Millesimo: biodiversity and .. National Truffle Festival

Continuing the journey through the cities of truffles, we arrive in Millesimo, a small town of just over three thousand inhabitants, famous for its biodiversity, for having hosted Napoleon during one of his battles, and for the National Truffle Festival

by Antonella Brancadoro
Director of the National Association of the City of Truffles

Thanks to its proximity to Piedmont and the presence of truffles in the area, Millesimo annually dedicates a national event to black and white truffles. The quality of the soil, the environmental and climatic conditions bring the quality of the product closer to that of Alba. Every year, in the last week of September, the “National Truffle Festival” is held.

From a naturalistic point of view, Millesimo offers various landscapes of considerable interest that can be used thanks to easy hiking trails. Some examples are the path of the Adelasia nature reserve, which starts from Millesimo to get to Monte Cisa; or the one that, always starting from Millesimo, crosses the Monte Camulera Wilderness Area, to arrive at the Murialdo New Ironworks. You can walk in the green for hours, observing the wild orchids that cover the meadows at certain times of the year or observing the flowers and small fruits of the undergrowth. The surrounding woods themselves change appearance and colors depending on the area crossed, in an alternation of sheltered woods (with alders and willows), mixed woods (with hornbeam, ash and downy oak in the milder areas), chestnut woods and woods with turkey oak and oak and finally the beech forest. It is a world rich in ecosystems and biodiversity, well preserved, in which there is a rich fauna consisting of large mammals such as fallow deer and roe deer, but also river animals and birds (particularly herons) or rapacious rocks, both nocturnal and diurnal. Also from the network of paths, you reach the nearby lake of Osiglia, where sport canoeing, rowing and sport fishing activities take place. The Bormida river, which crosses the entire municipal area, is rich in fish and frequented by lovers of fish sports who find in the locality of Acquafredda a nature reserve located next to the equipped green area.

Millesimo gives its name to the third spring branch of the Bormida and was the important center of the numerous possessions of the Marquises Del Carretto. It is configured as a center for the entire territory of the Alta Val Bormida, it originates in Roman times on the Via Aemilia Scauri, and is a village rich in historical, natural and gastronomic attractions: with its 3300 inhabitants it is part of numerous national networks that they range from the ANCI Club “Most beautiful villages in Italy” to the National Association “City of truffles”. It boasts a deed of foundation of the Municipality (9 November 1206 by Enrico II Del Carretto) and the oldest municipal statutes of the valley. It has a typically medieval aspect, with its large central square and its ancient and animated arcades. On the square stands the Palazzo dei Del Carretto, the current seat of the Municipality, on its facade you can admire one of the most beautiful sundials in Northern Italy and, inside the building, the altar where Pope Pius VII, a prisoner of Napoleon , celebrated the Holy Mass and the room that hosted Napoleon Bonaperte during the battle of April 14, 1796, which opened the doors to the Italian campaign (the name of Millesimo is in fact engraved on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and on the tomb of Napoleon ).