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Twelfth stage of the Giro d'Italia 2023: from Bra to Rivoli

Let's discover the beauty of Italy thanks to the Giro d'Italia. It continues through Piedmont.

4 minutes

After a 24-year absence, the athletes are returning to Bra for the twelfth stage of the Giro d 'Italia 2023, tackling a 179-kilometre route across plains, hills and medium-high mountains.

It starts with a fairytale setting: Langhe and Roero, which was named a UNESCO heritage site in 2014, among its green hills, vineyards, castles and fortresses.

The origins of Bra are ancient, from Neolithic to the Roman Empire, up to the Savoy dynasty, whose traces are preserved in the Civic Municipal Museum of Archaeology and Art History - Palazzo Traversa. Here, you can follow themed routes, ranging from the archaeological section, where the history and findings of the nearby Roman city of Pollentia are illustrated, to paintings from the 17th to the 20th century, to a room dedicated to Bra's most illustrious personalities. The city is also one of the places where the most Piedmontese Baroque features can be found.

Strolling through the streets of the centre, you'll come across many artistic testimonies, ornate palaces and majestic churches, such as: the beautiful Church of the Trinity, finely decorated with white stucco and frescoes, and St Andrew's Church, built according to the design of Bernini, a feast of gold, frescoes and statues.

Very visible from every point of the city is the Zizzola, an octagonal building that stands on the highest hill, Monte Guglielmo, a palace dating back to 1840, which started out as a private residence, country house and 'villa delle delizie', and became a symbol of the people of Bra, now a museum that can be visited.

The landscapes surrounding Bra are breathtaking; all around you are woods to explore and trails to follow, such as the Great Roero Trail, a 40-kilometre route for hiking and mountain biking, which crosses the entire ridge of the Rocche del Roero. The Rocce are very deep gorges created by a natural phenomenon of rock erosion, which can still be observed today, a unique landscape.

In 1986, the international Slowfood association was founded in Bra, a movement to promote the culture of 'eating well', which deals with the protection of regions and biodiversity, as well as food education. This stems from the immense food and wine tradition that characterises the area, a land of excellence and authentic products, famous and exported all over the world. It is actually in the city derived from ancient Pollentia that the Pollenzo University of Culinary Sciences is located, an institute founded and promoted by the Slowfood association in 2004, which trains food experts from all over the world.

To list just a few of the excellent products that can be found here, how can we not mention the famous Bra salsiccia, a veal sausage to be eaten strictly raw, or the Bra DOP, a mountain or pasture cheese, in both hard and soft variants, depending on the maturation.

The race continues on its way to the final stage and, crossing Piedmont, passes close to Alba, the 'city of 100 towers' and the truffle, which can be found among the green hills of the Langhe, in the area that together with Roero and Monferrato has been a UNESCO heritage site since 2014, thanks to the breathtaking views of the hills cultivated with vineyards.

Here we produce wines of superior quality, such as: the barolo, the barbaresco, the barbera, the nebbiolo and the dolcetto, to name but a few of the infinite varieties of grapes cultivated in these lands. Also, worth noting is the Alba white truffle, an excellence recognised and exported all over the world.

Here we are in Rivoli, a beautiful town connected to nearby Turin, which still features many buildings and works from past eras.

Keeping watch over the town from above is the Savoy Castle, a building erected on a pre-existing medieval fortress, included in the list of UNESCO Savoy Residences, now the Museum of Contemporary Art, which hosts regular exhibitions of international artists from the past and present, such as: Michelangelo PistolettoSol LewittMaurizio Cattelan and Richard Long.

A short distance from the castle, down the beautiful Via Piol, is the Casa del Conte Verde, a 15th-century palazzetto with a beautiful colonnade. It is an important example of Piedmontese architecture, where various exhibitions and cultural events take place today.

In the surroundings of Rivoli, we find Rivalta di Torino, a delightful historical village, where the Orsini Castle, an ancient building dating back to the year 1000, a stone fortress surrounded by a moat and a beautiful park guarded by strong walls can be found.

In the unspoilt nature all around Bra, you can go along various paths, either walking or hiking, in organised groups or independently.

Here, the long, rural tradition of the region, and the typical dishes to be savoured consist mainly of 0-km products.

Some of the absolute must-try dishes include: polenta with Castelmagno, a PDO semi-hard cheese, a product of excellence, the bagnacauda, a sauce made of garlic, oil and anchovies, in which you dip fresh vegetables, usually as an apéritif, tajarin, a  fresh pasta to sample with different toppings, and many mouth-watering desserts.

The stage podium




Chef Enrico Croatti's braised beef with Barolo to savour Piedmont

Braised beef is a recipe from the culinary tradition of Emilia-Romagna, which can also be enjoyed in a more modern way, thanks to its timeless ingredients.

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