What to see
Sacro Monte di Ghiffa
Piemonte is history and memory, art and culture, legend and traditions. A priceless heritage filled with fascination that meanders between cities, towns, abbeys, castles and fortifications embracing age-old charm, fairy-tale views and landscapes rich in evocative power.
Basilica of San Gaudenzio - Novara
An extraordinarily diffuse architectural heritage, ranging from Roman vestiges and Romanesque masterpieces, Liberty villas and art nouveau, together with contemporary languages expressed in futuristic buildings, palaces and basilicas. In Piemonte, romanesque and baroque styles express real marvels of harmony, simplicity and grandeur: like the regions’s symbol itself Sacra di San Michele or the prestigious Royal Residences, exclusive recreational places of the subalpine aristocracy proclaimed by Unesco as the “Heritage of Humanity” (including the Sacri Monti), among which the Reggia di Venaria shines. A rich and sumptuous residence and an example of the magnificence of the architecture of the XVII and XVIII centuries at the gates of Torino. The Mole Antonelliana in the region’s capital denotes an original sky line known throughout the world, while amongst the other Piedmontese cities Novara stands out with Antonelli’s Basilica of S.Gaudenzio and beautiful piazzas and Vercelli with the Basilica of S.Andrea.
National Museum of Cinema - Torino
In Torino the museums are located in real institutions of international fame, from the Museo Nazionale del Cinema (National Museum of Cinema), located in the Mole Antonelliana, to the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum). You can visit the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) in piazza Castello where you can admire the precious interiors, which document the evolution of the taste of the House of Savoy and the Armeria Reale (Royal Armoury), one of the richest collections of arms existing in the world which houses from medieval exhibits to Napoleonic relics and armour of sovereigns of the House of Savoy. Also in the regional capital the Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali and the GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna(Gallery of Modern Art), house temporary exhibitions in addition to permanent exhibitions.
The rest of the Piedmontese region is not without precious and sought-after museum exhibitions, embracing both ancient art, in the Museo del Tesoro del Duomo in Vercelli, and modern and contemporary art in new locations such as the Filatoio Rosso of Caraglio. Spaces that showcase not only painting and sculpture, but also the tradition of the mountain valleys, with museums dedicated to the Waldensian and walser peoples, ecomuseums (Biellese) and very detailed and original exhibitions dedicated among others to the champions of cycling the "Campionissimi", to the hat or to the difficult profession of the chimney sweep.
For centuries the mountains of Piemonte have acted as a boundary to a little kingdom, also being the natural crossing for European pilgrims heading towards Rome on the Via Francigenae, reasons for which they are dotted with imposing fortifications and medieval abbeys.
Fenestrelle, the biggest fortress in the Alps, the Forte di Vinadio in Valle Stura, that of Exilles in Valsusa with the spectacular museum that recreates the life of the military garrison, and Bramafam near Bardonecchia are the stop-off points not to be missed on an itinerary through the wartime memories of the Piedmontese mountains. A completely different atmosphere is experienced in the abbeys among the hills, from the Staffarda Cistercian abbey in the Cuneese region, as far as the abbey of Novalesa under Moncenisio.
Historical vestiges, but above all unique landscapes with breathtaking panoramas, like those to be admired in the National Parks of Gran Paradiso and Val Grande.
Isole Borromee - Lago Maggiore
Lago Maggiore, lago d’Orta, lago di Mergozzo and the lakes of Avigliana, represent a microcosm of emotions and a particularly seductive opportunity for those in search of unusual and fascinating places. From the magnificent Isola Bella, with the Palazzo barocco and the priceless heritage of works of art, to Isola Madre, with the Palazzo Cinquecentesco, to the Sacred Mountain of SS. Trinità at Ghiffa, UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity, there are numerous opportunities for those wishing to combine nature and relaxation with the beauties of art and culture. Poised between hills and mountains, these lands safeguard certain architectural jewels, such as the castles of Cannero Riviera and the Borromeo parks of Arona or Vogogna. Mirrors of water surrounded by splendid historical residences and gardens, Giardino Botanico Alpinia, which colour the banks, in addition to original ethnographic museums, including the Museo dell’Ombrello (Umbrella Museum) in Gignese and that of the art of the Hat in Ghiffa.
Castello - Manta di Saluzzo
Wine, truffle, good food and lots more. The Piedmontese hills bear great witness to the history and identity of the region and can find expression in just a quick glance with the beauty of their landscape. The villages are symbols of it with Asti, Alba, Bra and Canelli at the top, resting on the soft hills and the ordered rows of vineyards and hazel trees, real declarations of love to the peasant culture. Rich in culture and artistic beauties that can be found in abbeys such as Vezzolano or in the castles of Mango, Guarene and Manta, with the latter not to be missed for the series of sixteenth-century frescos, while in the province of Alessandria the Forte di Gavi recalls the rule of the Republic of Genoa over Monferrato. An excellent wine and food tradition but also a place of wellbeing thanks to the thermal centres of Acqui, these lands were inspiring muses like few others for some of the greatest writers of the Italian ‘900s, and continue to safeguard the essence of Piemonte, a synthesis of nature, taste, history, art, culture and popular tradition.
Last Updated on 26/04/2012