Ever Dreamed of Living In A Tree House Village? In Italy, Canavese (Piedmont), there is a small community of people who live in tree houses!
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Curated by Mariano Pallottini
Taste the best of Italy’s Piedmont region on this route through Langhe and Roero, enjoying its outstanding barolo and barbaresco wines, staying at vineyard B&BS and eating at traditional osterie
Even in the midst of summer, the idyllic vineyard landscapes of Piedmont are rarely invaded by crowds of tourists, and the run-up to the grape harvests, beginning in September, can be an ideal time to visit winemakers, who have more time than usual to let visitors taste their vintages. [...]
The amazing man-made structures and natural landscapes that comprise the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites are awe-inspiring, and now there are more of them than ever. This year, the World Heritage Committee added 26 inscriptions to the list, bringing more sites of cultural, natural, and historical importance under the protection of the United Nations. One of these is located in Italy
Located in northern Italy near the French border, the vineyard landscape of Piedmont not only produces world-class wines, but is also the seat of important Italian history. In addition to five distinct wine growing regions, the Castle of Cavour, dating back to the 13th century, has also been included under the UNESCO listing. The development of important winegrowing processes and the presence of vine pollen from the fifth century B.C. have made this part of Italian wine country particularly significant. Monferrato was a key holding of the Holy Roman Empire during the 16th century before it came under the control of the Duchy of Savoy in the early 18th century. In addition to its internationally renowned wines, the Langhe region is also known for its white truffles.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Italy Guide
There’s nothing quite as enchanting as a vacation in one of the world’s great wine regions, where stunningly beautiful vineyards serve as the perfect backdrop for tasting some of the best vintages available. And while more and more wine destinations seem to sprout up every year, some places will always set the standard for wine lovers. These 10 essential trips will inspire you to explore the wide world of winemaking.
Unless you are from Turin, you probably haven’t heard of the hidden gem that is the “Bicerin”. Invented in the 18th century, the Bicerin has become somewhat of an indulgent luxury for many people living in the Piedmont capital.
How so? Well the Bicerin is a three layered coffee drink. Depsite the fact that the name means “little glass,” glasses are usually 1ft tall and very narrow. The base layer consists of the finest gianduja (a hazelnut blend) chocolate fondue. Some cafés might serve Nutella instead of gianduja. On top of this layer is a cup of espresso, which blends with the chocolate base perfectly. To top everything off, a scoop of delicious cold whipped cream with chocolate flakes, that balances out the strong hot chocolate-coffee base layers, creating the ultimate mix which results in an invigorating and euphoric winter drink. [...]
We spent 20 days traveling around the breathtaking Piedmont countryside to make our contribution to the beauty of the Langhe & Roero. Shooting took place amongst vineyard and hazelnut groves, castles and truffles and truly some of the nicest people we have worked with in a long time! Special thanks to Edoardo Cicchetti (http://www.timelapse.it/en/) for his talent and patience.
Langhe & Roero http://www.langheroero.it/
If you're planning to visit Italy this winter season, then Limone Piemonte should be on your list. Not only is it one of Italy's oldest Alpine villages, it is also home to one of the most beautiful ski areas in Europe. The Alpine village features many old buildings and a twelfth century church situated in the center of town. The town and ski resort are located very close to the French border and approximately 30 miles from the city of Nice. [...]
If you ask an Italian where the best food is in Italy, you almost always get the same answer. "Eh," they like to say. "At my mother's house!"…looking like "how could you be so stupid to not know that?
But if you push it to a regional discussion...as I have hundreds of times...the most likely answer is...”Emilia-Romagna”.
Oh, you may hear a few votes from Italians for Piemonte, and a few for regions of the south. You never hear the American’s favorite answer, Tuscany, because Tuscan cuisine is not viewed as something special in Italy [...]
The capital of Italy’s Piedmont, Turin is reputed to be the centre of witchcraft of Italy and is part of the black magic triangle, which it shares with London and San Francisco.
The surrealist painter, Giorgio de Chirico, described Turin as: ‘the most profound, most enigmatic, most disquieting city not only of Italy, but of the world’. He wasn’t wrong, there is a darkness that pervades the city, which make it the perfect place for Halloween. Here the 10 of the most haunted and disturbing locations in Turin and the surrounding area.
3/3) Land of Many Treasures
The final leg of their journey moves north to Piedmont. They visit an abbey along the Via Francigena, an ancient road running from Rome to Canterbury, to reflect with the monks who live there. There are many gastronomic treasures to discover in this region, from the famous rice fields of Vercelli, to the Gianduiotti in Turin, the region's capital. Giorgio chats to the founder of slow food, Carlo Petrini. Andrew explores the baroque architecture all over Turin. Finally, another incredible pilgrimage site: Sacro Monte, Holy Mountains, in Varallo. A series of gruesome chapels on top of a mountain full of waxworks enacting scenes like the Massacre of the Innocents.
2/3) Looking to the Future
The second leg of their journey takes Giorgio home, to Lombardy, a region brimming with engineering innovations and the influences brought by the proximity to Northern Europe, always with an eye to the future. The first stop is of course Corgeno, Giorgio's hometown, where Andrew is the guest at a typical Sunday Lunch at the Locatelli's home. Andrew repays him with a visit to some very unusual frescos by Lorenzo Lotto, hidden in a private chapel. The Christ with long fingernails is one of Andrew favourite frescos. And it's time to reach Milan, the capital, with its temples dedicated to the Gods of religion (The Duomo), art (La Scala) and capitalism (the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele the II and surroundings streets, full of luxury shops).
1/3) The Art of the Feast
Their journey begins in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna, one of the richest regions in Italy. They find out why the city is know as la Dotta (the Learned), la Grassa (the Fat) and la Rossa (the Red), while visiting its shops, art institutions and the oldest university in the world. Andrew and Giorgio experience the social and friendly atmosphere of the region and meet fishermen casting huge nets at the mouth of the river Po. From there, it is a short journey to Ferrara where they discover the legacy left by the famous dynasty d'Este, and to Modena, home of balsamic vinegar and Ferrari. Finally, Giorgio reveals the source of modern Italian cuisine - at the Palatina Library in Parma he views an original copy of the first cook book of the newly united Italy - while Andrew admires Correggio's magnificent fresco in the dome of Parma Cathedral.
Do you know Italy… by region? It might seem like a lot to ask, but if you’re planning a trip to Italy, knowing Italy’s regions is a great place to start!
The country is broken up into 20 official regions, which you can think of as districts—similar to states or provinces. What are the different regions, what are they known for, and which ones should you travel to? Here’s help!
(How many of the 20 regions have you heard of, or been to? Tell us in the comments!).
Looking for Properties in Italy? http://www.greatestate.it
Piedmont continues to pull in visitors who seek to experience its varied landscape. This property in Melazzo is in the midst of it all, never far from the mountains and coast, while enjoying the rolling countryside of its own location. The perfect spot in which to situate yourself, if only for the summer, as we discover.
While much attention is focused on its capital, Turin, the northern Italian state of Piedmont has a lot more going for it than big-city life. Alpine living is fundamental to the identity of the people here, while its proximity to France and Switzerland give it a welcome international outlook.
Small Alpine towns and villages are a huge part of the character of Piedmont (which, aptly, means ‘foothills of the Alps’), though this should not blind visitors to its rural attractions further south. Indeed, with the famous mountains to the north and the Ligurian Sea an hour in the opposite direction, the small town of Melazzo is centrally placed to take advantage of the diverse opportunities presented by the region’s natural beauty.
Melazzo is located in the province of Alessandria, which is known for various UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the church and convent of Santa Croce at Bosco Marengo and Sezzadio’s Abbazia di Santa Giustina (St Guistina abbey), founded in 722. A striking building in Melazzo, however, has its own very impressive history. Castello di Melazzo (Castle of Melazzo) dates back to the 11th century and, according to historian Ian Mortimer, England’s King Edward II lived here for two and a half years in the 1330s.
Below I have picked out 9 italian of 50 international best cultural tours for 2013
A great option for those new to the cultural treasures of Italy, this tour promises all the show-shopping Italian moments, from gondola rides in Venice to gelati in the Roman sunshine. It also offers a snapshot of Italy’s artistic legacy, including an expert-guided tour of Florence’s Uffizi Gallery; and the many artistic riches housed in the Vatican City at Rome, including that famous paint-job by Michelangelo.
July 8 and 22, from £4,489 (0845 485 1525; abercrombiekent.com)
The historian Charles Freeman leads this “leisurely” exploration of Puglia, the heel of Italy. It includes visits to a wide range of monuments from medieval and later periods, and time to absorb the magnificent Baroque architecture of Lecce and the much lesser-known Norman cathedrals and castles of the regio.
September 23-30, £1,995. Ciceroni Travel (01869 811167; ciceroni.co.uk)
A new itinerary focusing on Renaissance palaces and allowing access to several that are normally closed to the public. These include Palazzi Corsini, Lanfredini, Pandolfini and Capponi all’Annunziata. Special arrangements also allow entry to the Uffizi’s 16th-century Vasari Corridor. The leader is Dr Joachim Strupp, an expert in Italian art.
November 6-10, £1,920. Martin Randall Travel
Rupert Smith, a classicist and teacher, brings the stories of ancient Greece and Rome to life on this week-long Easter holiday tour aimed at families with children aged 11 and over. Boat rides and a stay on a mozzarella farm combine with trips to Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi and Paestum to provide a good balance of fun and education.
April 4-11, £1,630 excluding flights. Cazenove and Lloyd (020 7384 2332; cazloyd.com)
A chance for special, behind-the-scenes access to some of Pompeii’s private monuments and buildings is why this tour is among Andante Travels’ most popular options. Spring and autumn departures are led by a range of expert lecturers including William Manning, Emeritus Professor of Roman Archaeology at Cardiff University.
Seven departures March to May and September to October, £1,365. Andante Travels (01722 713800; andantetravels.com)
Kirker is offering several trips to La Scala; given that this is Verdi’s year, the one that includes two of his greatest works in three days looks like the one to pick. The productions of Aida and Don Carlo are conducted by Fabio Luisi, and the trip is accompanied by Sandy Burnett, the musician and former Radio 3 presenter. October 28-31, £1,290. Kirker Holidays (020 7593 1899; kirkerholidays.com)
Private visits to gardens in the company of Robin Lane Fox, reader in ancient history at Oxford University, gardener and occasional contributor to Telegraph Travel. The itinerary includes palaces in Catania and Syracuse, the amphitheatre at Taormina, the Baroque town of Noto and a trip to see the Riace bronzes.
Sept 13-19, £2,985 excluding flights. Fine Art Travel (020 7437 8553; finearttravel.co.uk)
Piedmont, centre of the Slow Food movement, arguably takes its food and wine more seriously than anywhere else in Italy. This tour includes visits to Alba, the world’s white-truffle capital, and to several Barolo wineries, plus meals at simple trattorias and Michelin-starred restaurants. It also leaves time to explore the region’s art and architecture – which are also of the highest order. The lecturer is Marc Millon, co-author of Frommer’s Food Lover’s Companion to Italy.
Oct 5-11, £2,660. Martin Randall Travel (020 8742 3355; martinrandall.co.uk)
Peter Sommer is best known for his cultural cruises in Turkish gulets, but he also offers themed trips to other European destinations. This itinerary in Sicily takes in both gastronomical and historical highlights and is led by Marcello Baglioni, a cultural specialist, and Dr Michael Metcalfe, an archaeologist. It includes cooking classes, visits to local producers of cheese, olives, honey and wines, and numerous tastings, including one of traditional modicano chocolate.
Oct 5-12, £2,495 excluding flights. Peter Sommer (01600 888220; petersommer.com)