- Countryside Prosperous foothills
- Country life Farming and feasting
This northwestern region is a reminder that until just over a hundred years ago, Italy wasn’t a country, but a collection of states, each with its own distinct identity.
Until the 19th century, folk in this aristocratic province spoke French and, geographically, it has a multiple personality too, with its rolling farmland punctuated by perfectly preserved mediaeval villages and energetic industrial towns. This neighbour of the Swiss and French Alps may be landlocked, but it’s only a drive from some of Europe’s favourite lakes and beaches. And this is a part of the world that takes its consumption very seriously, so if you like your feeding-time to be formal, or your fashion labels designer, you’ll find that, in Piemonte, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Do go/Don’t go
Every season has its own allure. This Alpine-fringe region is ideal for winter sports in January and February. After the heat of summer, October to December sees the wine and truffle harvest.
- Planes Milan Malpensa airport is just east of Piedmont | and easily reached by car. Turin-Caselle airport is to the west; Genoa | to the south | completes the triangle of accessible airports.
- Boats The ports of Savona-Vado and Genoa are linked by road and rail.
- Trains Turin is the capital of Piedmont, and gateway to other regions of Italy and abroad, particularly nearby France. For more info, go to www.trenitalia.com.
- Automobiles Take advantage of the efficient motorway and road network | and rent a car to explore. This is the birthplace of Fiat | after all.
- Taxis Towns have taxi ranks but you should book ahead in rural areas.