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On the boundary of Piedmont and Liguria lies our country estate of Tenuta Squaneto in a quiet green valley, just miles away from the villages of Pareto (5 mi), Piana Crixia (3 mi) and Dego (7 mi). You can enjoy the silence here, which is only broken by the sound of the frogs, the characteristic sounds of the birds of prey or the bark of the deer. You will be amazed by the enormous number of different varieties of butterflies, crickets, dragonflies, lizards, and salamanders. In the immediate area around our property you will regularly encounter hare, pheasants, deer, and/or boar. In the clear water of the Valla river there is amongst other kinds trout, and maybe you will be lucky enough to see crayfish!
The diversity of flowers in the fields can be particularly joyful in the spring, whereas in the fall many Italians search the woods for mushrooms (it is a custom here). The woods around Tenuta Squaneto are famous for porcini (or king bolete as the kitchen name goes), but also all other kinds of edible mushrooms can be found here. However, since the difference between edible and poisonous (deadly) mushrooms is barely discernible, we definitely advise you to leave all mushrooms in their natural habitat.
The hilly area around Squaneto is graced by the characteristic "calanchi", the region where the Alps become the Apennines. These hills, which look like huge waves due to the erosion process, are comprised of a mixture of sand and clay where sporadically some growth appears to float around, moonlike almost in different areas. This hilly ridge forms the natural divide between the Po valley and the Mediterranean Sea. Tenuta Squaneto lies approximately 400 m above sea level.
As opposed to the Flower Riviera, our region is not very touristy and the country life appears to have a different style of living: slow…. The ideal place to relax!
The many picturesque villages, sometimes discernible at great distances by their unmistakable square watch-towers, celebrate each in turn by holding their own village feast in honour of their patron saint, to thank for the harvest or just to enjoy the local specialties.
Both Acqui Terme (22 mi) and Cairo Montenotte (12,5 mi) are interesting towns where the small cobbled streets and beautiful squares make the drive to visit the stores, coffee bars and ice cream saloons worthwhile. Here you will also find the larger supermarkets and the bigger weekly markets with fresh produce. Acqui Terme (the name already says it all) is a famous health resort from ancient Roman times, where many types of wellness and beauty arrangements are offered. A stream of water flows from "La Bollente" at the rate of 131 gallons a minute and at the wonderful temperature of 99 degrees Fahrenheit. This spring water contains sulphur, salt, bromine and lead, and the escaping steam is known for its healing effect. There are special baths. An aqueduct dates back to Roman times…. The cathedral, with a Roman cloister, dates from the 11th century.
Tenuta Squaneto is situated at the edge of the Spigno Monferrato community. This village is built around a rock formation which juts out between the rivers Bormida and Valla. An ancient pearl is the beautiful Roman bridge Ponte di San Rocco. This used to connect the Abbazia (abbey) di San Quintino with the Via Aemilia Scauri in the Roman times between Aquae Statiellae (Acqui Terme) and Vada Sabatia (Vado Ligure). In the church of Squaneto you can admire a most exquisite white marble statue of Maria from the 18th century.
South of Tenuta Squaneto two national parks are located: the smaller Parco Naturale Regionale di Piana Crixia and the Parco Regionale del Beigua. Peace and quiet…. And yet Tenuta Squaneto is located only 19 miles from the Mediterranean Sea!