Monday, May 9, 2011

Saturday...Mirabella Golf Club, Mirabella Eclano (Av)

Springtime had hit Irpinia that Saturday, and hit hard. Spectacular sunshine paired perfectly with the stunning scenery. An ordinary Saturday. Well, it may have started off that way. Autostrade A16Benevento exit…direction Taurasi. But the ordinary turned extraordinary when I turned left at a little town called Calore and headed towards Mirabella Eclano (Av). 5 minutes later, I arrived at a little piece of paradise. A piece of paradise called Radici Resort, home of the Mirabella Golf Club. And there waiting for me with the ‘keys’ to this part of Irpinia was Piero Mastroberardino, President of Mastroberardino Winery.

The best way to tour Mastroberardino’s 9 hole, 31 par golf course is in a golf cart. So we were off on a tour that led us around a challenging course –hole #2 is particularly tricky, Piero pointed out. A course that he designed himself. A course that hugs Mastroberardino’s Aglianico and Falanghina vineyards and is nestled between Ravece olive groves. There’s a small lake with a tiny waterfall. There’s a stream that silently and leisurely flows under small wooden bridges. Green rolling hills, green perfectly trimmed bushes, and green spring leaves on the trees that stand tall and proud.

Every now and then Piero stopped the cart so that I could take a few pictures. I couldn’t help but appreciate the fresh air…the silence. Continuing our drive, we passed other golfers who knew this side of paradise well since it opened up in 2008. An oasis that contained more than just 9 holes, as I quickly discovered as we pulled up to the back of the club house. There I came across a crystal clear heated swimming pool with light and dark blue mosaic tiles. A small pool surrounded by lounge chairs perfect for sun bathing-perfect for relaxing.

And speaking of relaxing. The club houses hosts a small spa complete with a Turkish sauna and hot tub. Then there is the club house. I took a look around. Colorful and comfortable. A pool table in the back. Fireplace. Tables and chairs to play cards or chat with friends. A piano. Shelves full of magazines and books, including Piero’s  newly released novel-Umano errare. The walls held on to artwork that included large colorful oil paintings as well as small framed sketches by Piero of his family, friends, and pets.

The club house holds a small restaurant for its members and guests, and since lunch time was approaching, we decided to unwind on the terrace and have a quick bocconcino, a bite. A light lunch outside in the warm Irpinian sunshine, with a view of a magnificent mulberry tree. The mulberry tree that is proudly displayed on the bottles of their Morabianca Falanghina DOC. A lunch that included baccalà with black truffles and a light orange sauce. A caprese salad which I could not help but drizzle a little of their Solèyon olive oil made with olives from the very trees that I saw earlier that day. Grilled chicken and eggplant rounded out my meal paired with their Falanghina Sannio DOC 2010 and Lacrimarosa Campana IGT Rosé 2010.

I could get used to this, I thought to myself. At least for a weekend. There are rooms upstairs in the club house. There are other rooms up the hill in the Radici Resort which also has another restaurant, Morabianca. There’s  also the Wine Cellar, Mastroberardino’s wine bar which is open on Saturday evenings.

All I need is another spectacular sunny day. Who knows? Maybe I’ll try my hand at a few holes, with the help of their golf instructor.

Or maybe I’ll just hit a few hundred balls on the driving range.

Or lie on a deck chair next to the pool with a book or a sketch pad.

Or relax-and basta.

In this little piece of paradise called Mirabella Golf Course.

Radici Resort
Contrada Corpo di Cristo
Mirabella Eclano (Av)
0825 431293
0825 431293

Italian Version

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