a bunch of hot air balloons flying in the sky.
Apr 20, 2023

A Journey of Discovery Italian Unicity

There are important Italian cities that are worth visiting. 

But the countryside is the pure heart of traditions. 

At Istituto Italiano Scuola we believe that travel is a pure form of education because you learn another culture while having the full experience of it.  

Before traveling to another country, learn about its history, customs and some handy phrases and words to help you interact with the locals. But, more than that, a great way to get an authentic feel for the culture is to get in contact with someone who has visited the country before, or better yet, lived there. You can search on the Internet looking for everything you want to know about that country, but you can’t have the real sense of the country is.  

A native can give you an idea of the culture from a local’s perspective, useful advice, or where to find the “hidden gems” in the city, even though it could be a small town.  

There are famous cities in Italy, like Rome and Firenze, but let’s focus more on the countryside, those that better represent the Italian reality and culture.  

For these reasons, we interviewed our teacher, Barbara, to speak about Mondovì, her native town situated between Langhe hills and the foot of the Alps.  

  • What makes Mondovì unique? 

Like many medieval towns, Mondovì’s old center is on top of a hill. From there, you can enjoy a unique view from the Ligurian Alps to the Matterhorn (called Cervino in Italian), at the border with Switzerland. 

  •  What are the ‘hidden gems’ in your city? 

Mondovì is the Italian capital of hot air balloons. The microclimate of the area creates ideal conditions that allows the hot air balloons to fly safely and easily control landing. If you want to learn how to “drive” a hot air balloon, or if you want to enjoy a ride, come over to Mondovì the first week of January for the annual festival, that showcases balloons from all over the world. 

  • What are the cultural traditions of your city? 

Every year in February, the ‘Moro’ and his court, ‘rules’ the town for the week of Carnival. Legend says that the captain of the Moors fell in love with the most beautiful lady of Mondovì and for this reason, he decided to save the town. Every year, for Carnival, the ‘Moro’ and the ‘Bela Monregaleisa’ parade in the streets of Mondovì followed by their court of musicians and ladies in waiting. 

  • What is a traditional dish of your city? 

Mondovì is near the site of the University of Gastronomic Sciences, the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement. Typical dishes are ravioli al plin, bagna cauda, vitello tonnato, and raw meat with white truffle. There is a specific treat for Mondovì: “Monregalesi al rhum,” – chocolate candies filled with rhum. Delicious!  

Through the words of Barbara, you already get some interesting facts about Mondovì. But you can get more, going there and having the whole experience by yourself or with your family.   

Because we believe that language, travel, and social and cultural gatherings are the core of our experiential learning programs, you can’t miss the opportunity to go through realities like Mondovì.  

“One’s destination is never a place,
but a new way of seeing things.”
Henry Miller