Piedmont Area Guide
Italy’s largest region after Sicily, Piedmont is true to its name ‘foot of the mountain’. It is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, with the highest peaks and largest glaciers in Italy. Monviso, the Piedmont side of Monte Rosa and the other spectacular mountains in the region, create incredibly beautiful landscapes, and ski resorts abound: Via Lattea and Sestriere welcome winter sports enthusiasts with their state-of-the-art facilities. The Alps form the background for sweeping, picturesque valleys like the Val di Susa, Valsesia and Val d'Ossola. The landscapes of the Langhe and Monferrato are hilly, but just as beautiful, a succession of cultivated hills and vineyards that are dotted with small towns and castles. Lake Maggiore is the most sought-after tourist resort, including Stresa and the Borromean Islands, charming as they are with their ancient villas surrounded by beautiful lawns and gardens.
As well as the natural beauty on display, there is much else to be found in Piedmont. The region is rich in culinary flavours, including the famous Able white truffle. It is perhaps best known for its wines however, being home to some of the wine world’s household names, like Barolo, Barbaresco and Asti Spumante. Turin, the capital, is a city rich in culture and history, having risen to prominence during the renaissance period and been the first capital of Italy after unification, between 1861 and 1865. Latterly it has become known for its automotive industry, namely Fiat, which played a large role in the economic boom of the 1950s and 60s. Aptly, it has been twinned with the American car ‘capital’, Detroit, since 1998.
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