Updated: Jul 21
Piedmont, this Northern Italy region so special to me.
It's not only the place where I was born, my house, my family and friends, a lot of good memories. Piedmont is a concentration of natural resources and diverse landscapes, of cities marked by an industrial past, of deep faith, of ancient traditions.
And there's a unique treasure very close to my place, where the gastronomy and wine culture find the perfect balance between elegance and tradition, between the land and the local savoir-faire : The Langhe.
For many years the area stayed a bit hidden from foreign tourists and visitors, far away from the most famous Italian itineraries. In 2014 Langhe-Roero & Monferrato became part of the UNESCO World Heritage as cultural landscape, a title that highlights the special bond between the wine-growing area and its deep wine culture.
For people like me that are born in Piedmont, The Langhe is a lot more.
It's the place to go for a walk on a sunny Sunday afternoon, to have a visit at Fontanafredda caves with tasting, to enjoy a Barolo glass, to have a family lunch in a typical restaurant that includes the 'Battuta di Fassona'' (meat tartare) as a starter, to admire the breathtaking view from La Morra Belvedere, to drive along the vineyards with the majestic Cedro del Libano (cedar tree).
The Langhe is the history around the castle of Grinzane Cavour, it's the changing colour of the vineyards according to the season, it's finding the giant colourful benches spread all over the area, it's the music festival Collisioni that attracts thousands of people in summer, it's the city of Alba with its Truffle Fier every November, the soft nut cake and the smell of chocolate coming from Ferrero factory.
The Langhe is a special place, the one I describe proudly to my international friends, the one that makes me nostalgic about my homeland.
Visit the restful belvedere in Verduno and admire its castle built in the XVIII century where the oenologist of the Savoy family created one the first Barolo in history.
Drive to La Morra and walk through Via Umberto up to Piazza Castello to stop at the Belvedere, a wonderful terrace to admire the Langhe and the Alps, the colors of the vineyards and the numerous castles. Continue the visit at the Town Hall and the Cantina Comunale. Stop for an Italian aperitivo with view.
Don’t miss the famous tree Cedro del Libano, a majestic cedar situated up on a hill.
While driving through surrounded by this magic landscape, look for the Big Benches, colorful benches where to have a relaxing pause, a picnic or to take pictures ! Here the complete list : https://bigbenchcommunityproject.org/en/
Head to Barolo, home of the ancient fortress of Falletti Castle, the Enoteca Regionale for a wine tasting and the Cave Marchesi di Barolo that was created by the union of a French noblewoman passionate for wine and the Marquis Carlo Tancredi Falletti of Barolo. Every year in July, the quaint village hosts a music festival called Collisioni with Italian and international artists.
Before visiting the city of Alba, stop at the famous colourful chapel (Località San Cassiano, 34).
Alba is famous all over the world for its white truffles. Visit the Gothic cathedral, Piazza Duomo and the characteristic Via Maestra.
Other must-seen are the Castle of Grinzane Cavour and the elegant city of Cherasco.
My favorite restaurants in the area ?
Osteria Ai muri vecchi
Trattoria nelle vigne
Cà del lupo
Ristorante Da Francesco
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