Piedmont is The Quiet Italian. (Yes, there is such a thing).
While tourists flock to Tuscany, Venice, Rome and the Amalfi Coast, Piedmont is steadily emerging as the go-to place for authentic cool climate Italian food and some of the world’s most respected wines. Here you can try big boys like Barolo and Barbaresco as well as lesser-known varietals like Barbera and Dolcetto.
Jutting up against France and Switzerland, Piedmont is the most French of Italian regions, and has only been independent from France for around 200 years. The French influence is evident in the elegant architecture and food. Although this cooler climate area likes to carb up with polenta, pasta, cheese, chocolate and bread, the food is flavoursome but delicate. It’s a haven for in-the-know foodies.
For even extra foodie street cred, the Slow Food movement originated here and today the region is increasingly popular for foodies who want to experience fab food without the crowds.
If you’re not keen on driving, foodie and/or walking tours abound. We did a walking tour with A LOT of wine and food thrown in with UK group, HF Holidays http://www.hfholidays.co.uk. The beauty of that tour was that each day there was a choice of a moderate walk and an easy walk to cater to all levels of fitness.
The highlight was a walk centred around the lovely village of Barolo, which lends its name to the wine. The town of Barolo may be a mere speck on the map, but is definitely on the radar with foodie groups and hungry German tourists. There’s a rather twee Corkscrew Museum and a reasonable Wine Museum in the town and some lovely walks through winelands and of course, a robust glass of Barolo at day’s end at the bar. Bellissimo!