Best-Kept Secrets of Italy: Unveiling Monferrato, Piedmont
In the northwest corner of Italy lies a destination that beckons the discerning traveler with the promise of hidden treasures and unforgettable experiences. Welcome to Piedmont, a region that captivates the senses and unveils a tapestry of regal grandeur where history, art, and culinary mastery converge to create an adventure of a lifetime. While Piedmont is celebrated for its historic splendors and the legacy of Turin, take a detour off the beaten path, and visit the Alto Monferrato region which unveils its own unique charm with captivating landscapes, charming hilltop villages, and a rich cultural heritage. This enchanting destination offers an array of activities and experiences that cater to diverse interests, making it a truly exceptional travel experience.
Piedmont, A Gateway to Regal Grandeur and Culinary Delights
Piedmont, the second-largest region in Italy, shares its borders with Switzerland and France. Despite its grandeur, Piedmont is a well-kept secret, promising fascinating experiences for those who venture to the green hilly region. The region is home to Baroque royal residences, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and medieval towns, all tucked away in its captivating landscapes.
Turin, the capital city, offers historic royal residences and a vibrant cultural scene, but we encourage travelers to venture to the nearby mountains, which provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, from hiking in the majestic Graian Alps to exploring the Gran Paradiso National Park, a wilderness paradise for hikers and mountain bikers. Sestriere is a picturesque ski region famous for its world-class amenities and pristine slopes. Notable resorts include the Club Med Sestriere, Hotel Principi di Piemonte, and Hotel Biancaneve. Surrounded by the Alpine peaks, Sestriere offers a perfect blend of alpine charm and modern comforts, ensuring an unforgettable alpine getaway.
However, the real gem of Piedmont is the Monferrato region, but in particular, the upper region near Novi Ligure, Gavi and Serravalle, known as Alto Monferrato which offers its own unique charm, beckoning travelers to embark on a journey through some of Italy’s best hidden treasures.
Alto Monferrato: A Serenade for Nature and Wine Lovers
Alto Monferrato, cradled by the stunning Piedmont region, unfolds as a paradise for nature lovers. Its rolling hills, lush vineyards, and picturesque countryside invite exploration. Take a slow-paced drive, a leisurely hike, or attack one of the invigorating cycling routes. The region’s natural beauty offers an intimate connection with nature.
Wine enthusiasts, too, will find their haven in Monferrato, where the vineyards are wide and spread out over the hills. Alto Monferrato allows for indulgent tastings at renowned wineries, offering a gateway into the world of Gavi and other local wine varieties. Here, you can savor the flavors that define the land and the culture.
Must See & Do in Monferrato
Just a stone’s throw from Serravalle Scrivia, the ancient Roman city of Libarna lies in a state of remarkable preservation. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it stands as a valuable resource for archaeology, inviting history enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the grandeur of the Roman Empire.
Gavi, known as “the city of fort and wine,” boasts a massive fortress presiding over the medieval historical center. The region of Gavi is famed for producing Cortese di Gavi, a white wine with fruity and floral notes, making it an ideal pairing for fish and white meats.
Nestled between the hills and the flowing Scrivia stream, Serravalle Scriviaexudes charm with its brightly colored Ligurian architecture. This picturesque town boasts a castle, ancient churches with prestigious art treasures, and is home to the renowned Serravalle Designer Outlet, where fashion enthusiasts can discover discounts of up to 70% on luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, Fendi, and more.
In the midst of Monferrato’s charms, the town of Nova Ligure beckons with its lovely historic center adorned with painted palaces reminiscent of Genoa’s architectural splendor. Cycle buffs will not want to miss the unique Museo dei Campionissimi, a showcase of vintage bicycles and a journey through the annals of local and national cycling history.
Acqui Terme is synonymous with the thermal waters that flow through the heart of the town. Resting in the rolling hills of Monferrato, Acqui Terme is home to luxurious spas, sourcing their healing waters from three natural thermal springs, providing a rejuvenating retreat for travelers seeking relaxation.
Food & Drink of Piedmont
Piedmont’s culinary and vinicultural heritage is equally captivating. Known for its wine production, the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato areas are celebrated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, honoring the region’s wine culture. Barolo, a full-bodied red, and Asti Spumante, a sparkling white, are the crown jewels of Piedmont’s oenological legacy.
The region’s cuisine is equally impressive. From the historic grissini, light crispy bread sticks, invented in Turin, to the delightful Agnolotti stuffed pasta, Piedmont offers a sumptuous journey for food enthusiasts. Brasato al Barolo, beef marinated in Barolo wine, and Vitello Tonnato, tender veal marinated in white wine, smothered in a creamy sauce, are other culinary delights not to be missed. Piedmont also has a selection of artisanal cheeses, including Castelmagno and Tomino.
Piedmont and Alto Monferrato, each offer unique charm, beckoning travelers to embark on a journey through Italy’s hidden treasures. Whether exploring the timeless charm of hilltop villages, hiking through stunning landscapes, or savoring the finest wines and culinary delights, these regions promise an unforgettable and enriching travel experience. This is where regal grandeur, natural beauty, and culinary mastery converge to create an Italian adventure of a lifetime.
Don’t have time to see all of Piedmont?
Visit the Serravalle Designer Outlet
The Serravalle Designer Outlet is located in the heart of Alto Monferrato, Piedmont. Within the charming shopping village setting, treat yourself to a home-style meal with local wine at Ledolciterre or go to Eataly which has a lovely outdoor dining area. Feeling puckish? Grab an Italian ice cream at Grom Gelateria. If you are traveling with children, there is also a baby-sitting service and playland. There really is something for everyone and it’s an exciting way to experience the best of Piedmont, all in one place.
In addition to shopping and savings, within 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) you can visit the archaeological site of Libarna, the Gavi Forte or the Villa Sparina Vineyards where Gavi wine is produced, and wine tours and tastings can be arranged.
Get to Serravalle Designer Outlet from Milan or Turin by car, shuttle bus or private luxury van service.
Take advantage of this renowned shopping destination with discounts of up to 70% at over 230 luxury brand stores. Further discounts with tax free, cash refunds are available for UK and non-EU residents.
Serravalle Designer Outlet
Address: Via della Moda 1
Serravalle Scrivia 15069
Tel. +39 0143 609000
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