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AlpAddict

Specialist in the Alps, between lakes and mountains

The Piedmont Alps

Turin, Piedmont and the Piedmontese Alps!

Turin, a shared history between Savoy and Italy

Piedmont, a region rich in emotion, welcomes you just a stone's throw from France. Just take the train or car through the Fréjus tunnel, or cross the countless passes between the Alpes Maritimes and the Maurienne to the other side of the border to discover this mountainous Italian region.

It's impossible not to start your visit with the city of Turin. The first capital of the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century, this city was first and foremost the stronghold of the Savoy family, which a few centuries earlier had transferred its capital from Chambéry to Turin.

It was the power of this royal family that made the city so rich in architecture, monuments and museum collections. The Museum of Ancient Egypt is one of the richest in Europe.

A stroll along the banks of the Po, Italy's largest river, and a view of the Alps from the belvedere on the Superga hill give you the opportunity to admire this industrial city, the historic headquarters of Fiat, from a greener angle.

The town of Novara, close to the rice fields, is also worth a visit, especially when the weather is fine and you can admire the snowy silhouette of Monte Rosa, but Cuneo, to the south, has a special medieval character.

Cuneo and the Occitan valleys

With its main street lined with arcades, its esplanades offering a vast panorama of the Alps and, above all, its very large main square, which in ancient times was a bustling place for markets and military reviews. Indeed, Cuneo's position on the road to France through several Alpine passes made it a garrison town.

While the rest of Piedmont speaks a Piedmontese dialect that mixes Italian and French words, the valleys of the Cuneo mountains, known as the Vallées Occitanes, resonate with an ancient language well known in the south of France: Occitan. Same songs, same traditions, same flag. The folklore of Cuneo is the same as that of Occitania.

In the province of Cuneo, the mountains begin to take on a Mediterranean aspect in the southern part, towards Limone and the Col de Tende, or in the Mondovi' area. Snow can sometimes be abundant here if weather conditions combine humid Mediterranean air with cold Siberian air. There are several ski resorts with sunny areas, from whose summits you can always keep an eye on Mount Viso (Monviso, in Italian), sentinel and sacred mountain for the inhabitants of the Po plain.

Val di Susa, gateway to France

A little further north, in contact with the Hautes Alpes, the mountains become more wooded, the valleys deeper, the snow more eternal. It's in the long Val de Suse (Valsusa) that we find the main ski resorts of the Milky Way area: Sestrière, at 2000m altitude, Cesana, Sauze d'Oulx, Sansicario and Clavière on the outskirts of the Montgenèvre pass.

A little further on, before crossing into France via the Fréjus motorway and rail tunnel, we find Bardonecchia, a small village of houses covered with lauze roofs, in a sumptuous Alpine setting. Sestrière and Bardo (Bardonecchia to its friends) are the favorite destinations of Turin's inhabitants.

Mount Rosa country

Further north, the majestic Monte Rosa reveals its glaciers in the Alagna Valsesia and Macugnaga valleys. This is the territory of the Walsers, Germanic tribes who settled on both sides of Monte Rosa, Valais, Aosta Valley and Piedmont, bringing to Italy the architectural tradition of wooden chalets.

Other more remote valleys around Domodossola, such as Val Formazza and Valle Devero, are well known to hikers and ski tourers. Finally, the Val Vigezzo is the gateway to Locarno and Switzerland, north of Lake Maggiore.

Piedmont lakes

There is, in fact, the Piedmont of mountains, but also the Piedmont of lakes, to which a page of this site is dedicated: Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta. Let yourself be charmed by the Italian way of life in Stresa or the Borromean Islands...

Time for lunch? You're in luck! This is Italy, with its delicious gastronomy. Piedmont, the land of cheese, meat and wine, knows how to show off. This is the land that invented slow food, so let yourself be tempted...

 

Discover this region by reading the following articles from the AlpAddict blog!

 

The lakes of Northern Italy

The lakes of Northern Italy

La Dolce Vita in the mountains. The Mediterranean in the Alps.
AlpAddict knows all the secrets of these jewels.

Discover Piedmont on video

The best webcams in Piedmont

(click on the village name)

  • Bardonecchia How are the Alps just over the border?
  • SestrièreSestrière: a view of the resort from a pass at 2000m.
  • CastelmagnoCastelmagno: a webcam for viewing the landscape of the upper Valle Grana, west of Cuneo.
  • Limone PiemonteWhat does the Italian side of the Alpes Maritimes look like?
  • Ceresole RealeCeresole Reale: a valley bordering the upper Isère valley, Ceresole is surrounded by very high mountains.
  • LangheLanghe: a land of vineyards, often with the Alps in the background.
  • Alagna Valsesiaat the foot of Monte Rosa
  • Monte RosaView of the Monte Rosa glaciers from the Gnifetti hut.
Alps Discovery Activities

Things to do in Piedmont

  • Discover the Occitan Valleys from Cuneo: each valley offers a different landscape, with stone villages and larch forests.
  • Go skiing in the Sun Alps at Limone Piemonte, or at Artesina from where you can see the whole of the Piedmontese Alps.
  • Enjoy a Bagna Cauda, a vestige of the salt (and anchovy!) route, at a restaurant in Cuneo's old town.
  • Ski the Sestrière slopes right from the start of the season.
  • Discover the Italian charm of Bardonecchia and Cesana Torinese, traditional villages but also home to a concentration of Turin's wealthy second homes.
  • A cultural and gastronomic break in Turin. A beautiful city, home not only to the famous Egyptian Museum, but also to Italy's gastronomic capital.
  • Drink a " bicerin" in the center of Turin. Do you like chocolate and coffee? This drink is for you...
  • Discover the vineyards and wine cellars of the Langhe, in south-western Piedmont. Magnificent views of the Alps. Tasting of Barolo, Barbera... the great Italian wines.
  • Searching for the source of the Po, at the foot of Mount Viso (Monviso)
  • Discover Monte Rosa on the Piedmont side at Alagna or Macugnaga, a traditional village with wooden chalets.
  • Discover the Sacro Monte d'Oropa sanctuary in a magnificent mountain setting near Biella.
  • Start your discovery of Lake Maggiore in Stresa.

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