In addition to specialty stores, regular antiques markets take place throughout Piemonte at given dates. Items for sale span from furniture to little objects or knick-knacks and, although the flea-market bargains are long gone, it's still possible to secure desirable pieces at interesting prices.
These colorful markets are commonly known as "Mercatini" and are fun to watch even if you're not in shopping mode.
List and schedule of Mercatini
Expensive as jewels, truffles are among the most famous products of Piemonte. If you ask any Italian about where to find the best truffles they will probably say Alba. Really Alba is the capital of truffles, but the area where excellent truffles can be found is larger. If you tour the part of Piemonte south of the Po and east of the Maira river you can be sure you are in the land of truffles.
The most famous wines of Piemonte are Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Asti Spumante. The list of wines produced in this region is much longer. They all take their names from the production area or even from names of villages. If you travel through Piemonte you can find some nice surprises if you ask for local wines. Here is a list, so you can compare it with the map of your travel and see if some names can be matched.
Boca, Bonarda, Brachetto, Carema, Cortese, Fara, Freisa di Castelnuovo Don Bosco, Gattinara, Gavi, Ghemme, Grignolino, Lessana, Malvasia di Casarzo, Moscato d'Asti, Passito di Caluso, Roero Arneis, Rubino di Cantavenna, Sizzana.
What to buy:
Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto d'Alba and Spumante d'Asti are just the most well-known names - and they are delicious. So get them! But if you want something different, something special - try annd see if you can find the white wine Erbaluce di Caluso (or else Rustia). Rustia means roasted - but the grapes used for this wine aren't. The name comes from the colour that the grape takes on in autumn: amber-like. To be drunk with hors d'oeuvres and fish.
The Rustia comes from the Canavese area - roughly between Ivrea and Caluso - so that's the best places to buy this wonderful wine.
What to pay: 15-20 euros
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Via Torino 7, Mombaruzzo, 14046, Italy
Good for: Solo