Piedmont Region of Italy Is Like Tuscany Forty Years Ago

Last Updated on

Piedmont, in Italy’s northwest corner just over the Swiss border, has one of the most achingly beautiful landscapes in the country if not on the whole face of the earth. Travelers who have been to Rome, Florence, the Almafi Coast, and even Tuscany, will find in Piedmont a relatively quiet, off-the-beaten-path series of hill villages where families have been making wine and digging for truffels for centuries.

Quilted Italian Landscape, Piedmont Italy
Piedmont Region of Italy

The cities of Piedmont – Asti, Alba, Torino – are not swarming with tourists searching for Pucci and Prada goods.  You have to love solitude, excellent Barolos and Barbaressca wines, narrow winding roads, and have a sense of culinary adventure, to get the most out of a stay here.

Piedmont Villages and Vineyards

If you have a few days and want to unwind in Piedmont, here’s a pictorial step by step guide:

1. Drive through the “Valley of Apricots” on the spectacular road (3 1/2 hours) from Montreux Switzerland to Asti Italy. Stop at one of the many road stands along the way.

Road Between Montreux Switzerland and Piedmont Italy
Through the Swiss/Italian Alps from Montreux Switzerland to Piedmont Region of Italy
Roadside Stand in the Valley of the Apricots Between Switzerland and Italy
Stop for the freshest apricots imaginable in “The Vally of Apricots” from Switzerland to Italy’s Piedmont Region

2. Plan to unwind at a vineyard estate inn like Castello Di Razzano (about 125 Euro/night for a very large room). To try estate wines, indulge in truffles, take a cooking class, peruse a “winemaking museum” or sit by one of the most stunningly set pools in the world, you need not leave this exquisite hilltop wine resort. Castello Di Razzano is about 15 minutes drive from Asti, Italy.

Castello De Razzano in Piedmont Italy
Castello Di Razzano Welcome Sign, Alfiano Natta (Piedmont), Italy
Castello Di Razzano near Asti, Italy
Relaxing at Castello Di Razzano, Alfiano Natta (Piedmont), Italy
Pool at Castello Di Razzano, Piedmont Italy
Pool at Castello Di Razzano, Alfiano Natta (Piedmont), Italy
Private-Stash-Castello-Di-Razzano-Hotel
Private wine stash, self guided Museo Arte Vino Razzano Museum tour – Castello Di Razzano, Alfiano Natta (Piedmont), Italy
Breakfast, Castello Di Razzano
Bountiful Breakfast at Castello Di Razzano, Alfiano Natta (Piedmont), Italy
Castello Di Razzano at Night
Grounds at night: Castello Di Razzano, Alfiano Natta (Piedmont), Italy
Tasting Room at Castello Di Razzano Near Asti in Piedmont Italy
Tasting Room at Castello Di Razzano, Alfiano Natta (Piedmont), Italy
Always Just Moments Away From Another Glass of Wine, Castello Di Razzano, Italy
You’re never far from a glass of wine at Castello Di Razzano, Alfiano Natta (Piedmont), Italy

2A: Try out a nearby traditional restaurant like Ristorante Da Maria in Zanco, just 4 km from the Castello. You might even get a ride back via the chef, Georgio and his maitre d brother, Roberto Penna.

Restaurant Da Maria, Piedmont Italy
Ristorante Da Maria in Zanco, Piedmont Italy
Restaraunt Da Maria in Piedmont Italy
Cheese antipasti, Ristorante Da Maria in Zanco, Piedmont Italy
Family Owned Restaurant Da Maria in Piedmont Italy
Chef Giorgio, wife Franca and kids at Ristorante Da Maria in Zanco, Piedmont Italy

3. Sign up for a cooking class.  If staying at Castello Di Razzano, an Italian Mama comes to you. ($125 per person includes instruction and multi-course meal. Truffles and Wine additional).

Black Truffle For Cooking Class at Castello Di Razzano
Purchase Black Truffles for cooking class in Castello Di Razzano gift shop
Cooking Class Watching Experts First
Prepping for cooking class at Castello Di Razzano, Piedmont, Italy
Cooking Class Teacher, Carmella, At Castello Di Razzano
Chef Carmella is such a local personality, she’s been on Italian TV! Cooking class at Castello Di Razzano, Piedmont, Italy
Pasta Lesson, Castello Di Razzano
Pasta-making lesson: cooking class at Castello Di Razzano, Piedmont, Italy
Cooking Class at Castello
Pasta-cutting lesson: cooking class at Castello Di Razzano, Piedmont, Italy
Eating the Fruits and Vegitables of Our Labor
Peppers With Tuna and Anchovy Sauce – a regional specialty. Cooking class at Castello Di Razzano, Piedmont, Italy
Dining After Making our Own Dinner
Dining on the fruits of our labor overlooking the courtyard of Castello Di Razzano, Piedmont, Italy

4. Take a wine tour, followed by a wine seminar and bountiful homemade food pairings at Agriturismo Il Bricco in Treiso (ten minutes drive from Alba). Sommelier, Serena, teaches groups about the Barolos and Barbaresco reds that have won over many a French wine loyalist.  In addition to the wine tours and tastings, you can also stay in this 4 room farmhouse for less than $100 per night.

Family Owned Montaribaldi Vineyards
Begin at the Montaribaldi Winery in Barbaresco. Like most vineyards, it has been and continues to be run by one family.
Childrens Drawing Ends Up on Wine Label
All generations are involved in the wine-making process. At Montaribaldi, the newest generation draws a picture that becomes a signature wine label.
Montaribaldi Chardonay Label C:O Childrens Doodle
Montaribaldi Sigiuja Chardonay. Label designed by the youngest in the winemaking family.
Preparing To Taste 8 Types of Wine, Piedmont Italy
Preparing for an evening of 8 wine-food pairings at Agriturismo Il Bricco in Treiso, Italy (Piedmont)
Wine Tasting Paired With Homemade Italian Dishes
Wine expert, Serena, announces and pours wine while her mother, Olga, prepares dishes in the kitchen.
Portly Bottle, Il Bricco Wine Tasting in Piedmont Italy
Unusually shaped “portly” bottle at wine-tasting in Piedmont Italy
Veggie Tart Part of Five Hour Wine Tasting Evening, Piedmont Italy
Olga’s Veggie Tart – one of 8 courses at Wine Tasting at Agriturismo Il Bricco, Piedmont Italy
Pasta Course Paired With Proper Wine, Piedmont Italy
Olga’s amazing pasta, paired with the proper wine. Agritourismo Il Bricco, Piedmont Italy
Ending the Wine Tasting Evening
Full bellies, empty bottles at Piedmont Wine Tasting evening; Agriturismo Il Bricco, Treiso, Italy

1 thought on “Piedmont Region of Italy Is Like Tuscany Forty Years Ago”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Antispam to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.