At Castello di Montalero, we are immensely grateful for all the positive reviews that our guests have generously shared. Your words of appreciation and encouragement motivate us to continually strive for excellence. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all our guests who have taken the time to share their experiences.

Special food and drink experience in gorgeous part of Italian countryside.

My stay at Montalero surpassed my expectations so much. It is so much more than just a cooking course as the effort put into making this an overall Italian food experience, is just beyond incredible. First and foremost the hosting family makes you feel as if you are one of their own, the accommodation is nothing but impressive, lessons are interactive resulting in delicious meals and the excursions allow you to see into a very authentic, untouched part of Italy. Would like to thank the family for a very special time.

(Gareth F, Nov 2023)

What a wonderful experience!!!

I had an unforgettable Italian cooking experience with the incredible team at Montalero. From the seamless pre-trip communication to a warm welcome at our hotel in Milan, everything was perfectly organized. The spacious rooms with thoughtful amenities set the stage for for a delightful stay at their beautiful castle. Chef Pepe made the cooking sessions truly amazing, fostering new friendships that feel like lifelong bonds. Exploring markets and wineries added a unique touch to this once in a lifetime adventure. The provided cookbook, filled with recipes and more is a cherished keepsake. Special thanks to Chris, Kaarina and the entire family for their outstanding hospitality. Charlie, our guide, was not just informative but also a wonderful friend throughout. Thank you all for an incredible time.

(Fran H, Oct 2023)

Italian Bliss Unveiled: A Dream Vacation That Transcends Expectations.

This 5 day cookery class in a medieval castle nestled in the picturesque Italian countryside sounded too good to be true, but Castello di Montalero was a dream! The breathtaking views from the castle were truly enchanting. The grounds were perfect for walking. The comfortable rooms added a touch of medieval luxury, with updated amenities, making our stay both charming and cozy.

The service surpassed all expectations! Owners Chris and Kaarina are the ultimate hosts, but it was their attentive, handsome and personable son Charlie who kept us happily entertained with visits to wineries, a truffle fair, truffle hunting with hounds, and sharing the castle’s rich history. The highlight, undoubtedly, was the incredible food. The class allowed us to explore traditional Italian recipes, guided by Chef Beppe who made the hands on experience not just educational but also immensely enjoyable. I am now an expert at chopping parsley!

Throughout the experience, my friend and I exchanged amazed glances, repeatedly asking ourselves if this could be real. It exceeded all expectations, delivering much more than I ever anticipated. A culinary journey in a medieval castle—a delightful blend of history, comfort, wines and gastronomic wonder.

Thank you to the Watkins family. Give Tinky a scratch behind the ear for me.

(Suzi H, Nov 2023)

The Place to Be!

Charming villa in the countryside with splendid hosts and Bepe our gorgeous chef! The five day visit was not long enough, wished I had booked the eight day experience.

(Mary S, Oct 2023)

Cooking and much more.

We had a wonderful experience including the cooking sessions and the many other excursions; the hosts were gracious and friendly, the setting was great. Overall a terrific experience in the food, wine, and culture of Piemonte.

(Erik M, Oct 2023)

I cannot wait to go back!

Wished I could have stayed longer, and those that could did! I met a lovely group of people from all around the world. We talked, laughed and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings, crazy good food, and the cooking lessons were so fun but very informative. The only down side is I couldn’t stop eating!! I highly and truly recommend Montalero for its welcome.

(Sarah T, Sep 2023)

Paradise in Piemonte.

Castello di Montalero was everything I’d hoped for – and more! Having lived in Italy for many years, I was more than a bit particular in choosing a very special venue at which to celebrate a milestone event with a very special lifelong friend. I wanted everything – firstly a beautiful location – an authentic, off-the-tourist track, rural village – yet close enough to an international airport to facilitate my friend’s arrival. And I dreamed of a “castello” with a rich history and huge comfortable bedrooms, an expansive drawing room with a roaring fire, and a terrace overlooking a mountainous countryside. And I wanted a special experience that my friend and I could enjoy together, and take away as yet another memory of our special friendship. What I did not reckon for was that it could be even better than my expectations. The owners, Chris and Kaarina, welcomed us warmly into their beautifully restored home, ensuring that our arrival and stay was seamless and comfortable. Their son Charlie was true to his word when he promised upon collection that our holiday was in his hands – and he capably organised a daily programme full of special experiences both at the castello and in the rural surrounds. I was particularly impressed at Charlie’s attention to providing a high quality service – truly excellent Piemonte wines at every meal, innovative drinks served with pre-dinner aperitivi, and offering local products such as handmade chocolates and (pumpkin!) goats milk gelato. And of course, the highlight was the cooking course led by Beppe Sardi – an exacting, yet highly personable well-known chef, who made every class interesting and hugely enjoyable. Well, maybe that was not the best part – perhaps the best part was actually eating the lunches that we prepared, and the fabulous dinners prepared by Beppe himself. My only regret is that I felt compelled to write here honestly about my experience, and now its popularity may preclude a future opportunity for me to return!

(Susan H, Oct 2023)

Surreal, Peaceful Experience

Describing my stay is difficult, because there were so many exceptional moments. The setting… well it’s a castle within Italian countryside. One has to physically see and feel this to fully comprehend. I’m not much of a cook, but left inspired to attempt many of the dishes we prepared. Classes were interesting, fun and challenging (for me) yet I thoroughly enjoyed it!

This family-run business fuels itself on an abundance of love and passion for the castle restoration/fine food/wine, as well as their customers. I won’t describe details; but we had several unfortunate roadblocks reaching our destination (none related to Montalero Cookery). These were handled by Chris, and his son Charley, with aplomb and 150%+ satisfaction. Such sincere dedication to solution-oriented service is quite rare!

Amenities like freely accessible, unlimited beverages (including wine, beer, juices, pop, water, etc.) abounded. Staff were responsive, pleasant, hardworking and discreet. I can go on, so I’ll end with this: Word of mouth is quintessential for small business to flourish. Hopefully my words will entice others to join in this exceptional vacation. My sister and I left enchanted.

(Kathy M, Oct 2023)

The cooking experience of a lifetime.

Where to start….montalero delivered on every aspect of our holiday amazingly. We were picked up at the airport and taken to the castello which is in the most beautiful spot and is being lovingly restored by the family- it looks great. I swam in the pool every day and it was gloriously peaceful. The cooking classes were the best I’ve experienced and I’ve been on several!. Gorgeous ingredients, passionate chefs and then great people to eat with. The family and wider team could not have done more for us, nothing being any bother.

Stunning terrace to enjoy and we certainly have met new friends. Roaring fires in the rooms which made the whole experience really cosey. The excursions were included and super- we did wine tasting trips, rice making museum and olive oil production but these are varied depending when you go.

We are home with all the recipes and that warm fuzzy feeling the experience of a life time and connections with lovely people creates.
Oh the wine and food were delicious and plentiful.

(K1609, Nov 2023)

A Feast for the Senses.

I originally found the Castello Di Montalero through an internet search as I had long wished to attend a cookery course in Italy. I was attracted to its being family owned and hence a ‘one off’; not part of a franchise. My wife agreed to come too, partly as an indulgence to my love of cooking and her love of eating! Neither of us were disappointed and significantly, my wife’s anxiety about the ‘cookery school’ aspect, quickly abated as the classes, well described in other reviews, are relaxed and fun. There are many tips for already proficient cooks and Chef Beppe’s style invites everyone to participate. I have already managed to successfully recreate the recipes demonstrated, which is a test of the instruction received.

I echo and endorse the positive and fulsome reviews of many others. Added to which I would say that the stay with the Watkins in their truly magnificent Castello is a veritable feast for every sense.

Visually the building, its contents and grounds are very beautiful. No description does the Castello justice and everywhere there are hidden vistas and beautiful things to look at within and landscape to absorb from the windows and terrace without. We were fortunate with non-stop sunshine so the views were bathed in differing lights from dawn til dusk.

The food, when served is a visual feast and beautifully presented as well as being sumptuous. Some meals we had prepared ourselves during the various classes, the rest were prepared and presented with flare and aplomb by Beppe.

So, our taste buds were well cared for with food and plentiful wines, aperitif and disgestif. Charlie got the balance right between education about the wines and his sheer enjoyment and enthusiasm of their qualities.

We enjoyed being part of an international group of fellow guests and conversation flowed with shared experiences of food, wine, architecture, markets and much more. So, the sounds of chatter were accompanied by the intermittent church bell and at night, the haunting hoots of owls.

The pool is gorgeous and much needed exercise can be gained by regular swims to burn off some of the calories and there are many places to walk and find solitude to simply ‘be’ as a contrast to the pleasures of the group experience.

In short, it is a privilege to live for a few days in such beauty, to enjoy the delightful feasts and withdraw from the hurly burly of everyday life and savour the senses. In our view it represented value for money and the experience has left us with a legacy of memories to enjoy through the winter months until we can visit again next year.

If you are travelling alone, you will be very well cared for by the Watkins family and if you love food and wine, you will meet other amateur enthusiasts and have a wonderful time.

(Jane M, Sep 2023)