Information and Tourism

Piedmont flagFor a long time, Piedmont was underrated as a tourist destination. There was a tendency to ignore this down-to-earth northern Italian region in favour of more glamorous tourist destinations. Over the past decade, all this has started to change. It is good to see, though, that crowds are still few and far between, which means there is still the feeling that you've got the place to yourself.

It is a little known fact that Piedmont has its very own Lake District, including the western part of Lake Maggiore and the delightful Lake Orta, a relatively small stretch of water that boasts the pretty cobbled-stoned village of Orta San Giulio and equally picturesque Isola San Giulio.

As Piedmont has slipped discreetly into 'tourist mode', the capital city of Turin has likewise dropped its image as an industrial centre that is all factories and little else. Today, Turin is chic and stylish. Its city squares are elegance personified, lined with walkways and cafes where you can watch the world amble by. That said, car giants Fiat are still famously based here, although the former Lingotto factory has been transformed into executive offices.

Since the 'Slow Food' movement (alternative to fast food) kicked off in the Piedmontese town of Bra back in the late 1980s, the region has established a reputation for being at the heart of all that it stands for. In fact, it has pretty much seeped into every part of Piedmont life. Pollenzo is home to the very first Slow Food-founded university. Piedmont also has some tasty regional specialities, including 'Bagna càuda', a hot dip that is perfect for chilly winter evenings.

In the winter, Alpine tourism takes over. Since 2006, when Turin hosted the Olympic Winter Games, ski stations like Alagna Valsesia have become internationally known, particularly for 'freeride' skiing. Skiers can head off-piste to experience extreme rides and, hopefully, take in the breathtaking landscape that unfurls - at high speed, before them.

Piedmont Information and Fast Facts

World Guide to Turin, Italy
Standing at the confluence of the Dura and Po rivers, Turin is famous the world over for its historic shroud. With a strong Baroque feel, central Turin is presided over by the Mole Antonelliana, while the Alps lie nearby and to the north.

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