Piemonte derives its name from the Medieval Latin term Pedemontium, which means "at the foot of the mountains." This mountainous and hilly region is nestled in the north-western corner of Italy, and is bordered by France in the west and Switzerland in the north. It is surrounded by the beautiful snow covered peaks of the Alps and Apennine mountain ranges, which provided the spectacular settings of the 2006 Winter Olympics, hosted in the mountains encircling the Piemonte region.
Intriguingly romantic, Piemonte is blessed with stunningly beautiful scenery, old medieval villages, castles, and fortresses, and is surounded by rolling vine covered hills dotted with pristine lakes. It's magnificently restored grand palaces, estates and mansions are converted into over 40 museums, housing priceless Italian art which dates back thousands of years.
Piemont is referred to as the cradle of Italian Agriculture and Industry, with Fiat auto located in Turin, the capital of Piemonte, and its concentration of hydroelectric plants which provide energy for much of Italy. However, it is most famous for the quality and diversity of its distinctive cuisine.
Food & Agriculture
Piemonte is world renowned for its grapes and wines, and is one of the top wine suppliers in the world, as well as a major producer of high end cheeses and chocolates. Food lovers travel from around the world to attend the annual October Truffle Fair in Alba and sample its White Truffles (Tartufi Bianchi). Alba is also the home of Barolo wine, known as the "king of Italian red," and the sparkling white wines from the neighboring village of Asti are widely acclaimed around the world. as a result of its rich and abundant agriculture, Piemonte's superb Tonda Gentile hazelnut is a uniquely sweet variety that is so special it has been awarded European Union Protected Geographical Indication status, a food patent which distinguishes it from inferior versions.
Ferrero & Piemonte
Since the people of Piemonte traditionally have such highly refined palates from constantly consuming locally produced delicious ingredients of the freshest quality, it's no surprise that the University of Gastronomy is located here. The Univerrsity is the only one of its kind, and the elite curricula focuses primarily on food education. Piemonte is also the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement, which is now a global organization heralded as the "cure" to fast food. It promotes sanctity of taste, taste education and food preservation programs, as well as hosts widely attended conferences, and produces highly regarded food and wine guides.
Piemonte & Good Taste
Alba is the home of Ferrero, which produces the famous Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Piemonte's superb Tonda Gentile hazelnut is the inspiration for the flavorful and delicious Ferrero chocolates, the world renowned favorite. Ferrero's remarkable story began in 1946, in Italy, where, after the war, candy and confections were in short supply and purchased mainly for special occasions. In this small town of Alba, master confectioner Pietro Ferrero developed a system of expanding the chocolate supply by adding the distinguished hazelnuts of Piemonte. This enabled him to mass-produce confections of the highest quality and sell them at reasonable prices. It's estimated that Ferrero employs 4,000 people from the town of Alba alone.