- Simply relax and enjoy the spectacular landscapes surrounding you.
- Sample the best of what Piedmont has to offer with a local guide on one of the many available food and wine tours.
- If DIY is more your style, hire an electric bike and explore the rolling countryside independently.
- Indulge your senses with a dinner reservation at Restaurant Al Castello Marc Lanteri.
Piedmont is another one of our favourite parts of Italy and somewhere we have to explore further. When we visited the region back in 2013, it was just a night's stopover between Cinque Terre and Chamonix. It came highly recommended to us by Nick's dad for the amazing local produce and excellent wine. Needless to say, it definitely lived up to our expectations! The landscapes were spectacular (all you have to do is type 'Piedmont' into google images and you will see exactly what we're talking about) and the local people were so friendly and welcoming despite not knowing much English (and us not knowing any Italian).
The region is very well known for its exceptional cuisine and wines - a foodie's paradise! - however, it is often missed as people travel to the more popular Tuscany. We would highly recommend adding Piedmont to your next Northern Italy itinerary and suggest at least three night's stay here to give you a chance to fully immerse yourself in Piedmont's culture and experiencing "la dolce vita"! In terms of experiencing the best of what Piedmont has to offer, you really are spoilt for choice. There is an array of food and wine tours available across the region and so you shouldn't have any issues with finding one that is perfect for you - i.e. whether it is a food tour you’re after, a wine tour (or both!), a guided hike, DIY 'e-bike' tours, truffle hunting, etc. - you want it, they are sure to have it. Check out the Lonely Planet's activity guide to Piedmont for a full list. We also suggest you do your homework in respect of restaurants before you go and, yes, that means making that restaurant reservation that you're not sure you can afford!
Eating + drinking
Restaurant Il Baluardo in Mondovi - (now closed)
We made a reservation at Il Baluardo before we even left Australia and were absolutely blown away! It was owned by chef, Marc Lanteri, and his wife, Amy Bellotti. Amy was born in America and so we were able to have an in depth chat to her about the region, restaurant and how she came to live in Italy. The food was phenomenal, the service was spot on, and the restaurant provided a romantic, relaxed atmosphere - what more can we say - a 10/10 from us!
Unfortunately this restaurant is now closed. HOWEVER, Marc and Amy have since opened up another restaurant in Alba (which is situated close to Barolo) called Restaurant Al Castello Marc Lanteri. For an unforgettable dining experience, spoil yourself and make a reservation.
Where to stay?
All'Ombra del Castello, Ciglie
Piedmont is quite a large region and so we would suggest looking into what you're going to be doing there before you decide on where to base yourself in respect of accommodation. As mentioned earlier, our stay was more of a stopover and so Ciglie ticked all the boxes in terms of being on our travel path and close to our restaurant booking.
We stayed at a family-run B&B called All'Ombra del Castello, which we absolutely recommend! It is located at the family's farmhouse, which is on the top of a hill on the edge of a very quiet local village. The family were unbelievably friendly and the hospitality was second to none. The rooms are very secure and you can enjoy some time out on the shared balcony whilst soaking in the incredible view shown below.
Want more information? Click here to make a booking.