Tag Archives: Piemonte

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…
Langhe

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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George Clooney in Alba

Alba is fast becoming a popular destination for celebrities as well as those who have an interest in food, culture and wine.

Our lastest visitor was George Clooney who popped down to Alba on his Harley Davidson motorbike and stopped for a spot of lunch at one our local bars in Piazza Savona.

Mr Clooney was kind enough to have his picture taken with three very happy ladies who happened to be in the square at that time.It was not long ago that Brad Pitt was here in the Langhe area looking for a property himself.

Alba is a charming town, full of sophistication and life, and is of course home to the world famous truffle festival in October.
Try to visit if you can.

Buying a casa rustico (rustic house) in Piemonte

A rustic house for sale in the Langhe

Throughout Italy and particularly in the Langhe and Monferrato regions of Piemonte one can find many old stone buildings which have been for many reasons neglected by their current owners.

These old rustic houses or rustici as the Italians call them, usually have a farming connection and consist of an L shape building with haylofts which usually include wonderful arches.

A typical rustico will be found in a rural area and have commanding views of the local countryside and as such can make an ideal location for your dream Italian home.

These old farm properties usually feature original cotto floor tiles and vaulted ceilings. Unfortunately the condition of these houses are usually in a state of disrepair and require complete restoration.

The renovation of these rustici is an expensive process but ultimately you wind up with a property built to your specification and if restored sympathetically could prove to be a good investment over the years. Traditionally restored farmhouses also prove popular for holiday rentals in Piemonte.

You need to be or have someone fluent in Italian to manage the project and be sure to get a quote for all the additional taxes involved as these soon can mount up.

So in conclusion if you can’t find the property of your dreams here in Italy, consider a rustico and renovate it yourself.