A Region that contains mountains, lakes, hills and
plains in a rich and fascinating landscape
On mountains, lakes, hills and plains. In a varied and fascinating landscape, Piedmont picks towns known for their architectural and historical (as Turin) and others who keep, without clamoe, globally peculiar features. It happens, for example, in Vercelli, where the oldest known manuscript in English and consulted by scholars from around the world.
It is the Codex Vercellensis Evangeliorum, the so-called Gospels of St. Eusebius, and is a manuscript of the fourth century. But the Piedmont landscape with a thousand faces, is also the region where entrepreneurship has made school, gaining international fame: the Lavazza Ferrero, Fiat Olivetti.
From Piedmont also many car motor design firms by Giugiaro, Pininfarina, author of the first car model exhibited at the MoMa in New York as “the eighth wonder of our times.” Many products made in Italy are from the Piedmont culinary: truffles (the subject of a prestigious international auction), wines (most notably Barolo) and nuts, specialty undisputed Alta Langa.
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Turin. The first capital of Italy, has just under a quarter of the population of Piedmont, which makes its capital a point of reference, although each province maintains its own characteristics. For years, Turin has shaken off the dullness that was given a little ‘hastily because of its industrial vocation. Facing challenges such as the 2006 Winter Olympics, has been shown to have an enviable and creativity dynamism . The city of the Mole has carved out,and with good reason, an important place in the Italian cultural scene: unique museums, international events, debates and high-level meetings are followed throughout the year. Not forgetting its past trande, Turin has been able to reinvent itself also in the architecture and in its urban layout, facilitating the development of new neighborhoods, reusing the Olympic facilities and accelerating work to connect the subway with the high-speed train, which only 50 minutes unites in Milan. The reconversion involved many structures that were abandoned by time and now come back to life, as in via Bisalta, the old pasta factory, became a luxury hotel, or the former workshops and factories turned into containers of Contemporary Art .
About 4 and a half million inhabitants spread over 25 thousand square meters of land, with only 11% of reliefs and the remaining distributed among a wide plains and rolling hills , where are focus cities . This is the Piedmont , where the population is concentrated in Turin , with just under one million inhabitants . To increase the numbers of the capital also contributed to the arrival from southern Italy to a large number of immigrants, the sixties were employed in the motor car industry , then in strong growth. The urban concentration showed the distance between Turin and the rest of the region remained strong focus on agricultural production, although quality and with an entrepreneurial approach . Piedmont has made its wines a quality brand , as well as a major item of export to all over the world. The same importance is of the chocolate, which in Piedmont is processed and used both in industry and craft: industries ( now corporate ) as Ferrero or shops that processes pralines and chocolates, employ thousands of people and are an important item in the field of work. In recent years it has become increasingly important tourism. The great impulse that Turin has given the tourism demand following the 2006 Winter Olympics continue to be felt and in the capital , where they are drawn from the collections of art and unique museums in Italy ( as the Egyptian Museum and the museum of cinema) , tourists extend visits also at the territory . From the Langhe to Roero and from Monferrato , to the Savoy palaces ,and the Sacred Mountains, going from spas or golf courses ,the movement tourist towards Piedmont is growing.
Culture and cuisine share the calendar of events in Piedmont. Asti celebrates the wine production with the Douja d’Or in September, always greeted by a large influx of visitors. Here are the truffle fairs and biennial exhibition of Hazelnut in Alta Langa, inserted in the manifestation Hi Food, which celebrates the gastronomic excellence as a whole. Every two years is replicated in Turin’s the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, the celebration of the geographical particularities and crops threatened by globalization. Headlining the events related to the writing of the chapter is the International Book Fair of Turin and one of Verbania, dedicated to mountain literature and therefore called LetterAltura. Also in Turin, the prestigious MITOSettembreMusica is the appointment with the international sounds. Nature, however, is the protagonist in the spring Zegna Oasis, which is celebrated on the occasion of flowering rhododendrons, and in the Borromee islands , which reopened in March Botanic Gardens. During the summer we multiply the events in the area: to recall some local, some very prestigious and renowned as Vignale Danza, in the village of Monferrato, or Open Castles, an event that lasts from May to October, which allows visit historic homes otherwise not accessible to the public.
HOW TO GET
By Plane The airport of Turin, Sandro Pertini between the Piedmont and the rest of Italy.
By Train The high-speed train lines coming to Turin Porta Susa and Porta Nuova, and stations of Alessandria, Asti, Novara are reached by intercity trains. Less easy links to Cuneo and Vercelli, where changes are needed in other cities.
By Car – Piedmont is well connected to Milan by the A4 motorway, which goes to Venice and Trieste. The A21 joins the Piacenza and the Autostrada del Sole, is connected with the Italian Riviera are facilitated by the A26 to the A6 Savona and Genoa. Towards the mountains run the A5 (Torino-Aosta) and the A32 (Torino-Bardonecchia). The Mont Blanc tunnel and the tunnel of Frejus unite with France, the Great St. Bernard in Switzerland.
Piedmont is a rich land. For its artistic , food and wine Heritage, to the towns and cities to the villages and on the streets that surprise-visits and always interesting. The pride of the castles are distributed over most of the territory, and the Sabaude Residences, including in the World Heritage: the Reggia di Venaria, the Rivoli Castle (home of the most important contemporary art museum in Italy), Moncalieri, Racconigi, embellished by the storks’ nests on the chimneys, Stupinigi and Agliè, who became famous as the set of the drama Elisa di Rivombrosa. Unesco also protects the Sacred Mountains, witness the pilgrimage of the fifteenth, with their Jerusalemites sanctuaries, which replaced the holy places in Palestine, unattainable for many. The first was Varallo ,gateway to Valsesia, followed later by Oropa, Domodossola, Belmonte, who are on a par with other places of worship have become a destination for easy trips from Turin, as the Sacra di San Michele or the Abbey of Novalesa . Inspired not by the spirit but for the pleasures of the body, are the paths that wind through areas of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato. The culinary stops chasing regional specialties are interrupted by the visit of the historic Canelli wineries , or with a detour to the antique markets of Cherasco, Bra or Saluzzo. Alessandria, on the other hand, is the capital of the production of Borsalino hats, and the nearby Casale Monferrato has interesting testimonies of the Jewish community. Scattered throughout the region are also thermal springs someone famous like that of Acqui Terme, other smaller, but equally enjoyable. And then there are the lakes and Borromeo islands, on Lake Maggiore, in the spring burst of new blooms.
TRADITION AND FOLKLORE
If the Occitan valleys of the south and in those of West Valdesia, the Piedmont jealously preserves ancient traditions that have been handed down among those who share language and religion, in other parts of the past becomes the occasion of folklore accessible to all. This is the case of the Palio di Asti, the oldest in Italy, which is known since 1275: in the medieval streets horse race of 21 contenders in order to finish first. The victory is propitiated in the previous days with superstitious rituals and gargantuan dinners. Many more fighters of the Carnival of Ivrea, which involves four thousand participants, divided into teams that will compete in the Battle of the Oranges, thus repeating the legendary popular revolt against the feudal privilege of ius primae noctis.
In the region where was born the cultivation of rice (it was the year one thousand and the plant was introduced by the Cistercian monks who settled in Lucedio in Vercelli area) it is obvious that this food occupies an important place in traditional cuisine, as an ingredient of panissa , as well as soups and rice seasoned with vegetables and cheese. The latter are produced in large quantities, both in the plains than in the pastures, and see the primacy of Castelmagno, fully followed by the tome and robiole. A table matches well with red wines of the Langhe and Roero, or those produced in the area of Gattinara. Along the streets dedicated to Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, Freisa d’Asti, Dolcetto, Gattinara, Gavi, Barbera and sparkling wines, just to name a few, the opportunities to enjoy a glass accompanying him to a chopping board cold meats and cheeses abound. The fans of truffles attending Alba, also participating in the “search” organized by the “truffle hunters” accompanied by their precious dogs. The Alta Langa is the area of choice of the Tonda Gentile hazelnut, the star, every two years for a major event in the area of Cortemilia.
Mostly wooden craft items in Piedmont. But they are not the only ones: in the villages, which still retain an extraordinary variety dialect, is wrought iron work (especially in the Maira Valley, rich in mines), glass and stone (in Germanasca Valley, famous for its marble quarries), embroidering towels and tapestries and are produced sweet and savory canned food , typical of the tradition. No trip ends without a jar of honey produced in the Roero, or one of Cognà of must accompany the cheeses. There are few craftsmen who still work in the ceramic, with which in the Castellamonte cast by the beautiful stoves on display in the museum. Many, however, are still dedicated to spinning, especially in the area of Biella, where there is one of the most prosperous districts wool in the world.
DID YOU KNOW …
Piedmont is one of the Italian regions in which you play better golf? Fans and newcomers will appreciate the various greens on which to practice a sport that is not only reserved for the elite, as in the past. According to experts, the Piedmont enjoys a favorable factor is also substantiated by the fact that many of its fields are at the top of the Italian charts.