As a foodie, the Piedmont region of Italy has been on my bucket list for years. Last Fall, I finally spent a few days exploring Alba and the surrounding towns. Once known as the City of 100 Towers, Alba is the capital of Italy’s UNESCO Langhe hills.
The famous Piedmont region is a perfect area to spend a few days. Just imagine rolling hills with miles and miles of grapes and historic hilltop towns. Add in plenty of shopping, sightseeing, delicious food, and amazing red wines. Definitely scores a 10 in my book!
You can easily reach Piedmont by car or direct trains from Milan and Genoa. The drive from Nice to Alba takes about 3 hours. During the drive you’ll pass through over 100 tunnels and bridges – yes, I tried counting them but stopped at 109!
Truffles in Alba
Alba is known as the truffle capital of Italy. The end of September marks the beginning of truffle season with festivals and food! Fortunately, I hit it just right and managed to eat some amazing meals. I had one of the best dinners at the restaurant pictured above. Cheese filled pillows of pasta in a very light sauce, smothered with shaved white truffles…unbelievable!
Also, Alba has a beautiful cathedral. Sorry, I don’t have a picture as there was a festival going on. The pedestrian lanes and alleys in the historic center are filled with shops, restaurants and cafés to spend an afternoon. Of course, there are several specialty shops offering local truffle products, be sure to pick up something yummy to bring home!
The Piedmont region of Italy is famous for some delicious, bold red wines like Barolo, Nebbiolo and Barbera to name a few. Many of the wineries offer tours and tastings. However, the best way to taste several local wines at once is to stop into an Enoteca in any of the small villages or towns and sample away.
The beautiful hilltop town of Barolo has several Enoteca’s to sample the famous wines of the region. One of the best is in the basement of the castle. Walk around the town, and head to the main square for lunch. At the top of town there are several museums to visit as well. Or, visit some vineyards located around the village for a tour and tasting.
Monteforte d’Alba is an adorable historic hilltop town. There’s the main square and a beautiful cathedral. However, the “hidden” gem is above the main square. Hike up the hill, past beautiful stone buildings to the top. The chapel, bell tower and the Horszowski outdoor theater are located at the top. The views of the surrounding vineyards and hills from the top are spectacular.
Where to Stay
Stay at the famous winery Fontanafreddo in Serralunga. The winery, the largest wine producer of the region, boasts a Michelin starred restaurant and a bistro. The comfortable rooms are divided into three separate buildings. Be sure to stop by the wine shop for a tasting or take one of the winery tours offered.
So, if you love wine and food be sure to put Piedmont on your bucket list. I’m so glad I checked it off of mine! Don’t miss When In Rome: My Top 5 if your also heading to Rome on your trip to Italy.
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