At the foot of the majestic Alps, bordering France and Switzerland, the second-largest Italian region of Piedmont is known for its warm hospitality and laidback energy. Harmoniously integrated into the stunning mountain landscape are a suite of picturesque hotels: from historic-style accommodation to country house hotels, to lavish resorts with a romantic spirit. Whether a leisurely excursion on foot through verdant valleys or a demanding hike to the Monte Rosa Massif, an evening stroll through the wide boulevards of Turin or a dip in the still Lake Maggiore, Piedmont is best explored slowly and this exploration promises to be magical through and through.
Piedmont translates to “at the foot of the mountains”, of course referring to its idyllic location between the Alps and the Apennines. Brimming with sprawling vineyards and unspoiled countryside bliss, Northern Italy’s favorite wine country encourages nonstop pampering of all the senses. Known and loved for its refined character, hotels in the area pay serious attention to all that is beautiful, delicious, and luxurious. For total immersion into bucolic bliss, opt for a vineyard hotel in the south’s quiet hilltops or the north’s Alpine mountain landscapes. These spots are tucked away from any city hubbub, and come equipped with special Finish saunas and Turkish baths and in-house kitchens under the direction of award-winning chefs. If that’s not enough, Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore are some of Italy’s most visited destinations—if not for their outstanding natural beauty, then for the über-romantic hotels and resorts that line the shores. Within grand, historic facades, let yourself be pampered by the lake air and the warm hospitality offered by the hotel staff. For the actively-inclined, set off on hikes through the verdant countryside, bike rides in the hills, and swims in crystal-clear water.
Piedmont is bordered on three sides by the Alpine Chain, making it a total paradise for hikers and skiers. The Monte Rosa Massif provides a unique backdrop to every view in Piedmont, the Rosa referring to the peaks’ pink tint at sunrise and sunset. The second-tallest mountain in the Alps boasts 175 kilometers of slopes, first-rate ski resorts, and uncrowded valleys, covered in glimmering snow. The spa and mountain hotels provide ultimate luxury, tucking you into warm lobbies with fireplaces, or in the Alpine-chic comfort of your room. For mountain climbers and ambitious hikers, the Alps provide a myriad hiking trails through and up the impressive range, while easier paths take visitors on gentle slopes past untouched nature. Lush green and flowering Alpine meadows form a beautiful contrast with the surrounding gray cliffs, and hikers and bikers can enjoy wonderful vistas of the surrounding mountains along the way up winding trails. Try out the trail along the Belvedere Glacier for an unforgettable experience, or, opt for the Belvedere Chairlift that’ll take you right to the top. Turin, the 2006-home to the Winter Olympic Games, is surrounded by more great ski resorts that offer slopes of varying difficulty, perfect for family-oriented vacations.
Getting there: The most obvious way to come into Piedmont is via Turin, as it’s almost directly in the center of the region. From there, the best way to get to your hotel in the region or to explore the countryside is by renting a car. There are a series of pre-plotted scenic routes that compose the perfect road trip. If that’s not of interest, you can take trains from within the city of Turin through the countryside and to other cities.
The romantic vineyard hotel Albergo l'Ostelliere Villa Sparina Resort in Gavi is situated in a restored castle surrounded by vineyards. The hotel Canonica di Corteranzo in Murisengo also scores points with its view over the picturesque vineyards and the slow food philosophy of the hotel restaurant. In the Boutique Hotel Villa Fontana Relais Suite & Spa you can enjoy the view over the picturesque hills of Piedmont from the pool.
The Piedmont enchants with a varied landscape. Especially popular are the places directly on the lake, like Stresa at Lake Maggiore or the picturesque village Orta San Giulio at Lake Orta, which is often called the most romantic lake in Italy. For a city trip the capital Turin is the ideal place to visit; famous for its extraordinary cuisine and refined baroque architecture. The area Monferrato is known & appreciated for its vineyards and extensive hills and Alba attracts lovers of white truffles. In the Aosta Valley around the little village Courmayeur you can experience pure mountain idyll & even ski in winter.
Car: By car, holidaymakers travel to Italy via the Swiss A1 motorway through the St. Bernhard tunnel toll or the A2 through the Gotthard tunnel. The Switzerland vignette is mandatory. A toll is also charged in Italy.Aircraft: Turin has an airport, but only few airports in Germany have direct flights to it. Holidaymakers can reach hotels in Piedmont better via Milan Malpensa Airport, which is serviced by almost every German airport and has rental cars available for onward travel.
The best time to visit Piedmont is in spring and autumn, in summer the thermometer can rise up to 37 °C. The hotels in Piedmont on Lake Maggiore are ideal for summer holidays. The Aosta Valley near Mont Blanc is the most famous winter sports destination in Piedmont with guaranteed snow from January to March.