Bra and Surrounds

Situated among the Roero hills, a land of fortresses, vineyards and castles, the city of Bra is a crossroads of history, super food and wine and culture. Of ancient origin, it has its roots in the Neolithic age, and traces of the Roman imperial era and the Savoy royal dynasty are still to be seen in its environs. Today it is a city of over 30,000 inhabitants, famous in Italy and worldwide as the home of the Slow Food movement, for its excellent raw veal sausage, for its international events and for its role as a cradle of Piedmontese baroque architecture.

Strolling round its streets and piazzas, you can admire the rounded façade of Palazzo Comunale, the Church of Santa Chiara, a masterpiece of royal architect Bernardo Antonio Vittone and the Church of La Trinità. Not to mention the museums of Natural History, Art and Archaeology and Toys, and the central Via Cavour with its historical cafés, where the writer Giovanni Arpino while away the time of day. Without forgetting the building known as La Zizzola, the symbol of the city, on the top of the hill of Monteguglielmo.

In Pollenzo, a small village a stone’s throw from Bra, the main piazza is lined with buildings that recall the ancient splendours of one of the Savoy’s royal family’s private residences. Part of the architectural complex houses the University of Gastronomic Sciences, attended by students from all over the world, and an original Wine Bank which stocks and ages some of Italy’s most famous crus.

Bra is also a place of good food and excellent wines, some of which admired and enjoyed outside national boundaries. Who hasn’t heard of salsiccia di Bra, a raw veal sausage he production of which was originally authorized directly by the House of Savoy? Then there’s the cheese named after the city, Bra Dop, in its soft and hard versions, a delight for the palate and the senses, celebrated with other cheeses from all over the world at the biennial international “Cheese! Milk in all its shapes and forms” event. Plus fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, including a “local and slow” roll, the Mac ‘d Bra, which captures all the flavours of the area in a single bite.

Bra is a jewel of a city on a human scale which, over the last few years, has increasingly become a popular tourist destination thanks to events such as the Easter and Easter Monday Fair, the Corto in Bra short film festival, Cheese, the Folkestate summer folk music season and Da Cortile a Cortile, a day in which its historical courtyards come to life.

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