Saluzzo and Manta with Kids: Piedmont, Italy

Just a wee flash back to summer. On our Italian trip in early May we experienced a city break in Turin staying in a fab AirBnB, a rural retreat in Agriturismo Borsalino, day trips to the truffle capital of Alba, bubbles in Asti, attempted wine tasting with kids in Barolo and Barbaresco and this is a follow on post about the smaller towns and cities we visited. Saluzzo and Manta were totally new to me so this is a summary of taking kids to these areas.

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SALUZZO – I’d never heard of Saluzzo and in some ways that’s because there’s such stiff competition in Italy in terms of tourist attractions that it struggles. What we found was a wonderfully picturesque city. It’s a real slice of Italy as tourists were few and far between.  Saluzzo’s a beautiful place to explore with a 15th century old town, church spires, bell towers, a main piazza with a historic fountain, little lanes and cobbled streets. It’s quintessential Italy.

There are museums and churches to be visited but for us (with children) the attraction was just strolling in the warmth and stopping for food along the way.

The old town wound round and round uphill and Mr Toddler charged ahead to see what hid behind the next corner. There were few cars so it felt safe to let him venture forth and we managed Mr Baby in his buggy with a little effort. We had some deep, dark hot chocolate in a little cafe, an unassuming, hearty lunch in a local trattoria and watched the local kids leave school on their scooters, whizzing past us in the sun. In some ways there wasn’t much ‘to do’ or things laid on for visitors, but I felt like we’d stepped off the tourist trail and I liked it.

MANTA – A nearby tourist attraction is Manta Castle. Being Aberdonian I’m used to visiting castles on a regular basis so the bar’s set quite high. Manta’s Castello is known for a series of Gothic paintings, a cycle of frescoes depicting ‘Heroes and Heroines’ and the ‘Fountain of Youth’. Visiting a castle is always good for the imagination whether you’re an adult or a child.

Upon arrival we were all given headsets with the English tour guide playing in our ears. Mr Toddler felt very grown up till everyone who passed him laughed out loud, including an entire class of schoolchildren on a school trip. He looked ridiculous.

In the UK I’m used to castles, often National Trust properties, to have fantastic play facilities and tea rooms on site. Italy doesn’t quite operate in the same way. But on the other hand our kids weren’t disappointed so perhaps they don’t always need complete entertainment. Climbing a tower, entering a vast banqueting hall, running around the grounds and looking down onto the town of Manta, all of these things were entertainment enough.

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18 Comments

  1. Reply

    Rashmi Gopal Rao

    November 21, 2016

    Such a lovely place; never heard of it before.

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      November 21, 2016

      Piedmont is a lovely region of Italy. Foodie heaven!

  2. Reply

    Melanie and Todd

    November 21, 2016

    I sure enjoyed reading through your posts! Great blog!!

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      November 24, 2016

      Thanks so much. Will check yours out too!

  3. Reply

    Annabel Kirk

    November 21, 2016

    I love Piedmonte. I haven’t been there since having kids. Reassuring to know your kids enjoyed it, I might have to think about going back!

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      November 24, 2016

      There was so much to see and do. We visited little towns and ate wonderfully every day. Great mix of city and countryside too as we hit Turin then headed for the hills.

  4. Reply

    fifi + hop

    November 23, 2016

    So nice to discover a non-touristy town in Italy! We love Italy, but the crowds do take over. Saluzzo sounds perfect.

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      November 24, 2016

      It was lovely, there isn’t a headline attraction but if you like wandering around in the sunshine its old town is definitely worth a visit.

  5. Reply

    Wandermust mummy

    January 17, 2017

    Italy is my favourite family destination. Not done this region though looks great #citytripping

  6. Reply

    Coombe Mill

    January 17, 2017

    The streets remind me of the south of France, full of character and a Mediterranean feel. That said I’m not familir with Italy but it looks beautiful. #CityTripping

  7. Reply

    Tanja

    January 17, 2017

    pretty place! #citytripping

  8. Reply

    daisythebus

    January 17, 2017

    These look like our type of towns! It’s funny what you write about UK attractions having lots of facilities compared to other places. We’re from Luxembourg, and we notice the same when we visit the UK. On one hand it is good, of course, but on the other we often find that the UK cultural attractions are “trying too hard”, attempting to spoon-feed visitors a particular experience. Sometimes an authentic half-ruin, a bit of imagination and some space for the kids to run around is all that is needed for a memorable day out. Great post – thanks! #CityTripping

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      January 17, 2017

      It’s funny, I was looking around going where’s the playground, where’s the tearoom? But on the other hand we coped 😉

  9. Reply

    MummyTravels

    January 17, 2017

    I don’t think I’ve heard of either, although as you say Italy has so many tempting places to visit, it’s easy to overlook all but the most famous. Sounds like a lovely slice of real Italian life and the idea of wandering around warm streets, eating great food and seeing the odd castle is very enticing. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  10. Reply

    WanderMum

    January 17, 2017

    Italy is jam-packed with so many historical towns and cities that many of us have never heard of but which are incredibly picturesque and laden with history. Thanks for highlighting these ones on #citytirpping

  11. Reply

    Ahila

    January 20, 2017

    The murals at Manta castle looks lovely and the deep, dark chocolate sounds tempting! Thanks for sharing #CityTripping

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      January 20, 2017

      Quality chocolate always wins me over!

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