Les merveilles du Piémont sont innombrables en matière d’art et d’architecture, histoire et culture, légende, traditions et beauté naturelle.

Quand on arrive à Turin, c’est le début d’une immersion totale historique et culturelle dans la ville de la maison de Savoie. On y trouve de nombreux musées à visiter, du Museo Egizio au Museo Nazionale del Cinema en passant par le Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile et autres palais royaux et établissements d’art. On profite également de la gastronomie de la ville, ses grands vins et son chocolat, ses apéritifs et cocktails.

Turin est aussi le point de départ idéal pour une exploration du Piémont entre montagnes et lacs, plaines et collines, villes d’art et villages pittoresques, des résidences de la maison de Savoie aux Sacri Monti et vignobles de Langhe, Roero et Monferrato. Ces terres offrent des paysages magnifiques où la beauté naturelle est rejointe par le savoir-faire humain développé depuis des siècles pour toucher l’excellence, à l’image des vins comme le Barolo, le Nebbiolo et le Barbaresco.

Turin et le Piémont, où chaque voyage est un événement… 265 jours par an !

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CULTURE

Synthèse idéale d’art, d’histoire, de culture et de paysages, le Piémont a des charmes innombrables, offrant aux visiteurs des opportunités infinies de s’émerveiller de son architecture unique et de ses beautés naturelles. Le Piémont peut se vanter d’accueillir quatre sites du patrimoine mondial de l’Unesco : les résidences de la maison royale de Savoie, parsemées dans la région, avec un réseau de palais, églises, résidences d’été et jardins somptueux ; les Sacri Monti, extraordinaires lieux de dévotion construits aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles et parfaitement incorporés à l’environnement naturel des collines, bois et lacs alentours ; les paysages des vignobles de Langhe-Roero et Monferrato, qui étendent leur beauté par-delà les collines, villages et châteaux perchés ; le site archéologique de Viverone/Azeglio, qui fait partie des sites préhistoriques alpins.

Capitale régionale du Piémont et première capitale de l’Italie, Turin est aujourd’hui un important centre culturel, caractérisé par son héritage riche en musées, monuments et événements. Le Museo Egizio est le deuxième plus grand musée d’égyptologie au monde, après celui du Caire. Le Museo Nazionale del Cinema, avec l’une des collections cinématographiques les plus riches au monde, est installé dans la Mole Antonelliana, symbole de la ville du haut de ses 167 mètres.

Turin et le Piémont ont un lien fort avec l’art, en particulier l’art contemporain : la région abrite de nombreux musées, fondations privées et festivals d’art – y compris le Castello di Rivoli, la Fondazione Pistoletto et l’Artissima – où les oeuvres de grands artistes du XXe siècle répondent aux dernières tendances et expérimentations avec une offre culturel de pointe.

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La beauté du Piémont réside aussi dans sa diversité. Les montagnes à l’ouest, les collines sur la rive gauche du Po, les districts de Langhe et Monferrato, les terres du Barolo, du Barbaresco et des truffes. Il y a aussi la paisible plaine du Pô, la nature sauvage des parcs dans les montagnes, au fil des rivières et des lacs, autour des châteaux et bâtisses antiques. Un vrai paradis pour les amoureux de sports.

Des émotions et des atmosphères à vivre. Voilà pourquoi le Piémont doit être parcouru à allure modérée. Le meilleur moyen d’y voyager est le vélo. Pour les experts capables d’affronter les routes de montagne empruntées par le Giro d’Italia, mais aussi pour les amateurs, familles avec enfants, amoureux de la nature en général. Une terre de légendes du cyclisme : Fausto Coppi et Costante Girardengo y sont nés.

Entourés par des décors à couper le souffle et des sommets enneigés, les montagnes offrent un large éventail d’activités : toutes les disciplines du ski (ski de fond, ski de randonnée…), snowboard, bobsleigh, traîneau, randonnée, escalade glaciaire. En été, les deux parcs nationaux (Gran Paradiso et Val Grande) les 54 parcs régionaux, naturels et fluviaux offrent quelques-uns des itinéraires les plus spectaculaires d’Italie pour la randonnée et l’escalade.

L’offre est immense pour ceux qui souhaitent profiter des sports aquatiques : canoë, nage en eau vive, canyonisme, rafting… Installés dans un cadre magnifique, les 60 parcours de golf de la région offrent la possibilité de combiner activité sportive et visites sur des terres riches en culture, art et histoire.

Terre de moteurs, le Piémont offre aux passionnés de motos et voitures un héritage et un paysages uniques à explorer.

La région est également l’un des rares en Italie à conserver un lien fort avec des sports historiques comme le pallapugno (un jeu de paume) et la palla tamburello (je de balle au tambourin) toujours pratiqués dans l’enceinte de charmants villages.

GASTRONOMIE ET VIN

Avec plus de 370 produits agroalimentaires traditionnels, le secteur de la nourriture et du vin est un moteur du nouveau développement touristique du Piémont. L’offre présentée à des touristes de plus en plus attentifs s’appuie sur la qualité de vie piémontaise, avec des produits riches et une grande tradition culinaire au pied des Alpes.

Dans les 20 dernières années, l’agriculture piémontaise a investi dans des productions locales spécialisées de grande valeur : les grands vins rouges du Piémont (Barolo et Barbaresco en premier lieu) et les vins blancs et pétillants d’Asti ; la noisette “Tonda Gentile” delle Langhe et le tartufio bianco di Alba (truffe blanche).

Cette évolution de la production a été accompagnée par une évolution importante du secteur primaire, des métiers de bouche et du public. Slow Food, association internationale pour la promotion de la culture de la nourriture locale et du vin est née à Bra. Elle compte 70 000 membres dans plus de 50 pays et son exposition Terra Madre Salone del Gusto se tient tous les deux ans à Turin.

Les traditions culinaire et vinicole du Piémont sont reconnues mondialement, au point que la région occupe aujourd’hui les premières places dans les classements et guides de restaurants. Elle doit ce succès aux talents de ses chefs, des maîtres dans le mélange des saveurs traditionnelles et modernes, mais aussi à la qualité des produits piémontais. La qualité supérieure de la gastronomie est également une question d0éducation : le Castello di Pollenzo héberge la “Banca del vino” et la première Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche.

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LES VILLES VISITÉES PAR LE 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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