Leaving the plains behind us, the land rises and falls through the foothills, until we breathe the air of the mountains or even the sea. The Upper Oltrepò is a small territory that can be reached by passing through the Staffora Valley, which joins the Ardivestra and Nizza Valleys.
The landscape is hilly, characterised by picturesque medieval villages, castles, fortresses and aristocratic residences, but also by natural landscapes that invite visitors to walk in the woodlands, take excursions, go trekking. There are numerous agritourism facilities, trattorie and restaurants to welcome travellers. A trip through the Oltrepò is undoubtedly a spree through the delicious gourmandise of an opulent rural cuisine: agnolotti alla vogherese, ravioli alla varzese, malfatti di bietole, risotto con fegatini di pollo, peperonata, boiled beef with mostarda, braised beef, salumi (salame di Varzi, pancetta, coppa, cotechino, sanguinaccio) mushrooms, truffles, bread, fruit, honey, almond cakes and pasta, ‘ossa dei morti’ and doll-shaped biscuits (Büséla) and – of course – wine.
As Cesare Angelini worte ‘the air is sweet with grapes and grape must’.