I've traveled to Italy perhaps 20 times over the years, but this will by my first (very last moment, spontaneous) trip to Piemonte.I'm flying standby and hope to arrive on the 21st. I'll stay 2+ weeks.
I'd like to base in 2 places, max 3. Torino's carruggi remind me of Chiavari (OMG, the farinata at Luchin!) and some Tripadvisor posters write that Torino is quite nice.
I prefer villages over cities, like a pedestrianized centro storico and I'm crazy for truffles.
I'm traveling sola and have only driven in Italy drive with a co-pilot but I have the impression that driving in Piemonte, discounting wine consumption and heavy rains, will be a rather simple affair. Right? I'll bring GPS. Car is necessary? Is Bra-Asti-Alba-Turin similar to the Rome-Florence-Venice ho-hum itinerary?
A few question, please:
1. Base in Torino maybe 5 nights? One more town or village, or max 2 more in the 2 weeks on the ground. Is Alba too large/overrun? I understand that on festival weekends, Alba hotels will probably be sold out.
2. Assume a car in Piemonte is truly necessary?
3. Plan to go to the Alba truffle fair and smaller ones. Recommendations?
4. Accommodations: obviously, last moment, it'll be tough. I'm very flexible. Hope to find single rooms 100€ or less. Being in walking distance of where I dine and drink wine is preferable. I like villages with cafes, shops, walking, far more than rural areas.
5. Trattoria/osteria recommendations for a single person hoping to keep dinners under 50 euros including wine (not prestige/aged wines, obviously.) I love to cook, read about and shop for food, but have a limited appreciation of truly fine wines. Simple reds usually please me. It's much more about the food.
6. Kind service at a cafe, hotel or day tour that you can recommend?
7. Is my truffle hunt fantasy a silly tourist trap? (There's not much I'll get up before 8am to do but this.)
Also, I see there's a Eurochocolate festival in Perugia in October. Yum. Have any of you been? Worth it? But I don't want to circle back up tp Piemonte again before my flight back the first part of November. Ideas?