Hidden Italy: Piedmont

At Citalia we have over 90 years’ experience and over this time we have discovered a number of Italian hidden gems that are off the beaten track. We have travelled the country top to bottom, bottom to top, and everything in between to bring you our extensive knowledge and secret treasures. 

Without further ado, introducing the latest in our Hidden Italy series, Citalia’s Choice for November…PIEDMONT!  

A region so diverse and picturesque, Piedmont in northwest Italy is surrounded by the Alps and offers breath-taking and dramatic scenery. Known for its wine with miles upon miles of vineyards and its mountains with ski resorts galore, there is plenty to explore. Here are some of our favourite things about Piedmont for you to enjoy on your next Italian adventure. 

A plateful of Piedmont

The food in Piedmont is worth shouting about and is probably what makes Italy’s second largest region so popular. The Slow Food Movement was born in Piedmont and was founded in the small town of Bra by Carlo Petrini in 1989. Slow Food is a global organisation which was founded to preserve local food traditions and culture. In 2004 the Slow Food group opened the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo in order to educate future professionals in the food industry. The philosophy of the movement is around the idea that food should be “good, clean and fair”.  

A Trip to Turin

Capital of Piedmont, Turin was the first capital of Italy from 1861 to 1865 and played a very important role in the creation of the Italian Republic. Italy’s fourth largest city has a stunning backdrop of the Alps, making for the most picturesque scenery. Turin is also the city of automobile with Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo basing their headquarters here. With some contemporary structures, there is 11 miles of elegant arcades to explore. Take a wander and get lost in this city that leaves you spoilt for choice.  
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Try White Truffles

When in Italy you must try truffles. Prized for their intense flavour and scent, they can add an extra level to your culinary dishes. Truffles are tubers that grow underground and the white truffles from Alba are particularly popular for their unforgettable flavour. They have pungent scents that give way to earthy tastes in the centre. Italians love to grate them over dishes such as risotto or pasta to give them that extra bit of flavour and goodness. Truffle hunting season takes place from the end of October to December and the Alba White Truffle Fair occurs during October and November. 
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The Home of Ferrero and Nutella

The story unfolds in 1925 when Pietro Ferrero moved to Alba and married his wife Piera Cillario who shared the same passion for chocolate and sweets. Soon after, his brother, Giovanni Ferrero joined them in Alba and started a business selling yeast. After the second world war, the brothers were back in trade with a large stock of molasses. Pietro mixed these with coconut butter, milk powder, chestnut flour, and toasted hazelnuts to make a cheaper alternative to chocolate which we now know today as Nutella. Pietro’s son, Michele, was an innovator and created the much-loved Ferrero Rocher in 1982, taking five years to perfect it.  

A Wine Lovers Paradise

From Nebbiolo to Cortese, Piedmont introduces us to some new grape varieties. Considered a top region for wine in Italy, Piedmont is famous for Barolo and Nebbiolo. Surprisingly though, Barolo only accounts for three percent of Piedmont’s production despite its popularity. The wine region stretches from the Alps in the north to the Apennines in the South and the favourable climate and terrain produces some of the best quality wines. Paying a visit to local wineries is a great activity to do when in Piedmont; listen to the stories and the history, admire the vineyards, and enjoy the experience. 
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A Look at the Lakes

Piedmont is also home to Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore. Orta is perhaps Italy’s best kept secret when it comes to the lakes as it is still relatively untouched by mass tourism – that's what gives it its beauty. Towns surrounding the lake are picturesque in pastel shades, with quaint streets and enchanting scenery.  

Maggiore on the other hand is a lot bigger and is home to more than 42 towns and five islands. On the southern side of the alps the lake spans for more than 40 miles so there is plenty of things to see and do here. Take a boat trip to one of the five islands and soak up the beautiful landscapes and breathe in the Italian air. The lakes are also close to the region of Liguria so you can enjoy even more of Italy in one trip! 

Where can I stay in Piedmont?

We have some excellent hotels available for your next adventure to Piedmont. 

Hotel Astoria
  • A 4 star hotel that has been part of the Citalia family for over 35 years
  • Located 275 metres from the centre of Stresa
  • Restaurant with views across Lake Maggiore
Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees
  • Located a short walk from the centre of Stresa facing the Borromean Islands
  • Spa with indoor pool and health & beauty club
Ostelliere ph Merlo (305)-Hybris
Albergo L'Ostelliere - Villa Sparina Resort
  • Stay in a boutique, four star farmhouse hotel in Piedmont
  • Taste the award-winning DOCG Gavi wine at source 
  • Feast at La Gallina, a Michelin-plate restaurant 

Discover the real Italy with Citalia

Passionate about Piedmont? Well, here is our commitment to you. With 95 years’ experience we pride ourselves on ensuring you Travel with Confidence. Our Italy Experts are on hand to help you plan your next enchanting escape. Discover the real Italy with Citalia, your next adventure is just a call away…  

Enjoyed uncovering Piedmont? Discover more of the real Italy in our latest blog series. Every month we’re revealing a new off the beaten track destination, explore the regions our experts have already shared, with Hidden Italy: Cilento and Hidden Italy: Umbria.  

Suggested Destinations & Trips

Call us today to speak to one of our Italy Experts for further travel advice, hotel recommendations or to begin planning your next Italian holiday.
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