I think we’re in love. We didn’t think we could find a more beautiful and serene part of Italy than we’ve already seen! We went wine tasting in the Piedmont region, which is undeniably stunning!
The Landscape of Piedmont
The Piedmont region (Piemonte, meaning “at the foot of the mountain” in Italian) is set in a gorgeous location surrounded by vineyards, rolling countryside, and framed by the Alps in the distance. Situated in northwest Italy, the region borders France and Switzerland.
Tourists don’t flock to the area as they do to popular destinations like Tuscany. That’s one of the things we thoroughly enjoyed about it. Aside from the very small towns, there is sprawling farm country, home to vineyards, truffles, and family run inns. Not surprisingly, people come here to relax and gaze out at the beautiful scenery with a glass of wine in hand.
Quick Visit to Beautiful Turin
Our first stop in this region was Turin. Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region and is Italy’s fourth largest city. In addition, it was also home to the 2006 winter Olympics.
While driving, we noticed a tremendous difference from Naples right away… people here follow the rules of the road! For one thing, they stop at traffic lights! They also stop at stop signs, and yield at circles and pedestrians. Someone actually honked us when we went into a circle without stopping, which is an everyday part of Naples life.
Turin has a cultured and educated vibe. Around every corner are theaters, beautiful French-influenced architecture, and arts festivals. It’s also a very clean city, and the streets are free of beggars. We wanted more time here, but we had a weekend in the wine country ahead of us.
Making the Most of Wine Tasting
For the next couple of days, we drove to different wineries in the Barolo and Barbaresco regions. All in all, we visited eight wineries, with four of them giving us tours and tastings completely in Italian.
Our favorites were the very small family-run wineries where the families actually live on site. They were so welcoming, didn’t charge us for tastings (though we did buy a ton), fed us snacks, and let us try as much as we wanted. It seemed like they were in it for the pure joy of making wines, rather than mass-producing bottles for the public.
All in all, we’d say that our two days wine tasting in the Piedmont region was very productive! We ended up bringing back 46 bottles and a magnum.
Lodging near Barbaresco
Our small bed and breakfast was situated just outside of the small town of Barbaresco. High up on a hill, we had a lovely view of the town of Alba and some of the region.
Luckily, we were within walking distance to a few restaurants that served typical Piedmont food consisting of pasta with butter and sage, truffles, and meats. Soft cheeses and fig jam were a staple at breakfast, which was reminiscent of our time in Switzerland.
Sad to Leave
On our way back to the train station to return the rental car, we stopped in the town of Asti. Asti is the home of Asti Spumante, which is a sweet fizzy wine, and Barbera d’Asti, a nice red.
We didn’t have much time, but we were able to walk along the narrow streets and gaze upon the medieval towers and churches.
We would have loved to have stayed longer here, and the trip left us wondering and asking each other often, “Why can’t we live here”? The beauty, tranquility, and hospitality make the Piedmont Region a must-see destination for anyone wanting to get away.