La Befana and Christmas markets

In Italy the symbol of the Day of the Holy Three Kings is an old lady called la Befana. On the eve of January 6th this characteristic creature on a broomstick, looking more like a witch than a kind grandmother, visits the children to fill their socks with candies (if they had been good) or  lump of coal (if they had been bad).

la Befena in shop window (Alba)
la Befena in shop window (Alba)

Continue reading “La Befana and Christmas markets”

North – South

In the north of Piedmont the landscape is delimited by white picks of Alps, the moraine hills variegated by water mirrors. Whereas the south is characteristic by romantic heights that slowly transform into mountains creating a natural border with Liguria and jealously protecting access to the sea. Piedmont is admired by remarkable and diverse landscape and in autumn colorful leaves, vineyards, old castle look amazingly against a background of blue sky. Actually, you can see for yourself! Let’s have a look on the photos below, starting from the north – Canavese region.

 castello di Mazze’ on Candia lake (Canavese region), north of Piedmont
castello di Mazze’ on Candia lake (Canavese region), north of Piedmont

Continue reading “North – South”

The harvest time is coming

From the next weekend the busiest time of the year in Langhe and Roero vineyards is going to start. The grape harvest (la vendemmia) is just around the corner. This summer, except a couple of rainy days, the weather has been cooperating and nobody could complain about lack of sun. Therefore the harvesting period this year is a little bit earlier than usually.

Barbaresco vineyards, Piedmont, Italy
Barbaresco vineyards view

Continue reading “The harvest time is coming”

The hazelnut variations

Hazelnut (la nocciola), next to grapes, plays a significant role in local agriculture. Italy takes the second place (after Turkey) in global production of this fruit, and Piedmont hazelnut groves provide 8-9% of total Italian cultivation (of which 85% comes from Langhe). Other important regions on the this fruit production are Lazio, Sicily and Campania.

Hazelnuts in Piedmont, Italy
hazelnut bushes

The Langhe region is not only famous for the quantity of its cultivation, but also for the quality, because of a precious variety called la nocciola tonda gentile della langhe IGP (IGP stands for protected geographical indication). It’s valued for (almost) perfect round (tonda = round) shape and big fruits which makes it suitable for confectionery industry. Continue reading “The hazelnut variations”