Nature & Landscapes
OLTREPO' PAVESE - The hidden Tuscany
Though frequently called the Tuscany of the North of Italy, the Oltrepo Pavese in Lombardy is fairly unknown abroad.
Tourists pass the area closely when travelling to the real Tuscany to Umbria. This is a pity as the Oltrepo really offers something worthwhile for almost every tourist, especially food and wine lovers.
The area offers several attractions: smooth hills, medieval villages and castles, panoramic views, authentic Italian food and local wines. The Oltrepo happens to be the largest wine producing area of Lombardy and one of the largest in Italy, especially for the Pinot Noir. The landscape is scattered with vineyards that are freely accessible for hikers or even mountain biking.
The Oltrepo Pavese is part of the province of Pavia, in the southern part of Lombardy. Oltrepo literally means "on the other side of the Po". The Po river runs through the large plain in the North of Italy, the Pianura Padana, where a typical product is produced: rice.
In the south of Pavia province, the terrain quickly gains height. The Oltrepo is situated at the foothills of the Ligurian Alpes and Apennines.
The Oltrepo Pavese offers peace and quiet, tranquillity and the silence (while strolling in the vineyards for example) is often overwhelming.
Life still has a slow pace here, as the locals are living the life in more or less the same way their ancestors did: growing wine is a work that follows the seasons, year after year, generation after generation. Most of the wine farmer families have been living here since the Middle Age.