:

For those who love the mountains but don’t like big ‘commercial’ ski resorts, our self catering accommodation is ideal for a winter holiday. You can ski from nearby St Moritz and from the Italian resort of Madesimo as well as enjoying the traditional laid back ambience of a mountain village. This is a beautiful area in the winter and we have lots of suggestions as to where to explore, where to eat as well as lots of other lovely things to do away from the slopes.

Walking holidays in the Alps:

We have been pounding the footpaths for you and written detailed descriptions of the best walks in the area. Our guide includes a range of walks from strolls to strenuous hikes, suitable for each and every season.

Suggestions for winter or springtime:

Ski at Madesimo or enjoy a day in St Moritz.
Explore in Pianazzola and Chiavenna before walking up to Crotto Belvedere for lunch in a 'cave restaurant' in front of their roaring fire.
Take a wintery walk past the ice falls of Val Febbraro.
Visit the wildlife observation centre in Orobie National Park.
Lunch in Soglio (CH) and walk to the granite peaks in Val Bondasca .
Enjoy a day on Lake Como where you can wander through the narrow streets of Varenna, before having a lakeside pizza.

Suggestions for summer or autumn:

Walk around Pianazzola and Chiavenna and walk up to Crotto Belvedere for lunch.
Lunch in Soglio (CH) and a wander up Val Bondasca to see the dizzy granite peaks.
Spend a day in the Swiss National Parks looking for golden eagles and ibex.
Sign up for a spectacular day canyoning in Val Bodengo.
Spend a day on Lake Como by way of the car ferry from Bellano to Menaggio, and then wander around the lovely gardens of Villa Carlotta.

Italian Alps self catering accommodation details:

Log fire, central heating, CD player, kettle, iron, cooker, fridge, freezer, washing machine, dish washer, balcony / terrace area, 3 bedrooms (1 double, 2 twins, sleeps maximum of 6). Linen provided and highchair available.

Family friendly: we have made the house safe for families by installing safety gates at the tops of the staircases. We have a cot and a high chair for babies and small children. There are children’s toys and wooden puzzles in the house for guests to use. There is a CD and cassette player. We can also recommend family activities in the area.

Dog friendly: We are happy for guests to bring pets provided this has been agreed beforehand.

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!
No Snow?
Casa dell'Ava is in a mountain village of Pianazzola which has about 50 houses in it and you will find more goats and chickens living there than snow cannons! People who come to stay here are generally looking for a winter holiday rather than specifically a skiing holiday, they will go winter walking, snow shoeing, etc. Natural snow falls from the beginning of December through to the end of March.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Italian Alps self catering accommodation

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

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, you’ll 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.

5 Reviews of Italian Alps self catering accommodation

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 21 Jul 2019 by

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


The views from the house were absolutely breathtaking. Sipping coffee on the balcony and soaking up the beauty of the mountains and the valley below was good for the soul.

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


A car is really essential and a good pair of walking shoes.

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


Yes.


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


Absolutely excellent. Best holiday we’ve had. A real authentic Italian village experience. One evening a group of locals had a sing song sitting outside their houses. Glorious melodies and harmonies drifting down the valley was an incredibly special experience. They even waved for us to come and join in!! The house is comfortable and very well equipped, with some nice homely featuressuch as board games. Even the sofa bed is comfortable! Easy to reach the stunning Lake Como, impressive waterfalls and St. Moritz.

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.

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