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Base in Piedmont

I am back....and now verifying with former Piedmont travellers that La Rosa Gialla outside of Barolo is a good base for four nights. The accomodation has great reviews, a lovely manager(we were booked there for 2020 originally), offers meals, lots of contacts, etc. Pretty sold on it but wondering if I should be closer to Alba. From this base we will be relaxing(fresh off our flight), doing wine stuff, visiting the small towns and maybe even going to Turin for a day...my sister in law is bent on doing a chocolate tour..not sure they are any good.:-) The tours that is. We like an upscale agriturismo type of venu where there are spots to sit outside when home, a pool, etc.Not wishing to be in a village. Thoughts?

Posted by
2566 posts

I would think that with a car Barolo is a wonderful option as a base. Another consideration would be Barbaresco. A friend and I stayed at the Agriturismo Tre Stelle in the countryside overlooking the vineyards and hazel nut tree groves. Each room was comfortable with its own balcony and very welcoming hosts who even have a small winery in the cellar. It is idyllic! No need to be closer to Alba. There are some very good restaurants near the Agriturismo. About 2km down the road, in the old school building, is the highly regarded Osteria TaSté. If you are near the village of Guarene, make sure to have lunch or dinner at Io e Luna.

I could not see doing a day trip to Torino as there is much to see. I would spend a minimum of two nights there. We stayed at the Hotel Concord - a well-located, reasonably priced business hotel with a good complimentary breakfast and available parking. A short walk away is Pastificio de Filippis with fresh pasta prepared to perfection. Don’t miss the Fettuccine Ai Fruitti de Mare!

Posted by
1929 posts

annemarie, you can go from Alba to Turin (Porta Susa Station) by local train in less than 1 hour and half. Alba station is out of the ZTL and there is a camera controlled car parking 2 minutes away.

Turin's center is all inside the ZTL, you could park under the city center and avoid fines but it would be quite expensive.

Turin hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 2006, going there to eat "fettuccine ai frutti di mare" (shellfish and egg-based pasta) would be like going to Chicago and ask for a thin Pizza NY style.

There are a few great Chocolate craft makers in Turin. A good tour should always include a visit to Guido Gobino's shop that's well known all over Europe.

Posted by
137 posts

Side question...driving a car in Italy..is it any different than in .France or Germany...posts I read are scaring me a bit....speeders, theft, etc.

Posted by
24857 posts

driving a car in Italy..is it any different than in .France or Germany..

Pretty similar in one way, quite different in other ways...

The fuel has a different name, local customs on filling the tank are different, there are different default speed limits, only Italy has ZTL by that name with so many restrictions, Italy has TUTOR. Highways in Germany are free for cars, lots of tolls in Italy and France. Driving techniques are different in different parts of Italy.

But the cars and roads look similar.

Oh, and the motorbikes and scooters....

Road markings and signage are different. No priority to the right.

Posted by
1144 posts

Nigel - Saying 'No priority to the right' seems to be out of context.

Posted by
24857 posts

no, the question was, is there a difference between driving in France (and Germany) and Italy.

In context, there is a traffic law "Priorité à droite" governing driving in France, priority to the right, which is not a law in the same way in Italy. https://www.drive-france.com/faqs/get-your-priorities-right/ is a pretty good summary of both the law and the reality in France.

I would expect all drivers in France to be familiar with the law, and when asking about differences would appreciate knowing the difference in Italy (and it is also different in Germany), and the meaning of the yellow diamond.

Posted by
27 posts

We thoroughly enjoyed Relais Villa d'Amelia in Benevello and Villa Beccaris in Monforte d'Alba in 2015. Not cheap, but nice to be pampered after biking through the Piemonte hills for 7 days.

Posted by
137 posts

Will look those up Larry. The inn we want to book at actually still has my deposit from Sept 2020...I told her to keep it for next time but am always curious in finding the little other gems out there.

Posted by
1144 posts

Nigel - Thanks for the article. I've driven for decades in both Italy and France, but I didn't know what the yellow diamond sign meant. However, drivers in Italy (esp. Americans who don't often encounter right-of-way scenarios) should know that there can be situations in Italy where the car on the right will assume they have right-of-way. Almost all intersections do have Yield signs, but occasionally there will be an unsigned merge and drivers on the left must yield or else.