These words are written next to a fireplace in Girona – our European base – where I am now spending my days. The writing began when I opened a bottle of Barbera, a gift from my lovely co-guide Terra, that I have been carefully saving for many months. Naturally the memories travel with the wine, and I’m now anxious to find myself back on Trek Travel’s most undiscovered Italian vacation.
This year I fell in love again.
Last August I was assigned to work in Piedmont. If you are trying to find that on a map, look towards the foothills of the Italian Alps, just east of the French Alps. And if you’re worried about the hills, don’t be. Its location in the foothills provides a perfect combination of flat riding and alpine views.
But what, in all my years of guiding, makes Piedmont stand out? Picture waking up our one and only hotel for the week with big windows overlooking the valley below Monforte d’Alba. The vineyards of Barolo, king of Italian reds, spread as far as the eye can see. On the horizon you can see clearly the white tips of the proud Alps reflecting every ray of sun. At sunrise the peaks are colored with shades of purple, pink and orange until the sky finally turns blue and we are off to explore this new playground by bike.
We might be off to a tasting of the best Italian wines, out to watch the hazelnut harvest take place, or on a truffle hunt discovering the white gold that grows in the Piedmontese land. Every day is an adventure, and every night is a celebration filled with playful jazz sounds and full glasses of vino. Che dolce è la vita!
In retrospect, how could I not fall in love with this place?
Join Us in Piedmont