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  • Alta Langa and Bossolasco, jewels of Piedmont

    Alta Langa and Bossolasco, Jewels of Piedmont

    The enchanting region of Alta Langa and the picturesque village of Bossolasco, known for their natural beauty and rich cultural tradition in the heart of Piedmont.

    Alta Langa is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, hills covered with vineyards and hazelnut trees, and its historic villages, among which Bossolasco, known as the “Pearl of the Langhe,” is one of the most charming. This area offers a unique mix of unspoiled nature, art, history, and gastronomy.

    The Historical and Cultural Fabric of Alta Langa

    The rich history and vibrant culture of Alta Langa and Bossolasco, where the past and present blend into a unique experience.

    Alta Langa is not only famous for its landscapes but also for a history full of events that have shaped the region. Bossolasco, with its medieval churches and stone houses, tells stories of centuries past. The region is a melting pot of cultural traditions, local festivities, and a culinary art that reflects the richness of the land.

    Villages like Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, Castiglione Falletto, and also Murazzano will enchant you with their small hamlets, exclusively local products, castles, and finely restored houses.

    What to See and Do in Alta Langa and Bossolasco

    Plan your visit to Alta Langa and Bossolasco with our guide to the top attractions and must-do activities.

    From hiking in the hills to walking through vineyards, Alta Langa offers numerous activities for nature lovers and wine aficionados. Bossolasco, with its blooming gardens and panoramic views, is perfect for those seeking a romantic getaway or a tranquil retreat from the daily hustle.

    In Monforte and Barolo, don’t miss the local wine tastings. Take a tour of the “Wine Museum” in Barolo and visit the Grinzane Castle; you’ll be satisfied.

    The Flavors of Alta Langa

    The unique flavors of Alta Langa, where the gastronomy reflects the diversity and richness of the territory.

    Alta Langa is famous for its excellent gastronomic products, such as alpine cheeses, truffles, and prestigious wines, offering a culinary experience that combines traditional recipes with contemporary innovations, creating dishes that delight the palate.

    Be charmed by the cuisine of Ristorante Iride in Roddino: Chef Isaia manages to beautifully merge local products with incredible fusions!

    A visit to Locanda del Bivio in Albaretto Torre is also wonderful. Here, pure tradition is showcased and plated by Chef Massimo.

    If you want to dine with a castle behind you and endless vineyards in front, you can’t miss the “Cantina comunale di Castiglione Falletto”: even if the season doesn’t allow outdoor dining, the interior of the place is remarkable! A wall of wines will be your third guest at the table.

    Starred Chef Pasquale of “Borgo Sant’Anna” in Monforte needs no introduction. Let him do his magic and enjoy the moment.

    The Endless Charm of Alta Langa and Bossolasco

    Let yourself be enchanted by Alta Langa and Bossolasco, destinations that promise an unforgettable experience amidst nature, culture, and gastronomy.

    Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, moments of relaxation, or enriching cultural experiences, Alta Langa and Bossolasco offer a treasure trove of options with their timeless beauty and warm local hospitality inviting you to discover their secrets and create memories that will last a lifetime.

  • The history and origin of saffron

    Discover with us the ancient story of saffron: from a precious spice in past civilizations to a versatile and creative ingredient in modern cuisine; let’s look at the geographical origins and global spread of this golden spice.

    Saffron, scientifically known as “Crocus sativus”, is appreciated for its wonderful color and unique flavor. It is believed to originate from the Middle East and has been valued for millennia used both in cooking and in rituals and as medicine. Its cultivation has spread across Europe and Asia and has become a symbol of wealth and prosperity in cultures through the centuries.

    Cultivation and main producing regions

    Let’s delve into the cultivation techniques of saffron and the areas worldwide famous for this spice and how the climate affects the quality of the final product.

    Saffron cultivation requires precision and a lot of patience, think that the collection of the delicate stigmas is done entirely by hand! Regions such as Castile-La Mancha in Spain and the Khorasan province in Iran are known for their high production where the dry and temperate climate favors its growth. These agricultural practices are sustainable and preserve tradition (but also the environment).

    Saffron from Piedmont: tradition and innovation in cultivation

    Piedmont is becoming a reference point for quality saffron cultivation through traditional practices and innovations that characterize this regional production.

    Piedmont, known for its wines and truffles, is establishing itself as an important center for saffron production. Located in northwest Italy, it combines an ideal climate and fertile soil that are perfect for saffron cultivation. Local farmers, driven by a passion for sustainable and quality crops, are rediscovering ancient agricultural techniques and integrating them with innovative methods to optimize yield and saffron quality.

    In the provinces of Cuneo, Asti, and Turin, small producers have begun to grow saffron on a small scale but with a particular focus on achieving exceptional quality. These initiatives undoubtedly enrich the agricultural biodiversity of the region and support the local economy, creating new job opportunities and influencing Piedmontese gastronomy.

    Piedmontese saffron is receiving accolades both nationally and internationally and is becoming a symbol of how tradition and innovation can go hand in hand in modern agricultural production.

    Culinary uses of saffron

    Saffron can be used in the kitchen from appetizer to dessert.

    Saffron is famous for its use in dishes such as Spanish paella and Milanese risotto, and a small amount is sufficient to enrich a wide variety of recipes, thanks to its intense flavor and vibrant color. If you go to the “recipes” section of our site, you can download for free the unmissable alchemy of notable chefs who have used saffron from Cascina Facelli in their dishes.

    Remember to store saffron in a cool, dry place! It will maintain its qualities for a long time!

    Benefits and medicinal uses of saffron

    This spice is widely used in alternative medicine and scientific research has supported its benefits.

    Recent studies have confirmed that saffron can improve mood and support visual health. Traditionally, it has been used to treat everything from inflammations to sleep disorders, exploiting its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties…try to believe…a warm tea in the evening with a few stigmas infused, and you will sleep like angels!

    If you want to discover all the benefits of this magnificent spice, we invite you to take a look at our latest post on Instagram where we list the top 5 benefits for the human body. https://www.instagram.com/reel/C5bYi93MntO/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

    Curiosities and Economic Considerations

    Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. What is the economic impact of its cultivation on local communities?

    Saffron is often called

    “red gold” because of its high cost due to the very patient manual collection necessary to obtain a few grams of the product. This high cost has a significant impact on the economies of producing regions and contributes to their income by offering, among other things, job opportunities.

    The production of saffron in Cascina Facelli

    Visit our site to see the work and passion behind the prized saffron of Cascina Facelli in Alta Langa in the heart of Piedmont.

    In Cascina Facelli, located among the enchanting hills of Alta Langa, we cultivate saffron with passion. Our farm, an ancient building dating back to 1840, is not just a place of agricultural production but also a haven of peace and beauty perfect for those seeking relaxation and, with only three rooms, a lot of privacy.

    The collection of our saffron is strictly by hand, at certain hours of the day (very early) following traditional methods that guarantee the maximum quality of the product. We really commit to maintaining a high standard and preserve the integrity and purity of the stigmas to offer our customers a product of incomparable quality.

    We have also introduced an innovative product like the Saffron Honey of Alta Langa: a delicious fusion that combines the sweet aroma of honey with the rich flavor of saffron that pairs perfectly especially with cheeses and that best brings out its complexity. Nothing prevents you from experimenting with many other combinations, even with your sweet dishes.

    Visit our site for more information and to book a stay at Cascina Facelli where every detail speaks of history, comfort, and unique design. Come to live an experience that satisfies not only the palate but also the soul.

    For more details on our production and available products, visit the official website of Cascina Facelli .

    Challenges and sustainability

    Finding initiatives to make this practice more sustainable is one of the challenges in saffron cultivation.

    Despite its popularity, saffron production is threatened by challenges such as climate change, which alters the delicate conditions necessary for its growth. Fortunately, new technologies and cultivation methods are emerging to address this situation and ensure the long-term sustainability of saffron production.

    The future of saffron

    Reflections on the importance of saffron in global cultures and on the future prospects of this extraordinary spice.

    Saffron continues to be a highly valued spice around the world, both for its culinary use and for its health benefits. Looking to the future, innovation in its production and sustainable practices will be crucial to maintain its availability and quality.

  • The Piedmont hazelnut

    THE TREASURE OF ALTA LANGA

    The Piedmont hazelnut, especially the one from Alta Langa, is renowned worldwide for its superior quality and offers incredible versatility in the kitchen, from flour to chopped nuts.

    The “Tonda Gentile delle Langhe” variety is famous for its rich and delicate taste, a quality it owes to the particular climatic conditions and fertile soil of Langa, creating the ideal environment for its growth. Moreover, there are strict standards in both cultivation and harvesting that ensure only excellence reaches the market.

    THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE HAZELNUT

    The hazelnut blooms in late winter, heralding the arrival of spring, and these delicate flowers will be the fruit that matures in the following months. The harvest takes place between the end of August and the beginning of September when the hazelnuts, wrapped in their brown shells, naturally fall to the ground. This is the signal, the perfect moment for harvesting.

    DRYING: AN ESSENTIAL STEP

    After harvesting, the hazelnuts are dried: it’s beautiful to see them in barns, spread out like a mattress. It is a process that preserves their flavor and extends their shelf life by reducing internal moisture and preventing mold formation to keep the fruit’s organoleptic properties intact.

    A CULINARY VERSATILITY WITHOUT BORDERS

    The hazelnut lends itself to a wide variety of uses in the kitchen: it can be transformed into flour (ideal for gluten-free desserts or to enrich the flavor of cakes and cookies); chopped, it adds crunchiness to ice creams and desserts; hazelnut oil, on the other hand, is perfect for dressing any dish with a touch of class.
    Using it as the main ingredient, we can create delicious sweets such as creams and pralines.
    Hazelnut cream, from the famous Nutella by Ferrero in Alba to the thousand varieties made by small local farms (each with its own unique recipe), is perfect both as a spread and as an ingredient in desserts and pastries. The pralines, both salted and in the sweet sandy version, offer a unique taste experience. Believe me! …they can become an addiction!

  • Langhe UNESCO Heritage

    A JOURNEY THROUGH CULTURE AND NATURE

    In the heart of Piedmont, the Langhe represent one of the most fascinating destinations in Italy, believe me! So much so that they have been recognized as a part of the world heritage by UNESCO. This recognition, obtained together with Roero and Monferrato, celebrates not only the extraordinary landscape beauty of these hills but also the winemaking tradition that here has deep and ancient roots. Today we will take you on the discovery of the UNESCO Heritage of the Langhe exploring its history, its culture, and the initiatives that contribute to preserving this incredibly fascinating territory!

    THE UNESCO CANDIDACY

    A recognition of universal value, the designation of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato as UNESCO World Heritage took place in 2014 and was an important acknowledgment for Italy and for Piedmont in particular. This area was awarded for its cultural landscape which reflects the agricultural practices, the vine cultivation techniques, and the wine production that have developed over the centuries. The landscape of the Langhe, with its vineyards as far as the eye can see, the ancient hamlets, castles, and historical cellars, is considered an example of the interaction between humans and nature. If you have more than a weekend available, these are the must-sees! …because the Langhe offers experiences that go beyond the simple wine and food visit.

    THE CASTLES AND HISTORIC VILLAGES

    Castles like that of Grinzane Cavour or Serralunga d’Alba tell centuries of Piedmontese history. The villages, with their stone houses and ancient cellars, offer a glimpse into rural life that has remained authentic over time. Unlike other areas, this is a region so tied to the land that it has succeeded and, indeed, insists on keeping the territory authentic. You won’t see highways, but simple country roads for miles. Here everything is made to “slow down”, to satisfy the sight, to “not rush” and absorb the scents and colors.

    THE VINEYARDS

    The hills are covered with rows of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, among others, which give life to world-famous wines like Barolo and Barbaresco.
    Walking among these vineyards is a unique experience for charm and sensations and will allow you to understand the deep connection between the territory and wine production. Listen to the winemakers, their passion, their hard work! When you open and taste one of those bottles of wine, all this will be felt and become part of you.

    THE UNDERGROUND CATHEDRALS OF CANELLI

    These ancient cellars carved out of tuff are true cathedrals of wine, places where Barolo, Moscato d’Asti, and other prestigious wines age in wooden barrels, in a world-unique environment. If you visit them, remember the phrase “carved in the tuff”…a hand-made work, hundreds of years ago, by determined and tireless men.

    THE ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY AND CONSERVATION INITIATIVES

    The local community plays a fundamental role in the conservation of the Langhe landscape. Farmers, winemakers, and residents are the guardians of this land, committed to protecting biodiversity and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. You will find an impeccable, orderly, and clean landscape. This also demonstrates the love and care the “Langhetti” have for their home. Initiatives like the harvest, open to visitors, become opportunities to convey the value of work in the vineyard and the importance of conserving the landscape.

    RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE VISIT

    Visit the Langhe respecting its UNESCO Heritage, adopting a sustainable and conscious approach. It is essential to respect nature, the places of production, and the local communities, favoring experiences that encourage responsible and quality tourism.

    Treat this land with the respect of its inhabitants and you will take home a small added value that will sneak into your habits! Every choice can contribute to the conservation of this heritage: from tastings in cellars that adopt sustainable practices, to choosing accommodations and restaurants that
    value local products.

    Visiting this land can become an opportunity to reflect on the importance of respect and conservation for the generations that will follow us. But don’t be fooled! Respecting tradition does not mean remaining anchored to the past in a nostalgic way: in this corner of Piedmont, tradition blends with innovation; incredibly, you will find a people truly attentive to updating, to the creation of amazing architectural structures up to date but that will still make you feel in an ancient era.

  • Weekends in the Langhe

    DISCOVERY AND RELAXATION AMONG VINEYARDS AND HISTORY

    A weekend in the Langhe is an invitation to be enchanted by a land where nature, history, and gastronomy play and resonate in a harmonious symphony. This area of Piedmont, known for its breathtaking landscapes, its fine wines, and rich culinary offerings, promises an unforgettable experience.

    The promise is that nature will enrich your soul; the food and excellent wine will enrich your body.

    Let’s start our journey!

    HOW TO GET THERE AND MOVE AROUND IN THE LANGHE

    The experience in the Langhe begins with the adventure of discovering it.

    What’s better than getting lost in its breathtaking landscapes? Every turn is a postcard that will remain etched in your mind (and probably in your smartphone!) Naturally, the car remains the most versatile means, allowing you to freely explore the area. For those coming from afar, the airports of Turin and Milan offer convenient connections, but once landed, renting a car is almost indispensable to fully enjoy the local wonders and, if you want a piece of advice, a convertible would be perfect.

    FIRST DAY: IMMERSED IN GREEN AND HISTORY

    Your journey can begin in Bossolasco, often nicknamed the “pearl of the Langhe” or the “town of roses”. Imagine that every house must have a rose outside, and if the owner cannot take care of it, the municipality will! You can imagine the care and attention that characterize this enchanting village, distinguished by its flowered streets and offering breathtaking panoramic views.

    Dedicate the day to exploring its most picturesque corners, enjoy a walk among the stone houses, the church, and don’t forget to savor the local cuisine in one of the cozy restaurants of the town.

    WHERE TO STAY: CASCINA FACELLI For your stay in the Langhe, and here I am biased (!!!), let our hospitality at Cascina Facelli pamper you. Mapped since 1840, it combines modern comforts with the charm of traditional architecture. Three rooms with different and unique atmospheres, the visual impression of having arrived at an ancient country house, and disbelief in finding yourself in rooms equipped with comfort, “modern” but with unusual design.

    At the end of the road, nestled in a picturesque landscape among lush vineyards, gently rolling hills, and literally embraced by the woods, Cascina Facelli offers not just peaceful rest but also a strategic position to explore the wonders of the Langhe. It will be your ideal retreat after days full of discoveries.

    If the season allows, exclusively for you guests, our pool and chaise-longues limited to the number of guests, only six. And it’s wonderful for us to see you “beached” in the garden, enjoying peace and tranquility.

    Our breakfast, which we define as “gourmet”, benefits from the proximity to the forest ensuring the biodiversity that we will serve you in the dishes we propose in the morning.

    SHOPPING AND SOUVENIRS: MEMORIES OF THE LANGHE

    Before concluding your weekend, don’t forget to look for local typical products: prestigious wines, Alba white truffle, hazelnuts in a thousand variations, artisanal sweets, and honey. These treasures of the Langhe will be the perfect way to bring home a piece of this magical land or to give relatives and friends a taste of its gastronomic excellence.

    If you have little time to explore or you want to fully relax and enjoy Cascina Facelli, don’t worry! We have a small but comprehensive corner for you to take memories with you.

    Continue to follow our blog to immerse yourself in the Langhe and share it if you like!

  • Traditional cuisine of Piedmont

    A JOURNEY THROUGH CULTURE AND NATURE

    Piedmont, especially the Langhe area, is famous for its culinary tradition characterized by high-quality ingredients, products considered “Italian excellences”, traditional dishes, and unique delicacies. If you are passing through, you cannot miss the ingredients, dishes, and specialties that make Piedmontese and Langhe cuisine so famous:

    White Truffle of Alba
    This is definitely the most precious and sought-after ingredient in the area, famous worldwide for its unique aroma and flavor. It is characterized by a light pink veining on the inside (which guarantees its origin).

     

    PIEDMONTESE HAZELNUT

    as already mentioned in the previous article, the hazelnut, especially the “Tonda Gentile delle Langhe” variety, is widely used in many sweets and bakery products.

    LANGHE WINES

    Its wines are exceptional! Who hasn’t heard of Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, and Dolcetto?

    THE CHEESES

    find some time to visit the small dairies of Piedmont and bring home excellent cheeses like Castelmagno, Toma, Bra, and, if you can still find it available, a piece of Bettelmatt.

    AS TRADITIONAL DISHES, IT’S A MUST TO TRY

    Tajarin: is a thin egg pasta, similar to tagliolini, often served with meat sauce or with Alba white truffle.
    Agnolotti del plin: small ravioli filled with meat or vegetables, named for the pinch (“plin” in Piedmontese) used to close them.
    Vitello tonnato: a cold dish composed of thin slices of veal covered with a creamy tuna, capers, and anchovies sauce, an ancient reminder of the “salt road” that connected Liguria to lower Piedmont
    Brasato al Barolo: beef stew cooked slowly in Barolo wine, with the addition of vegetables and spices, resulting in a particularly tender and aromatic dish.
    Bagna càuda: is a hot sauce made with garlic (a lot of it), anchovies, and olive oil typically served with raw and cooked vegetables for dipping. Recommended only for those with a strong stomach!!
    Bonet: is a delicious dark chocolate and amaretti pudding, flavored with rum or Amaretto di Saronno.
    Gianduiotti: boat-shaped chocolates made with gianduja chocolate (typical of Turin): a mixture of chocolate and hazelnut paste.
    Panna cotta: is a soft and creamy spoon dessert, it feels like silk! It is served plain, with caramel sauce, or with fresh fruit.
    Hazelnut cakes and biscuits: here, let yourself be enchanted!!

    Cucina_piemontese

    This culinary heritage attracts gourmands and food and wine enthusiasts from all over the world, so you too should explore the flavors, fortunately still authentic, of this land rich in history and tradition.