Hear about travel to Barolo and the Piedmont region of Italy as the Amateur Traveler talks to Betsy and Greg Ball from eurotravelcoach.com about this wine region that they love.
Betsy says, “Barolo has the most spectacular food, the most amazing wine, and the most incredible vineyards. The scenery is amazing. The combination of all those things makes you want to visit and then stay for as long as you possibly can.”
This area is a series of small hilltop towns and vineyards. It has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site: “Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato”. Betsy and Greg spent two harvest seasons picking grapes in this area exchanging labor for room and board through WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). They recommend basing yourself in one of the 5 hill towns that make up the wine region. From there you can explore the other towns in the area via a hike or a bike ride or on a Vespa. They recommend staying on an agriturismo or at a local B&B.
They start us at a wine shop in Barolo, La Viet Turchese, where you can get a great overview of the area’s wines. Barolo also has a castle that has a wine museum and a regional enoteca (wine shop) in the basement. If you time it for the harvest, as the Bells did, you can try up to 100 different wines for 15 euros. If you want to visit a winery, many of them are small family-run businesses where you will need a reservation.
30 minutes down the road from these 5 towns is Alba which has a market on Saturday which is large. You can buy everything from the local truffles to hardware and farm implements. The Tourist Information office there is particularly helpful. The Bells recommend attending a cooking class. There are some held in Alba where you can learn to make the local pasta or antipasto. The Duomo di San Lorenzo church in Alba does not look like much from the outside but is beautiful inside. Alba is the home for Eataly and also for Ferrero Chocolates that created Nutella. They recommend a visit to a local hazelnut farm or you can learn how a truffle hunter hunts for truffles (but don’t expect that they will show you their secret truffle spots).
The also then take us into Turin which has another UNESCO site: “Residences of the Royal House of Savoy”. This region of Italy used to be the Duchy of Savoy for centuries before Italy became a unified country. The first king of unified Italy was Victor Emmanuel II who was the King here as the of the kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia.
We make one last side trip to the Italian Alps to the Marmora region which is by the border of France. It is a great region for scenery and hiking.
Especially if you are a lover of fine wines and fine food, give this episode a listen and see why Piedmont should be on your next itinerary.
A Barolo Wine Tour: A Fantastic 4 Day Itinerary
WWOOFing in Sicily
WWOOFing in Piedmont
La Giolitta B&B
La Vite Turchese wine shop
Enoteca Regionale del Barolo
Cascina Barrero (hazel nut farm)
Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (UNESCO)
Duchy of Savoy
Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (UNESCO)
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
Travel to Turin and Bologna (or eating our way through Italy) – Episode 208
Travel to the Escalade – Geneva, Switzerland – Video Episode 66
Kingdom of Naples
Norman Centuries (podcast)
La Marmu (B&B)
Belvedere di La Morra
Favorite Restaurants in the Barolo Region
on Canal Cruising in France – Amateur TravelerEpisode 655, Deepak wrote:
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