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.
Where to stay at a hotel in Piedmont?
Piedmont’s Wine Country & Lakes: Opulence within nature
© Relais Villa d'Amelia 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.
Turin: Old-timey luxury
© Grand Hotel Sitea A surprisingly happening music and contemporary art scene is just the beginning of this metropolitan wonderland. The innovative food and drink culture has boomed in the past years, making for an elegant dining experience on every one of your nights out. Straddling the River Po and crisscrossed with elegant boulevards, Turin has seen Roman rule, an era of renaissance after destruction in WWII, and is now home to an economic revival seen often in Italy. At a hotel in the city center, enjoy breakfast in the garden, an afternoon in the spa facilities, and sunset views of the diverse cityscape. Spend days pampering yourself with world-class shopping on the Via Roma mile and keeping your eyes peeled for evidence of Italian design in fashion and cars. The 16th-century Royal Palace of Turin offers guided tours of the grounds that shed light on its Baroque architecture and status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a family-friendly day, head to the informative Turin Egyptian Museum and the many other castles and palaces to get a taste of the layers of history that make this city so special.
Piedmont’s Mountains: Skiing and hiking in the Alps
© Hotel Cortese 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.
Good to know
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.