Article on the Napa-fication of Barolo

Pretty interesting story and good coverage of competing perspectives of those who want to develop this still (barely) quaint town and those concerned about preserving its cultural and physical heritage. Guess which side Maria Teresa Mascarello is on :wink:?

I visited the village of Barolo in 2017 and was surprised to see how it had developed into a tourist destination. While lovely, it clearly had lost unique character compared to every other Langhe village I visited, even though every town had some tourists and tourist amenities.

As a lover of Piedmontese wine and Italian culture in general I would prefer to see things not over-developed, but also realize that what I love about it many other people do as well. But it would sure be sad for Barolo to reach the extremity of development of places like Venice, Florence, or even Cinque Terra - in which the local culture is being over-whelmed by the beyond excessive volume of crowds.

But perhaps development is for the best - is it better for there to be tourist centers where the huge tour groups and their busses can go in their goal to make check marks in their infernal bucket lists? Meanwhile I can dodge the crowds and find the nearby but equally beautiful and less trammeled options. Even in Tuscany, for every Florence or Siena, there is a Grosseto, Montepulciano, Cortona, Volterra, etc .etc.


I agree, and it’s not surprising, as I’ve seen that increase in tourist traffic over the years, most notably in tour buses that previously would never have made the detour. It’s not a surprise to see fancy new buildings pop up. It’s certainly less appealing to me, and I’d much rather be in Monforte d’Alba, Verduno, Serralunga d’Alba, etc.

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