I have been asked to suggest an alternative destination for holidays in Piedmont. A destination that is not the big city full of museums and monuments, but a place of calm, relaxation and nature, where you can recharge your batteries: here I am then to suggest the Roero as a different destination to visit in Piedmont.
I have recently been to the Roero area and I would like to recommend this destination as an excellent alternative or as a support to the great art cities of our region.
I stayed in Govone at Casa Angiolina, a house linked to the history of the Castle of Govone, a famous and imposing manor house that dominates the town. In fact, this was the home of the tailor of the castle and today it is owned by Cristina who inherited it from her ancestors and who makes it available to tourists for an inclusive experience in the area.
Now, considering where to base yourself, what can you do interesting during the holidays? Here are some ideas for planning a long weekend or a week to discover the Roero area in Piedmont.
Roero is a land of castles. Like Langhe and Monferrato areas, it was an area particularly loved by the nobles and the Savoy family who had holiday residences scattered throughout the territory.
A few steps from Casa Angiolina there is the Castle of Govone which overlooks the small town from a height and which stands out imposing and even a little austere. The interior, which has seen the succession of different occupants, after the castle has been abandoned by a noble residence, retains treasures that are absolutely not to be missed.
The luck of participating in a guided tour is priceless, so do not miss the opportunity to join one of these. In addition to the explanation of the various environments, it is important to listen to the story of those who passed through here, of those who contributed to the splendor and of those who had the sad task of selling the furniture at auction.
Although no longer fully furnished, the rooms that can be visited still retain important evidence; the gem that absolutely cannot be missed is given by the Chinese rooms: here the Chinese wallpaper is the original one and thanks to the recent restoration the colors and designs are very vivid and full of charm.
In addition to the Govone Castle, in the surroundings, you can also visit the Castello di Magliano Alfieri, which houses the Museo dei Ceilings on Plaster and the Museo del Paesaggio delle Langhe and Roero, and the Castello di Guarene, once a residence of the Counts Roero which currently houses in part a luxury hotel and a well-known restaurant in the area.
In Roero area, as in the Langhe area, one of the main products is wine. Staying at Casa Angiolina I had the opportunity to get to know the wines of two well-known wineries in the area: Maurizio Ponchione and the Marchesi Alfieri winery.
The wines of Ponchione , in Govone, range from whites to reds to the bubbles of a really interesting classic method. This producer also offers visits to the vineyard and organizes tastings in Ciabot, that is the huts built in the vineyards that were once used to store work equipment. Original and very characteristic is the dinner in the vineyard “La Luna e i Ciabot” (The moon and the Ciabot) which takes place during the months of July, August and September on full moon evenings.
The Marchesi Alfieri winery is located in San Martino Alfieri, the birthplace of Vittorio Alfieri, inside the castle of the Marquis. The three current owners, descendants of the noble family, manage the activities and still live in the castle which is well preserved and very active; it is pleasant to be able to visit the hall of honor and a couple of rooms on the first floor or to sit on the ground floor in a splendid room used for tasting.
Cooking and tasting typical food
As throughout Italy, culinary traditions are not lacking here. The beauty of staying at Casa Angiolina is, among other things, that of being able to take advantage of a very spacious kitchen that allows you to organize cooking classes or prepare meals. And that’s what we did! The first thing, after having settled and set in the house, was to prepare breakfast for the following day, directed by the patient Alessandra Giovanile from Ricette di Cultura food blog.
I happened to know Alessandra and her culinary specialties a few years ago, when she prepared the catering for my birthday. The originality of her recipes had conquered me even then and this time she surprised me again with the preparation of cakes with vegetables. So we cooked the tart with tomato jam, the molleux of apples and zucchinis and the blondie with beans: one better than the other!
The next day, we attended a cooking class of Mrs. Maria, a cook at the Marchesi Alfieri Castle, who revealed the secrets to prepare the old-fashioned vitel tonné (therefore without mayonnaise) and stuffed peaches, a typical Piedmontese summer dessert based on peaches, cocoa and amaretti.
During holidays, you cannot miss a moment of relaxation. Here then, the garden of Casa Angiolina can be the ideal place to lie on a deck chair in the shade and read a good book or practice exercise and yoga. Or stay in one of the large beds in the bedrooms on the first floor, with the air that moves the curtains and the internal coolness, preserved thanks to the thick walls of the house, which reconciles rest.
In the morning, on waking up, even before breakfast, we are barefoot in the garden, under the pergola of kiwis. It is a nice way to start the day, to get back in touch with ourselves and to enjoy what surrounds us. After that why not go on picking the fruit directly from the trees in the garden to bring them to the table for breakfast? Here is the best way to regenerate yourself in a natural environment and fully enjoy it.