Monferrato is the largest area of the UNESCO site “Langhe, Roero and Monferrato”. There are three areas, Basso Monferrato (Casale Monferrato, Vignale Monferrato), Alto Monferrato (Acqui Terme, Ovada, Gavi) and Monferrato Astigiano (Asti, Canelli, Agliano Terme, Nizza Monferrato). I only mentioned some of the municipalities but you can know and appreciate many others!
WHAT TO SEE IN A WEEKEND IN MONFERRATO
Cities of Monferrato
- Asti – Clock Tower, Palio Field, Palazzo Alfieri
- Agliano – The thermal baths, the ancient village with the two churches
- Alessandria – The citadel, the old town and the Borsalino factory become a museum
- Acqui Terme – Boiling Square, Clock Tower, sNew Thermal baths
- Canelli – The wine cathedrals, the lovers’ street, the Gancia Castle
- Mombaruzzo – Berta Distillery, the macaroon factory (not to be missed!)
- Nizza Monferrato – The main street for a shopping break and “bele cauda”, Palazzo de Benedetti
- Vignale –i Belvedere, i infernot
EVENTS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The typical dishes of Piedmont find their perfect location in the Monferrato area. A weekend in Monferrato will make you discover the products of agriculture. Many native species of fruit, excellent meats and cheeses, give the recipes a touch of genuineness. The accompaniment with excellent wines completes the enogastronomic experience.
Risottos in the area of Casale (with mushrooms, barbera); Agnolotti; Tajarin seasoned with important meat sauce; chickpea soups; mixed boiled meat; Tripe; Fried cod; bagna cauda.
The list would be really important but it lets you understand that it is a very varied cuisine. Which ranges over the rich and defined flavors.
But I tell you honestly that in the areas of Monferrato if you ask for a mixed chopping board (with sliced meats and cheeses or just cheese) and accompany it with a good glass of barbera you can already feel very satisfied! Word of gourmand.
ON THE MARKET
Apples, thistle, and melons
I give you a treat: in Monferrato you will find more than 50 different types of apples. You will find a melon appreciated all over Italy, Mirabello quality. You find the cardoon “hunchback of Nice”. The purple celery monferrino. And then various types of radicchio very appreciated with Mrs. Bagna Cauda!
If we then talk about Truffles then we could trigger an endless discussion. The friends/rivals White Truffle of Alba and the Truffle of Monferrato compete for the throne of the best or the most fragrant. You have to taste them both and tell me yours. I can only organize you a research tour and you will decide for yourself
Literature to accompany you in your Weekend in Monferrato
This land has inspired many writers. It will be the landscape, the people or the joys of the table and the wines. Come and take a vacation in Monferrato to be enchanted!
in the Divine Comedy, Purgatory, speaks of William VII Marquis of Monferrato. He describes him as a shrewd politician of 1200. It portrays him as a negligent prince and considers him guilty of the conflict against Alexandria. He also speaks of an uncomfortable friar of 1400, a certain Ubertino da Casale and defines him as an astute manipulator!
speaks of Monferrato when with Fiammetta’s voice he tells the story of the Marquise de Montferrant: the King of France was hopelessly in love with her. The Marquise was not at all attracted to the King and, not wanting to refuse openly, decided to dissuade him by serving him only chicken broth at every meal!
had a particular interest in Monferrato. He had lived for some time in Casale. He dedicated a long treatise to the history of these lands, collaborating with historians of Casale. He was fascinated by the history of the Aleramo family and the Bonifacio family. He had also begun the history of the Aleramo family but was not able to conclude it before his death.
alessandrino, world famous writer, wrote many pages about Monferrato. We find him in L’isola del giorno prima and also in Baudolino.
I leave for last one of the writers I love the most: Cesare Pavese. Inseparably associated with the Langhe, he also wrote about Monferrato. Beautiful pages in “La Luna e i Falò”, “Lavorare Stanca”, “Il Diavolo sulle Colline” and also “La Vecchia Ubriaca”, a poem of which I report a beautiful verse that photographs with words the hills of Monferrato.
In the memory appear the great hills
lives and young as that body, and the gaze of man
and the harshness of wine return anxiously
desire: a vampa fluttering in the blood
like green in the grass. For vineyards and paths
you make flesh the memory. The old woman, eyes closed,
enjoys motionless the sky with his then body.