Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region of Italy, and it’s a good base if you want to explore the charming villages and wine country that surrounds it. My parents, Jeremy, and I set out from Turin to drive to Cinque Terre along the coast, but after a late start, decided the journey was too much to do in a day, and settled for driving to Alba instead, famous for its white truffles. The drive was only about an hour, and much of it was through pretty countryside, where you could see villages perched atop hills surrounded by vineyards.
Immediately when we arrived in Alba and exited the car, Jeremy and I looked at each other and exclaimed that the air smelled very sweet. We had landed in some magical village that smelled entirely of chocolate. I remembered that I read that the Nutella factory was in the region, so I knew it must be it. We were determined to take a tour of the factory, but finally found out that it wasn’t open to the public. What a shame.
We spent the afternoon leisurely walking around Alba, eating a nice lunch, and visiting a couple churches. Truffles were not in season so we didn’t get to try any, but Alba was still a very nice town to visit.
After leaving Alba, we kept driving west to Barolo, famous for its excellent wines. As a friend of mine put it on Instagram: “The king of wines, and the wine of kings.” We found a big winery/resort and Jeremy and I went wine tasting. We tried at least eight wines, and they were not tiny pours. They were all delicious, but we only actually tried two types of Barolo at the end, and they blew all of the other wines out of the water. They were also the most expensive by a long shot. We walked away with some nice wines, but had to pass on spending the money on the Barolo. (Side note: I discovered online that the Barolo vineyards have just been made into UNESCO World Heritage sites a few days ago, which is pretty cool.)
We then drove into the center of Barolo, and walked around its narrow, winding roads and alleys, and admired the beautiful views.
I have to also mention the best meal we’ve had during our travels by far (and which led to the worst run of my life), a few nights after our excursion to Alba and Barolo. It was in a tiny village called Revigliasco in the hills above Turin, and the restaurant was La Taverna di Fra Fiusch (not easy to remember). My parents treated me and Jeremy to a wonderful meal, and it was the most full I’ve ever been in my life. I was actually sad that I was so full after the second course because I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat all of the third and fourth courses. I didn’t get pictures of all the food served, but I managed to take a couple.
A village that smells like chocolate! That sounds amazing. But it’s kind cruel that they allow you to smell that all the time and not have access to the factory!
Your dinners sounds like it was incredible. The courses you shared remind me of the food served at La Quercia in Vancouver. If you’re ever in Vancouver, I recommend you try it!
That reminds me of the village of Gruyere in Switzerland–it smells like cheese. And there’s another village with a Nestle factory and wow the chocolate smell is amazing. Visual AND olfactory tourism!
I wish it smelled like chocolate where I live! (Actually I live near a spice plant so occasionally it does smell very good outside, but chocolate would be even more awesome.) These photos are gorgeous…this is basically my dream destination!
Wow. So amazeballs. Again, it makes me sad that everything around here is a national chain. I miss Euro’s old towness.
Your pictures are so amazing. They make everything look so beautiful. I would love to travel Italy.
A village that smells like chocolate. This is my dream. Sucks that truffles weren’t in season AND that you couldn’t tour the Nutella factory!