Piemonte is essentially a country region of alpine peaks in the north, flat rice-producing river valleys further south, rolling vineyards with attractive villages, forested hills dotted with mediaeval castles and almost at its centre the city of Turin, known throughout the world as a great industrial centre but in fact, outstandingly rich in architectural gems, both modern and in particular Baroque.
North of Turin is the Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso, with miles of unspoiled natural scenery of mountain peaks and meadows, of rare wildlife and flowers. The splendid palaces, parks and hunting lodges of the Princes of Savoy can be visited in the countryside near Turin on your holiday. Our Piemonte hotels are situated in the remarkable wine-producing regions of the Langhe and Asti, renowned for their beautiful scenery, magnificent wines and fine gastronomy. Piemonte beckons lovers of wine and food, art and architecture and dramatic, natural but also gloriously cultivated landscapes.Expressions Holidays offers a 4 night wine tour of Piemonte, with a stay at a 4 star hotel, the Villa d'Amelia, not far from Alba. The wine tour is accompanied by an English wine and food expert (also fluent in Italian and who has lived in Piemonte) and includes visits to vineyards, wine tastings and food and wine pairings throughout the stay. Follow this link to view the Wine Tour of Piemonte in detail or click here to download a pdf of the day by day itinerary.
Cultural Highlights of PiemonteTurin is laden with architectural treasures including the Palazzo Madama by Filippo Juvarra (now home to the Museo Civico d`Arte Antica which contains the 15th Century Portrait of an Unknown Man by Antonello da Messina), Guarini`s Palazzo Carignano, the Baroque buildings of the Piazza San Carlo.In Cuneo is the 18th Century Church of Santa Croce with a concave facade by Francesco Gallo. Vercelli had a school of art and its masterpieces can be seen in the Museo Civico Borgogna and in the Chuch of San Cristoforo are to be found frescoes and a 16th Century Madonna painted by Gaudenzio Ferrari. In the Palazzo Comunale of Alba is a painting of the Madonna and Child by the 16th Century artist Macrino d`Alba.The finest Romanesque buildings in Piemonte are to be found at the Abbey of Vezzolano at Albugnano.
Festivals of PiemonteMany are linked to food and wine in this region. Asti holds an annual horse race in the Piazza del Campo del Palio, accompanied by mediaeval pageantry and coinciding with a local wine fair in September.
Gastronomy of PiemonteCuneo holds a cheese fair in November. Ivrea is famous for its Carnival celebrations including a Battle of Oranges. The region is renowed for its gastronomy and wine. Beef, cheese, butter, red wine, rice and truffles (particularly the white truffes of Alba) are all basic ingredients. Specialities include Manzo al Barolo (beef in red wine and garlic), Fonduta (hot dip of fontina cheese, milk, eggs, truffles and pepper), Bagna cauda (hot spicy sauce with garlic and anchovies), The wines of the region include Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto.
We include a hire-car with all holidays to Piemonte.Turin, the regional capital, is a fascinating city of Baroque architecture and famous for its association with Fiat cars. Visit the car museum, the Mole Antonelli for a panoramic view. Visit some of the beautiful 18th Century House of Savoy palaces, many built by Filippo Juvarra, including Rivoli, Venaria reale and Mandria.North of Turin is the subalpine region of Canavese with numerous castles many of which have been opened to the public very recently such as the Castello di Masino, now carefully restored. Lace is produced in the Valsesia. Alba is the centre of the white truffle and of course the local wines (Barolo, Barbera etc) should be tasted and purchased. Cuneo holds a market in the Piazza Galimberti every Tuesday.
By air: Fly to Turin. There are daily flights with British Airways from Gatwick to Turin, but Milan is also possible. There are numerous daily flights with British Airways and Alitalia to Milan, and the driving time is not much longer so might make a more suitable option if you want to return from a different airport that is only served by British Airways. Hire-car: We include a hire-car with all our holidays to Piemonte. There is no additional charge for collecting your car from one place and returning it to another. Self-drive: With your own car Piemonte is an ideal region to holiday in with your own car. You can reach the region easily with just one overnight stop in France if you want.
Experience the romance of rail as you travel through Europe by train to Piemonte.
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CapitalRome AirportThere is a very good scattering of international airports in Italy, with the main ones being Venice, Pisa, Milan, Rome, Bologna, Naples, Genoa, Turin and Bari; on Sicily, Catania is served by several airlines from the UK and on Sardinia you fly to Cagliari or Olbia.CurrencyEuro (£1 = Euro 1.30) SizeItaly is roughly 650 miles long, but only about 100 miles wide Population60 million Average temperatureItaly's temperature varies dramatically, from about 4 degrees in Turin in winter to 33 degrees in Sicily in summer, with snow year-round on the summits of the Pyrenees and Alps National holidays in Italy Some tourist attractions as well as banks etc may close on the following days: 1 January 6 January (Epiphany) Easter Monday 25 April (Liberation Day) 1 May (Labour Day) 15 August (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) 1 November (All Saints) 8 December (Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Christmas Day Boxing Day There are a number of local feast days that can affect conditions locally. In addition to the above days, museums are often closed on Mondays in Italy.
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