Piemonte. The industrial heart of Italy.
Boring and grey?
With award-winning and internationally renowned wine (from Barolo to Nebbiolo to Moscato d’Asti), the largest number of Michelin star restaurants of any region of Italy, the home of Italian Slow Food, museums and historical sites galore, an elegant and classy capital like Turin, the Ferrero factory and the prestigious white truffle of Alba (DOC), the region of Piemonte has loads to offer.
And these snaps will make sure Piemonte – if it isn’t already on there – moves into the number one spot on your ‘travel to next’ list!
Stylish hotels (where your balcony is flower filled) like the Hotel Piemontese Best Western
Cool bars like Banco: Vini e Alimenti where you can sip on a Barbera and taste the best local cheeses and salumi
If Bologna is the capital of tortellini, then Piemonte is home to agnolotti. These ones (Agnolotti Gobbo) are filled with veal, pork and rabbit and served in a simple butter sauce
You’re surrounded by stunning piazze and buildings at every turn in Torino
Torino is home to Martini vermouth and the Caffe Torino is one of the cities historic cafes
Piazza San Carlo in Torino is stylish and retains and retains its 17th century look
In Torino you can shop in classy galleries that look like this!
Palazzo Madama in Torino (the first palace of the Italian kingdom) will blow you away with intricate golden touches that seem too pretty to be real
The view of Torino from the top floor of the Palazzo Madama is breathtaking
The historic Caffe Torino is simply stunning
Torino is full of pasticcerie! Cakes are their thing aroudn here. A dream come true for those with a sweettooth
Unlike many other cities where coffee is taken standing at the bar like a shot, in Torino there is a great cafe culture with people gathering to sit and chat, read the paper or enjoy some downtime
Torino boasts an elegant, opulent cafe culture. This is the famous Cafe San Carl
You will stuff your face wtih these divine gianduiotti in Torino
Fassone beef slow cooked in Ruche red wine served with turnip and celery puree (Il Consorzio, Torino)
Crumbed and poached fried egg served with spinach, crispy pancetta and cheddar fondue (Il Consorzio, Torino)
Beef tartare made with Fassona beef (cattle that is found only in Piemonte). This is at the award winning Il Consorzio in Torino
Bicerin is the warm drink of choice for the Torinese – hot chocolate plus a shot of coffee, topped with freshly whipped cream. Served here with a strawberry custard tart at the historic Clarissa cake shop
You can go on a truffle hunt with a local hunter to find some black truffle like this
Every single thing you need for at tea-party – offered by the gorgeous and hospitable hosts of B&B La Terrazza Sulle Torri
Meet Giueseppe – a local truffle hunter – and his dog Luna
Salumi are top quality around here, it will be hard to stop at tasting just one
Alba is home to truffles. The White Truffle of Alba is DOC (quality protected) and is exported to some of the world’s best restaurants. Black truffles are also found here
Local to Alba, the lovely Dolcetto d’Alba
Vitello Tonnato is another Piemontese classic: thinly sliced veal served with a creamy tuna based cream
No shortage of wine in Piemonte! Find one to match each course – like this Moscato d’Asti for dessert
With the Ferrero headquarters (think Ferrero Rocher and Nutella!) in Alba, of course the region grows a load of hazelnuts
Walking the streets of Alba you’ll stumble upon old food shops like this bar and pasticceria – open since 1878
Tasting local hazelnut chocolate spread
A lunch feast at La Bottega del Vicoletto in Alba. Tajarin (the local style egg pasta similar to tagliolini) are served here with black truffle and butter sauce
Tartufi & Co, a prime supplier and seller of truffle products in Alba, put out fresh treats for their customers daily
Stunning frescoes adorn the entire interior of the Cathedral of Asti
Priceless: drinking my favourite dessert wine, Moscato D’Asti in Asti
In Piemonte you get to drink famous wines in the town of their origin – like Barolo!
Eggs are a popular component of Piemontese cuisine. This one is poached and served with asparagus and fondue (Osteria Veglio, La Morra)
Plin (agnolotti pinched together by hand to close) are the typical pasta of the Langhe towns of Piemonte. These ones at Osteria Veglio are filled with meat ragu.
Desserts like works of art – this is an open apple pie with spiced custard, served with vanilla and olive oil gelato (Osteria Veglio in La Morra)
I found out crissini (breadsticks) originated in this part of Italy! You’ll find them on restaurant tables everywhere!
The Mole Antonelliana tower can be seen from just about all corners of Torino. It features the museum of cinematic history and a viewing deck with views of all the city
The newly opened Egyptian Museum in Torino has the largest collection of Egyptian art and artefacts outside Cairo
Torino and Piemonte in general, is home to the majority of Italy’s main chocolate makers, including Galup. This is where the Gianduiotto (chocolate praline that’s shaped like an upside down boat) was born
Chocolate bonet – a typical pudding style dessert
Desserts of the highest quality – this praline fondant served with homemade local hazelnut gelato at La Libera in Alba
A night tour of Torino taught me that the city has two souls – one of white magic and one of black
Restaurants throughout Torino and Piemonte are award winners – from the Michelin guide to Gambero Rosso (an Italian quality dining guide) to Slow Food – you are spoilt for choice
So many pretty towns – these are the streets of Asti
Starter offered by the chef at Osteria Veglio in La Morra – homemade pancetta (with a side of Nebbiolo red)
Chocolate – in Torino especially – at every turn. Baratti & Milano is one of the oldest and most historic chocolate producers in the city.
There are so many quality wines in this area – Nebbiolo was one of my faves
Signing it from Trastevere (with a Piemontese wine hangover!)
Special thanks: Part of my recent travels to Turin and Alba were sponsored by Turismo Torino, Best Western Hotel Piemontese, B&B La Terrazza Sulle Torre and Il Profumo Della Notte (truffle hunts and events). My heartfelt gratitude goes to Chiara, Lorenzo, Raffaele, Giaccomo, Giuseppe and Luna. And so while some of my travel costs were covered, nobody tells me what to write. All views and images are my own.