The mountainous region of Piedmont in Italy’s north-west borders Switzerland and France. This beautiful corner of Bel Paese has remained under the tourists’ radar for a long time but that is slowly changing. The region has a lot to offer: dramatic Alpine landscapes with high peaks and impressive glaciers, stunning medieval castles, gourmet food and pedigreed red wines. Here are a few suggestions on what to do in Piedmont on Best Italy Tours.
Admire castles and royal residences
Once home to many feuding fiefdoms, Piedmont has a myriad of spectacular castles scattered across the region. The formidable 11th-century Castello di Lignano Monferrato, Castello di Rocca Grimalda with its trompe l’oeil chapel and romantic gardens, the imposing fortress of Ivrea, Castello di Masino with beautiful frescoes, the list can go on. Many of them open to the public all year around and some only during Castelli Aperti events. You can also visit Residences of the Royal House of Savoy to admire opulent hunting lodges and richly decorated palaces.
Some of the most famous Italian wines are made in Piedmone such as Barolo, Barbera, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Asti spumante. The hills in the Monferrato, Langhe and Roero area are covered with neat vineyards and many local producer offer guided visits wine cellars and tastings.
Enjoy local cuisine
Piedmont is a food lover’s paradise with gourmands coming from across the globe sip exquisite wines, savour its excellent Alpine cheeses and gorge on local meat dishes. In the fall, many small towns host truffle festival with the most famous being held in Alba, the Italian capital of the precious white truffle. The region also boasts some of the best and most innovative restaurants in the country, many of them with Michelin stars.
Hike and ski
There are plenty of outdoor activities for sports enthusiast all year around in Piedmont. In summer, you can hike or cycle along a vast network of well-maintained trails in the Gran Paradiso National Park. In winter, ski and snowboard lovers flock to Piedmont’s 53 mountain resorts with a total of 1365 km of excellent slopes. The region has something to delight everyone!
Photos via Flickr by: Francesca Cappa, Elena Gabrielli, Roberto Ferrito.