Alps, National Parks, Castles and Fortresses on the Via Francigena
From the whitewashed peaks over three thousand meters high, you descend towards the plain within the blink of an eye, with a magic effect from which the name of the region derives “at the foot of the mountains”. Promptly you open your gaze to surprising as well as unexpected wonders of the territory. Nestled between the Alps on the border between France and Switzerland, Piedmont is enclosed on the Italian side by Val d’Aosta, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Liguria. The area offers breathtaking itineraries in its approximately 60 National, Regional, Provincial and Sacred Mountains parks. Parks quilted within ancient villages, historic houses, medieval castles and fortresses, abbeys on the Via Francigena and regal Savoy residences, in large numbers recognized as UNESCO World Heritage.
The Vineyards of Langhe Roero and Monferrato
The whole region is dotted with scenarios that can satisfy the most varied tastes and expectations, offering multiple combinations of its beauty, allowing the discovery of large historic cities and small villages, castles and abbeys, wineries and farmhouses of Langa, Roero and Monferrato, not lacking lakes and small enchanted islands.
Standing among the exclusive leisure areas of the subalpine aristocracy, stand out at the gates of Turin the Reggia di Venaria, a rich and sumptuous residence, glowing example of magnificence in architecture and art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and now home to a study center of excellence and restoration, the delightful Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi and the enchanting Villa della Regina. These are easily reachable from the Piedmontese capital which, in the post-industrial phase, was rediscovered with determination by a surprising tourist momentum. Do not miss the emotional experience of the New Egyptian Museum in the city, second in terms of wealth and extension to the Cairo collection alone and born from the intuition of great scholars from the 19th century and in continuous evolution. Also on the must see list is the National Cinema Museum which evidences the new cinematographic art that saw its beginnings in our city before knowing the planetary success. Long arcaded and central avenues unfold in Turin that allow comfortable visits to the heart of the city in every season. Prestigious buildings, historic cafes, intimate meeting places alongside wide open ones, are all found on the slopes of the Turin hill, very popular for cheerful gatherings and aperitifs.
Even in its cuisine Piedmont reveals a double nature, which ranges from rich and elaborate recipes already served in courtyard banquets, to traditional peasant dishes made with simple ingredients. Both are characterized by decisive aromas and flavors, such as garlic in Bagna Caoda or the white Langhe truffle on the tasty tajarin, enhanced by the excellence of the cellar, from Barolo to Barbera.
The particular morphology of the territory that ranges from the Alps to the Po Valley is reflected in the wide variety of ingredients used in the typical dishes of the region. From appetizers such as colorful raw meat dishes, mixed fried food, stuffed peppers, raw and cooked salami and vitello tonnato, accompanied by the typical long, thin and fragrant breadsticks; to first courses such as risotto, tajarin, agnolotti, up to substantial second courses, such as braised in Barolo and mixed boiled meat.
The quality of the typical cheeses based on goat’s milk or cow’s milk, fresh or seasoned, is decidedly high: Raschera, Bra, Taleggio, Toma Piemontese, Robiola di Roccaverano and Castelmagno. The cheeses, often called the white gold of Piedmont, are the basis of some of the best known regional dishes and are used in fondues and risottos, but also in the filling of fresh pasta and in the preparation of various condiments.
And to end sweetly, we find the Baci di Dama and the typical Hazelnut Cake based on the “round and gentle” of Piedmont, universally recognized as the most prized hazelnut in the world. But we also have timeless classics such as Krumiri biscuits and Gianduiotti chocolates.
Piedmont embodies the history and culture of Italian wine. Land of full-bodied and refined reds, but also of excellent whites, it has over 50 types of Docg and Doc. Not only Barolo but also Barbaresco, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Ruchè, Roero, Freisa, Bonarda, alongside the whites Arneis, Gavi, Erbaluce, Favorita , in addition to Moscato sparkling wines and Malvasia and Barolo Chinato dessert wines: a range of quality and excellence to prepare the most refined or everyday tables.