Category Archives: News

Lonely Planet vote Piemonte the 6th most popular destination to visit in Europe

The Piedmont (Piemonte) region of Italy has been generating a lot of interest lately particularly with it’s inclusion in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Now more accolades follow. The region has now been voted the 6th more interesting location to visit in Europe by the Europe-based editors and authors of Lonely Planet, which is the largest travel guide book publisher in the world.

Lonely Planet mention Turin as a great place to see, particularly the Egyptian Museum and go on to highlight the Unesco-listed landscapes of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato. Further mention is also given to our wonderful towns of Barolo,Barbaresco and La Morra.

Here is a list of the top ten places that Lonely Planet wish to visit:

Akureyri, Iceland
Leipzig, Germany
The Azores, Portugal
Málaga, Spain
Belgrade, Serbia
Piedmont, Italy
Baku, Azerbaijan
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Tromsø, Norway
Porto, Portugal

Piedmont really does have lot to offer in terms of culture,cuisine,wine and beautiful landscapes and in my opinion fully deserves the recognition it now receives.

The Langhe,Roero and Monferrato are now included in UNESCO World Heritage Site Lists

The vineyard landscapes of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato in Piemonte are now included in  UNESCO’s World Heritage List, bringing the total number of Italian sites to 50.

For those of us who live in this beautiful region of Italy, this news is long overdue. It really is a great achievement and victory for the many people who have worked hard over the years to give our region this international recognition.

Indeed UNESCO brings a much awaited recognition to the generations of farmers who over time have contributed to shaping this area of outstanding natural beauty and an incentive with even greater responsibility to continue in the future.

The reason for the inclusion was cited as “an exceptional recognition to the historical tradition of grape growing, winemaking processes, a rural economy and a social context based on the culture of wine”

Some of the UNESCO sites include the DOCG Barolo and Barbaresco vineyards and the towns of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto,Grinzane Cavour,La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello, Serralunga d’Alba, Barbaresco and Neive.

Unesco recognition will bring substantial benefits to the area including at least a 30% increase in tourism over the first five years which in itself will have a positive impact on local business and economy in the area. Figures suggest that tourists arriving in the area will increase from 667,000 in 2011 to over 850,000 and generate more than 280 million euro.

Maurizio Marello the Mayor of Alba declares  ”Today is a new beginning in which we have even greater responsibility to protect, develop and promote Alba, Langhe, Roero and Monferrato.”

The new President of the Piedmont Region Sergio Chiamparino commented “This is a starting point and not the end. UNESCO has recognised the historical, natural and cultural heritage of a land that is the archetypal landscape of European wine.”

These are exciting times for our region…

Life in Italy – Setting up a new life in Italy.

We’ve been living and working full time in Italy for many years now and as such I feel we have built up a strong understanding of both the country and it’s people.

We have many clients that contact us with a view of making a permanent move here like Lesley and I have done, and understandably have many questions to ask. How easy is it to speak the language? Is it easy to find work? Is the environment good for children? Do you miss England? What are the most important factors to consider when you make the move here?

My personal opinion is that you must have a true desire to make it work and be realistic in your planning before you come over.

My Mother is Italian and although I’ve lived most of my life in England, I certainly had an advantage with the language. I feel that speaking Italian is the key to settling down here and enjoying life. Here in Piemonte there are several institutions that over free Italian lessons to foreigners and although it’s taught in a group environment I think it’s well worth doing.

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Living a healthy lifestyle in Italy

I’ve lived in the Piemonte region of Italy for many years now and it’s become very clear from my point of view, that it’s far easier to live a healthier lifestyle here.

One of the major advantages is the good weather of course, this means as a keen cyclist I can get out more which in turn gives me a great feel good factor.

I’ve noticed that in almost all of the villages here, you find great outdoor sport facilities, all with floodlights so you can play long into the night if you so desire. In fact during summer you see many Italians playing football way past midnight. It’s no wonder Italy is so good at the sport.

Most villages have outdoor swimming pools which serve as great entertainment for the kids during the summer break. All these pools have somewhere to eat so you can spend the whole day there and get fit at the same time.

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Murazzano. A village in the Alta Langa

Many people dream of buying a home in the famous Langhe region of Piemonte (Piedmont) which features  a wonderful landscape of rolling hills, vineyards, mountains and the famous wine producing towns of Barolo and Barbaresco.

As you travel south from Alba through the Langhe hills you head towards the Alta Langa, an area that borders Liguria (The Italian Riviera). This area has a higher altitude generally ranging between 700 meters above sea level to a maximum of 896 meters at the town of Mombarcaro – here you can see wonderful views of the mountain range.

The Alta Langa landscape is characterized by forestry, rolling hills and hazelnuts groves all surrounded by a wonderful backdrop of mountains. It’s a true paradise for hikers,cyclists and anyone who appreciates nature.

The Alta Langa has many small villages and towns one of which is Murazzano with a population of about 1000.

The area surrounding the town is extremely tranquil and boasts an absolute stunning scenery and  a variety of wildlife which includes several birds of prey, deer and wild boar.

The town itself is steeped in history and features old cobbled streets with a good variety of shops, restaurants  and other facilities. During the summer months the local residents sit outside in the streets chatting until the early hours of the morning, a truly wonderful atmosphere.

Murazzano is also famous for its locally produced cheese. The Murazzano PDO is a fat fresh cheese produced from sheep’s milk.  The milk coming from the local breed of sheep ” Pecora delle Langhe”

Murazzano PDO comes in a cylindrical form, it’s a milky white cheese and its texture is slightly thick, soft and sometimes has some holes. The outer part has no rind and the fresh whole cheeses are milky white in colour while the aged cheeses are more of a straw yellow. It’s taste is smooth and delicately fragrant and makes a great combination with some of the local wines of the region. Even today every whole cheese in this area is still made by hand.

In 1982, Murazzano cheese won the national P.D.O. status and subsequently the European P.D.O. status.

All these beautiful villages in the Alta Langa seem to produce something worthwhile and I whole heartedly recommend a visit to this area which is often forgotten in favour to the popular wine producing Langhe region