Being a pro-traveler since a while, and living abroad since 12 years, made me realize over the years how lucky I am to be Italian and how beautiful my native region is: Piedmont! Most of the times though, people do not recall the name of my region anyhow. However, as soon as I start to mention a few of the excellences from Piedmont, people start to realize what I am talking about.
“Do you know the region of Barolo wine, Alba White Truffle, Nutella, and…Juventus?:)”
This is one of the most common conversation I have with people from abroad, when they ask me where exactly I was born!
WHERE IS PIEDMONT EXACTLY? WHAT’S “LANGHE-ROERO”?
This region became more and more popular over the past decade, due to its phenomenal and wide offer of high quality food products and fine wines. It is divided in several areas, and in this article I will focus on “Langhe-Roero”. This majestic land, together with Monferrato area, became UNESCO World Heritage in 2014!
THE ‘ALBA WHITE TRUFFLE FAIR’
One of the finest products in the world is surely the White Truffle from Alba. Every year, this small and fancy city hosts the most the renown “International White Truffle Fair”, which takes place every weekend of October and November. During the fair, open to the public, you have the chance to find and buy the finest white truffle in the world, but not only! At the fair you have the chance to try wines, cheeses, ham and salami, mushrooms, pasta and every sort of delicatessens from the region! Many people from all over the world come every year to enjoy this event, and I would definitely recommend it to everyone, especially to foodies like me! 🙂
You have the chance to see (and buy, if you want!) the most prestigious white truffles in the world. Some of them can be very big and very expensive, but surely certified and evaluated by experts! 100% high quality guaranteed!
Of course, every time I go I try everything: food, wines, truffles… You are able to find some of the most incredible food ever, especially the cheeses of this region! I am obsessed with them!
Where to eat in Alba?
In Alba there are (of course) many fabulous restaurants, also a few Michelin starred ones! In this article, I would love to suggest you a very particular one, in the heart of this elegant town, very close to the fair too: ‘Museum Restaurant’. During the truffle season (October-November) you will be able to get here everything you desire, with the best truffles attentively selected by the owners.
This restaurant has very special location, as it is actually underground. You will be indeed surrounded by Roman remains in a warm ambience, with high ceilings and delicate decors. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and ready to suggest you the best food and wines to try, for an authentic Italian experience!
My friend and I tried several dishes, I chose rabbit as a main as I really like it and this one was particularly good! We had both white and red wine, and both were very good! I would suggest to try ‘Grappa’ in the end, which is the typical Italian digestive from this region!
A must when you visit Piedmont region, in my opinion, is surely visiting Barolo town! One of the most prestigious and fine wines from Italy is indeed Barolo red wine: where better than here would you taste it? 🙂 Moreover, the little town is beautiful, with wonderful views all over the famous vineyard.
In the center of the town you will find Fratelli Borgogno wine shop, which has also a spectacular rooftop where you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Barolo castle and surroundings, while tasting fine wines of the region!
WIMU: Wine Museum & Wine Tasting
WIMU is in fact the Wine Museum in Barolo. A fan place, interactive and interesting. Great also for kids! Highly recommended for a family day.
Furthermore, at the basement there is a wine tasting area (my favorite in Barolo): absolutely a must try when you are in this area!
Corkscrew Museum in Barolo
An original and unique collection of over 600 corkscrews from all over the world, exhibited in the heart of Barolo town at “Museo dei Cavatappi”. Interesting stop, right in front the Wimu!
‘Locanda in Cannubi’ Restaurant in Barolo
Undoubtedly my favorite restaurant in the area, ‘Locanda in Cannubi’ is truly a spectacular restaurant. The location is perfect, in the middle of the vineyards, with a full view of them thank to the big windows all around the restaurant in autumn-winter and the absence of them in spring-summer!
Not only the location is superb here: the quality of food and wines is otherworldly! Every time I have been there, everything I tasted was divine. The service is on point too, polite, knowledgeable and pleasant!
I have been to restaurant in every season, and every time the landscape is different: extra green in summer, extra colorful in autumn. Always a pleasure to walk around the vineyards!
Visit La Morra
La Morra is a small town near Barolo, 5-10 minutes away by car. It is another place that you definitely should visit. There are several spots for spontaneous wine-tastings, anytime during the day, as well as phenomenal local restaurants. A cool spot to stop by – very Instagrammable! – is the famous ‘Chapel of Barolo’ by Sol Lewitt and David Tremlett. You can reach it by car, or walking, or with bikes and motorbikes. There is the exact location on Google Maps (just write ‘Cappella di Barolo’).
Where to eat in La Morra?
There are several restaurants to try even in this small town, but surely my favorite is “Il Bovio Restaurant”! The view is breathtaking, especially in summer. It seems like a painting all the times! Very recommended to book in advance, especially in high season, as it is most of the time fully booked. The food and the wines are great, you would never be disappointed.
VISIT BARBARESCO and ‘LA TORRE’
Barbaresco is another town that must be visited while traveling around this area. There is a tower, called ‘La Torre di Barbaresco’, where you can go for wine tastings and to reach the top, which overlooks the wine lands and the Tanaro River. In summer they organize on this rooftop breathtaking happy hours!
THE LAND OF HAZELNUTS and NUTELLA!
As mentioned before, Piedmont is famous also for its hazelnuts trees, where the Nutella is originally from! Indeed, the majority of the hazelnuts lands are owned by Ferrero (Nutella producer) or work for them. In Alba and surroundings, you can find several shops and firms where you can stop by and try all the products made with these legendary hazelnuts!
Several different delicatessens are produced with these delicious hazelnuts, and it is a great opportunity to try them all while in the region. (Not only Nutella!)
ART & TERRITORY
I always have a particular eye when it comes to Art, especially if it is related to the territory. Around Langhe-Roero area you can enjoy the territory looking for ‘the big benches’ all over! This is an initiative called “Big Benches Community Project” by the artist Chris Bangle, to let people interact with the territory through art experiences:
From Chris Bangle’s Big Benches, now a symbol of the Alta Langa, comes the BIG BENCH COMMUNITY PROJECT (BBCP) initiative, to support local enterprise, tourism and craftsmanship in the towns that host these out-of-scale installations. BBCP is a no profit initiative promoted by the American designer and his wife Catherine, Clavesana citizens since 2009, to unite the creativity of the Chris Bangle Associates S.r.l. design team with the craftsmen of this area of Piedmont.
It can be fun trying to find as many as you can around the territory, while exploring it. I did it and I had such a great day, discovering places I have never been before! Such a cool idea!
PILONE VOTIVO AGRITURISMO: A SECRET GEM FOR A VERY PEACEFUL STAY !
One of the last times I have been to Langhe-Roero, I had the pleasure to sleep at Pilone Votivo Agriturismo, in Sinio (CN): a true hidden gem where you can really recharge yourself, away from the hustle&bustle of the city life. Due to the incredible peace, I slept so well and I really felt unrealistically relaxed! The staff was so friendly, loving and caring. Really a pleasure for me! Also, the manager prepares fabulous and delicious breakfasts, with the best local products of the area and cakes made by her! You will love it!
Every room has its own special feature and color. There is the pink one, the green one, the red one and so on. All beautifully renovated, with all the modern amenities you need. They kept only the old walls and some rural details to maintain the authenticity of the place. There is a heater for winter in every room, as well as air conditioning in summer.
I hope you will be able to discover Piedmont very soon!
And you… Are you lusting for the sublime?