Man, these getaways can really take the wind out of you when there’s a lot on your plate, and I mean that figuratively. We spent an extended weekend in Piemonte, specifically in the area between Alessandria and Ovada where shopping, wine, chocolate (and more) lure visitors to experience Le Dolci Terre, or Sweet Lands. This is not to be mistaken with la dolce vita that happens anywhere in Italy, but if you’re familiar with this part of the Piemonte region, then you already know of Serravalle Designer Outlet and its top brand names that draw quite an international crowd. What surprised me the most is that dogs are just as welcome in the stores (with the exception of Armani, if I’m to believe a forum post), and for once this meant not having to leave our two in the car.
Goodie bag! I am not an outlet shopping person by a long shot, but when a free welcome bag is thrown in upon reserving a hotel room through the Shopping Days website…
Surrounded by orchards of Dolcetto grapes, our room was at a farmstay located on the rural outskirts of Capriata d’Orba. This place in particular wouldn’t have meant a thing to us had we not found out that Capriata is sister cities with Vinon-sur-Verdon (France) where we spent our lavender-lovin’ holidays!
I’m making a bold statement in saying that Piemonte is king of the local sagra, but at the food festivals we attended, each and every one was like a finely-tuned machine. They had dozens of staff members, both in the kitchen and in the dining room area. I’ve never witnessed such harmonious orchestration in tending to the masses of people that poured in.
As I said at the beginning… getaways can really take the wind out of you, especially when beans play a large role. We managed to check out 3 different sagre, one of which had us smacking our lips of beans AND loads of garlic. It was so good that I was prompted to pick up this crate of borlotti at a Sunday market in Basaluzzo on our way home. Sagra posts up next!