Piedmont is the second largest region (out of 20) of Italy. It is in the northwest of Italy and borders both France and Switzerland. In Piedmont you will find many mountains because it is surrounded by the Alps on three sides. The provinces of Piedmont are: Turin, Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Cuneo, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola & Vercelli.Here are some superb sites worth a look, and to give you a break from all the wines we will be spoiling you with. HIGHLIGHTS
Table of contents
- Turin, Piedmont
- Lago d’Orta, Piedmont
- Lago Maggiore, Piedmont
- Bra, Piedmont
- Grinzane Cavour Castle, Piedmont
- The Weather of Piedmont
Turin is the capital of the region Piedmont. It is famous for: chocolate, FIAT, soccer, and the Turin Shroud. The Turin Shroud is a linen cloth with an image of a crucifies man on it. Millions of people believe that this image is of Jesus of Nazareth. Although the cloth itself is barely ever displayed, there are pictures that can be found in the Cathedral of Turin.
Other tourist attractions of Turin are:
– The Mole Antonelliana. This building that was built in the 19th century, was intended to be a Synagogue. Now it is a monument to Italian unification and architectural hubris and home to Italy’s National Film Museum. You can go to the top (the observation platform) with an elevator to get a good view of Turin and the surrounding countryside (with the Alps in the back).
– The Piazza Castello. This square is located in the centre of Turin and it used to be the power base of the Dukes of Savoy. Here you can find the Palazzo Reale, which is the Royal Palace of the Savoy family, who became monarchs of the united Italy. Also the Palazzo Madama is located here. The Palazzo Madama has been a castle, prison, barracks and a senate house in the past. Now it is a museum.
Lago d’Orta, Piedmont
This lake is known as the “Secret Little Sister” of Lake Como & Lake Maggiore. It is located on the west side of Lake Maggiore. The lake is always been an important place for writers and poets. Robert Browning described Lake Orta as: “Being where the Alps meet heaven”. The principal town of this lake is Orta San Giulio, which is on a steep hill, called the Sacro Monte. On top of this hill there is a national park where you can find a series of 20 chapels dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, which were built over two centuries. In the middle of the lake you can find the Isola San Giulio. This island is only 400 meters away from Orta San Giulio.
Lago Maggiore, Piedmont
Lake Maggiore is located on the border of Lombardy & Piedmont. The northern part of the lake is located in the southern part of Switzerland. The lake is around 65km (40 miles) long and 4 km (2.5 miles) wide. This makes it the 2nd largest lake of Italy. When you are in Stresa (one of the main tourist resorts due to its prestigious position in the luxury sector), you can see a group of islands: “The Borromean Islands”. The Borromean Islands are three islands:
– Isola Bella (known for its luxurious residences, the Baroque palace and its garden)
– Isola dei Pescatori (the village unchanged by time)
– Isola Madre (almost completely covered by gardens)
This is the home of slow food. The headquarters of Slow Food are based in Bra. Slow Food stands for: “Preserving the tradition of handmade, artisanal cuisine”. The “Cheese” festival is one of the events organised by Slow Food and the municipality of Bra. This event returns to Bra every two years on the 3rd weekend of September and attracts around 150.000 people. The goal of this event is: “To promote regional producers and local products who are under threat from inevitable market forces.”
Grinzane Cavour Castle, Piedmont
GRINZANE CAVOUR CASTLE
This castle was built in the 13th century and has been inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO on the 22nd June 2014. Today you can find the “Cavour” Regional Enoteca, the Ristorante al Castello and an Ethnographic museum of rural life here. The Regional Enoteca was the first to be set up in Piedmont (in 1971) and here you can find regional wines and grappas. The Grinzane Cavour Castle is also known for the White Truffle Auction, which is held here in November and attracts chefs from all over the world.
The Weather of Piedmont
Piedmont has a very diverse climate range. While the North of the province is dominated by the highest mountains of Europe and has a continental climate, the South – where our properties are located – is only 30 miles from the Ligurian coast, the so-called Riviera, with weather influenced by the warm Mediterranean sea. Although Asti is roughly halfway between Turin and Genoa, it receives much less rainfall than either of them. In fact, Asti is one of the driest places in Italy. The wine region of South Piedmont receives only two-thirds of the rainfall of the Chianti region of Tuscany (between Florence and Siena), which means that, more importantly for the vines, they receive more sunshine. October and November can be foggy, great for the grapes not so much for your SLR camera.
WHEN TO GO
Early fall, when temperatures hover just above 70 degrees F, 21C is the ideal time to visit this region of northeastern Italy. September is particularly delightful, and the cooler autumn months of October and November bring the harvests, but also this time is when the crowds arrive for new Barolo releases and white truffle season. Officially September but it doesn’t really get going to end of October. Apart from Christmas and New year you can come to Piedmont year round and enjoy yourselves.