Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with distinctive characteristics. Here, you’ll get an overview of Piedmont to get you started on planning a Piedmont trip.
Travelers looking for a region with stunning natural beauty, all-season outdoor activities, important cultural history, and some serious culinary cred would do well to consider Piedmont. The sought-after wines don’t hurt the region’s allure, either.
Piedmont lays claim to the original capital city of unified Italy, the birthplace of the Slow Food movement, one of the country’s largest car manufacturers (an employer of countless generations of Italians), an annual white truffle festival, and two of Italy’s most coveted wines.
Piedmont is the largest region on the Italian mainland, tucked into the northwest corner of the country. It’s more or less surrounded on three sides by the enormous peaks of the Alps (this was where the 2006 Winter Olympics took place), though much of central Piedmont is made up of plains and hills.
Most of central Piedmont is reachable by train (or, failing that, regional buses) so it’s easy to see many of the region’s main attractions using public transportation. Quite a bit of that aforementioned natural beauty is beyond the train lines, though, so to really do the great outdoors of Piedmont justice you’ll need to rent a car. That’s especially true if your goal is the mountains, for skiing or hiking.
There are vineyards and wineries all over Piedmont, but two of the wine-making areas are so prestigious that they made UNESCO’s list. Turin was briefly the capital of a newly-unified Italy before Rome took over, and today Turin is a charming and cosmopolitan city. The Shroud of Turin is kept enclosed in the cathedral, though a replica is in a great museum in town. The now-familiar combination of chocolate and hazelnut most of us lovingly call Nutella was born in Piedmont and remains a signature flavor of the region.
Piedmont appeals to a wide variety of travelers, from history or architecture buffs to car enthusiasts to foodies to skiers.
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