Monastery Hotels are Hot

An article in the June 2006 issue of Travel + Leisure notes the growing trend across Europe of ancient monasteries being transformed into chic hotels, providing every amenity. Author Shane Mitchell visits Relais San Maurizio in Piedmont. He reports:

The connection between monasteries and great vineyards is long-standing. I am reminded of this as I steer an enormous Mercedes up narrow switchbacks surrounded by Moscato grapes en route to Relais San Maurizio, about two hours southeast of Turin in Italy’s Piedmont region, where the white truffles of Alba are paired with delightfully fizzy vintages from Asti.

Walking through a glass-enclosed winter garden designed by I. M. Pei, one of the bar staff casually hails me by saying, “Salve.” It’s a common Italian greeting, meaning “hello,” but I’m stopped in my tracks, knowing that the Latin root salvus means “safe and sound.”

while staying at San Maurizio Mitchell suggests you eat here:

Ristorante Stazione
Savor carpaccio with white truffles, gnocchi with butter and sage, and local Barbaresco and Nebbiolo wines at this homey trattoria. 6 Piazzale G. Manzo; 39-0141/844-233; dinner for two $150.

Are you interested in visiting Piedmont? Then check out Dream of Italy’s Special Report: Turin/Piedmont