Piedmont is one of Italy’s finest wine regions. In northwestern Piedmont, Nebbiolo grapes thrive and ultimately become Barolo and Barbaresco wine. ”Rare vintages of Barolos (1985 or 1990) become favorites of serious wine enthusiasts with an extraordinary aging capacity. Click on this link to view Wine Spectator’s Piedmont wine map:
This region’s terroir is also perfect for Barbera, Dolcetto, Brachetto and Grignolino.
There are many interesting sites in this region of Italy. In the middle of the 16th century, the Savoy dynasty built a number of castles, villas and hunting lodges in and around Turin creating a UNESCO World Heritage complex.
Turin is the largest city in the hilly region of Piedmont. It was historically under Austro-Hungarian domination www.turismotorino.org. The amazing residences of the Royal House of Savoy include the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Armory, the Library and Stables.
The original Holy Shroud (Sacra Sindone) of Turin is kept in Turin’s Duomo in a silver casket inside a marble coffer. The replica is available for viewing. Carbon testing in the late 1980’s indicated that the shroud dates back to the 12th century; so it apparently was not wrapped around Christ after his crucifixion. Visit the museum of the Holy Shroud on Via San Domenico.
Travel to Castello del Poggio. Admire the 390 acres of vineyards dominated by the medieval fortification that belonged to the nobele Buneis family that once gaurded the city of Asti. You can see a vast amphitheater called the Val del Temp that was owned by the Templars in the 12th century. I love their fruity Barbera DiAsti DOC. Guided visits and tastings are by appointment only. www.poggio.it
Here are some of the Annual Festivals in Piemonte:
ASTI Douja D’Or; prestigious producers participate in the parade and celebration the second Saturday and Sunday in September.
The Palio of Asti is Italy’s most ancicent horse race with a historic procession and over 1000 people dressed in medieval attire in September.
Alba Palio degli Asini is the Race of the Donkeys is on the first Sunday of October.
The Alba Truffle Festival is also in October.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Books at www.vino-con-vista.com