The Alta Langa

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Leaving the sweet landscapes of the Langa, characterised by gentle hills and vineyards, the visitor can easily be surprised by the sudden change in the environment, vegetation, crops and climate.

The grapevines and conifer woods are gradually replaced by the green pastures that are useful for dairy production. This is the Alta Langa, a land that has always been rich in colours, traditions and culture, in the eyes of those who for the first time find themselves in front of an unknown and beautiful landscape. The view, in fact, that can be enjoyed from the highest peaks of one of these countries takes your breath away, because against the backdrop of the splendid Alpine arch, there is succession of hills, villages, parish churches and bell towers that show, in all their entirety, dominate its geographical and cultural extension.

The easiest way to reach the Alta Langa is the road that leads from Alba to Ricca, a hamlet of Diano d’Alba. Here the road begins to climb towards the hills that become more and more rough, covering them with green forests in summer and bare in winter. For the Albese, this road represents a historical connection with Savona and the sea, in fact in the past favoured cultural and commercial exchanges between Piedmontese and Ligurian.

Of all the Langhe, this is the hilly area that is geographically located more to the east, between the rivers Bormida and Belbo, where the village of Mombarcaro, with its 900 meters of altitude, turns out to be the highest point.

Here we can find the presence of Romanesque art with relevant testimonies such as the Pieve di Cortemilia which dates back to 1200 and the chapel of San Sebastiano in Bergolo; even if the past of these lands is linked both to the vicissitudes of Alba and to those typical of a border area .

Pieve di Cortemilia

 The man has managed over time to establish a “special” relationship with nature, dominating its wildness, making the land more productive. Here you can find the hazelnut (there are about two thousand hectares of hazel groves), the so-called “Gentle Round” hazelnut, from which delicious sweets are obtained that have given lustre and international fame to the Alta Langa, agriculture, meadows, pasture (about six thousand hectares) that supply fine cheeses such as the ‘tuma’ of Murazzano, but also other arable crops (about fourteen thousand hectares) which constitute a solid and prosperous economic base.

The mechanical craftsmanship, the woodworking, the production of jewels and their decoration as well as the embroidery, the processing of wool and cotton and the brilliant creation of tools for agriculture and the collection of hazelnuts are just a few examples of a faceted reality of a now evolved peasant world, which looks to the future without losing sight of tradition. Many are the folkloristic and cultural events that involve all the towns of the Alta Langa, where the typical Langa gastronomy dominates all the tables.

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