Experience the best of the Piedmont region
Let us introduce ourselves. We are a Finnish couple who came to Italy to escape Finland’s long winter. We found lots of sunshine, happy people and harmony in daily life – and a lovely historical winery. When we first arrived at località Visette, we knew at once that it was our home. We were charmed by the peace and calm of the place, the vicinity of the village, the courtyard surrounded by vineyards, and the snow-capped mountains on the horizon. We decided to stay and turn this wonderful building – whose walls resonate with the history of Piedmont and Barolo – into a guest house. We want to continue the story of the house, leave our mark on it and give our guests an opportunity to do that too.
You can read about the renovation project in our blog below.
Sari & Petteri Laine,
Guest house Visette
Being a communications professional, I have organised and brainstormed numerous customer, stakeholder and personnel events. My aim has always been to create events that are distinctive and a little different. It’s all about the details! This is also my objective at Visette.
I’m a keen tennis player, and I definitely wanted our house to have a tennis court. You’re welcome to play tennis with me – my racket and shoes are always waiting by the door.
The story of an old winery
We didn’t find the house and our new home by accident, just driving by – our home has a long, partly bumpy history. It includes moving to Italy, laboriously studying the language, spending weekend after weekend in house viewings. And when we finally found the house, making an offer, negotiating the price, endlessly waiting for planning permission… But in between the bumps, the road has been smooth. There has been lots of dreaming, leafing through interior decor magazines, planning with architects, picnicking in the sunny front garden with building materials all around us and enjoying wine in the company of friends. Now we are finally here, the plans are ready and our house is being renovated. Our new home is waiting to be finished.
We had zero experience of working with an architect. Before this, we had designed all the refurbishments ourselves, even major ones. We decided to turn to an acquaintance of ours, Kari Kuosma, who is better known in Finland as a caricaturist than an architect. Kari worked fast, and a month after he had started we were already at the town hall presenting our ideas. Our materials consisted of sketches that Kari had drawn by hand, which were works of art in themselves. Before long, a rumour was circulating in the village about a peculiar architect who not only draws all lines freehand, but also designs to millimetre accuracy – which, we hear, is not customary round here.
The house was sold to us with all the movables, of which there were plenty: 30 chairs, seven beds, five large cupboards, a vanload of old tools and whatnot. Plus old wine barrels – large and even larger ones (barrique and botte).
Our first guests arrived at Easter, and were given the task of dismantling various objects. Little by little, the skip began to fill up. Old paraffin heaters, straw mattresses, wood damaged by furniture beetles, mouldy paintings and other unnecessary items ended up in the skip. We made an inventory at the same time, and everything that was useful and at least partly intact was saved for restoration.
We had holidayed in Italy many times and toyed with the idea of living permanently in the country. When we finally had the chance to do it, we rented a home in the town of Lecco by Lake Como. After successfully living in Italy for eighteen months, we decided to start looking for a house of our own. We wanted to move to the country, so congested Lombardy was not an option.
The search for a house took ages. With estate agents we visited countless old houses. Usually the elderly owners were also present, which is why almost every showing included having a glass of wine at the living-room table, listening to the history of the house. We were relieved and pleased when we finally found a home. One process ended and another one began.