Three things I love about the Italian region of Piedmont: its versatility, culinary elegance and mountains! Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps. Nature lovers find green and quiet valleys, Italy’s oldest national park, exquisite downhill skiing and majestic mountain peaks. Piedmont captivates its visitors with its whines, truffles and pastries. Baroque elegance, vitality and adaptability characterize its capital Turin. Visitors to Piedmont will always find inspiration here. Autumn is high season for travel to Piedmont. I mention only: harvest, truffle, autumn colours and light. November is the time for truffle fair in various Piedmont towns. As truffle loose their flavour quickly, make sure to eat them fresh! Ecco, andiamo in Piemonte! Buon appetito! This is my bucket list for Piedmont in autumn.
[Special, non culinary tip] 1st September weekend: International Chimney Sweeper Meeting, Santa Maria Maggiore, Valle Vigezzo
I list this first because it is already soon and I am fascinated by the rich local traditions here in northern Piedmont. Many people believe, that to touch a chimney sweeper brings good luck. Here is your opportunity!
Santa Maria Maggiore is a village in the beautiful valley Vigezzo, which is running parallel with the Italian-Swiss border. Furthermore, it is a stop when taking the Centovalli-Tour, a highly recommended train ride, crossing deep canyons and more than 70 bridges connecting Italian Domodossola with Swiss town Locarno on Lago Maggiore. Valley Vigezzo is known as the valley of chimney sweepers. It is originally a tradition born from poverty and a sad example of Child labour, as only light-weighted skinny boys were able to climb through the narrow chimneys.
Third Thursday and third Sunday in September: Palio in Asti
The town of Asti lays in the heart of Piedmont, in the rolling country of Monferrato, at the river Tanaró. The horse race started in 1275, originally a provocation toward the town of Alba! The first palio race was held at the gates of Alba thus devastating vineyards and fields. Today the palio is not about war but prestige: start of the medieval parade is at 2 p.m., start of the 4 p.m.
4th weekend in September: “Subterranean Cathedrals” “Cattedrali sotterranee” – Visitation of Canelli’s wine cellars
The historic vaulted brick cellars in Canelli can be visited once a year in September. This is your chance to taste the wines, too.
2nd weekend of November: “Fiera di San Martino” and “Fiera regionale del Tartufo”, Canelli, Langhe
During the Feast of Saint Martin the local market is a culinary highlight. So is the Truffles fair. Do not hesitate to try a truffles dish!
- Website Canelli
- Regional Truffles Fair Canelli 10. November 2013
- Truffles dishes: Information on restaurants and agriturismi in Canelli
22nd – 30th November 2013: Torino Film Festival
The second largest film festival in Italy presents the begin of a two-year retrospective celebrating “New Hollywood – The new Americam cinema between 1967 and 1976”. It is definitely a must-see for all fans of the culture of rebellion.
3rd weekend of November: Fiera regionale del tartufo Asti – Regional Truffles Fair in Asti
The town Asti is the trade centre for the farmers of the Astigiano making it an island of culinary treasures! Autumn is culinary high season and a visit in Asti should be made during the Truffle Fair in November.
Travel Guide Piedmont
- My recommendation for a Piedmont Guide: Authentic Piedmont-Aosta Valley (Touring Club of Italy)