Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato
This landscape covers five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes and the Castle of Cavour, an emblematic name both in the development of vineyards and in Italian history. It is located in the southern part of Piedmont, between the Po River and the Ligurian Apennines, and encompasses the whole range of technical and economic processes relating to the winegrowing and winemaking that has characterized the region for centuries. Vine pollen has been found in the area dating from the 5th century BC, when Piedmont was a place of contact and trade between the Etruscans and the Celts; Etruscan and Celtic words, particularly wine-related ones, are still found in the local dialect. During the Roman Empire, Pliny the Elder mentions the Piedmont region as being one of the most favourable for growing vines in ancient Italy; Strabo mentions its barrels.
The vineyard landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in Piedmont consist of a selection of five distinct winegrowing areas and a castle, whose names evoke profound and ancient expertise in the relationship between man and his environment. They reflect a slowly developed association between a diverse range of soils, grape varieties that are often native, and suitable winemaking processes. They offer panoramas of carefully cultivated hillsides, following ancient land divisions punctuated with buildings that lend structure to the visual space: hilltop villages, castles, Romanesque churches, farms, ciabots, cellars and storehouses for cellaring and for the commercial distribution of the wine in the small towns and larger towns on the margins of the vineyards. The serial property is outstanding for its harmony, and the balance between the aesthetic qualities of its landscapes, the architectural and historical diversity of the built elements associated with the wine production activities and an authentic and ancient art of winemaking.
Criterion (iii): The cultural landscapes of the Piedmont vineyards provide outstanding living testimony to winegrowing and winemaking traditions that stem from a long history, and that have been continuously improved and adapted up to the present day. They bear witness to an extremely comprehensive social, rural and urban realm, and to sustainable economic structures. They include a multitude of harmonious built elements that bear witness to its history and its professional practices.
Criterion (v): The vineyards of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato constitute an outstanding example of man’s interaction with his natural environment. Following a long and slow evolution of winegrowing expertise, the best possible adaptation of grape varieties to land with specific soil and climatic components has been carried out, which in itself is related to winemaking expertise, thereby becoming an international benchmark. The winegrowing landscape also expresses great aesthetic qualities, making it into an archetype of European vineyards.
Turin (Italian: Torino, Piedmontese: Turin), a large city of about one million inhabitants, is set in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, a one-hour drive from the French border and slightly more than that from the Mediterranean sea. It’s famous for being the home of Italy’s royal family. Today, Turin, with its fine, aristocratic atmosphere, old world sophisticated shops, grand boulevards and palaces, leafy parks, and several art galleries, is an increasingly popular tourist resort. The 2006 Winter Olympics, and its status the same year as World Book Capital, have prompted tourists to visit this beautiful and underestimated Italian city, which has a longstanding cultural and artistic history. Turin was the first capital of modern Italy, and was the host of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. While it’s not a famous tourist destination like Florence or Rome, the setting is pleasant, with the Po River flowing through the city, the genteel hills overlooking the city and scattered with pleasant villas and surrounded by the Italian Alps off in the distance [read more].
Milan (Italian: Milano; Milanese: Milan) is financially the most important city in Italy, and home to the Borsa Italiana stock exchange. It is the second most populous city proper in the country, but sits at the centre of Italy’s largest urban and metropolitan area. While not considered as beautiful as some Italian cities, having been greatly destroyed by Second World War bomb raids, the city has rebuilt itself into a thriving cosmopolitan business capital. In essence, for a tourist, what makes Milan interesting compared to other places is that the city is truly more about the lifestyle of enjoying worldly pleasures: a paradise for shopping, football, opera, and nightlife. Milan remains the marketplace for Italian fashion – fashion aficionados, supermodels and international paparazzi descend upon the city twice a year for its spring and autumn fairs. Milan is famous for its wealth of historical and modern sights – the Duomo, one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world, La Scala, one of the best established opera houses in the world, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a glamorous 19th-century arcaded shopping gallery, the Brera art gallery, with some of the finest artistic works in Europe, the Pirelli tower, a majestic example of 1960s modernist Italian architecture, the San Siro, a huge and famed stadium, or the Castello Sforzesco, a grand medieval castle [read more].
Genoa (Italian: Genova, Ligurian: Zena) is a historic port city in northern Italy, the capital of the Liguria region. As a tourist attraction, is often overshadowed by cities such as Rome or Venice, even though it has a long history as a rich and powerful trade centre. However, with its multitude of hidden gems behind cozy alleyways, excellent cuisine (notably fish and seafood), renovated old port, beautiful sights (including one of Europe’s biggest aquariums), and its position as the European Capital of Culture in 2004, the birthplace of explorer Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo) is an enticing place which is gradually becoming more included in the touristic market. With unusual typical slate-roofed houses, artistic churches, lovely seaside villas, and several luxurious boutiques, Genoa is a must-see if you want to experience the quintessential Italy. When visiting northwestern Italy (Milan, Turin) it is absolutely worth staying for a couple of days or a weekend in Genoa [read more].