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1. Local wine tasting in Ponchione
Wine, wine, wine. It has been a big passion of mine and this is where my curiosity for Piedmont was born. Barolo, Barbera d’Asti, Roero. I tried all these spectacular wines that always bring me back to Piedmont.
I simply had to find the most authentic wine experience that will satisfy my needs and I did. Small family owned winery where the passion for wine runs through the family. Azienda Agricola Ponchione in Govone was THE ONE.
We started in cantina where Maurizio introduced us with their winemaking process. He explained everything from picking up the grape to how it is poured in your glass. Couple of glasses of rosé before going to the vineyards.
They organized a very intimate wine tasting with typical Piedmontese products on the top of a vineyard, where you get a panoramic view over Roero Hills. Did I mention that we also saw the sunset from this place? I guess no further words are needed. We left with 3 different wines to share with our friends and family back home, full of local appetizers, smiles on our faces, and a little bit tipsy from all the beauty around (and wine obviously).
PRO TIP: they organise the most unique dinner in the middle of the vineyard with a private chef and live music, combining wine, food and authenticity and if you ask me, that’s a match made in heaven! Check HERE all the details.
2. Discovering Govone Castle
It is hard to surprise me with hidden gems when it comes to Italy, but Govone Castle did the job. Located nearby Ponchione winery, Govone Castle is known for Chinese rooms, spectacular garden and art that you will find inside the castle.
We were greeted with a local expert who showed us around and shared all the curiosities around the castle.. it felt like travelling back in time to 1778 when the castle was built.
The Govone Castle holds many peaces of art like frescoes in “chiaroscuro” from the painter Luigi Vacca, mythological decorations from Carlo Pagani and Andrea Piazza, wood decorations on ceilings and precious wood works on pavements and doors made by the sculptor Bonzanigo. Not to mention the Chinese wallpapers that left me speechless!
I will have to note that this castle is open only during weekends, but since we used Tour Divini to book our visit, they arranged as a visit in the middle of week and the castle was open only for us.. even more magical, right?
INTERESTING DISCOVERY: Chapel of Barolo that is probably the most colourful building in entire Piedmont.
3. Visiting lavender fields in Sale San Giovanni
When I thought that this time in Piedmont cannot get any better, I noticed on Instagram that there are lavender fields in a place called Sale San Giovanni and guess what? Lavender fields have been a huge dream of mine. Later I found out that the path of lavender is 7km longs, so it doesn’t get better than this, right?
Best time to visit? End of the June, but we managed to see the last part of lavender in the mid July. Some fields were just cut, but some were still waiting for us.
How to arrive? I advise you to drive Strada Provinciale 149 near Sale San Giovanni and follow the green sign.
What to pack? First of all, make sure you bring your camera! Consider also comfortable shoes.
Things to remember before visiting? Bees! You will see lavender fields full of bees, however, if you move around slowly, they will not touch you. If you are scared or allergic, you should visit fields early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Where to dine after unforgettable experience in lavender fields? Osteria delle Erbe – simple, yet traditional dishes.
Alternative season? Additionally, if you are visiting Piedmont during ski season, consider staying in Limone.
4. Truffle hunting in Cuneo
Okay, here I have a confession to make. I did not manage to try this experience. BUT! While spending time with Christina from Tour Divini, she really convinced me that it is something that you must do in Piedmont, so I had to include it in this article.
Initially I wasn’t interested, because I don’t like truffle, but experience in Cuneo is so much more than just eating truffle. Actually, if you don’t find the truffle, you will not get to try it.. So you better bring your A game! And you might be able to eat something that costs around 15 000 euros per kilo.
To make it even more unique, Tour Divini offers truffle hunting at night in the woods of Cuneo. It is guided by “trifula” dogs and you will truly enjoy the thrill of silence, darkness and following your senses. On top of that, you will everything that you need to know about truffles!
This experience is already in my to do list next time I am going to Piedmont!
5. Staying in Casa Angiolina country house
You want to take some time in order to enjoy all these experiences and you will need a place to stay. I always choose the accommodations that are strategically located and offers something beyond modern design. If you are like me, Casa Angiolina is a perfect fit for you.
It is actually an original farmhouse dating back from 1750, so it holds history and the walls will tell you many interesting stories. Located in Langhe area, it has a spectacular view on the vineyards and it is surrounded by nothing else than the sounds of nature. Beyond that, you have full access to their organic vegetable garden, flower patio, outdoor terrace for summer or greenhouse in the winter, private parking, bikes and so much more.
Casa Angiolina offers truly luxurious experience. The luxury of authenticity, peace and the most importantly – the luxury of reconnecting with yourself and nature around you.
All these experiences can be booked with Tour Divini (CLICK HERE FOR MORE), they know all the best wine, food and cultural experiences in Italy and you will leave with not only unforgettable memories, but also with local friends. Remember, they have a secret key to unlock the gems in Piedmont and beyond.