Located in the north of the country, Piedmont may not be the best known Italian region, but it is certainly among the richest in terms of cuisine and culture. For those with a taste for the finer things in life, this area is a must-see. Occasionally referred to as ‘Tuscany without the tourists’, this undulating landscape is punctuated with vineyards and boasts some of the best food and wine to be found anywhere in the world.
Foodies seek out the region’s chocolates, white truffles, hazelnuts, gorgonzola cheese and highly renowned beverages, such as Barbaresco, Barolo and Asti. They can also sample sumptuous dishes created according to the Slow Food Movement, which is headquartered in the small Piedmont town of Bra and focuses on savouring the simple pleasures in life. One fan of the area’s culinary offerings is Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli, who has described it as “Italy’s Best Kept Secret”. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy fabulous restaurants, food tours, cookery classes and tastings.
Turin, the region’s capital, is a mecca for those with a sweet tooth. Speaking to the Guardian, TV chef Antonio Carluccio suggested the “best chocolates in the world” can be found within its streets. In particular, he recommended the edible delights created by local company Peyrano. Meanwhile, Carluccio noted that Caffè Torino serves up “incredible choux pastries called bignole” that are filled with custard. It is also where part of The Italian Job was filmed.
As well as its indulgent food and drink, Piedmont has plenty to offer art lovers. For example, Turin houses the Pinacoteca Giovanni e MarellaAgnelli, which is a rooftop gallery featuring work from greats including Canaletto, Renoir, Manet, Matisse and Picasso. Another of the city’s cultural highlights is the Galleria Sabauda. This is home to theSavoy family collection of art and it comprises works by Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Poussin, Tintoretto and Jan Brueghel, among others.
When he can get away from his job in education, Foster Clarke travels the world in search of the finest food, wine and culture.