It’s amazing how in 1 hour from Saluzzo, you can be transported into a totally different world! After all this talk about the end of the world in 2012, and Italy becoming the next Greece, I guess it is a good idea to practice getting back in touch with nature and going back to the basics. Val Maira is a breathtaking and pristine valley, offering genuine local treats and enchanting hikes.
Things to do while in Val Maira:
#1) Stop by the amazing panetteria in Macra for the must-have organic Rye bread made in wood ovens, and buy the local Lo Puy fresh goat cheese. I have written previously about the amazing farm where they make this raw milk cheese and host guests for tastings in S. Damiano Macra.
#2) Hang out with the “young” locals:)
#3) Go Porcini hunting with experts in undisclosed location;) We found about 10 porcinis after a long day’s hike.
my one and only find!
#4) Drink mountain spring water (while doing pushups?)

#5) One part that I admittedly don’t like about the mountains is the constant summer thunderstorms and missed opportunities to lay out in the sun! However, the evening cold weather is the perfect excuse to cook up hearty meals and drink red wines.  It sets the warm woodsy, cabin ambience for eating our just found porcinis. We ate them in the following ways: sliced raw with a drizzle of olive oil, in mushroom risotto, and breaded and fried. You can’t forget to pair that with a delicious Piemontese Barbera like Podej by Forti Del Vento (14.9%!) in the wintery mushroomy atmosphere.
preparing the egg for the breading
buttery risotto topped with parsley
#6) Read. No TV. No internet.
#7) Explore the wildlife
#8) Hike and search for lavender
#8) Forage for wild strawberries and blueberries

Val Maira is still one of the most untouched Alpine Valleys rich in Occitana history providing the following MUST DOs:

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