In Langhe, the home of Barolo and the land of truffles, the road twists and turns up a hill between hazelnut plantations and steep vineyards to reveal the Monticello Castle, striking against the clear blue sky. Upon arriving at my destination, I am welcomed at the entrance by an imposing and threatening medieval suit of armor, transporting me back through history. The Castle is in fact one of the most impressive and best preserved buildings in the area due to the fact that it has been owned by the same family since 1372, namely the family of Count Roero di Monticello who have chosen it as their primary residence. I am welcomed into the large hall of the “piano nobile” (or noble floor) by the current owners, Aimone and Elisa Roero di Monticello. They give me a tour of their magnificent rooms, pointing out family heirlooms on the way, and then accompany me on a walk through the magnificent park which is full of oaks and provides rich fertile ground for truffles. The park, which surrounds the house on all sides and encompasses the ancient moat, was designed in 1827 by Xavier Kurten, the architect who also designed the gardens of the House of Savoy. It is a magnificent example of an English-style park, designed following the fashions of the time. In addition to visiting the house and delighting in the historical-artistic experience, I highly recommend embarking on a fascinating journey to discover the flavors of the area with “show cooking“, an experience led by Michelin-star chefs, together with searching for truffles in the park accompanied by a “trifolau”, a specialist “hunter of truffles” and their “tabui” hunting dogs.
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