Cuneo, with its “provincia granda” (which means the big province), is the third most extended one in Italy and it represents the best stage to start discovering Piedmont. It was founded in 1198 and takes its name from the shape of the upland on which it is lays, in the beautiful frame of the Alps, dominated by the Monviso. This city is an important point of reference for the agriculture and from here you can star your journey discovering the all-around valleys, that are full of tourist attractions.
A land of prestigious wines, excellent products, high-quality breedings, Cuneo is the Italian capital of chestnuts. In fact, every year, in October, it held the Fiera Internazionale del Marrone, which is considered one of the most important food fairs in Italy, a real shop window for the traditional and excellent products of the territory. Hundred exhibitors, carefully selected by a team of the city hall, Slow Food, Coldiretti, Confartigianato and ATL, crowd the historical centre for three days, offering tasting experience of the best Italian and European products in the main squares and in the ancient part of the city. There are not only food products, you can find also handicraft excellences, didactic laboratories, cultural workshops, exhibitions and concerts.
Another important event “to taste” is Degustibus. The 10th edition will take place from 24th to 26th May in the city centre, the aim is to create an itinerary tour of food and wine typical products to enhance and valorise the local identity. At the Degustibus you can find excellent products and producers; this event is very important also for the small producers, who can promote their creations.
You must taste the king of the Cuneo confectionery: the Cuneese al Rhum, which was created by Andrea Arione. This big type of praline is made up of two meringue discs, that contain chocolate custard and rhum and it is covered with dark chocolate.
This coffee bar, founded in 1923, it is included in the list of the Locali Storici d’Italia and it has immediately been a point of reference for the inhabitants, thanks to its products, in particular for the cuneese pralines, that has a great success to the point that they are recognised with the “marchio d’impresa”. These pralines are handmade and are packed one by one. Today you can taste these pralines in different ways: hazelnuts, chestnuts, or with Grand Marnier. The chocolate used is produced by the Perugina company, while the custard and the meringues are handcrafted in the laboratory, as well as the packaging. Arione uses only the PGI Gentle Round Hazelnuts and the milk produced in farms located in the Stura valley. Among the other products you can taste the meringues, the Gianduja chocolate bars , the baci di Arione (two almond and hazelnut biscuits filled with chocolate cream), the gianduiotti and the marron glacés. This coffee bar is located in the ex-Cassin palace and overlooks the central piazza Galimberti. Today it is under the lead of Andrea Arione, the nephew of the founder, but it still conserves an ancient atmosphere thanks to the original furniture, the marble pavements, the Venetian chairs, the velvets and the mirrors.
Bar Gelateria Corso
Another important place you must visit in Cuneo is the Bar Gelateria Corso located in Corso Nizza, which has recently celebrated 60 years. It was founded by the spouses Nina Sarzotti and Piero Basso, but today the local is no longer family run; it is under the lead of five people. During the years this coffee bar has obtained many awards thanks to its high-quality products, in particular by the Regione Piemonte and by many magazines such as “Gambero Rosso “Bar e gelaterie d’Italia and “Il Golosario” of Massobrio. The specialities are, with no doubts, the handmade ice-cream, prepared only with local raw materials and seasonal fruits: apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and PGI hazelnuts while milk, cream and eggs are bought fresh from local producers. You can taste the traditional cone or cup ice-creams but also the hot ice-cream (eggnog and chocolate with whipped cream), the cremino, the gianduiotto and the ice-cream version of the cuneese pralines, the greedy “sotto-sopra” (sponge cake, cream with warm bitter orange marmalade, served with zabajone and chocolate), the lingotto (cream and cocoa with espresso coffee, liquid cream and hot chocolate). At lunch you can choose among many sandwiches and focacce, savoury croissants, or and the French “pan bagnat”, a traditional recipe of the Côte d’Azur, all prepared with bread naturally leavened.
800 Cocktail Bar
If you want to enjoy a perfect happy hour you must go to the ‘800 Cocktails Bar, located in the central via Roma. It is well known and very loved by the inhabitants, it is the favourite place of young people and it offers a wide range of wines and a very fine cuisine. It is the ideal place also if you want to have a lunch or breakfast.