In 2019, Piedmont was ranked as the number 1 region in the world among the tourist destinations of the prestigious international top “Best in Travel” edited by the Lonely Planet guide.
Our region boasts 14 small historic centers that are selected each year by the Scientific Committee of the Association and arouse the interest of tour operators and foreign tourists interested in trying the experience of slow tourism between nature trails, cultural itineraries and food and wine discoveries. .
After this lockdown period, we can’t wait to be outdoors for a while, and why not start from our region and our products? Why not start with a nice walk in the ancient village of Vogogna?
Evocative corners and views and this unexpected medieval castle in which a national multimedia center has been set up. Until 1800 it was the capital of the lower Ossola, today Vogogna is home to the Val Grande National Park and from here there are paths that connect the Ossola plain to the internal areas of the Park through abandoned mountain pastures. In 20 minutes by car, you can easily reach the Divin Porcello, where you can taste the typical dish of local cuisine, gnocchi all’ossolona, a mixture of chestnut flour, pumpkin and boiled potato puree seasoned with melted butter and local cheese. If, on the other hand, you want to continue towards the other villages, you can buy the characteristic cured meats of the Ossola Valley here.
Continuing towards the province of Biella, we enter the Baraggia Nature Reserve, meeting Ricetto di Candelo, a fortification for the defense of the people and for the storage of agricultural products. The walls that enclose the rue make us feel as if the time machine had taken us to the Middle Ages during the daily peasant life.
Here you can find the sweets of the most ancient Piedmontese tradition, produced in the province of Biella where the biscuits par excellence of the territory is Traditional Agri-food Product of Piedmont (PAT) are prepared every day with simple and genuine raw materials.
Going down towards the center-south of Piedmont, we reach the Riviera del Monferrato for its mild climate, on top of the hill we find the village of Cocconato. An artistic heritage consisting of churches and palaces and an annual calendar full of events, including the famous Palio degli Asini which takes place in September and recalls a fire that broke out in the castle in the Middle Ages which was extinguished by the inhabitants. The eight villages that make up Cocconato made up of a procession of 100 figures in historical clothes prepare the team of runners with the donkey that will defend their color.
Didn’t you get thirsty after all these miles? On the way to the next village, you will find here a completely natural wine, a small plot of land cultivated only with Nebbiolo vines.
4. Monforte d’Alba
Here we are, in the ancient historic center of Monforte, where its steep medieval streets show how this town has enhanced its premises with great attention to restoration and functional recovery. In fact, since 2014 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a wine landscape in Piedmont, especially in the area between Monferrato and Langhe / Roero. From a varied raw material and from the imagination of the cooks a wide range of very elaborate appetizers, first courses, second courses and desserts was born, here you can find native delicacies!
Having almost reached the border with Liguria, 40 km from the sea, we reach our last stop, Garessio. Born in the middle of the oaks, it finds itself colliding with the sea wind and the red bricks of the village that goes as far as the mountain hamlets where some shepherds resist among the scent of mountain cheeses. This is not only the starting point of dozens of trails in the Alta Val Tanaro, but a few kilometers away is the ski resort where you can ski while looking at the sea. We could say different products of excellence of the territory but instead, I would like to point out the simplest element that brings Garessio to the table throughout Italy and around the world: the San Bernardo low mineral content water that flows at an altitude of 1300 m from the Rocciaviva source.
Don’t you feel now you want to travel? Then go ahead! Our region is full of surprises!