The River Tanaro separates the Langhe Hills, on its right bank, from the Roero Hills, which stretch northwards towards the borders of the Provinces of Turin and Asti. The Roero Hills make up the wildest and most unspoilt landscape you can find in these parts. Discover it calmly, on foot or by bicycle.
Set against the first of the Roero Hills, Bra is a culturally active town that deserves a good visit, particularly in the evening. Allow yourself to be fascinated by its sumptuous Baroque architecture, look beyond the gates of historic buildings into their silent but grand courtyards, enter the old boutiques to seek out the town’s famous and unique beef sausage, which is predominantly eaten raw.
The town’s number one priority is to eat good, clean and fair food in the most pleasurable manner possible. It was indeed here, in the 1980s, that the Slow Food culture movement was first proposed by Carlo Petrini in ‘Defence of the Right to Pleasure’. The same period also gave rise to renowned events such as Bra’s international ‘Cheese’ festival and Turin’s ‘Terra Madre’ festival, which exalt products now bearing the brand of the snail, the symbol of the Slow Food movement, and finally highly recognised for all their value.
Bra is also famous for being the perfect place for the ageing and purchase of cheeses from the Alpine valleys. It is here that you’ll want to try various soft and hard cheeses from pasture-raised cows, made up in the Alpine mountains during summer.
The square of Piazza Caduti della Libertà is not your classic square. Indeed, it has a rather irregular shape and slopes downward to one end. Overlooking the square is the Baroque Palazzo Civico, the Church of Sant’Andrea and Palazzo Mathis.
La Zizzola rises from the highest point of Bra, an original octagonal building that started life as the ‘Villa di Delizie’, or ‘Villa of Delights’ around the middle of the nineteenth century, which offers an extraordinary panorama of the Alps, the surrounding hills and the whole of the town.
In the northernmost part of the town, in the direction of Turin, is the Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Flowers, a complex that groups together a recently constructed sanctuary with one dating from 1626.
Festivities and Events
Aperitifs on the decks:
Bra is extremely lively in summer, also thanks to its Friday evening aperitifs, which aim to create a pairing of food and wine with various musical genres.
This event has been organized by Slow Food on alternate years since 1997, making Bra and its cheese a leading reference for dairy craftsmen the world over and for the promotion of raw milk cheeses.