Explore the charm of Piedmont
The journey begins in the Tanaro Valley, nestled in the Cuneo Alps. It is characterized by an abundant flora which combines typical alpine plants with Mediterranean species. It is at the heart of this biodiversity that the great landscapes extend between Ceva and Garessio. The latter owes to its historic center of medieval origin to be classified among the most beautiful villages in Italy.
The Sanctuary of Valsorda and the Royal Castle of Casotto are among those places to visit in the upper valley of Tanaro. The hills give way to a landscape marked by pre-Roman times in Ormea, with its intertwining streets, evoking the Ligurian hinterland. And if there is a town that can be described as a small “Piedmontese Provence”, it is Sale San Giovanni. The flowering of lavender in early summer offers images of rare beauty. The castle of Mombasiglio houses the museum of General Bonaparte.
The specialties of the local cuisine are influenced by the proximity between Piedmont and Liguria: chickpeas from Nucetto, beans from Bagnasco, potatoes from Ormea, white turnips from Caprauna, biscuits from Battifollo or chestnuts of the “garessine” variety ” are among the best-known agricultural products of the valley. While in the woods, you can find fragrant mushrooms as well as delicious blueberries and wild strawberries.
From the mountain pastures are born the characteristic local cheeses, such as the Raschera d’alpeggio. The most typical dish is polenta saracena, served with the traditional sauce of milk, leeks and mushrooms. The small villages of Cigliè, Rocca Cigliè and Murazzano stand out for their hazelnut trees and their vineyards. Just climb a little higher on the hills of Upper Langa to find a completely different landscape. The hilly landscape is characterized by the presence of “terraces” and structures in dry rooms where we find vegetable gardens, orchards and vines. Crossed by the Belbo and Bormida rivers, almost on the border with Liguria, the Upper Langa offers a view of vast landscapes reaching up to the Alps and even, in some places, to the Ligurian Sea.
If you like bubbles, the famous Alta Langa sparkling wine is a classic to taste, as is the Dolcetto from the terraces of the Bormida Valley, a powerful and generous red wine, delicious in all circumstances! Not far from the heights where the vineyards of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are located, there are small villages which shelter treasures. Cortemilia, the hazelnut capital and its Pieve (country church); Bergolo, the “stone village” with the church of San Sebastiano; Prunetto and its imposing castle located in the middle of green pastures, Paroldo, the village of Piedmontese witches; Murazzano, famous for its cheese production; Bossolasco, the romantic “village of roses” or Cossano Belbo for its wines, such as the sweet Moscato d’Asti DOCG.
Discover the wonders of Liguria
If you take a look at the map of Liguria, you will realize that it is difficult to choose a place to visit, the views are so remarkable! Thus, the belvedere route will allow you to stop at seven different viewpoints to contemplate these landscapes open to the sea. Funtanin is the first belvedere, overlooking the coast between the French border and Ventimiglia, characterized by jagged cliffs, a Mediterranean vegetation and small picturesque beaches.
The prehistoric caves, the Balzi Rossi museum, and the villas of Latte are all picturesque sites to visit. Curva del Marzocco is the second belvedere reached when climbing from the village of Coldirodi, on the mountain ridge between Sanremo and Ospedaletti. From here we can distinguish the passage between the coast, the terraces and the typical maquis of the area between Ventimiglia and Sanremo.
In the province of Imperia, Castellaro is a small jewel of authentic Liguria where vineyards and olive trees offer an exceptional panorama with the sea in the background. Oliveto Imperiese allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature with breathtaking views, as do Monte Acquarone and Santa Brigida. There, the road, through woods and meadows, plunges you into olive groves to the valleys of Prino and San Lorenzo. The fortified village of Diano Castello fascinates with its citrus gardens that surround it and La Torretta is one of its places as if suspended between sea and mountain. In winter, Albenga’s seaside contrasts with the snow-capped mountains of the Ligurian Alps.
Be surprised by the beauty of the Côte d’Azur
If we know the coast of the Côte d’Azur well, the fact remains that it is full of incredibly varied landscapes, further away from the traditional circuits, which also make it unique and beautiful. Destination Théoule-sur-Mer where the red cliffs of the Esterel massif plunging into the Mediterranean will not leave you indifferent. The road that runs along the seaside and the Massif de l’Estérel, La Corniche d’Or, provides a wonder at every moment. At Mont San Peyre, the panorama offers a 360° view of the bay of Cannes, the Lérins islands and the Estérel. In the hills of Tanneron, on the circuit of the Grand Duke, it is the yellow of the mimosas that illuminate the winters of the Riviera. Not far from there, the Château de la Napoule offers beautiful botanical walks.
The discovery of the territory continues at sea. Facing the bay of Cannes, two jewels of the Côte d’Azur: Sainte-Marguerite island and Saint-Honorat island. Sainte-Marguerite Island extends over an immense forest covered with Aleppo pines and eucalyptus planted by man at the beginning of the 19th century. Opposite, on Saint-Honorat Island, live about twenty Cistercian monks who cultivate eight hectares of vineyards. Further offshore, a seascape, that of the Sanctuary of Pelagos. It is dedicated to the protection of Mediterranean marine mammals and is the subject of an agreement between Italy, Monaco and France to protect this unique natural territory in Europe. Visiting Cannes will awaken all your senses, whether at the Forville market, where there is a multitude of local producers, or through the narrow streets of the historic district of Le Suquet with its remarkable heritage.
The walk takes us to the southern end of Cap d’Antibes, to the Batterie du Graillon. The natural wealth offers an exceptional view from the Mercantour to the Estérel from the watchtower built in 1704. Further north, the plateaus of the Haut Pays des Préalpes d’Azur transport us on an authentic journey with its marvelous perched villages like Gourdon or Coursegoules. Craftsmanship is in the spotlight in Châteauneuf, Opio, Tourrettes-sur-Loup, Le Bar-sur-Loup, Roquefort-les-Pins. Vallauris and Biot, labeled “Ville et Métiers d’Art”, are distinguished by the presence of a great diversity of talents and creators, whether they are ceramists, painters, sculptors, potters or master glassmakers.
Promenades, palaces, villas and parks: the Riviera’s winter tourism heritage in the capital of the Côte d’Azur is now recognized as “outstanding universal value”. The architecture and landscapes are remarkable in Nice: the French Riviera invites you to stroll, from the hill of the Castle, where the view is breathtaking, to Old Nice, where the Palais Lascaris approaches a baroque style dear to the city. The villas and mansions of the Belle Epoque period fascinate with their beauty and the coast of Nice which transports us to a bay of angels bathed in sunshine practically all year round.
Finally, Cap Martin, a Natura 2000 protected site, will delight nature lovers. The narrow streets of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin offer a unique panorama of the Principality of Monaco. For history buffs, the Augustus trophy at La Turbie, erected around the year 6 BC in honor of the Emperor, is the first stage of the historic Roman road. From the baroque of its Saint-Michel basilica, to the architecture of the Belle Epoque Palaces, passing through its exceptional gardens, the architectural and botanical heritage of Menton allows the city to be labeled “City of Art and Story”. Every year, the Biovès Gardens host citrus sculptures during the Lemon Festival. This event, which has existed since 1934, honors the famous “Citron de Menton”, a unique variety which has benefited from a “Protected Geographical Indication” since 2015.
The enhancement of the landscape at the heart of balanced and sustainable economic development is part of the commitments of the cross-border Interreg Alcotra Pays Aimables – PITER Pays Sages project, the objective of which is to build a new tourist project, combining the coast and the hinterland, landscape natural and cultural, artisanal productions and local businesses. “There is the coastline, of course, but above all there is a multitude of small picturesque villages in the hinterland unknown to the general public”, specifies Loredana Canavese, the project coordinator for the leader Provincia di Cuneo, in partnership with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Cuneo, Ligure, Nice, the metropolis of Nice, the Agglomeration Community of French Riviera, the Chamber of Trades and Crafts Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Ente Turismo Langhe Monferrato Roero. “Everyone must have a global awareness of the opportunities offered by this territory”. A territory which, precisely, is full of treasures to discover!
Cuneo region: ATL del Cuneese – tel. +39 0171 690 217 – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.visitcuneese.it
#innamoratidelcuneese – #momenticuneesi
Alta Langa Region: Ente Turismo Langhe Monferrato Roero – tel. +39 0173 35 833 email@example.com Facebook and Instagram: @visitlmr – www. visitlmr.it
#LangheMonferratoRoero – #TheHomeOfBuonVivere
Liguria: Liguria International – firstname.lastname@example.org – paysaimables.eu
French Riviera: www.cotedazurfrance.fr