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!
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 vacation rather than specifically a skiing vacation, they will go winter walking, snow shoeing, etc. Natural snow falls from the beginning of December through to the end of March.
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Responsible tourism

Italian Alps self catering accommodation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation 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 centers 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 vacation home in the Alps that allows you to relax and enjoy a responsible approach to vacationing.

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 vacation?


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 travelers booking this vacation?


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

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


Yes.


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


Absolutely excellent. Best vacation 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 vacation?


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 travelers booking this vacation?


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 vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Hard to say, but I suppose so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation 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 vacation?


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 travelers booking this vacation?


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 vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?




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


Our vacation 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 vacation?


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 travelers booking this vacation?


Definitely recommend a car.

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


Hope so, but not sure exactly how.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation 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 vacation.

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2010 by

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


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 travelers booking this vacation?


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 vacation 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 vacation overall?


A lovely family vacation 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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