Aug 3, 2023

Explore the undiscovered Italian countryside

The secret beauty you need to look for when travelling to Italy

At the Istituto Italiano Scuola we believe that the Italian countryside is a paradise that offers opportunities to relax in the middle of nature, while tasting delicious local food and wines.  

And in fact, the countryside of Italy is scattered with picturesque places: noble villas with beautiful gardens, vacation farms called “agriturismo” where you can stuff yourself up with genuine and self-produced food, perched villages dominating hilly landscapes, and forests where to hike.  

We believe that if you’re not looking forward to the Italian countryside, you will surely miss a lot in your trips to Italy. It may not be as famous as the biggest tourists’ cities but, it sure has exquisite beauty that cities do not have.  

Voghera is an example of this. It is the main town of the Oltrepo’ Pavese, a geographical area in the province of Pavia that gets its name to its location, in the south of the Po River, the longest river in Italy. Voghera is the native town of our teacher Jimmy. Visitors approaching Voghera pass through an extensive region of cultivated countryside and an uninterrupted set of historic villages and castles, the atmosphere that you breathe here today is still medieval. 

From the interview below you can get some more interesting facts about this town. 


  • What makes your city unique?
    Voghera is a small town, with approximately 40 thousand citizens, but despite that is very renowned in Northern Italy as its geographic position makes it an important railroad junction. On top of that, Voghera is also known for being a wine and industrial center.  


  • What are the hidden gems of your city?
    Voghera’s city center is characterized by buildings of historical interest such as churches and castles. Voghera’s most important and most significant church is the Duomo. The cathedral preserves inside gold brocades and precious furnishings. In addition, there are many fine sculptural and ancient pictorial works. Furthermore, very few people know that Voghera is the birthplace of the fashion designer Valentino. 


  • What are the cultural traditions of your city?
    The city of Voghera holds its patronal festival, referred to as “La Sensia” (the name in the local dialect), which is the oldest event in Lombardy every year. In its early days, it was a very important moment of the year as it was an opportunity for people to meet foreigners and discover new products from faraway places. Originating as a large livestock market and later becoming primarily an agricultural fair, today it is one of the most modern fairs for those in the industry, as well as a city-wide celebration that hosts many food stands and an amusement park with different rides and rollercoasters. 


  • What is a traditional dish of your city?
    The most traditional dish of Voghera is the “Zuppa di Voghera”. It is a cake prepared using two layers of sponge cake, which are later filled with pastry cream, custard, and coffee, then covered again with custard and decorated with chocolate. It might sound like a simple cake, but the traditional recipe is a secret that runs in the local families and with time this recipe was refined to the point that making the real traditional Zuppa di Voghera requires a long and elaborate process. Words can’t describe the taste of it, there’s only one way to discover its goodness and that’s trying it! 


Are you curious enough to plan a trip here? Our school believes that what Jimmy told us it’s the truly gem of an authentic educational experience in your Italian experience.  

“It is not easy to walk alone in the country without musing upon something.”
Charles Dickens