MONFERRATO and surroundings
There is a wide-ranging heritage that embraces art and history with profound substance and deep roots in the people and popular culture which has been often described as a mosaic made up of tiny jewels, beautiful on their own but when viewed together become an unequaled, wonderful and complex representation of this area.
Still undiscovered by mass tourism, Monferrato with its suggestive sceneries and beautiful views of the surrounding hills, vineyards, cultivated fields, castles and ancient little villages will bring you back in time. Let yourself be enchanted by the many castles and fortresses in the area, having the highest concentration of castles in all of Italy.
Since 2014 Monferrato belongs to Unesco World Heritage due to the preservation of its long-standing wine-growing tradition and their Infernot. Infernots are unique to Monferrat. They are old, historic wine cellars that were dug directly into the tuff rock mountain, the so-called Pietra cantonale. The pietra da cantone is a very fine marlstone which originated between 15 and 20 mio. years ago during the period called early Miocene. The area invites culinary connoisseurs to discover the many diners, taverns, and wineries in the countless medieval villages where time seems to have stood still.
Culture and Art
The many cultural as well as gastronomic festivals and events throughout the year enrich the whole area. Highlights are certainly the world-famous Moncalvo truffle fair as well as the dance festival Vignale Danza. Vignale Monferrato, a small village on top of one of the higher hills, capital of the Barbera and the Grignolino, which already in its old name place Vinealis recalls the extraordinary wine-making tradition of the territory. Guided tours through the infernots in the surrounding areas can be booked. The Ecomuseum della Pietra Cantonale in Cella Monte is definitely worth a visit. Discover medioeval villages like Vignale Monferrato, Lu Monferrato or the historic small towns in the surroundings like Asti (oldest palio of Italy), Casale Monferrato with its Castle and City Wall or Moncalvo, which is the smallest town of Italy.
Nature and Sport
In the natural park nearby, the sacred mountain "Sacro Monte di Crea" is situated in a wonderful panoramic position, which is the center of the Monferratian religious life. Find more under tips for tours and event under Monferrato Delight.
The lovely hills of this wine region are ideal for excursion by bike, on foot, by car or even on horseback. Well-marked paths will lead the way "and provide information on the nature and length of the paths. We would be happy to arrange bike rental for you. Or would you be interested in a truffle “hunt"? Discover a piece of authentic Italy with us.
Excursions in the surroundings
An excursion to the city of Turin, the former domicile of the royal family and the former capital of Italy is worthwhile. Porta Palazzo is Europe’s largest open air market. Weekly more than 1’000 merchants exhibit their produce here attracting more than 100’000 visitors in one day. There are now even guided tours with tastings through this huge market.
Genova and the ligurian coast
The Ligurian coast with its pretty, small beach resorts and the historic harbor town of Genova is a good hour’s drive by car from Ottiglio. Take a stroll through the shops and antique stores and discover the breathtaking palaces of the Genoese merchants of the 15th, 16th and 17th century….