As soon as the weather starts to warm up and the days get longer, people move towards the hills in the Langhe, while searching for the best places, hidden beauties.
Especially those who live in the city look for every good opportunity to surround themselves with nature.
Yet the actual picnic, the noble one with a wicker basket and a cloth, seems to have been replaced by impromptu trips with sandwiches and fresh drinks in the backpack; not many people still organize them as they used to, preparing the necessary in advance and thinking about all the details.
It is a pity, or at least, we consider it an undervalued ritual, one of those things we don’t think about which, however, always surprises us positively.
For this reason we have chosen to dedicate a page to this tradition, in which we hope you will find everything you need to pay homage to the Picnic with a capital “P”.
The history of picnic
Etymology, art, origins
The name picnic comes from the French words pique (pick, take) and nique (little thing, of little value).
The picnic is a custom so deeply rooted in our life that we often ignore its history, ancient and noble.
The first traces of this custom date back to the seventeenth century, when during hunting trips it was customary to take breaks to regenerate with a few bites on the meadows.
The name picnic derives from the French words pique (spiluccare, to take) and nique (small thing, of little value) and was a noble costume, particularly appreciated by Marie Antoinette in the meadows of Versailles.
As evidence of its popularity, the many paintings - see Manet's "Luncheon on the Grass", but also the versions of Picasso, Botero etc. - representing nobles on the characteristic sheets, with wicker baskets full of snacks.
At the beginning of the 19th century this outdoor meal took on the connotation of a moment of sharing and brotherhood, leading to the birth of the Picnic Society, whose members prepared food to share.
Over the centuries, the picnic has become a popular and common tradition, with versions of all kinds.
Where should you plan it? In Langhe there's nothing but choices
The beauty of the Langhe is that it is difficult to find places NOT suitable for a picnic: each hill hides at least one panoramic and protected spot in which to place the towel.
Yet sometimes it is even more difficult to choose when the options are too many: Alta Langa, Bassa Langa, Roero? Or maybe even Monferrato … don’t worry!
We have written two articles in which we suggest some of the most appropriate places for an outdoor lunch: some known and popular, others more intimate.
Reminder: precisely because we live in such a splendid place, let’s not forget to respect it, and to allow the next visitors to find it nice and clean!