Getting wet while here in northern Italy seems to be a privilege. I actually don’t know of any public pools, but I see a few overcrowded watering holes along the river, being part of over-prized clubs.
So, it was a rare treat and a brilliant find of Ritsu, this little farm, which had a fantastic idea of adding a very well designed and pretty big pool to their place.
We had found few other places in our favorite wine area (Roero, only 40 minutes away), but they were all of the basic rectangular shape. Now this place’s pool is on half shallow, with varying levels of height and then just really deep. Add to the mix a jacuzzi, a mist spraying shower and a little waterfall, surrounded by wooden lounge chairs and you feel like you are back in Fiji. Well, not quite. Instead of palm trees you are surrounded by the rolling hills of the country side, which is somewhat surreal, but very nice.
This farm has only four rooms, so the pool is open to other (paying) visitors. If I understood them correctly (no one there spoke English) to get the nice wooden lounge chairs right next to the pool, it is 15€ per head, per day, otherwise you can take the plastic ones which are a bit further away for 10€ a day … and then there is even a meadow for those bringing their towels. So, we would have paid 90€ for 2 days .. instead we booked a room for 70€, which includes using the pool.
Besides a very nice playground (which is shaded, obviously designed by a parent) there is also a bar / restaurant area, with equally superb views, nice cool area and somewhat decent food. Nothing to write home about, and the fact that they don’t have a menu did not make things easier. They offered pasta either with tomatoes or ‘white’ … from experience, ‘pasta bianca’ for me means with butter and maybe some sage … but this white pasta came with nothing at all We also had some salad and then a grilled piece of meat. On sunday I saw them preparing some BBQ items, which looked ok, nothing super refined.
Very friendly people, but it takes time to sense who is ‘staff’ and who is just extended family. Not sure if they are really prepared to deal with ‘foreigners’ (seems they mainly get locals, some local kids took a good look at Ritsu, as if they had never seen an Asian person in real life before). Saturday was emptier and Sunday felt crowded at times, but still manageable, especially when most moved to have lunch.
Needless to say, I have already booked another weekend in August.
One stray afterthought … having seen the big crowd the pool attracts, and the fact the Julius nearly managed to drown Ritsu, I keep wondering at what size the pool would have to hire a life guard? We actually enjoyed the complete absence of patronizing billboards forbidding everything that makes a pool stay fun (like RUNNING .. and JUMPING IN)
update It seems our worries about no real control were correct. When I called to confirm out new booking, I was told (and i have to interpret from my bad Italian) that their pool operation had been shut down (by the fire department?) .. so, we will check some other time if the are still operating this very nice pool