With my last college exam behind me, I’m kicking off the summer with a press trip to Langhe-Roero in Piedmont, northern Italy, tomorrow morning.
I’ve got an early start. Very early in fact – I’m flying at 5:15am to Turin (via Frankfurt). Luckily the excitement of celebrating Nutella’s 50th birthday (!) in Alba on Saturday night is enough to keep my energy up.
The last time I was in Italy was to cover the Borsa International Tourism exchange in Milan last February.
I spent most of my time working in the Fiero Milano exhibition so I only had a couple of hours to check out the city itself on Day One. I met up with my friend Matteo for a quick-fire tour. We visited some of the city’s top spots, took a subway to the suburbs and caught up over a meal and some beers. We had a great time.
Things didn’t start off so swimmingly though. As soon as I landed I had a major wardrobe malfunction: my belt unexpectedly broke. D’oh!
Since my hotel was in the financial district and Milan is not exactly a walking city, I must have spent about two hours looking for a clothes shop that didn’t sell Armani or Prada (as you can imagine, that’s pretty hard in Milan). Eventually, I found one at a market stall for €10. It’s lasted me so far. In fact, I’ll be wearing it when I board the plane tomorrow morning.
Let’s hope this trip goes off without a hitch – or else I’ll be stuck hitching my pants around Italia like some foreign idiot. Again.
A little about Langhe
Halfway between the Alps and the Mediterranean, the Langhe area offers tourists some wonderful countryside landscapes and is most famous for its wines and truffles. The white truffle of Alba is a particular favourite with visitors to the region.
Tourists come to blaze through the so-called “wine trail” in Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo.
Cheeses are another favourite in the Langhe. The towns of Bra, Muazzano, Raschera, Robiola di Roccaverano and Toma make some of the best cheese in Piedmont apparently. Hopefully I’ll get to try some of these cheeses and make a call on them myself.
Piedmont is also known for the Nocciola Piemonte Trilobata, or “round, gentle hazelnuts” – hence the region is home to Nutella spread.
The towns of Alba and Cherasco feature in Italian folklore (witches come from here, apparently). They’re also linked to the tradition of pallapungo, a tennis-like sport that’s played with footballs.