Piedmont, Italy: travel guide and places to visit

Photo of Piedmont (Piedmont region)

Piedmont Hotels

Where
Arrive
Leave

Visit Piedmont

The Piedmont region of north-west Italy is best known for the rich city of Turin, various imposing palaces and religious monuments, and the picturesque mountain towns and scenic attractions such as Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore further to the north

Piedmont - a guide and places to visit

For a summary of the most popular sights in the region see also Piedmont places to visit.

Casale Monferrato

The Piedmont region is in the north-west corner of Italy, reaching from the border with Liguria to the south and climbing up into the Alps in the north of the region.

The Valle d'Aosta is a separate Italian region that is in the north-west corner of Piedmont although it is often visited at the same time as Piedmont itself. See the Valle d'Aosta guide.

The landscape of Piedmont has two principal characteristics: the northern and eastern areas are quite mountainous while the central area around Turin and the south-west is generally quite low altitude (it includes Italy's main rice growing region). In the north you reach increasingly high Alpine mountains.

We consider the highlights of Piedmont below in three 'areas':

  • the north, with the lakes and mountains;
  • the central area including Turin which also has several well known monuments of interest;
  • the south of Piedmont, close to the French and Italian rivieras.

Piedmont: the north

The most visited part of Piedmont outside Turin is the northern mountainous region, often referred to the Piedmont Lake District. The principal lake here is Lake Maggiore: although Maggiore is usually considered as one of the Lombardy lakes, its entire western half is actually in Piedmont.

Highlights on western Lake Maggiore include the very lovely Borromean Islands as well as the lakeside resorts of Stresa, Verbania and Arona. Garden lovers will also love visiting the lovely villas and lakeside gardens here.

Be sure to also allow time to visit the lovely Lake Orta. The lake is smaller and less well known than Lake Maggiore and the Lombardy lakes of northern Italy (the Italians are reputed for keeping this lake secret from overseas visitors!) but very picturesque.

As well as the scenic highlights, the mountainous north-east of the Piedmont region includes the pretty town of Domodossola among its main attractions.

At the town of Varallo, west of Lake Orta, you can visit the extensive 15th century chapels and biblical recreations at the Sacro Monte basilica. The Oropa Sanctuary, one of Italy's principal pilgrimage sites, is to the south-east of here, then continuing southwards you can visit the town of Ivrea.

Further south-east within this part of northern Piedmont you can visit the towns of Casale Monferrato and Novara then perhaps explore Vercelli, Italy's rice producing capital.

Piedmont: Turin and the centre

The most famous - and most visited - city in the region is Turin, centrally located in the middle of Piedmont. Although many visitors to central Piedmont never travel outside the city there are actually several places of interest within easy reach...

You will of course start your visit in Turin itself. Turin is a rich town with a long history and has a great deal of interest to visitors: see Turin guide.

The centre of the region around Turin also has several other interesting highlights - all the places mentioned in this region can be visited from Turin without too much difficulty.

Susa and Avigliana (visited for the nearby abbey at Sacra di San Michele) are attractive towns to the west of Turin, while the town of Pinerolo, the renowned villa at Stupinigi and the basilica at Superga are other noteworthy attractions here.

Also close, the town of Asti is best known for its sparkling white wine called Asti Spumante, sold all around the world. Asti town and wine region is to the east of Turin, while the 'city of towers' of Alba is a little further south and also worth exploring.

Piedmont: the south

The south of the Piedmont region is generally less visited except for the part close to the southern border between Piedmont and Liguria (and the French Riviera to the south-west).

Notable attractions here include the remarkable caves at caves at Bossea and an interesting town in a lovely setting at Cuneo. You can also visit the historical town at Mondovi a little way east of Cuneo, and the small town of Saluzzo to the north of Cuneo.

Piedmont highlights - a photo gallery

  • alps
  • autumn
  • blue-lake-breuil-cervi
  • countryside
  • macugnana-monta-rosa
  • mountains
  • orta-san-giulio
  • saluzzo
  • vineyards

Most Beautiful Villages - Piedmont

The following Italian towns and villages in Piedmont are listed among the 'most beautiful villages in Italy': Chianale / Garessio / Macugnaga / Mombaldone / Neive / Orta San Giulio (see Lake Orta) / Ostana / Ricetto di Candelo / Usseaux / Vogogna / Volpedo

Orange Flag Tourism towns in Piedmont

The following Italian towns and villages in Piedmont are listed among the 'Orange flag towns in Italy' (a national tourist award): Alagna Valsesia / Avigliana / Barolo / Bergolo / Candelo / Cannero Riviera / Cherasco / Cocconato / Fenestrelle / Grinzane Cavour / Macugnaga / Malesco / Mergozzo / Monforte d'Alba / Neive / Orta San Giulio / Santa Maria Maggiore / Varallo / Well Vagienna

See also:

Map of Piedmont and places to visit

Places to visit near Piedmont

Alba

Alba

The historic centre of Alba has several medieval towers and monuments of interest

Alba

Arona

Arona

Arona is a much-visited resort on the south-west shore of Lake Maggiore in the Piedmont region

Arona

Avigliana

Avigliana

Highlights in Avigliana include the Egyptian museum and the nearby Abbey Sacra di San Michelle

Avigliana

Borromean islands

Borromean islands

The Borromean Islands, in the centre of Lake Maggiore, feature lovely villas and gardens and are a highlight of a visit to Maggiore

Borromean islands

Bossea Caves

Bossea Caves

The caves at Bossea are quite extensive and even include an underground river!

Bossea Caves

Cannobio

Cannobio

In Cannobio, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, you can enjoy the lakeside promenade and beach, and a scenic historic old town

Cannobio

Casale Monferrato

Casale Monferrato

The fortress and cathedral are the principal highlights in the historic centre of Casale Monferrato

Casale Monferrato

Cuneo

Cuneo

Cuneo is a pleasant mountain town often used as a base for exploring the surrounding forested river valleys

Cuneo

Domodossola

Domodossola

Explore the town of Domodossola or use it as a base for taking the scenic railway to Locarno

Domodossola

Ivrea

Ivrea

Ivrea has much to discover including the cathedral and some ancient Roman ruins

Ivrea

Lake Orta

Lake Orta

Lake Orta and its island Isola San Giulio and village of Orta San giulio together make a very picturesque small lake

Lake Orta

Mondovi

Mondovi

On the southern edge of the mountains in Piedmont, Mondovi has lovely views and several interesting churches

Mondovi

Novara

Novara

The basilica and the ancient baptistry are among the highlights in the historic old town of Novara

Novara

Pinerolo

Pinerolo

The cathedral is just one of the places of interest in Pinerolo near Turin

Pinerolo

Sacro Monte di Oropa

Sacro Monte di Oropa

The Sanctuary of Oropa is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Italy

Sacro Monte di Oropa

Saluzzo

Saluzzo

Saluzzo has an extensive historic centre which is very interesting to explore

Saluzzo

Staffarda Abbey

Staffarda Abbey

The Staffarda Abbey, founded in the 12th century, is one of the most complete monastic complexes in Italy

Staffarda Abbey

Stresa

Stresa

Stresa, on the western side of Lake Maggiore, is the main resort for visitors to the lake

Stresa

Stupinigi

Stupinigi

Built as a hunting lodge, the 18th century Stupinigi Palace is a very extensive palace and gardens

Stupinigi

Superga

Superga

The Basilica of Superga is an imposing baroque style basilica with far reaching views across Turin

Superga

Susa

Susa

Susa is visited for the ancient Roman monuments ans for the proximity to very lovely mountain scenery

Susa

Turin

Turin

Turin is one of the most visited and most interesting cities in northern Italy with many notable monuments

Turin

Varallo

Varallo

Varallo is visited for the Sacre Monte di Varallo basilica and extensive series of chapels

Varallo

Verbania

Verbania

Verbania, on the Borromean Gulf of Lake Maggiore, is famous for the botanical gardens of Villa Taranto

Verbania

Orta San Giulio

Orta San Giulio

The village of Orta San Giulio is a beautiful village on the east shores of Lake Orta

Orta San Giulio

Parco Pallavicino

Parco Pallavicino

Parco Pallavicino is a park with a villa and zoo on the edge of Stresa and on the shore of Lake maggiore

Parco Pallavicino

Cannero Riviera

Cannero Riviera

Cannero Riviera is a small resort with a pretty promenade and harbour on Lake Maggiore

Cannero Riviera

Isola dei Pescatori

Isola dei Pescatori

The Isola dei Pescatori is one of the Borromean Islands of Lake Maggiore, and has a traditional fishing village to explore

Isola dei Pescatori

Isola Bella

Isola Bella

Isola Bella, one of the Borromean islands in Lake Maggiore, is best known for its extraordinary Palazzo Borromeo and gardens

Isola Bella

Isola Madre

Isola Madre

Isola Madre, one of the Borromean islands of Lake Maggiore, has a villa and extensive English style gardens to explore

Isola Madre