Piedmont is in Italy’s northwest and borders Switzerland and France. True to the meaning of its name (foot of the mountain), Piedmont is a land of mountains. It is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, with the highest peaks and largest glaciers in Italy.
The Alps form the background for sweeping, picturesque valleys like Val di Susa, Valsesia and Val d’Ossola. The landscapes of the Langhe and Monferrato are hilly, rather, but just as beautiful, a succession of cultivated hills and vineyards that are dotted with small towns and castles.
Turin is the capital of the region and is well worth a visit with its history and rich culture. There are numerous monuments and interesting sites such as the Royal Palace, the Basilica di Superga, the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) and the Mole Antonelliana. The city offers many art galleries, museums, churches, palaces, piazzas, parks and gardens, as well as restaurants and bars.The Reggia di Venaria Palace is a splendid and extremely charming architectural structure, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not to be missed are also the other Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, the Palazzo Carignano, the hunting lodge at Stupinigi, the Royal Castle at Racconigi and Palazzo Madama.
The Sacri Monti (Sacred Mountains) are beautiful masterpieces of religious architecture spread all over the region’s mountaintops: Varallo Sesia, Serralunga di Crea and Ponzano Monferrato, Orta San Giulio, Ghiffa and Domodossola.
The Piedmont shore of Lake Maggiore is filled with famous resorts, such as Arona with its 17th-Century colossal statue of Saint Carlo, Stresa and the Borromean Islands, with accommodation facilities, villas and gardens.
The most popular specialties of the regional cuisine are fonduta andbagna cauda, two warm and out-of-this-world dips. Some delicious dishes are the mixed fry, braised beef in Barolo wine, civet of hare and a wide array of cheese: toma, robiola, bruss from the Langhe, gorgonzola from Novara, and sernium from Biella.Typical desserts of the region are Turin chocolate, bicciolani of Vercelli, crumiri of Casale and the baci di dama cookies from Alessandria and Asti.
Piedmont is the region that produces the largest number of world-known and prize-winning wines, such as Barolo, Barbera, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Grignolino, Malvasia and Asti Spumante. The wines produced in the region are predominantly strong reds, the perfect complement to the rich and hearty cuisine featuring ‘fonduta’ (similar to the Swiss cheese fondue), rice, meats, pastas, stuffed vegetables and the famous white truffles. However, there are also excellent white wines like the Asti Spumante to accompany the traditional rich pastries and fine chocolate products such as ‘panna cotta’ and the ‘gianduiotti’ (chocolates).
EVENTS IN PIEDMONT
|Torino TEATRO REGIO||All seasons||Piazza Castello 215 – 10124 Torino||Tel. +39 011 8815241 or 8815242
Fax +39 011 8815214
|Asti PALIO – San Secondo||2nd May||Asti (Piedmont)||A 700 year old ceremony with procession in 13th century costume.|
|Nola FESTA del GIGLIO (The Lily Festival)||Sunday following June 22nd||Nola (Piedmont)||Allegorical towers are carried in a colorful procession costume.|