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Area

This region of the Alta Langa could be described as the hidden frontier. It comprises 43 small villages. Perched on the tops of hills they were once fortified but nowadays each has barely 100 inhabitants. It is off the beaten track, and the region rewards the curious visitor with its natural wonders and cultural delights.

In early spring the area represents the border between the seasons. A hill can be capped with snow yet on its lower slopes the broom is in flower and the fruit trees are blossoming. It is a border between two cultures where the Ligurian and Piedmontese accents mingle and form specific local dialects.

The cultivation of vines so widespread in the lower regions is made difficult here due to the high altitude. Instead, agriculture is based on sheep farming, the planting of hay and cereal crops and the production of hazelnuts (the Tonda Gentile of the Langhe).

Not to be missed the DOP cheeses of raschera and tuma from Murazzano and Bra.

Food, Wine and Truffles

Wine

The famous Langhe (Langa in its Italian spelling) wine growing region of Piedmont lies to the south of its capital Alba. It is characterized by rolling hills, vineyards and winding roads which deliver breath taking scenery around every corner.
Guests can come here and follow the “wine trail” through the typical areas of Dolcetto d’Alba,Barbera d’Alba and Nebbiolo d’Alba. The Langa is also home to truffle festivals held in Alba and Ceva during October. Each year for about a six weeks Alba is transformed and becomes the world market for truffles, Piazza Bianca hosts up to forty different stands all trading in this sought after commodity.
Barolo known throughout the world for its wine is 15 Km's from Alba. Both Barolo and nearby Grinzane Cavour both host regional wine cellars.
Serralunga has a beautiful castle while Monforte and La Morra will entertain you with their panoramic landscapes and famous restaurants. The countless rows of vines are the home to bunches of black Nebbiolo grapes which are used in the production of Barolo wine.
To the east of Alba along the right bank of the River Tanaro one finds Barbaresco, home to Barbaresco wine again made from the Nebbiolo grape. This area includes the two towns of Treiso and Neive which are known as the towns of four wines: Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Barbera and Moscato.

Food

The high season for all food lovers is the late autumn. The reason for that is the mushroom and truffle harvest in the region. You will discover that the restaurants offer a wide range of exquisite piedmonts food with locally produced products.

Piedmont in general has two different gastronomic traditions: the one coming from the Savoy court, rich and solemn (chocolate, zabaione – mixture of egg yolks, sugar and wine beaten over a gentle heat, bollito misto – mixed boiled meats – and fritto misto alla Piemontese - mixed fried food Piedmontese style) and the one coming from the countryside, poor and rustic, which had to make nourishing and tasty dishes using cheap and easily available raw materials (finanziera – dish made from chicken and veal poor parts – and bagna cauda - oil, anchovy and garlic sauce into which raw vegetables are dipped). Both traditions created strong and very tasty dishes, which marry beautifully with the strong local wines.

Appetizers

Flan is a warm appetizer which was first created in the Savoy court’s kitchens. As the sound of the name suggests, there is a clear French influence over the preparation of garden vegetables, such as spinach or cardo gobbo, the hunchback cardoon, which are often accompanied with fondue or tasty sauces enrichen the vegetables.
There are two other traditional appetizers which come from Piedmontese breed of cattle: raw meat battuta al coltello, cut with a knife to maintain its crunchiness, dressed with oil, salt and pepper and vitello tonnato, thin boiled slices of delicate veal meat served with a delicious tuna and caper sauce.

First courses

As in Northern Italy in general, first courses are traditionally made up of fresh pasta and fresh filled pasta.
Piedmontese agnolotti, squared-shaped agnolotti or small ravioli al plin (pinched ravioli), filled with meat or vegetables, are for sure the most famous first course of the district.

Second courses

Piedmont is famous in Italy especially because of its meats, above all the ones coming from the Piedmontese breed of cattle. You should try the tagliate, just scalded on the griddle and tasty brasati, cooked with Barbera d’Asti wine.

Typical dishes, ancient recipes

Finanziera is a peasant recipe from the 15th century: it is unlikely to be served in restaurants but often proposed in town festivals, it is made form entrails and butchery wastes cooked in a tasty way.
Fritto misto alla Piemontese, mixed fried food Piedmontese style, is the main protagonist of many town festivals. It is made from lamb, pork and veal entrails, chicken breasts, amaretti biscuits and apples,  all fried separately.

Sweets

Many sweet delicious products come from prestigious Piedmontese hazelnut DOP (also called Tonda gentile delle Langhe): Gianduja cream, hazelnut torrone, hazelnut cake are among the most popular.
Ameretti are also typical: they are small biscuits made from almonds. They can be soft (amaretti of Mombaruzzo) or more crunchy. Of course not to be forgotten are Italy's famous ice creams and sorbets that can be found in most of the local bars in the region, but the best are the flavours by the seaside.