Montesegale: (very) Hidden corners of Italy

A place you won’t ever find in a travel ad.

Italy is well-known for being the homeland of some cities that everybody in the world has heard of at least once in his life: Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, Turin, Palermo. Yet, Italy is not only a country where ancient and famous cities are situated and visited by millions of tourists a year, but also a land where even its smallest towns can have and show their charm and beauty.

Today we are going to talk about a tiny medieval village situated in the very south of Lombardy, in the province of Pavia (not too far from Milan): Montesegale.

Castello di Montesegale

Montesegale is very small

The peculiarity of Montesegale is that, at the beginning of this year, its inhabitants have been estimated to be only 295!! It’s like living in a huge family where all the people know each other and you don’t need to drive to go from one spot to the opposite of this town.

Italy’s main feature is that even the smallest town has its own specialties, typical produces and recipes. Montesegale offers you wine, oil, cured meats and preserved food.

Located in what is commonly known as Oltrepò Pavese (a region in the province of Pavia beyond the river Po), which is famous for its wines, in Montesegale you can taste as many types of wine as you want: Barbera, Bonarda, Pinot noir, Pinot grigio. These can accompany well other specialties of this town, like black truffle, a wide variety of cold cuts, and cotechino, a sort of sausage made with pork, bacon and bacon rind and aromatized with vanilla, Marsala wine or anise seeds. Basically, pork meat is minced, kneaded, seasoned with spices and aroma and then put in a beef gut and left to dry.

Montesegale, tramonto in collina

Many things to do in Montesegale

Despite its small size, it has to be acknowledged that Montesegale is a quite active village. It is member of two associations: “Borghi autentici d’Italia” (Authentic Villages of Italy) and “Associazione Nazionale Città del Pane” (National Association Cities of Bread), respectively founded in 2007 and 2002. They are both nonprofit associations (they include other Italian cities and towns) that were born with the aim of exalting and promoting the architectural, tourism, cultural and social patrimony of the member cities/towns.

Moreover, the former also aimed at boosting a model of local development safeguarding traditions and the local simple lifestyle, which is more deeply promoted by the second association that makes bread its banner as its traditional food to be enhanced and advertised. 

In other words, two similar ways to promote, hold and make the traditions of a town last longer.

Montesegale, castello

Sources - Montesegale - Montesegale: prodotti tipici locali - Borghi Autentici d'Italia - Montesegale: città del pane
All pictures released under Creative Commons license.

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