Piedmont in northwestern Italy has far fewer visitors than other Italian regions. Many areas are still a real insider tip. Humble people, lovable originality, culinary delights, and magnificent nature reserves attract relaxation-seeking soft tourism. Piedmont welcomes individual travelers that prefer family-run hotels and farm stays, and appreciate and protect the local environment.
The Piedmont region encompasses the northwestern part of the Italian Alpine belt. The highest peak is over the border in France, Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc), with around 4800m. When you are in Piedmont, you see the 4634m high Monte Rosa on the border to Switzerland, and when you look out towards the West, you will see Monte Viso (Monviso). It rises on the border between Italy and France to a peak at 3800m. The northern slopes of Monviso are the headwaters of the Po river.
The valleys of the Po around the Monviso mountain are a beautiful alpine hiking area. To the south are the hills of the Langhe with their famous vineyards. Further east, on the border with Lombardy, lies the Lago Maggiore. It is a Mediterranean lake with beautiful botanical private gardens with palm trees at the shores.
Piedmont reminds us of outstanding wines and local delicacies. Everyone knows the top wines such as Barolo and the white truffles from Alba (Tartufo). Due to its proximity, the cheese traditions of Lombardy and France met in Piedmont. This influence has created excellent local soft cheeses.
What To Do In Piedmont?
Visit the City of TURIN
Turin is the capital city of Piedmont. Here, in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist the holy shroud of Jesus is stored. The city offers refined architecture and cuisine. Arriving by car or train from Milan you will see the Alps rise behind the city creating a great panorama on a clear day. Magnificent baroque buildings and histroic cafes line Turin’s boulevards and grand squares such as Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo. Nearby is the soaring spire of the Mole Antonelliana, a 19th-century tower housing the interactive National Cinema Museum.
Please see our dedicated page for Turin.
Explore beautiful historic TOWNS
Cities with a Roman past and impressive sights include Novara, Vercelli, Alessandria, Asti and Alba, Cuneo and Biella.
Culture and traditional handicrafts can be found in the Margraviate of Saluzzo with the Manta Castle and the Staffarda Abbey, a Cistercian monastery founded in 1135.
Please click on the buttons below to find our travel notes from this region.
Discover the big lake: LAGO MAGGIORE
The most prominent area in Piedmont is Lake Maggiore. It borders the Lombardy in the east and extends into Switzerland in the North.
Lake Maggiore is a great destination for a full day excursion and a longer vacation. The lake shores are lined with charming towns. Stresa, Arona, Verbania, and Baveno are great places to visit. Boats take visitors around the lake and the Borromean Islands.
The mountain range of Monte Mottarone with wonderful hiking trails and enchanting lake views separates Lake Maggiore from the idyllic Lake Orta.
Enjoy CULINARY delights of Piedmont
If you are interested in a gourmet trip to Italy, then Piedmont is the place to go. Thanks to small family businesses, organic farming is particularly common, and Piedmontese cattle feed in the high valleys of the Kottian Alps. In Piedmont, the slow-food movement was born with distinguished food culture and the world’s best wines. Kilometer Zero (km 0) is a term coined in Piedmont meaning from farm to table directly.
The region of the Langhe around Alba is known and is home to the famous Barolo wine. Barolo wines are made from Nebbiolo grapes grown around the town of Barolo. Asti is known worldwide primarily for its sparkling wine, the Asti Spumante. Did you know that Turin was the birthplace of chocolate and Nutella and that the famous Piedmont cherry and fresh Carmagnola Mint in the Tic-Tac mint, as well as the children’s surprise eggs, started their triumphal march around the world from here where the Ferrero company is? The Baci di Dama, small hemispheres made from dark biscuits filled with chocolate, come from Tortona in Piedmont.
The area around Vercelli is the largest European rice-growing area. Yes, we grow rice in Italy! Piedmont is a gourmet region, from here come truffles and chestnuts (Cuneo), cheeses like Toma and Castelmagno, but simple traditional dishes are also specialties of the region. We organize culinary tours with wine tastings and visits to cheese producers for private groups. Come to Piedmont if you are interested in supporting small local businesses, stay in family hotels, discover and appreciate the beautiful nature, and sample the wonderful products the local farmers produce.
Go for a HIKE in beautiful landscapes of Piedmont
The valleys and the elevations of Piedmont still maintain original nature, fertile soils, and fascinating colors. An ideal area for active holidays, combined with natural and tasty food, the best wines in Italy, and cultural treasures, which testify to the unmistakable tradition and high craftsmanship of the region. On the hiking trails in the Alps as well as in the valleys with an Occitan tradition (Valle del Po, Valle Maira, Valle Varaita, Valle Stura, Valle di Susa) you rarely meet foreign tourists.
For hikers, Piedmont offers a true paradise for hiking tours. The most beautiful long-distance hiking trail is the Grande Traversata Delle Alpi. This trail through the Alps can be mastered in about 50 days. The hiking trail begins in the Valais in Switzerland, goes partly through French territory and ends on the Ligurian coast with a jump into the sea.
We found wonderful hiking routes in Piedmont for you to explore. Please follow the links below for more details.
The Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta) bordering France and Switzerland is an autonomous region of Italy. People speak the local language Valdôtain. The sparsely populated valley is peppered with old castles.
Discover Piedmont countryside by BICYCLE
Away from the cities, on narrow, little-traveled roads, you can enjoy the scent of nature and the view over the rolling hills with its wine slopes and peach plantations. Cycling legend Fausto Coppi was born in a small village in the hills of Piedmont. He has gone down in the history of professional cycling as one of the greatest cyclists. For recreational cyclists, the Colli Tortonesi vineyards with their small, little-used roads are an ideal training area.
Fancy WINTER SPORTS in Piedmont
Thanks to its high elevations in the Alpine regions, Piedmont is an insider’s tip for Alpine ski tours and downhill ski. The region is actually only known for winter sports. Turin was the venue for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
How to arrive in Piedmont?
The nearest airports are Turin and Milan Malpensa. The high-speed route from Milan ends in Turin. A tunnel for the high speed train is under construction. It will link Milan and Turin with Lyon in France. Don’t plan on using this tunnel anytime soon.
How to best travel inside Piedmont?
To get around Piedmont and visit smaller towns and points of interest it is best to have a car unless you travel in a group with a coach. Car rentals can be arranged from airports and train stations.
Where to find sustainable tourism in Piedmont?
Piedmont offers beautiful landscapes that are interesting for hikers and bicycle tours. Piedmont strives to provide authentic tourist experiences that celebrate and conserve its heritage and nature. Excellent wines, truffles, lovely family restaurants, and farmstays are a magnet for eco tourism. We criss-crossed this region on foot and bicycle for many years. We love to share our passion for the environment and culture with you.
Let us help you to arrange a tour around any of the landscapes listed below. These are all worth a long weekend or a week of touring.
- Kottian Alps the West
- Lake Maggiore in the East
- Valsesia in the North
- The Langhe area
- Hilly landscape around Tortona
- The Sacri Mountains (Sacri Monti)
Piedmont Holiday Accommodation
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