The origins of Mondovì date back to the Middle Ages and the the town offers a rich artistic heritage which is a pastiche of Gothic and Baroque periods. In the neighbouring areas there is the most important ski resort of the province, but also many natural parks, caves, spas and archeological sites.
Today Mondovì has a new face thanks to the restyling of the funicular, which since 2006 is back in service. The current one has been projected by Giugiaro and connects the rione Breo with Piazza, the suggestive balcony which overlooks the Langhe and the lower original nucleus of the city, rione Breo, which is the commercial and administrative centre of Mondovì.
If you are in the hot-air balloons capital, you must absolutely try the local specialties in the most famous and historical places of the city. Above all the Rakikò and the meliga biscuits.
The Rakikò is a bitter spirit made of herbs, it is served both as appetizer and as digestive. It was invented in 1924 in Mondovì and the final letters “ko” of its name remember the surname of its inventor: Francesco Comino. He founded also the famous “Grigolon”, a historical handicraft confectionery, very appreciated by the inhabitants.
In the ancient confectionery, which since 2011 is included in the list of the “Locali Storici D’Italia”, is still conserved the original parchment with the history of the Rakikò. A visit to Grigolon is also worthwhile for thelocal itself: in fact it is an ancient art nouveau-style shop that has preserved much of the original wooden furniture.
You can also taste and buy the Rakikò in via Funicolare, where there is an homonym dedicated shop.
The meliga biscuits are golden and crunchy biscuits which represents the city tradition. They are made with fresh eggs, butter and “ottofile” stone-ground maize flour. This particular kind of maize is produced in Piedmont and it is called “ottofile” because of the beans disposition in eight longitudinal lines.
The small and nice Ristorantino Michelis, located in via Vigevano, produces these delicious biscuits in its private pasta factory, just behind the local and sells them in Belvedere tower-shaped box.
Among the most delicious and famous meliga biscuits we cannot forget the ones produced by Lisbona and Tomatis in Pamparato, a small village 30 minutes far from Mondovì.
In Mondovì you can find many particular souvenirs: first of all the typical ceramic dishes with cock, which is the symbol of the city and the small ceramic hot-air balloons. You can find these objects in the best confectioneries where you can taste also the Monregalesi, chocholate pralines with a rhum and merigue heart, very similar to the Cuneesi.
Another particular local product is the Bala d’Asu, an elongated and rounded bagged made of bovine, donkey and pork meat, it is sold vacuum packed and it must be cooked boiled.