Piedmont

For other places with the same name, see Piedmont (disambiguation).

Piedmont (Italian: Piemonte) is a region in the northwest of Italy, next to the border with France. The main city is Turin (Torino), which was host to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including the Monviso, where the Po River rises, and the Monte Rosa. It borders with France, Switzerland and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna and Aosta Valley.

The area is justly famous for its wines, which include some of the best produced from Italy, such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto and Moscato D'Asti. Its local cuisine is renown throughout Italy and the precious white truffles of the region have been compared to gold because of their cost and delicacy.

Piedmont consists of the provinces of Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Cuneo, Novara, Turin, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli.

Regions

We haven't comprehensively divided Piedmont into subregions, but there are a few special areas.

Lake Maggiore is one of the largest lakes in Italy, about 65 km (40 miles) long with a width of 1 to 4 km (.62 to 2.5 miles), and a pleasantly temperate climate. Most of the western shore is in Piedmont and contains a number of picturesque towns.

The vineyard regions of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero Hills lie in the center of Piedmont and are a mixture of limestone and sandstone deposits laid down by the retreating Adriatic 3 million years ago, now cut by numerous river valleys and the area of most of Piedmont's wines. The "Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato" is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Langhe

Cities

Turin: Piazza Savoia's obelisk and Mole Antonelliana

Other destinations

Understand

Native Piedmontese are friendly and down to earth. This region has been the industrial heart of Italy since 1800, even though nowadays it's experiencing some economic difficulties connected with loss of industry. Tourism is a growing factor.

The Monarchy has left strong heritage across the region, particularly in wide natural parks (former king's hunting reserves) and in XVIII and XIX century buildings.

Talk

Piedmontese is spoken by about 2-3 million people throughout Piedmont. However, Italian dominates everyday communication.

In 2004, Piedmontese was recognized as Piedmont's regional language by the regional parliament, although the Italian government does not recognize it. It has, however, been recognized as a separate language by the European Union. It is supposed to be taught to children in school, but this is happening only in a limited way.

Get in

By plane

Piedmont is well served by airports.

Caselle Airport (TRN) in Turin is the main airport of Piedmont. It has regular flights with main European hubs and Italian cities operated by major airlines as well as low fares companies.

Milan has three airports:

To the south is Cristoforo Colombo Airport (GOA) in Genoa which is served by domestic and short-haul international carriers.

Another option is Levaldigi Airport (CUF) in Cuneo, but it has a very limited number of flights and very few connections other than private car.

By train

By car

from France, the Montgenèvre road (RN 94/ SS 24) from Briançon to Cesana Torinese in Italy is very good (above all on the Italian side), always open during winter and free.

Get around

Although some local bus and train service exists, the best way to tour the Piedmont is by car, especially for tourists who want to venture outside Turin and a few other large cities.

See

The region has numerous interesting museums, some of the best are found in Turin including Museo Egizio, the second most important Egyptian museum in the world, and National Cinema Museum, most famed for the spectacular building.

Do

Ski areas

There are a number of well known ski resorts in Piedmont Alpine region

Resorts

The Milky Way ski area is one of the biggest areas in Europe and encompasses the following resorts.

Bardonecchia in Turin province is a mountain town and a large ski area that was host to the 2006 Winter Olympic snowboarding events. It is also the Italian entrance to the Frejus Tunnel, which connects to France.

Macugnaga and Alagna Val Sesia in the V.C.O. (Verbano, Cusio, Ossola) province (North-east of the Region).

Limone Piemonte and Prato Nevoso in the province of Coni.

Eat

If you can, try the Bollito Misto and Fritto Misto. These are two very traditional dishes and you may only be able to find them in old restaurants far from the tourist circuit. The Bollito Misto is a mix of beef and pork meat boiled with vegetables and eaten with a variety of sauces. The Fritto Misto is a mixture of fried meats and vegetables. Another very typical meal is Bagna Cauda: it consists of a hot garlic sauce eaten with raw vegetables. Try also the "Paniscia vercellese" a typical dish from Vercelli made with rice, beans and sausages. You can eat also fried frogs and good fishes from lake and rivers.

Drink

Piedmont is well known for its great wines, particularly Barolo and Barbaresco but also Dolcetto, Arneis, Freisa, Gavi and others. Most vineyards are on the Langhe hills around Asti and Alba and on Monferrato other hills between Alba an Alessandria, but the passion for strong red wines has spread among the entire territory. Try also beers (Menabrea) and aromated wines (Vermuths).

Sleep

You will find many accommodations from bed & breakfast to superb hotels. A good place to stay is the Verbania area at Lake Maggiore. In Stresa you will find the most sophisticated hotels. Camping is also available. A good way to learn more about the area is staying at an agritourismo or a family oriented B&B.

Stay safe

Piedmont is generally a very safe place.

Go next

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