Piedmont is in Italy's northwest and borders Switzerland and France.
It is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, with the highest peaks and largest glaciers in Italy. Some of the popular cities in the region are Alba, Alessandria, Asti, Cuneo, Ivrea, Lake Maggiore, Langhe, Monferrato, Novara, Serravalle Scrivia, Stresa, Verbania, Vercelli and Turin, the capital of the region.
Piedmont is celebrated for its fabulous wines, Autumn truffles, and beef. Piedmontese cattle are so famous that they're reared all over the world. The region has the biggest hazelnuts plantation. The Italian Gianduj chocolate, combination of chocolate with the region’s native hazelnuts, was created in Turin in 1865. The famous Chocolate company Ferrero, second biggest chocolate producer in the world, was founded in 1946 in the city of Alba.
Besides foodie paradise, it has many beautiful mountains with plenty of ski resorts and many lakes nestled between its mountains and valleys. The most famous of which is Lake Maggiore.
There are five UNESCO Heritage Sites in Piedmont.
Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century
Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps (Shared with Lombardy, Trentino-Alto Adige)
Residences of the Royal House of Savoy
Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato
Sacri Monti of Piemonte and Lombardy (7 in Piemonte and 2 in Lombardy)
By Nicolae Baltatescu - Pixabay
Turin, is erected around the riverside of Po, in the picturesque hills of Monferrato. In 1861 Turin was made the first capital of a unified Italy, in 1865 the capital was moved to Florence and then finally in 1870 to Roma, which has remained the capital. It is now the capital of the Piedmont region.
Turin has a lot to offer, it is home to a number of Castles and Royal Palaces with remarkable historical and artistic value, for example the elegant Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, lisited as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with scenic architectural heritage of past times, the renaissance, baroque, rococo, neo-classical and art-nouveau palaces. Turin has many shady parks, art galleries, museums and streets filled with piazze and café. Most famous Italian car factories like Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia are based here as well.
The beautiful tree-lined grand boulevards filled with many cafes, and boutiques of designer labels such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Hermes, can be found here. The marble arched porticoes along the arcades were built to allow the nobility to stroll without getting wet in winter and away from the sun during summer.. It has conquered the supremacy of the city with the widest pedestrian area in Europe.
A mixture of historic and modern set against the backdrop of the Alps will make your draw drop.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the Chapel of the Holy Shroud
The Cathedral was built during 15th century, on the site of three early Christian Basilica and the Chapel of the Holy Shroud was added to the structure in 1668–1694. The Chapel is connected to the Royal Palace of Turin, where the Shroud was kept for more than 400 years.
In 1997, the Chapel was severely damaged by a massive fire, but the Shroud was saved. Subsequently, it was closed to the public and took over 21 years, and €30 million to restore to its original splendour. On September 27, 2018, the chapel reopened to the public.
The Shroud of Turin
Shroud of Turin, is a mysterious linen cloth that many believe once wrapped the body of the Jesus at the time of his burial. It bears the image of a man who believe by many to be Jesus, appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. Despite the fact that 600 years ago, Pope Clement VII declared the shroud was a fake, it remains an important religious symbol for Christians around the world.
There has been no end to the debate about the shroud’s authenticity. However, in 2018, new forensic research suggests the blood stains on the shroud couldn’t have come from Christ.
The Shroud is not open to public. The last publicly displayed was in 2015 and next public viewing to be 2025, which was declared by Pope John Paul II.
However, in April 2020/21 Easter, the Shroud went on virtual display, with Turin Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia praying before the Shroud, and invited the faithful worldwide to join from home, to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
In Turin, you can visit one of the largest collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts outside Egypt. the museum has a number of exhibitions focussed on the ancient kingdom, including the Assemblea dei Rei, made up of statues of the New Kingdom kings, tombs of Kha and Merit, and the Papyrus Room.
Another outstanding building is Mole Antonelliana, the symbol of Turin, which was meant to be the Turin’s synagogue, now housed the National Cinema Museum, the place to learn more about the history of film. You can take the elevator the top and enjoy a birds eye view of the city.
Basilica of Superga
The Basilica of Superga, an imposing baroque style basilica, raised on a hill, with exceptional far reaching views across the city of Turin, is worth a visit.
Residences of the Royal House of Savoy UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The elegant Residences of the Royal House of Savoy compose of 22 buildings built between the 17th and 18th century by the Dukes of Savoy. These structures are of great historical, unique architectural, artistic and environmental value. The complex was recognized by UNESCO in 1997. Come and discover the Court of Italy from Torino to Cuneo, through the Langhe Roero and Monferrato territory! Experience stunning settings and an extraordinary cultural heritage, unforgettable moments to live with your family or among friends for a day like a King!
The most important building is undoubtely the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale), which was the official residence of the Savoys. Today this lavish Palace houses the homonymous museum, where numerous, centuries-old objects and furnishings belonging to the sovereigns are held. The impressive Royal Armory and its collection of stuffed horses with their armored riders and other items dating from the 15th to 19th centuries, is one of the largest collections in Europe. Beyond the Palazzo Reale are the beautiful Royal Gardens (Giardini Reali) and the Museo d'Antichità, filled with archaeological finds dating from prehistoric times through the late Roman era.
In the center of Turin the Palazzo Madama, site of the Civic Museum of Ancient Art. Next, the Palazzo Carignano, now housing the National Museum of the Risorgimento and the Castello del Valentino, home to the Architecture Faculty of the Polytechnic University of Turin, is located in the largest park in Turin, Parco Valentino, a romantic park with shaded walkways, on the banks of the Po River. It’s a great place to unwind on a laid-back afternoon! Another charming villa not to be miss is the Villa of the Queen (Villa della Regina), a 17th century palace immersed in the greenery of Turin’s hillside, surrounded by a large wine vineyard and orchards. It was the former summer residence of the Royal ladies and the Savoy family. Villa della Regina hosts Turin’s very own urban vineyard, producing an excellent red wine, Freisa di Chieri DOC.
Around the area of the Province of Turin are Borgo Castello (within La Mandria Park), the splendid and extremely charming architectural structure of Royal Palace of Venaria, the Royal Castles of Moncalieri, Rivoli and Aglié, and the Hunting Lodge of Stupinigi.
In the Province of Cuneo, are the Royal Castle of Racconigi, a grand construction done in multiple styles, the Castles of Pollenzo and Govone, rich in wooden furnishings and decorations, and the Residence of Valcasotto.
A particularity of the Savoy Residences is their extravagant gardens and parks with organized elegant landscape that strike the visitor's eye !
The picturesque town of Ivrea near Turin although it is not a major tourist destination, but it is an industrial city of the 20th century, protected by UNESCO World Heritage Site for its collection of modern architecture. All because of Camillo Olivetti, an entrepreneur and manufacturer for typewriter, mechanical calculators and office computers. There are several interesting sights, most notably is the Olivetti Building, Castello di Ivera, Bishop's Palace and the Cathedral.
Take a stroll and admiration around the axis of the Via Jervis, across 72,000 hectares of buildings designed by the most famous architects and town planners in Italy. The buildings were needed for manufacturing, social services and housing for the workers, directors and designers of the Olivetti industry.
In Piazza Castello, stands the Ivrea castle.The castle was built in 14th century, and it has a solid structure, characterized by the high circular towers. Once a prison, the castle today houses exhibitions.
Ivrea Cathedral, with three naves, despite many restorations that have been carried out over the centuries – it preserves several features dating back to the medieval period. These include the semicircular apse and two bell towers of Romanesque style, some columns, and the frescoed crypt still remain.