Piedmont for October 23 Weekend: Truffle & Beer Recs?
I could use your help. I planned a surprise trip to Piedmont for my fiance's birthday because two of his favorite things are craft beers and truffles.. But now am having a hard time piecing together enough Italian to know what our best plan would be.
It's a quick trip (just a weekend over October 21-22) but I could use your suggestions on how to make the most of our time in the area. Specifically, we'd be keen to:
*Go to a truffle fair/festival
*Eat lots of truffle dishes
*Try some of the region's best beers
*Go on a truffle hunt? (Are these super-cheesy, touristy things or legit?)
*Do a bit of hiking? (Gotta burn off all those beer and truffle calories somehow...)
Any tips? Any restaurants we shouldn't miss?
RTR 2008, your question is rather broad in scope so not surprised no specific replies, but I will take a stab at some points:
1. October 21/22 is not a full weekend but on the Saturday you have the choice of either the Alba or the Moncalvo Truffle Fairs. IMO either is worth a visit depending where you plan to stay in Piedmont .
2. Most restaurants in the area will be serving white truffle dishes, and that IMO is you best bet for truffle eating.
3. Piedmont's many micro-breweries are scattered all over the region, most of them not in wine country (suprising!) Off hand Baladin and Grado Plato have restaurants to go with their micro-beers, only open in the evening, Baladin is about 1/2 hour from Alba in Piozzi and Grado Plato is in Chieri near to Turin. Baladin has been showing up at many large festivals, maybe they will be at the Alba Truffle fair, maybe not, but if you want to sample as many micro-brews as possible go to the beer cellar at Eataly in Turin.
4. Truffle hunts can be quite real, or can be completely bogus, it depends on who is conducting it, better to ask your hotel to make arrangements, but mid-October is prime tourist season, so it might be hard to find one without pre-booking in advance.
5. Hiking is of course up to you and where you plan to stay, many places, I rather the Roero Eco-park with its old trail running from Cisterna to Bra, with a loop trail at each town.
Restuarants? Its hard to go wrong anywhere in Piedmont. Again it all depends where you want to stay.