View of Tanaro River from Barbaresco

Tall Travel Style – Adventures in Piedmont Italy

It’s been about a month since our summer road trip through Italy and I’m still dreaming of all the wine, the beautiful countryside and the amazing pasta.  One thing I’m not dreaming about? The miserable heat!

Here’s what I realized about gallivanting in 95-99 degree weather – no matter what you wear, you will drenched in sweat glistening within 5 seconds of walking outside.  It’s unlikely you’ll find any relief while you’re out and about since there’s virtually no AC in any public places.   This is why you must eat lots and lots of gelato!

On the first leg of our trip, we spent 3 days in the Piedmont region in northern Italy.  The countryside was so gorgeous and I loved the relaxed vibe of the small villages.

Here’s a peek at what I wore to beat the heat and also some photos of our shenanigans.

Day 1: Wandering Around Alba and Dinner in the Piedmont Vineyards

What I Wore (daytime):
Long Tall Sally Floral Shirt Dress
Marc by Marc Jacobs Crossbody Bag

While waiting for our check-in time at our accommodations, we toodled around the charming town of Alba in the scorching 95+ degree heat, had a light lunch outside where I became a sweaty grumpy mess and thankfully found some amazing gelato to cheer me up.

LTS Tall Shirt Dress

This LTS shirt dress is quite comfortable.  Similar to my new button-up maxi from LTS, I have to wear a slip dress underneath it to avoid inadvertent skin flashing at the buttons when I’m sitting.  I’m trying to decide if this button-gaping comes with the territory of all button-up dresses, if I have the wrong size or if the LTS dresses are just cut like this.  On the one hand, it does get a bit warm wearing a layer under the dress.  On the other hand, the slip dress helps to absorb/wick sweat thus keeping the dress itself a bit more dry.

What I Wore (evening):
Long Tall Sally Button-Up Mixed Print Maxi
Paul Green sandals
Pearl drop earrings and bangle bracelets

In the evening, we set out for dinner amongst the vineyards at Locande del Pilone. Our Google Maps navigation gave us two routes and I accidentally chose the one that took us down a very narrow, bumpy dirt road that seemed to dead end (although I’m sure a local who knew the area would have kept driving on it).Needless to say, Hans (our car) is not used to off-roading so we turned around and took the other route which was thankfully paved.

Once we arrived, we were rewarded with lovely views from the hilltop. I felt comfortable yet chic in my LTS button-up maxi.  Even though the restaurant we ate at is very nice (and has been awarded a Michelin star), it’s also out in the middle-of-nowhere countryside and I felt like my LTS dress was the perfect choice for this outing since it’s not too fussy-fancy.  I paired it with some pearl drop earrings, bangle bracelets, and my favorite Paul Green sandals.  Click here to see my full review of this dress.

Tall Maxi Dress
The dinner was simply fabulous!  I’m used to receiving a small bite from the chef at a nice-ish restaurant shortly after sitting down, but we’ve never received this many small bites before our first course.  And there were two more surprises after this before we even received our official first course. Wow!

Locande Del Pilone Review
We chose the multi-course tasting menu and I’m surprised I didn’t pop a button on my LTS dress by the end of the meal because the chef just kept sending” surprises” to the table!  Later in the meal came the best pasta we’ve ever had – egg tajarin with sausage ragout.  Such a yummy meal!

Michelin Star Dining Alba

Day 2 – Wine Tour of Piedmont with Anna of Italianna.com

What I Wore:

Banana Republic 100% Cotton Top
Loft 100% Linen Skirt
Hair Pulled Back in Bun!

The next day, we embarked on a full day private tour of the Piedmont region with our fearless and fun guide Anna of Italianna.com.  If you’re ever in the market for a Piedmont wine tour, I cannot recommend Anna enough.  Since she only offers private tours, you can work with her to customize your day based on your interests.  Anna has such a great vibe and of course, a vast knowledge of the area.

Remember when I brainstormed my hot summer vacation outfits?  I ended up wearing the white linen skirt and pink printed cotton top on this outing. These breathable fabrics really did help me feel more comfortable in the heat.

Review of Italianna.com Wine Tour

Enough talk about the heat! Let’s talk about wine.  If you are ever in the market to learn about Barbaresco and Barolo wines in Piedmont, book a tour with Anna!

After Anna picked us up, little did we realize that we’d drive up the hill to visit the Rizzi Estate – the reddish house on the hill that we could see from the balcony of our room.

View of Rizzi Estate Barbaresco

Like many of the wineries in Piedmont, Rizzi Estate is family owned and operated which I absolutely love.  We had a leisurely chat and tasting of mostly Barbaresco wines with Enrico, the son of the proprietor and the chief winemaker.  It was quite the lovely way to start the tour.

Wine Tour Rizzi Estate Tasting

After taking in the countryside scenery for a bit, we stopped in the little commune of Neive for lunch. Neive is not a magnet for tourists since it is a bit out of the way making it refreshingly uncrowded!

Wine tour Nieve Italy

We ate lunch at a little local place called Degusto Enoteca Con Cucina, and the food was once again quite delicious.  The food we had on our honeymoon 5 years ago while visiting Florence, Venice and Rome was not so stellar (probably because we always found ourselves eating near tourist attractions). It seems one of the tricks to getting good Italian food is to get out into the countryside away from all of the tourist traps!

I have yet to meet a blob of cheese I don’t like and this burrata was some serious creamy goodness. Add a drizzle of olive oil and some cruda di parma and I’m like a pig in mud.

Lunch Review Degusto Enoteca Con Cucina

The pasta was once again superb!

Lunch Review - Degusto Enoteca Con Cucina Neive

And of course I had to have the gelato to finish because it’s a law that you must have gelato at least once per day while in Italy.

Review - Degusto Enoteca Con Cucina

After lunch, we popped over to the commune of Barbaresco.  We were already drenched in sweat so we figured why not embark on an almost heat-stroke inducing hike up some stairs in the oppressively hot weather to the base of the medieval tower.  We were rewarded with some rather lovely views of the top of the neighboring bell tower, the river and surrounding countryside so it was worth the almost heat stroke.

Behold the lavender! This is my favorite photo from our time in Piedmont.

View of Tanaro River from Barbaresco

Our next stop was Fratelli Alessandria near the town of Verduno where we would taste our first Barolo wines.  As the sign at the entrance suggests, this winery has belonged to the Alessandria family since 1870.  Currently, the 4th and 5th generations of the family (husband, wife, husband’s brother and the son of the couple) are handling all aspects of the wine making.

Visit to Fratelli Alessandria Wine Tour

We walked into the charming 18th century house and then down to the heavenly coolness of the underground cellar where the Barolo and other wines hang out in oak barrels for part of the aging process.  Next, we tasted a bunch of Barolo wines of course.

Tour of Fratelli Alessandria Cellar

Our last stop was to visit the vineyards and workspace of Alberto Voerzio, an ambitious, first-generation winemaker who is a year younger than me!  Alberto is a meticulous perfectionist and does EVERYTHING himself from tending his vines to  harvest to guiding the wines through the fermentation and aging process to bottling and labelling.  He only produces a very small amount of wine each year but is quite popular thanks to his reputation for making such high quality wine so he often sells out fast!

We met him on the side of the road near El Morro and hoofed it up a steep hill (more sweating) to check out his beautiful Nebiolo grapes.  I wanted to eat a grape or two but I’m sure that would have cost me a lot of money and the tour probably would have ended right then and there so I behaved myself.  After checking out the vineyard, we went to his facility and tasted some of his wines. Yum yum!

Nebiolo Grapes Alberto Voerzio Vineyard

Day 3 – Independence Day in Turino

What I Wore: 
J.Crew Linen Polka Dot Dress
Red Bracelet from Noonday Collection
Paul Green sandals

On July 4, I put on my red, white and blue to represent for ‘Murica’s bday, and we took the train from Alba to Turin.  Taking regional trains in Italy is quite the experience, but I won’t bore you with the details.   In hindsight, we realized that we probably should have just gone to one of the local villages for a couple of hours instead of all the way to Turin since it was a miserable 99 degrees and there were hoards of sweaty people everywhere.  Oh well!  At least I felt super cool and cute in my linen dress.

J.Crew Linen Dress

Bottom line: If you ever get the chance to travel to the beautiful Piedmont region, you won’t be disappointed!  And now I shall leave you with a few more of my favorite photos.

Sunset view over the vineyards from our B&B

Sunset Cascina Barac Alba
Bird’s eye view of Barolo all nestled in amongst the hilly vineyards

Commune of Barolo Vineyards

A couple more scenes from Barbaresco

Piedmont Vineyard View

Barbaresco buildings lavender

Your turn…
Did you go on any hot summer vacations this year?   Since I seem to be having this “button-gaping” issue with my button-up dresses, does the same happen to you when you wear this style?

You might also like…
Italy Part III: Piedmont, Tall Wife
Barbados and ASOS Romper, The Tall Muse
Tall Travel Style Series, Tall Fashion Adventures

This post also shared on: Fashion Should Be Fun’s Fashion Friday Link-Up

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17 Comments

  • Reply Karen August 8, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Wow, that trip looks AMAZEBALLS (can’t believe I just used that word in capitals ;))! I really need to get Anna’s details as we want to go back to the area next year. Love your outfits too; I need to get more summer dresses! I have quite a few dresses, but they are mainly for work. Your pics are great too, love the renewed lay out! Thanks for the mention! 🙂

    Xx

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 8, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Haha! Amazeballs is an accurate description. The great thing about Anna is that it’s a private tour so you get to work with her to customize your day. Definitely let me know if you want her contact details. I think you can also contact her through her website.

      Glad you like my dresses! This Italy trip was the longest string of days I’ve had in years where I didn’t wear any type of pants. I used to hate to show my legs because of my spider veins and super pasty skin but now I just don’t care! And it’s quite liberating not to care because I love wearing dresses and skirts. I also may or may not have had an airbrush tan sesh before the trip so having that sun kissed glow also made me more confident about showing some leg. But now my faux tan is long gone and I’m still rocking the skirts and dresses. Woot! 🙂

      Glad you’re liking the new layout. I’m loving it too. xo

  • Reply Anett August 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Agree, AMAZEBALLS! Gorgeous photos and really great writeup. I laughed so hard about you climbing the highest hill in the hottest weather. It reminded me of being in Sicily in 42 C and already dying at 10 am, after staying up all night sweating (electricity outage because everybody was running their ACs). We always walked in the shade and didn’t want to leave the local chapel, as it was the only pace vaguely bareable. We finally found a cafe with AC and started drinking white wine at noon, only to cool down, of course. Then gelato.

    I haven’t been to this region of Italy, but now it’s on my travel list thanks to you! I keep a long list of places I want to visit and it gets longer the more countries and cities I visit, as I almost always want to go back…

    Anett | Tall Girl’s Fashion

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks Anett!

      42 degrees! Holy cannoli! That definitely calls for white wine at noon followed by loads of gelato. I do find that churches and cathedrals tend to be a bit cooler so it’s always a good idea to step inside for a little reprieve from the heat. I need to go back and look at all of your travel posts. I just peeked at the Riomaggiore one because I remembered you told me you’d done some write-ups on Cinque Terre. 🙂

      I hope you do get a chance to go to Piedmont someday. It does not disappoint.

  • Reply Anett August 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Oops, I got so excited about the heat and the travelling that I forgot to write that you look amazing in that polkadot dress — it fits you perfectly! Also, some gaping will probably always occur with a shirt dress like it does with a shirt, and naturally is worse if the dress is too small for you, but are you sure it’s as revealing as you think? Ask your husband what he thinks. Maybe it’s just alluring… 😉 Oh, and that Michelin dinner looks to die for! Slurp!

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Glad you like the polka dot dress! It’s one of my favs and it’s a “non-tall” size at that. It’s hard to tell but it has really nice pleating around the bust and then an attached sash that I tie in a bow just under the bust.

      I agree – I think some gaping is probably normal with button-up dresses. Too funny you should mention my husband. When I’ve mentioned my button issues, he has made comments like “Don’t worry about it. Look at all of these other people we see showing way more skin than you” so I guess I’m probably just being prudish and need to not care so much.

  • Reply Paula August 9, 2015 at 3:10 am

    I love reading this whole post and seeing some pictures that I have already seen, but in the context of your wonderful outfits, it’s a different experience! I especially like the polka dotted dress….I have always loved polka dots and would like to wear more of them. Maybe this will inspire me!

    Paula

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Really glad you liked it! I definitely heart me some polka dots and will be more than happy to help you find some next time I see you. 🙂

  • Reply Sara August 9, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Wonderful post. Loved the way you wrote this! It makes me want to go back to Italy right now. I had the best time doing a tour of Northern Italy… and yes, it is the law that you must always have gelato. (It’s rather tricky to find the real deal though – I’m glad you did!)
    I have the button gaping issue on everything. I’ve come to the conclusion that buttons are too far apart these days. (I went to see the ‘Fashion on the ration’ exhibition in London and that explained that pre-war people used more buttons but when rationing came in they used fewer. I don’t think we’ve ever got back to the appropriate amount of buttons…)
    Sara x
    http://www.girlintheprettydress.com

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Thanks so much Sara! I also already want to return to Northern Italy. Hah!

      Yes! The gelato that we found was fantastic. I’m sure not all gelato is created equal since there are gelato places on every corner so we tried to be picky.

      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with button gaping. Well – I’m not glad to hear it because I wish neither of us had this issue but you know what I mean. I’m glad I’m not alone. That’s a really interesting historical factoid about buttons being too far apart. Thanks for sharing that.

  • Reply Allison @ The Tall Mama August 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Every single photo is AMAZING! Italy has always been on the top of my travel list… one day…
    You look great in all your outfits – I find that a lot of shirt dresses pull at the buttons unless they have a fuller skirt (I’ll be making one & posting it on my blog soon!).
    X Allison

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 10, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Thanks Allison! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I hope you get to visit someday but definitely learn from our mistake and go in the less crowded, cooler months if you can.

      I will keep an eye out for your blog post. I’m intrigued.

  • Reply Dawn Lucy August 10, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful place! Love that maxi on you! Thanks for sharing with Fun Fashion Friday!

    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

    • Reply Tall Fashion Adventures August 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks Dawn Lucy!

  • Reply 6 Month Update: Tall Specialty Shop Challenge 2015 August 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

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