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Italy, Piedmont from above
Tourists in search of nature, culture, art, and history need look no further than Piedmont in the northwest of Italy. The Alps, Switzerland, and France are located on its borders, which contributes to its varied and mountainous geography. Alpine tourism is important to the region and ski resorts are ever present. In the summer, walking, trekking, and horseback riding are popular activities. For those seeking health and relaxation, visitors can go to the Lake District’s famous spa resorts. Turin, the metropolitan area, and its highland countryside have an abundance of museums, Savoy residences, castles, abbeys, and medieval towns.
Most visitors to Piedmont stay either in the Lake District or the metropolitan area of Turin. The Lake District is Piedmont’s “Riviera” and can be a place for relaxation in the spa resorts lining the shores of Lake Maggiore or invigorating sports such as canoeing, windsurfing, sailing, and golf. Turin and the surrounding countryside are the second most popular destinations where tourists can find medieval villages, ancient castles, vineyards, and fruit orchards. For adventurous visitors, stay near the Alps at the ski resorts or embark on a trekking trip, which offers accommodations for its participants.
Many visitors to Piedmont start in Turin, which is known as the home of the Shroud of Turin. It has many important museums, churches, palaces, parks, piazzas, and gardens. Sites in Turin include the Museo Egizio, the second most important Egyptian Museum in the world; the UNESCO World Heritage site, Reggia di Venaria Palace; Piazza Castello; Palazzo Madama and Palazzo Reale; and Sacri Monti or Sacred Mountains, groups of castles spread over the mountaintops. Turin is also home to the Fiat automobile company for all those auto lovers out there.
The surrounding countryside is populated with medieval villages, abbeys, ancient castles, and an abundance of vineyards and fruit orchards. Take a tour and taste the wine at the Marchesi di Barolo winery.
Piedmont’s Lake District includes the lake of Orta and the western half of Lake Maggiore. Enjoy water sports, the trails around the lake, beautiful gardens, spa resorts, villas, and fishing villages.
Completely surrounded by the Alps, Piedmont has many ski resorts for all ability levels. These resorts offer exciting options such as downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, nighttime skiing, ice-skating, ice climbing and dog sledding with Siberian Huskies. In the summer, trekking on the hiking trails is an invigorating activity.
Piedmont has made major contributions to Italian wine and cuisine. The vineyards around Piedmont have produced excellent wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto and Moscato D’Asti. Among the food specialties are white truffle, cheese and cold meats, grissini or breadsticks, gelato from Grom, and bicerin, a mixture of coffee, hot chocolate, and foamy milk. Piedmont is also home to the Slow Food movement. Enjoy the outdoor markets and shop for local specialties.
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