We meet many interesting people from all over the world in our line of work and one of the most frequent questions asked is “Which is your favorite part of Piemonte”? This is almost impossible to answer as Piemonte really has so much to offer, be it vineyards, mountains, beautiful towns and villages etc. That said I have to admit to being truly in love with The Langhe region of Piemonte.
The Langhe or Langa as the Italians call it, is found in the wine growing area of Piemonte and is located south of its capital Alba. The area has a strong agricultural background which is clearly evident as you drive about. You’ll see the local people working the land, be it hazelnuts, vineyards, fruit and vegetables, in fact they thrive on being as self sufficient as possible. You’ll also realize after a while that people here seem to live longer and this I put down to their hard working life style and healthy diet, including wine of course!
The winter is usually fabulous, with little rain, plenty of sunshine and crazy mountain views. The area is perfect for cyclists and trekkers alike. Being a cyclist myself I can vouch for the quality of the roads and the respect given to cyclists form other road users, remember cycling here is a massive national sport. Nothing beats a cycle ride in winter where you can feel the sun on your back and take in the mountain views, not forgetting of course a few cappuccinos on the way.
One of my routes takes me through the charming village of Niella Belbo which is situated 785 metres above sea level and has a population of about 500. This is a great place to take a coffee break and sit in the main square and enjoy the Parish Church of St Giorgio.
There’s a local market here each week and an excellent pizzeria. I’ve included a picture of the village below which really captures the flavor of a Langhe village.
The region is world famous for its wines, truffles and hazelnuts all of which I will write about at a later date. My favorite wines here include Dolcetto and Barbera.
Over the course of the coming weeks I’ll write more about these villages and upload some photographs which I hope you will enjoy. Come and visit if get the chance, you wont be disappointed.