Situated on the North-Eastern border with France, Piedmont has become a showcase for the industrialization that has helped define Italy.
Discover – Automotive Mecca
Home to the automotive giant Fiat, now FCA, the region has helped elevate the country from its tumultuous post second world war economy to its more recognizable industrious iteration. This interplay between industry and culture, has become the backbone of Piedmont. Once home to the House of Savoy and briefly held as the capital of Italy, Turin has become in many ways the beating heart of Piedmont, leading the way historically and financially for the surrounding area.
Having been a key city in Napoleon’s invasion of Italy, the city of Turin retains an element of French flair. With its large boulevards and alpine backdrop, the city like so many in Northern Italy reflects the varied cultural influences seen throughout its past.
Within a more recent context, Turin has been instrumental in helping to shape the slow food movement. Seen a key facet against the encroachment of globalization, Eataly, a 21st century Italian marketplace and all-around mecca for food lovers, first opened its doors in Turin. Incorporating various restaurants and selling fresh produce and meat, it also aims to showcase the artisans behind the high quality Italian products.
The Mole Antonelliana, the city’s crowning architectural achievement and home to the national museum of cinema, provides a great way to see the city. With an elevator to whisk tourists to the top, negating the need for a claustrophobic walk up, the monument acts as one of the best vantage points in the city.
History lovers will also find solace in the Museo Egizio, one of the most expansive Ancient Egypt collections outside of Cairo. Regarded as one of Europe’s best sources for Egyptian history, the museum acts as a great alternative for those looking for something a little different.
The town of Alba, in the region of Cuneo, is widely considered as the gastronomy capital of Piedmont and also the gateway to one of the most beautiful wine regions of the world, le Langhe. Home to the chocolate giant, Ferrero, the town is widely regarded for its annual truffle festival. Taking place every fall, the town becomes a haven for all things truffle and those infatuated with them. The Lange with Monferrato has become a UNESCO heritage in 2014.
Visit – Truffles and Wine
With a geography shaped by the Alps in the North and the Mediterranean to the South, Piedmont wines have developed their unique character from the regions conflicting warm and cool air masses. With a regional viniculture focused primarily on red’s, the region has become home to many noteworthy wines. One of the area’s most popular grape varieties, the Nebbiolo, has been instrumental in Piedmont’s national recognition as a wine producer. Nebbiolo variety is spread in all the region but it changes name and wine profile depending on where the grapes are grown. Piedmont is one of the most important wine region in Italy for variety of wines and grape varieties.
The DOCG region of Barolo is arguably one of the most famous appellations to utilize the Nebbiolo grape, while the Barbaresco DOCG, situated on the slopes North of Alba and sharing many similarities with its Barolo counterpart, is seen as a much more approachable entry for those looking to sample Nebbiolo wines. This region is commonly known as Langhe and it has been recognised as Unesco Heritage in 2014
Nebbiolo is called “Spanna” in the Alto Piemonte wine region, where there are 12 DOC/DOCG. The most famous are Ghemme DOCG, Gattinara DOCG and Boca DOC.
Taste – Simple Delicacies
Tracing its roots to the regions agricultural past, Piedmont’s food, while not as diverse as other areas in Italy, is widely considered as some of the best in the country. Sharing a strong synergy with that of its local wines, with many dishes having been historically paired with a bottle of Barolo or Barbaresco, Piedmont cuisine has come to be defined by hardy, yet simple dishes that are almost always complimented by a robust glass of red wine.
Bagna Cauda, an anchovy and garlic fondue, and widely considered as one of Piedmont’s iconic dishes, embodies the regions hardy, no frills cooking. Usually served with an assortment of raw vegetables, the meal is usually placed in the middle of the table during meals. Given its rich nature, Bagna Cauda is had during Piedmont’s winter months.
Tajarin, the Piedmont pronunciation for Tagliatelle, is considered one the region’s most decadent pasta dishes. Made from tagliatelle with up to 40 egg yolks, giving the pasta its famed yellowish color, the dish is normally served with a porcini mushroom sauce and topped with white truffles, depending on the hosts generosity.
Flagship food appellation
Wine-related activities in the region
- Wine and food pairing
- Discovery ride
- Wine Tasting
- Cellar visit
Asti: Carnival (February)
Nizza Monferrato: Corsa delle Botti (4th Sunday in May)