We’ve been visiting the Piedmont region a lot recently and I think its pretty great so I’m going to give you loads of reasons to go visit it!
- Reason #1 – Wine. I love wine. Winey wine wine. Here it goes down, down into my belly. I have never been a connoisseur of wines, I’ve always been more of a pint of Heineken kinda gal but within a year I’ve learnt so much about Italian wines. I’ve even discovered my favourite wine, how friggin’ grown up is that?! The Piedmonte region has so many different types of grapes, the grapes in my mums vineyard are of the Dolcetto variety and I CAN NOT wait for her wine to be ready to try! My absolute favourite wine is a Dolcetto Dogliani, called ‘Papa Celso’ and it comes from the Marziano Abbona vineyard which produces the most amazing range of wines I have ever tried! We had many bottles of their ‘Metodo Classico Brut’ over the festive period and I’m addicted! The company has been run by the family for like 60 years. Contact them via their website to arrange a tasting! Another vineyard that we visited for a tasting which offered a really amazing experience was the Poderi Einaudi vineyard. I wrote about them in my post ‘Why wine tasting isn’t scary’. This tour is a lot more in depth and you learn a lot about the actual making of the wine! Contact them by phone or email to arrange a tour!
The Piedmonte region is so famous for wine that there is special wine coach tours that take you around the entire region. I know this because every time I’m in Barolo, a massive coach tips up and a hundred Swiss and Germans hop off!
- Reason #2 – Shopping. everyone knows that the Italians are stylish bastards; I feel that I will never achieve the effortless, ‘just rolled out of a boutique’ look no matter how casual I try to make my facial expressions. Every town has a great selection of chain stores and independent clothing shops, and its impossible not to spend a lot. My favourite shop is ‘Primadonna’ which sells amazing shoes and handbags at killer prices! There is a primadonna located in the city of Alba, a really beautiful old town with the best range of shops you could ever imagine. Spend a morning there shopping and then head to one of the bars and restaurants in the square to recharge after all that spending! Mondovi also has an equally stunning old town and enticing shop selection, however, If shopping is your game and you’re not too bothered about the scenery, head over to the shopping centre and designer outlet in Mondovicino where you can pick up some bargains and work on your italian fashion sense! The markets are also a great way to spend a morning. Every tuesday, wander around the market in Dogliani where you can pick up freshly made pasta (the gnocchi is amazeballs), quirky fashion and must-have kitchen equipment for italian cooking! Theres something about perusing stalls selling packs of Fila socks for 1 euro that I find fascinating.
- Reason #3 – Bars & Restaurant – So more wine.. (I don’t have a drinking problem I swear!) What is better to pair with your amazing italian wine than some amazing italian food?! But for good food you generally have to pay a good price. For a special meal, head over to the Barolando restaurant in the main street of Barolo, or for a cosy evening meal pop over to ‘La Farinel’ in Dogliani for some traditional ‘Piemontese’ cooking and homemade Limoncello by a lovely couple (who also speak perfect English!) If you don’t want to go out for a mea or if you’re on a budget, head to the Caffee Della Riveria or the Civico Uno wine bar in Dogliani where tasty treats like antipasti, pizza and bruschetta are brought out with your drinks. The longer you’re there and the more drinks you order the sooner the pizzas come out – its a good way to judge when you’ve been out too long and should go home! The 400 trading post in Dogliani is hidden away amongst the back streets and offers the most delightful glass of prosecco!
- Reason #4 -Proximity to the Coast – Going from living a metres walk from the sea to living in a landlocked country was a little bit of a culture shock to me. The lakes in Switzerland are of course incredible but theres something about the sand and staring out to the horizon that is a little hard to beat. From Dogliani to Savonna, it takes about 1 hour 15 minutes which isn’t a bad shout if you want to dip your trotters in the Ligurian Sea. the town is full of restaurants, shops, hotels and camping. The coastline here is very ‘covey’ and although you may not be able to swing your cat, you will find a spot to lay out a towel! Take the coastal road down to ’Noli’ for a more local experience or continue down the coastline to Monte Carlo for spectacular sights and designer shopping.
- Reason #5 -Historic Villages – Piedmonte is abundant (yes, abundant!) with historic, hilltop towns and vineyards. Drive up to Monfort D’alba, abandon your car and wander through the paved streets, looking for a nook to have an early evening apero. The key to finding these hidden gems is taking time to drive through the winding roads through the vineyards, stopping for photographs and to explore the villages. Climb the hill up to the old town of Dogliani and look down over the terracotta roofs and the impressive architecture of the cathedral. Or stroll through the streets of Barolo down to the castle and gaze over vineyards at impressive churches.
Have I convinced you to go yet?! Yasmin x
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