In Piedmont we really are spoiled for choice when it comes to art and architecture, history and culture, legend and tradition, and natural beauty.

When you arrive in Turin, we promise you a full immersion in history and culture as the city is the home of the Royal House of Savoy. There are numerous museums to visit, from the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) to the Museo Nazionale del Cinema (National Museum of Cinema) and the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (National Automobile Museum), and also the Royal Palaces, along with prestigious contemporary art institutions. Then of course, you can enjoy the city’s rich gastronomy, great wines and chocolate, and you mustn’t miss its famous aperitifs and cocktails.

Turin is also the perfect departure point for exploring Piedmont, a great destination for those in search of a holiday that satisfies all the senses: the area’s boundless natural, artistic and architectural beauty is joined by a very rich variety of the finest foods, such as truffles, rice and chocolate, and its internationally acclaimed wines.

A place made unique by the wide variety of landscapes, ranging from mountains to lakes, from hills to plains, from art towns to historical villages, from the Savoy Residences to the Sacred Mountains and the vineyard landscapes of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato. These three vineyard areas offer some of Piedmont’s most spectacular scenery, where nature’s beauty comes together with the skilful work carried out by man over the centuries to create products of excellence, such as the area’s most prestigious wines, Barolo, Nebbiolo and Barbaresco.

Turin and Piedmont – every journey is an event… 365 days a year!

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CULTURE

The ideal synthesis of art, history, culture and landscape, Piedmont is an area full of charm, which offers visitors endless opportunities to explore unique architectural and natural locations. Piedmont boasts four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Savoy Residences, scattered around the region, with a networks of palaces, churches, summer residences and magnificent gardens; the Sacred Mountains, astonishing places of worship built between the 16th and 17th centuries and perfectly incorporated into the natural environment among the hills, woods and lakes; the Vineyard Landscapes of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, which stretch in all their beauty across the hills, around ancient villages and castles perched on the hilltops; the archaeological site of Viverone/Azeglio, which is part of the prehistoric pile dwelling sites in the Alps.

The regional capital of Piedmont and first capital of Italy, Turin is now a busy centre of culture, characterised by a rich heritage of events, museums and monuments. The Museo Egizio is the second most important Egyptian Museum in the world, after that in Cairo. The Museo Nazionale del Cinema, with one of the richest cinematic heritages at international level, is housed in the Mole Antonelliana which, rising to a height of 167 metres, is the symbol of the city.

Turin and Piedmont have a strong link with art, and contemporary art in particular: the region is home to numerous museums, private foundations and art fairs – including Castello di Rivoli, Fondazione Pistoletto and Artissima – where the works of great 20th century artists interact with new trends and the latest experimentations, thanks to a cutting edge cultural offering.

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SPORT

The beauty of Piedmont lies in its variety. The mountains to the west, the hills to the left of the River Po, the Langhe and Monferrato districts, the lands of Barolo, Barbaresco and truffles. Then there’s the peaceful Po Plain, the wild nature of the mountain parks, along rivers and by lakes, around castles and antique residences. A real paradise for sports lovers.

Emotions and atmospheres to be experienced. This is why Piedmont has to be travelled slowly. The ideal means of travel is the bicycle. For experts capable of tackling the mountain roads travelled by the Giro d’Italia, but also for amateurs, families with children, nature lovers in general. A land of cycling legends: Fausto Coppi and Costante Girardengo were both born here.

Surrounded by breath-taking scenery and snow-covered peaks, the mountains offer a wide range of activities: all kinds of skiing, from downhill to cross-country, ski-mountaineering, ski-touring, snowboarding, bob-riding, sledding, walking with snowshoes and climbing on ice. In summer, the two national parks (Gran Paradiso and Val Grande) and the 54 regional, natural and river parks offers some of the most spectacular trekking and free climbing itineraries in Italy.

There are many proposals for those who enjoy water sports too: from canoeing to hydrospeed, from canyoning to rafting. Set amidst fabulous scenery, the region’s over 60 golf courses offer the possibility to combine sporting activity with visits to places rich in culture, art and history.

The home of motoring, Piedmont offers car and motorbike enthusiasts an unequalled motoring and landscape heritage to explore.

The region is also one of the few in Italy to have a strong link with certain historical sports, such as pallapugno (handball) and palla tamburello (tambourine ball) played between the walls of enchanting villages.

FOOD AND WINE

With over 370 traditional agri-food products, the food and wine sector is a leading protagonist of the new development of tourism in Piedmont. The culture of good living, the principle that inspires an offer based on quality, aimed at tourists who are increasingly demanding and attentive to details, has found in the exceptional level of characteristic Piedmontese products and in the riches of the subalpine culinary tradition a very important cornerstone and an extraordinary value to be promoted.

In the last twenty years, Piedmontese agriculture has invested in specialisation in local productions of outstanding value: from the great red wines of Piedmont (Barolo and Barbaresco above all) to the white and sparkling wines of Asti; from the “Tonda Gentile” Hazelnut of the Langa to the White Truffle of Alba.

This productive evolution has been accompanied by a significant cultural maturation of the primary sector, of catering activities and of the public. Slow Food, the international association for the promotion of the culture of local food and wine was born in Bra. The association has 70,000 members in more than 50 countries and its showcase is the Salone del Gusto, held every two years in Turin.

Piedmont’s food and wine tradition enjoys international acclaim, so much so that the region always occupies one of the top spots in the restaurant rankings and sector guides. This success is due to the skill of the chefs, masters in blending the flavours of tradition with those of new cuisine, but also to the certified quality of Piedmontese products. Piedmont’s supremacy in terms of food and wine is also a matter of advanced education: Pollenzo Castle is home to the Wine Bank and the first University of Gastronomic Sciences.

 

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THE TOWNS VISITED BY THE GIRO D’ITALIA

  • Tortona, known in Roman times as Dertona, overlooks the Po Plain. The town is famous for its fine patisserie, specifically “baci di dama” (or lady kisses), and this is where we need to come to find out more about Fausto Coppi, the cycling champion who first learned to ride a bike in these very streets. Following in the footsteps of the great “heron” we climb to Castellania to visit the mausoleum of Fausto and Serse. In the neighbouring Val Curone, the town of Volpedo is where Giuseppe Pellizza, author of “Quarto Stato” was born.
  • Novi Ligure is a city rich in Ligurian influences, such as the custom of painting the facades of noble houses and rich merchants, with fake architectural elements and historical and mythological figures, earning it the nickname of the “painted city”. Novi Ligure was the birthplace of Costante Girardengo and the adoptive city of Coppi, where he lived and where his children still live today; the same city that dedicated the Museum to the two champions, with over 3,000 square metres in which to relive the legends of cycling, with its protagonists of the past and present. In 1919, Girardengo won an epic Giro d’Italia, bringing home seven victories out of ten stages of the pink race.
  • Cuneo Regional Capital of the “Granda”, the name given to the province of Cuneo due to its size, it takes its name from the shape of the plateau on which it stands (cuneo being the Italian word for wedge), a triangle with one point stuck in the heart of the plain and the other two open towards the mountains and the six beautiful valleys that lead to France. It is the city of the seven sieges, indomitable and rebellious, but also a “lounge” city, characterised by a welcoming and hospitable atmosphere. Hundreds of metres of arcades, running from Via Roma, the main street of the historical part of town, to the vast and elegant Piazza Galimberti.
  • Manta is a small town in the province of Cuneo, famous for its castle, a medieval manor that is home to an important sequence of late Gothic frescoes.
  • Saluzzo, capital of an ancient and powerful marquisate, has preserved a magnificent medieval old town, overlooked by Monviso, the mountain where the River Po originates. A visit to the upper part of the town, dominated by the “Castiglia” and its imposing tower, the main residence of the Marquises of Saluzzo, which later became a prison under the rule of Carlo Alberto, is a must.
  • Revello is a small town dating from the late subalpine Middle Ages and the ancient Marquisate of Saluzzo. The Abbey of Santa Maria di Staffarda, one of Piemonte’s great medieval monuments, is situated within the municipality.
  • Paesana, a small village in the Po valley, feud of the Marquises of Saluzzo, was fought over repeatedly by the Savoy family, who finally gained possession of it in 1601 with the Treaty of Lyon.
  • Barge In the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, it is impossible not to remember the area at the foot of Monviso mentioned by the artist who praised the quality of Barge’s quartzite, a stone that can only be excavated from two quarries located on Mombracco, Leonardo’s Mountain, which is said to have been portrayed in numerous paintings.
  • Cavour This little town belonged to the family from which Count Camillo Benso descended for many years and is now appreciated by tourists thanks to its fortified castle. An area full of historical winegrowing estates, orchards and breeders of horses and cattle stretches from Cavour across the entire Pinerolo district.
  • Pinerolo Visiting the town means discovering its medieval heart, its Savoy history, the three periods of French rule until the birth of the Cavalry School. Italian author and journalist Edmondo De Amicis described Pinerolo as being at the gates of Italy. Walking along the town’s narrow streets and arcades you cannot help but notice the beauty of the medieval buildings and ancient hidden courtyards. The hill that is home to the Basilica of San Maurizio offers a splendid view of the town, the Pinerolo plain and the “Waldensian Valleys”. Fenestrelle Fort is not far from Pinerolo and is definitely worth a visit. Due to its immense size and its extension along the entire left side of the valley, it is known as the Great Wall of Piedmont.
  • Cumiana Some of the most dramatic pages of the resistance of Turin were written here. In 1944, the Nazi-Fascist troops slaughtered 51 men in the town. From a naturalistic point of view, the Monte Tre Denti – Freidour Natural Park is worthy of note.
  • Giaveno The town famous for its mushrooms attracts visitors and tourists with its gastronomical specialities.
  • Avigliana A pretty medieval town on a hill dominated by the ruins of a castle built by the Marquis of Turin, Arduino il Glabro, and by an octagonal tower. Behind it is Mount Pirchiriano with the Sacra di San Michele (Saint Michael’s Abbey), a symbol of the Piedmont Region. Avigliana is also known for its two lakes, the Lago Grande (Big Lake) and the Lago Piccolo (Small Lake), surrounded by green moraine hills.
  • Colle del Lys This is an Alpine pass through the Graie Alps which connects the lower Susa Valley with the Lanzo Valley. The area located on the hill of the same name, between the municipalities of Rubiana and Viù, is particularly significant from a historical and cultural point of view, as it was the scene of important battles during the war of liberation. For years it has been chosen as the “place of memory” of the Resistance, in memory of the 2,024 partisans who lost their lives in the neighbouring valleys. The area is also of considerable architectural and landscape interest due to the presence of the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Bassa.
  • Viù Since the first half of the 14th century, the Viù’s history has been entwined with that of the Savoy family. Turin’s nobility started coming here in the mid-19th century and it soon became a holiday resort. The construction and restoration of many of the historical houses scattered across the area, including the famous Villa Franchetti, date back to this period. Illustrious guests from the golden age of the charming town in the Valli di Lanzo include Silvio Pellico, Massimo d’Azeglio, Vincenzo Gioberti, Michele Lessona, Benedetto Croce, Giacomo Puccini, Guido Gozzano and Eleonora Duse.
  • Rocca Canavese An old village where you can still see the ruins of a castle and an 11th century chapel; don’t miss the Romanesque bell tower.
  • Valperga – Cuorgnè Be sure to visit the Sacred Mountain of Belmonte, acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2003, together with seven other Sacred Mountains in Piedmont and Lombardy. The Sacred Mountain stands on the hill of the same name, in a spectacular setting overlooking the Ivrea plain. The monumental complex comprises a medieval sanctuary and thirteen chapels devoted to the Passion of Christ which wind along a circular path through the woods.
  • Pont Canavese, the gate to the Orco and Soana Valleys and a town rich in museums and tall medieval towers.
  • Locana – Sparone Gateway to the Gran Paradiso National Park, established by the reigning monarchs back in 1922. The Gran Paradiso massif sits at the centre of the park creating an absolute “paradise”, also thanks to the presence of numerous protected species such as ibexes, chamois, marmots and golden eagles, amidst blue alpine lakes and an extraordinary landscape. Sparone is remembered for the presence of its Fort, the historical seat of King Arduino, the first King of Italy.
  • Ceresole Reale Set in the Orco Valley, the wide basin that opens after a series of tight and steeply climbing bends and welcomes the town into a pleasant and relaxing landscape. Here Giosuè Carducci composed his ode “Piemonte”. A renowned tourist resort both in winter and summer, with its artificial lake located at an altitude of 1,528 metres, it is the highest reservoir for windsurfing and sailing. Ceresole is the ideal departure point for panoramic excursions to Levanne, the group of mountains located in the Graie Alps on the border between Italy and France, and the beautiful Lake Serrù, situated at an altitude of 2,275 metres, from which you can enjoy breath-taking views of the splendid peaks of Gran Paradiso.
  • Set in a moraine amphitheatre of glacial origin, Ivrea extends along the paths once travelled by pilgrims, the Via Francigena and the Via Romea, and is now a slow tourism destination. A trip to Ivrea is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a charming natural and cultural context. Known for the Savoy Castle with its “red towers”, it is famous for its historic Carnival with the “Battle of the Oranges” and, in 2018, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a “20th century Industrial City” thanks to Olivetti, the history of which can be discovered by visiting the open-air museum. The town is crossed by the River Dora Baltea, which flows through the Canavese area, and thanks to its Canoeing Stadium, an international centre of excellence located right in the heart of the town, is the perfect place for practicing a variety of water sports. The power of its waters has earned it the nickname of the “Colorado of Europe” and has made it a leading host of the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships. Ivrea is surrounded by the softly rolling Canavese hills, in a beautiful landscape set between the plain, the Serra Morenica and the foothills of the Alps. A fertile land, full of historical villages, numerous castles (including Parella, Mazzè, Moncrivello, Masino, Agliè, Borgomasino and San Giorgio Canavese) and forts.

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