Piedmont Italy Travel Guide | Places to Visit in Piedmont | Piedmont Map (2023)

Why We Love Piedmont

Piedmont (Piemonte) is known for its high quality food and wine by discerning travellers. The Piedmont region is rich in contrasts bound together by a taste for tradition and prestigious wines. Whilst the region is known for its gastronomy and famous wine regions, be sure to also explore Piedmont’s diverse landscape, from the flat plains of the Po Valley and the mountain peaks of Monviso and Monte Rosa to the north to the gently rolling Apennines in the south. Piedmont has many points of interest from medieval abbeys, dramatic castles and forts, magnificent baroque towns and pretty alpine villages.

You can be skiing along the zigzag of pistes, fondly referred to as the Via Lattea (Milky Way) one day, and take in the calm easy serenity of Lake Orta and Isola San Giulio the next. Plus you will always having the opportunity to sample some of Italy’s most unique flavours in the locally produced wines of the Langhe and Asti Monferrato and the gastronomic fare that punctuates every local festival, event and restaurant.

compliments of Turismo Torino

Piedmont Italy is divided into eight provinces:

Turin, Asti, Cuneo, Biella, Vercelli, Novara, Alessandria and Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. It borders with France and Switzerland and within Italy itself, it rubs shoulders with the regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Aosta Valley and Emilia Romagna.

Despite the beauty of Piedmont’s natural landscapes and mouth-watering culinary crown of delights, tourists still haven’t completely discovered this charming corner of Italy. What makes this region so appealing though is the high quality experience it offers the discerning traveller. Quality is king, attention to detail never compromised. Piedmont focuses on sustaining and promoting local culture and traditions, preserving and celebrating its precious resources that it is happy to share from its doorstep at the foot of the Alps.

Here we highlight some points of interest in the Piedmont region:

Asti and Monferrato

A breathtakingly beautiful area of Piedmont, Asti and Monferrato have become inextricably linked with fine wines and gastronomy. The landscape is dotted with historic castles, churches, towns and villages, is lush with flora and fauna in spring and boasts an assortment of festivals during the autumn months. The historic town centre of Asti is not to be missed as it is distinctive for its medieval streets and fortified houses built by local nobles in the 12th century. However, the province of Asti is most famous for its wine, with Asti town at the centre of this district. It produces some of Italy’s finest classic reds including Barbera, Freisa, Grignolino and Dolcetto. Nevertheless, their fame is surpassed internationally, by Martini & Rossi’s Asti Spumante and Moscato.

compliments of Turismo Torino

Asti’s wines can be sampled at the Sagre di Asti, a food and wine festival that starts on the second Sunday in September and includes the Douja d’Or wine festival.

The world famous Palio di Asti also takes place in this period on the third Sunday of September. This celebrated bareback horse race has its origins in a medieval battle between Asti and Alba, which was won by Asti. After the victory, a race took place around Alba’s city walls and thereafter around the city of Asti. It is the oldest recorded Palio in Italy.

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The province of Asti is also rival to Alba from October to December during the white truffle season. However, despite the fact that Alba is more internationally renowned for its truffle fair some of the best examples of the pricey fungus are to be found in the surrounding soils of Asti. After all that food and drink a bit of rest and relaxation can be had at the nearby Roman spa town of Acqui Terme. The curative waters of the Bollente spring pour forth over the scalloped marble fountain in Piazza della Bollente. In the second half of the 20th century, people with ill health flocked to the town, which meant that its attraction as a tourist destination dwindled. However, a resurgence of interest in spas led to restoration work being done on many of the town’s existing thermal baths.

Acqui Terme, photo by: Your Friend In Italy

Alba and The Langhe (in the province of Cuneo)

Piedmont Italy Travel Guide | Places to Visit in Piedmont | Piedmont Map (4)

The hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro boasts a veritable treasure trove of picturesque villages, towns and agricultural landscapes. From the gently rolling vineyards of the Langhe (Langa Bassa) in the south some of Italy’s finest and famous wines are produced, including Barolo, Barbaresco, and Dolcetto.

Piedmont Italy Travel Guide | Places to Visit in Piedmont | Piedmont Map (5)

Alba, considered to be the capital of the Langhe and at the heart of the wine country, is also home to the pricey and pungent delicacy, the white truffle. What’s more, hazelnuts and the soft hazelnut chocolate cream of Ferrero and Gianduja fame are to be found in the Alta Langa forests in the north and east of the region.

Situated 62 kilometres south of Turin, Alba is also host to an annual white truffle festival during October. Once known as the town of 100 towers, 20 of these remain dotted around the city centre. In close proximity to the main street, via Vittorio Emanuele and Piazza Risorgimento you will also find the city’s main cultural attractions, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Val di Susa Piedmont

Val di Susa (the Susa Valley)

A place of chivalry, myths, legends and folklore, Val di Susa is the Alpine corridor down which Carthagian General Hannibal made his way to Rome. An ideal location for day trips and short breaks from Turin. The first sizeable town you come across 25 kilometres from Turin, with its town centre dating from medieval times, is Avigliana. Famous with the locals for its lakes, Lago Grande and Lago Piccolo don’t disappoint. Here you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing, relaxing walks, lakeside lunches, bird watching, barbecues and boating.

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Just a couple of kilometres out of Avigliana, perched on the craggy peak of Monte Pirchiriano is Sacra di San Michele, one of Piedmont’s most famous historical sites.

Sacra di San Michele

The oldest part of the abbey dates back to the 10th century. It was originally built for the Benedictine monks but from 1836 has been in the hands of the Rosminian Fathers. You can either drive or walk up to the top. The walk is a steep climb up Monte Pirchiriano to the Abbey and takes you past the fourteen stations of the cross. However, on clear days you will be rewarded with glorious views of the surrounding valley and snow-capped mountains. Making your way up the valley, you come to Susa itself. Susa boasts a number of Roman sites: the Roman Porta Savoia gate, the 11th century cathedral of San Giusto and Parco di Augusto once the site of the roman forum, which winds its way up to the Arco di Augusto and symbolises the peace pact between the Romans and the Val di Susa Celts.

Further on you can spot the ruins of the Terme Graziane which is thought to have been either an aqueduct or part of the town’s defence system. There is also a medieval castle, which has sat high above the town since the 10th century. As you approach the Alps, and just 12 kilometres from Susa, one other town not to be missed is Exilles. Guarded by its own stone fort, which is now a museum, Forte di Exilles gives the impression of being hewn out of the mountains themselves. This dramatic Celtic stronghold is a maze of narrow cobbled streets, networks of tunnels and medieval atmosphere, which remains untouched by mass tourism.

Forte di Exilles

Piedmont’s Mountains

The upper Susa and Chisone valleys comprise part of the Via Lattea (Milky Way) a constellation of ski pistes. The 400 kilometres (250 miles) of ski runs (140 ski slopes) that zigzag over the Alps are popular with locals and International lovers of winter sports. Officially, the winter ski season starts on 8th December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and officially closes at the end of the Easter holidays although there is always something to see and do no matter what the season. Non-skiers can also enjoy white water rafting at Fenils near Cesana Torinese, hiking in three of the nature reserves in Val Chisone and Val di Susa and biking around Sauze D’Oulx.

photo by Zetablue Photography

(Video) Virtual Tour of Piedmont, Italy with Raffaele - brought to you by Girl Travel Tours

Sestriere

This exclusive resort was the original idea of Giovanni Agnelli, founder of Fiat and was first built in the 1930s. It provides the most challenging pistes of the Via Lattea ski area. It boasts the area’s only Club Med and Europe’s highest golf course at over 2,000 metres, the latter which can be used after the snow thaws.

Pragelato

A series of hamlets along the valley floor, Pragelato is famous for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing and has the longest series of trails in the area which are linked to the via Lattea. It is also famous for its Pomaretto wine and Genepi liqueurs, made from a mountain herb. Places to see are the Museo del Costume e delle Tradizioni delle Genti Alpine which exhibits everyday objects in recreations of a stable, kitchen, bedroom and breadroom. A particular feature of the valley are the sundials (Meridiane). About 140 of them exist in the valley and you can learn about their history (the oldest dates back to the 17th century) in Pragelato’s L’Ombra del tempo Centro di Documentazione sulla Meridian.

Pragelato compliments of Pragelato Tourism

Fenestrelle

Near Pragelato is the largest fortification in Europe and the longest wall construction after the Great Wall of China: Forte di Fenestrelle. Building started in 1708 by Savoy Duke Vittorio Amedeo II. It comprises three forts: San Carlo, Tre Denti and delle Valli are joined together by a staircase of around 4,000 steps. The entire structure is about 5 kilometres long and climbs 700 metres up the mountainside. An exhibition of military uniforms reconstructs some battle scenes from the Risorgimento up to the Second World War. In summer there are also music concerts and performances.

Sauze D’Oulx

Famous for its 17th century old stone houses, series of fountains in the town centre and stomach-churning hairpin bends that wind their way up from Oulx to Sauze D’Oulx, it is locally known as Balcone degli Alpi (The Balcony of the Alps). Popular for skiing with a young crowd and also with Brits it is as renowned for its apres ski partying as much as for its winter sports.

Claviere

One of the first Alpine towns to develop as a ski resort and one that retains much of its original charm and traditional character. Part of the via Lattea it also has lots of cross-country ski runs too and in the summer you can hike from here to Forte Caberton. At 3,124 metres it is the highest fort in the Alps. Construction began in 1898 and completed in 1906.

Cesana Torinese and the Hamlet of San Sicario

This is a series of 14 hamlets and one of the more isolated mountain resorts. Only seven of these hamlets are inhabited all year round with the local economy based on producing local liqueurs made with mountain herbs. Cheeses, deer sausage and honey are also local specialities. Five kilometres away and 350 metres above Cesana proper, skiers flock to the hamlet of San Sicario in the winter season. A small resort, it is popular with families on the via Lattea and linked to Sauze D’Oulx and Sestriere.

Bardonecchia

Located on the banks of the river Dora and not linked to the via Lattea, this is popular for downhill skiing and snowboarding. From the majestic Mount Jafferau, which takes you 2,750 metres up you have an extensive choice of runs for all levels. As a ski resort it is popular with families but it is also good for spotting deer, foxes and chamois so be careful when driving! The main skiing area is at Campo Smith and beyond this is a tiny hamlet called Melezet which has a ski station and a museum exhibiting ancient frescos and art from local churches. The old town in Bardonecchia is a maze of narrow medieval streets and the street names are written in both Italian and the local dialect of Occitan. Famous for local wood carving art you can buy souvenirs from workshops on the main street in Bardonecchia, via Medail.

Lake Maggiore Isolabella

(Video) The top 10 sights of Piedmont

Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta and Biella

North-west of Turin, Piedmont is proud geographical host to two of the most beautiful lakes in Italy: Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta. The former stretches for 62 kilometres from Piedmont, through Lombardy to Ticino in Switzerland but the Piedmont section of lake is world famous for its pretty towns, villages and islands including Stresa, Arona, and the Borromean islands. However, one of the less known jewels of Piedmont has to be Lake Orta. With its enchanting setting, surrounded by lush, green hills and with the pretty as a picture Isola San Giulio just a short boat ride from the shore, you couldn’t go wrong. Isola San Giulio is home to the cloistered Benedictine nuns of San Giulio whose dedication to the preservation of local traditional crafts, and specialisation in printed linens, means that you are not short of pretty and practical ideas for souvenirs.

Lake Orta, photo by: www.yourfriendinitaly.com

Piedmont is, of course, famous for its wines, but did you know that it also produces award-winning beers? Menabrea is arguably the most famous of the artisan beers, produced in Biella since 1846. The Menabrea brewery and museum can be visited and the beer can also be sampled along with local food specialities in Menabrea’s own restaurant which is located in the former factory stables.

Eleven kilometres north of Biella is the UNESCO World Heritage site the Santuario di Oropa. Dating from the 11th century it was also once a Savoy residence, being added to in the 16th and 17th centuries by Guarino Guarini and Filippo Juvarra, two of the House of Savoy’s favourite Italian architects. The Santuario di Oropa rests majestically atop the sacred mountain of Oropa and is a peaceful retreat offering beautiful views. It’s definitely a place to simply relax and absorb the tranquillity and beauty of the surroundings.

So, plan your trip to Piedmont, Italy! Free Piedmont Italy Trip Planner

Santuario di Oropa, photo by: Your Friend In Italy

Discover more about Piedmont with these articles from our Piedmont Travel guide:

Foodies Guide to Piedmont

Barolo Wine Roads – great wines of the Langhe

(Video) Piedmont region - Italy

Relax in the Alta Langa

albaforte exilleslake maggiorelanghepiedmont points of interestpiedmont travel guidepiedmont trip plannerplaces to visit in piedmontSantuario di OropaVia Lattea ski in piedmontwhat is piedmont known for

FAQs

What is Piedmont Italy famous for? ›

Piedmont, Italy's staid northwestern region, is famous for the country's most tradition-bound cooking—incredibly eggy pastas, vitello tonnato, the boiled-meat dish bollito misto—plus rivers of pedigreed red wines like Barolo, Barbera and Barbaresco.

When should I go to Piedmont Italy? ›

June to September are favourite months for visitors looking to experience Piedmont outdoors in the warm, while ski addicts will love Piedmont and its mountains in winter.

What cities are located in Piedmont? ›

The Piedmont is the area lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains. The Triad is named for the three largest cities in the region: Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.

What does Piedmont mean in Italian? ›

A piedmont is an area at the base of a mountain or mountain range. The word piedmont comes from the Italian words pied and monte, which mean "foot" and "hill."

Is lake Como in Piedmont? ›

Milan to lake Como day trip? Lake Como is arguably one of the eight top spots near Piedmont where one can spend a good portion of a luxury vacation in Northern Italy.

What is Piemonte famous dish? ›

Piedmont is famous for bagna cauda – a warm, savoury dip made of anchovy, garlic, oil and butter – but you'll see anchovies in all sorts of dishes, including vitello tonnato – a Piedmontese classic.

What is the cheapest month to travel to Italy? ›

Book at least 3 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price. High season is considered to be June and July. The cheapest month to fly to Italy is February.

What is the cheapest day of the week to fly to Italy? ›

After crunching the numbers on our flight calendar, we found that the cheapest date to fly to Italy is Tuesday, February 7, 2023, to Milan Malpensa Airport.

What month has the nicest weather in Italy? ›

For most travelers looking for sunny, warm days and minimal crowds the best time to visit Italy is late May or early October. These months are cooler and less busy than the hot summer months that lie between them. At these times you can explore the north and south, cities, coast and mountains in comfort.

What are the major cities in Piedmont Italy? ›

The main cities in the Piedmont region include Turin, Alessandria, Asti, Cuneo, and Alba. These cities are a mix of the most populous and most important in terms of industry and culture.

Is Piedmont a nice area? ›

Piedmont is in Alameda County and is one of the best places to live in California. Living in Piedmont offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Piedmont there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Residents of Piedmont tend to be liberal.

How many locations does Piedmont have? ›

Founded in 1905, we are a private, not-for-profit organization with over 31,000 employees caring for 3.4 million patients across 1,400 locations and serving communities that comprise 80 percent of Georgia's population.

What is a person from Piedmont called? ›

Demonym(s) English: Piedmontese. Italian: Piemontese. Time zone. UTC+1 (CET)

What does Florida mean in Italian? ›

[ˈflɔrido ] Word forms: florido, florida. adjective. (industria) flourishing ⧫ thriving ⧫ prosperous. (aspetto) healthy ⧫ glowing with health.

What does Bora mean in Italian? ›

noun. [ feminine ] /'bɔra/ (vento) bora , a strong, cold, dry northeast wind blowing in the upper Adriatic.

Why is Lake Como so famous? ›

The lake is famous for the natural beauty of its setting and for the handsome villas on its shores. Among the many noted lakeside resorts are Como, Lecco, Bellagio, Tremezzo, Menaggio, and Varenna. Several towns are connected by steamer services.

What town is closest to Lake Como? ›

Head on a Road Trip to the Towns Near Lake Como
  • Bellagio.
  • Bellano.
  • Colico.
  • Como.
  • Griante.
  • Lecco.
  • Menaggio.
  • Nesso.

What major city is closest to Lake Como? ›

Situated in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy, close to the Swiss border, Lake Como is just an hour from Milan and is well connected to it by rail service – both from Como on the southwest corner and from Lecco, Varenna-Esino or Colico on the east side of the lake.

What is the number 1 Italian dish? ›

1. Pizza. Though a slab of flat bread served with oil and spices was around long before the unification Italy, there's perhaps no dish that is as common or as representative of the country as the humble pizza.

What month does Italy shut down for vacation? ›

August is typically Italy's hottest month, and that's coupled with high humidity in many parts of the country. This is one of the main reasons August is the vacation month for most Italians (and many other Europeans) – they hang “closed” signs on their city storefronts and make a beeline for the nearest beach.

Which city to visit in Italy first? ›

Must-visit destinations in Italy. If you have just a week to spend in Italy, start with the country's big three headline acts: Rome, Florence and Venice.

What city in Italy is cheapest to fly into? ›

Bologna is located in Emilia-Romagna, and the most affordable city to fly into. This is the perfect city to visit if you're on a budget, want to have a taste of what Italy's like, and don't have a specific activity in mind.

What days are tickets cheapest? ›

Typically, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday is the cheapest day to fly. If you can structure your travel schedule around these days, these will likely be the best days to fly – both for a lower cost and a less-hectic airport experience.

What days are tickets cheapest to buy? ›

Average domestic airfare price by day
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly domestically.
  • Saturday and Monday flights can help you avoid the Sunday rush.
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays are the cheapest day to fly internationally.
  • Book one to three months in advance.
  • Set a price alert.
Jun 3, 2022

How far in advance should you book a trip to Italy? ›

Travel booking timelines

If you can, try to book 6-12 months in advance for popular areas such as the Amalfi Coast in summer. Flight bookings will depend on where you are flying from. For long haul flights the best deals are generally found 6-12 months in advance while deals pop up regularly for travel within Europe.

What is the rainiest month in Italy? ›

This statistic displays the average monthly rainfall in Italy over the past 20 years. It shows that over the past twenty years the month with the highest average rainfall has been November, with an average rainfall of 101.3 mm. On average, July has been the driest month.

What is hurricane season in Italy? ›

The development of tropical-like cyclones can occur year-round, with activity historically peaking between the months of September and January, while the counts for the summer months of June and July are the lowest.

What is the best city to stay in Italy? ›

  • #1: Rome. Rome | Cristina Gottardi/Unsplash. ...
  • #2: The Amalfi Coast. Amalfi Coast | Sander Crombach/Unsplash. ...
  • #3: Venice. Venice | bogitw/Pixabay. ...
  • #4: Lake Como. Lake Como | iKLICK/Pixabay. ...
  • #5: Naples. Naples | StockSnap/Pixabay. ...
  • #6: Florence. Florence | Noric Laruelle/Unsplash. ...
  • #7: Tuscany. ...
  • #8: Milan.
Dec 7, 2020

How many cities are in Piedmont Italy? ›

There are 1,181 municipalities in Piedmont (as of January 2019): 187 in the Province of Alessandria. 118 in the Province of Asti. 74 in the Province of Biella.

What wines is Piedmont known for? ›

Piemonte wine is the range of Italian wines made in the region of Piedmont in the northwestern corner of Italy. The best-known wines from the region include Barolo and Barbaresco. They are made from the Nebbiolo grape.

Is Piedmont the same as Piemonte? ›

Secondly, Piedmont (Piemonte) is considered a top wine region in Italy (like Tuscany). And finally, Piedmont is very popular with the locals in the Po River Valley. This area is home to one third of the population of Italy! (including Milan and Turin).

Does it cost money to go to Piedmont Park? ›

Admission to the park is free, but you'll have to fork over $5 to swim in the pool (which is open during the summer only). MARTA's Arts Center and Midtown train stations are a few blocks away from the property, and bus Nos. 27, 36 and 109 make stops along the park's Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street borders.

Can you walk Piedmont Park? ›

Explore one of 4 easy hiking trails in Piedmont Park that are great for the whole family. Looking for a more strenuous hike? We've got you covered, with trails ranging from 52 to 236 feet in elevation gain. Whatever you have planned for the day, you can find the perfect trail for your next trip to Piedmont Park.

Who lives in Piedmont? ›

Piedmont is home to a number of notable individuals in the political, business, sports, and academic communities, including: ex-Major League Baseball player David McCarty; ex-National Football League player Bubba Paris, San Francisco 49ers; ex-National Football League player Bill Romanowski; Ambassador to Australia ...

What are 3 features of the Piedmont area? ›

With more than 4.5 million inhabitants, the Piedmont is Georgia's most populous region. Located north of the Fall Line, this region is characterized by rolling hills, shallow valleys, and red clay soil.

Is Piedmont a city or town? ›

Piedmont became a charter city under the laws of the State of California on December 18, 1922. The charter was adopted by the voters on February 27, 1923 and can only be changed by another vote of the people.

Which part of Italy is Piedmont? ›

Piedmont, Italian Piemonte, regione (region), northwestern Italy, comprising the province (provinces) of Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Cuneo, Novara, Torino, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, and Vercelli.

What are some fun facts about Piedmont? ›

Piedmont Region, called Piemonte in Italian, is one of Italy's picturesque regions, which is bounded on three sides by the Alps, making it a lush, green, fertile and beautiful destination. Located at the foothills of Mount Vis, it keeps the origin of the country's largest river Po, the Gran Paradiso, and Monte Rosa.

What is the major industry found in the Piedmont region? ›

In the central Piedmont region of North Carolina and Virginia, tobacco is the main crop, while in the north region there is more diversity, including orchards, dairying, and general farming.

What is a major physical characteristic of the Piedmont region? ›

Topographically, the Piedmont is made up of low hills and narrow valleys. The worn-down rocks of the Piedmont region pass below the sedimentary rocks of the Atlantic Coastal Plain for more than 150 miles from the fall line.

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