AlfaBaita is situated in Borgata Confine, or more precisely Borgata Confine Inferiore (or di Sotto; Inferior or Lower Confine), a handful of houses halfway between Sampeyre (5 km) and Casteldelfino (5 km), a little bit away from the road in the center of the valley, which guarantees silence and tranquility, but easy accessibility.
Beyond the confines
The name of the borgata, Confine, has a historical background, since for many decades the border between the marquisate of Saluzzo and that of Delfinato passed through the borgo. We at AlfaBaita took it as a reminder, to make sure that our experience will always remain extraordinary, and as a promise that everything that happens at AlfaBaita will always be about crossing borders, fraternity and exchange.
A bit of history
Like many hamlets in the Valle Varaita, Confine di Sotto used to be inhabited by over 100 people, and it was an almost completely self-sufficient community, capable of building their own houses, provide for food, timber, and for clothing thanks to the wool and the processing of hemp, as witnessed by many old maceration tubs in the surroundings. The borgo had (and still has) a little church, a few private ovens where families baked their bread, and a large communal oven where they made bread once a month (in one of those ovens we still make bread, and, barbarians that we are, also big plates of pizza!). A fountain/washing basin, a drinking trough, each house its own stable, a school and a priest who probably was also the teacher. A hard life, sometimes very toilsome, but at least a life.
Then people started leaving the hamlet, especially after WWII, when many of them emigrated to France or went to work on the plains. The only ones left were the old-age people, until the 1970s when we and the first ‘tourists’ arrived. We restructured some of the houses and little by little the borgo came back to life. Today you will find some second houses, a lot of tranquility, but also a few residents; there is a breeding farm with Merens horses, the beautiful black horses of the Pyreneans, and one with long-haired Scottish Highland Cows, besides sheep and goats.
At the heart of the borgo
AlfaBaita is situated in this environment, inhabited, but secluded; in the heart of the borgo, but thanks to its position and its southward orientation it always has sunlight and an open view of the trees, meadows and mountains. After all, stone and wood are wonderful, but if there is no warmth and light…