Regional guide to Piemonte

1 May 2023
Written by The Italy Insider
Insider's Guide

An extraordinary heritage of art and history, culture and nature, characterises Piedmont, a region with a thousand faces, one more interesting than the other: cities of rare elegance, mountains that lend themselves to splendid skiing or walking, fascinating villages, hills that are among the best known in the world for their extraordinary wine production.

Truffle hunting

what to see


Ussolo in Valle Maira

If you are a cinema buff, you will find a perfect set for a film with a medieval setting in the Ussolo Valley. In fact, its particular charm has made it chosen as the location for two movies. The first one is from 2004 and is entitled Piròt, the second one is L’Aura Fai Son Vir (2005), awarded at several festivals.  The hamlet of Ussolo is undoubtedly the one that has retained most of its medieval village appearance: strolling through its streets you can pass covered passages, see rough stone walls and losa roofs. Also take some time to observe the village’s magnificent church dedicated to Saint Stephen and the impressive works of painter Giors Boneto. 

Valle Occitana in Provincia di Cuneo

Considered today a veritable paradise for lovers of hiking tourism, the Maira Valley, steeped in Occitan history and culture, astonishes with its dense network of trails that snake their way through secondary valleys and old hamlets, touching woods and lakes that tickle the feet of seemingly elusive rocks projected towards the sky. These valleys have remained inaccessible for a long time and have therefore developed their own characteristics in both language and traditions; proof of this is the Occitan language that the locals share. The Occitan tradition brings with it a range of popular music and dances and a long list of dishes with an authentic and distinct mountain flavour.

Lago Nero, Borgofranco d’Ivrea

Lago Nero is a small lake in the moraine hills of Ivrea located in the metropolitan city of Turin, in the municipality of Borgofranco d’Ivrea. An evocative path through the woods makes it the perfect place for an excursion, allowing the circumnavigation of the lake on foot or by mountain bike.

Isola di San Giulio 

Isola di San Giulio, Lago di Orta

On the shores of Lake Orta, in the province of Novara, there is one of Italy’s best kept secrets, a concentration of beauty that you absolutely must visit. It is the Island of San Giulio, located just opposite the beautiful Piedmontese village of Orta San Giulio, the perfect place for a trip out of town.  The island is beautiful but damned: according to legend, many years ago it was nothing more than a rock inhabited by snakes and monsters. In 390 Saint Julius landed there carried by his cloak and guided by his staff. It was here that the saint founded his church and turned the island into the centre of evangelisation for the entire region.  Strolling around the town, you will come across elegant villas that were once canonical houses and were conveniently named after saints. These include the ancient Villa Tallone, which hosts classical music concerts every year.

What to do

Museo Lavazza, Torino

Museo Lavazza

The Lavazza brand is an institution in Turin and throughout Italy.  At the entrance to its museum, each visitor will receive an interactive cup that will enable them to activate the installations, deepen their knowledge through multimedia materials, gather information and take souvenir photos. The museum tour starts at Casa Lavazza, an intimate and familiar space, where you can retrace the main stages that have marked the company’s more than 120-year history. You will then enter the La Fabbrica area (the space dedicated to the coffee production processes), the Piazza (where the coffee ritual is celebrated in a setting reminiscent of a typical Italian piazzetta of the 1960s), the Atelier (a unique space reminiscent of a film set with its images and installations) and the Universe (where you will find yourself in a 360° setting similar to the world of coffee, between the fantastic and the realistic). The museum tour cannot but end with Lavazza excellence: from classic coffee with single-origin blends to Lavazza Coffetails, the exclusive recipes of Coffee Design, born from the collaboration of the Lavazza Training Center with great international chefs.  WEBSITE

Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi

A long and majestic avenue, lined with farmsteads and stables, leads from Turin to the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, an architectural complex of extraordinary originality, topped by its iconic deer statue. The heart of the residence is the large and sumptuous oval hall, equipped with highly suggestive ‘concave-convex’ balconies. In the Palazzina, the decoration of the rooms is a hymn to refinement, and the rich furnishings in the Italian Rococo style, together with the precious materials, are evidence of the splendour of the court. WEBSITE

Reggia di Venaria

La Venaria Reale near Turin

The Venaria Reale is a magnificent complex on the outskirts of Turin with 80,000 square metres of monumental building and 60 hectares of garden, located next to the 17th-century Venaria Historical Centre. It is a masterpiece of architecture and landscape, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Reggia boasts some of the highest expressions of universal baroque: the enchanting setting of the Sala di Diana, the solemnity of the Galleria Grande and the Cappella di Sant’Uberto with the immense complex of the Scuderie Juvarriane, sumptuous decorations, and much more. WEBSITE

Castello & Parco di Racconigi

From the time of Carlo Alberto until the fall of the monarchy, the royal family spent their holidays in this imposing castle built by Guarini for the princes of Carignano and surrounded by a majestic park, the work of the garden architect Xavier Kurten and one of the most significant examples in Europe of the sensitivity for nature and landscape typical of Romanticism. Visiting the Castle of Racconigi today means not only reliving the splendour of the House of Savoy by admiring the original furnishings and the splendid collection of portraits, but also strolling through greenhouses and farmhouses and spotting the storks that nest in the park, an oasis of great natural interest. WEBSITE

Villa Ottolenghi garden

The Villa Ottolenghi park is a masterpiece by Piero Porcinai, which won first prize in the 2011 European Garden Award. It extends around the villa for 10,000 square metres and is rich in sculptural highlights, such as the elegant revolving benches carved in marble and the wrought iron details by the Ferrari Masters. Bounding the grassy carpet, which divides the two main buildings (the Villa and the Artists’ Studios) is the long ‘Promenade’ partially covered by an unusual pergola with a dominant wisteria that runs parallel to the road leading from Acqui to the Villa and then onwards. Opposite the façade leading to the house proper is the ‘Rock Garden’, which, conceived as a vertical development, in addition to having a decorative function serves as a privacy protection for the area occupied by the swimming pool. The fulcrum of the ensemble is the “Formal Garden”, consisting of a stone slab chessboard structure. At certain points of intersection, large terracotta pots containing lemon trees provide verticality. WEBSITE

Museo Egizio di Torino


The Egyptian Museum in Turin is the oldest Egyptian museum in the world. You got it right: founded almost 100 years ago, it is older even than the one in Cairo and the most famous in the world after it. No surprise, then, at the words of the famous French archaeologist Jean-François Champollion: ‘The road to Memphis and Thebes passes through Turin”. Exploring the rooms of the museum, you will feel as if you are in Ancient Egypt. You will be surrounded by sarcophaguses, mummies, canopic vases and many other artefacts of this ancient civilisation. In addition, this museum boasts an area dedicated to papyrus and hieroglyphics. WEBSITE

Museo Castello di Rivoli

The mission of the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea is to promote understanding of our age through art and culture, involving local and international audiences in order to encourage the social and civil growth of the territory in which it operates. In addition to collecting and exhibiting works of art, the Museum is a centre for creativity, research, education and cultural development. The Castello di Rivoli is also a point of reference for the art world, establishing for the first time in Italy the model of a museum dedicated to the contemporary. WEBSITE


The WIMU is still the most innovative wine museum in Italy and one of the most important in the world. It is located in the village of Barolo and is housed in a castle with a history stretching back thousands of years. It is the brainchild of François Confino, creator of exhibitions and museums all over the world, and offers an interactive and emotional journey into the world of wine, a product and producer of culture, capable of accompanying the evolution of entire civilisations, permeating artistic expressions and shaping the face of entire territories. WEBSITE

where to eat

haute cuisine

Piazza Duomo ad Alba  

Restaurant interiors. Ph. Letizia Cigliutti

In Piazza Duomo, the restaurant’s frescoed dining room and Enrico Crippa’s cuisine, characterised by the use of herbs grown in his own biodynamic garden, set the tone for a dance between elegance and authenticity. In this restaurant located in Alba, the sober and aesthetic cuisine will guide your palate, while your sight will be enraptured by works of great artistic creativity. WEBSITE

La Rei Natura, Il Boscareto Resort

Natural, from memory and minimal. These are the coordinates of the dishes of Chef Michelangelo Mammoliti, at the head of La Rei Natura, the Resort’s gourmet restaurant. Here you will find recipes that speak the language of nature and you will taste dishes that describe the sounds of the land and mingle with distant suggestions, collected around the world in a fifteen-year journey of knowledge. WEBSITE

Del Cambio, Torino

Where to eat in Piedmont Turin
Sala Risorgimento

Ristorante del Cambio reveals itself as a ‘timeless’ place, because since 5 October 1757 it has been cyclically renewing itself while remaining true to itself: Del Cambio is a place of worship, historically frequented by lovers of beauty and good food.  Here, chef Matteo Baronetto offers a menu that deeply respects the raw material, working it in the discovery of balance and contrasts. The à la carte and tasting menus present both traditional dishes and the chef’s own identity proposals in a sophisticated way. WEBSITE

Villa Crespi, lago d’orta

Where to eat in Piedmont, Antonino Cannavacciuolo
Villa Crespi

The beautiful and sumptuous Villa Crespi is home to the three-Michelin-starred restaurant of the famous Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo. Here his cuisine brings to mind two kinds of love: one is for the past, for the places that gave rise to his story; the other looks with gratitude at the land that welcomed him, the setting of his first fulfilled dreams. And so, Campania and Piedmont travel hand in hand, bringing to light the excellence of raw materials and fine wines, together with the flair of unforgettable combinations. WEBSITE

Condividere, Torino

Where to eat in Turin

Condividere is a Michelin-starred restaurant located in the Lavazza complex in Turin. It was inspired by Ferran Adrià, an international star of Catalan highest cuisine. The aim is to combine gastronomic excellence with the cheerfulness that characterises all-Italian dining. In a cosy, informal and urban environment, signature cuisine becomes fun for everyone so that through food people can exchange stories, experiences and knowledge. This place is more than a place for dining, it is a dreamlike setting, a cosy and colourful theatre of experience. WEBSITE

Fine dining

Bar Corona, San Sebastiano Curone

Established in 1702, the Corona bar restaurant in San Sebastiano Curone is the oldest active business in Piedmont. Over time, famous people such as Gabriele D’Annunzio, Fausto Coppi, Giulio Ricordi, the publisher of Verdi and Puccini, and General Cadorna have sat at its tables. A place worth a trip. Even two, or three, or more. WEBSITE

Trattorie & Bistrot

Cannavacciolo Cafè e Bistrot Novara 

Where to eat in Torino
Cannavacciuolo Caffè & Bistrot Novara

The idea of the Café & Bistrot in Novara, signed by the famous chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo, is to provide a perfect meeting point, capable of making people feel at ease, as if they were at home. Hence the choice of different chairs and tables in memory of moments of home conviviality. This place is articulated around a concept created to meet the needs of many: those who have time to dedicate to themselves to take a gastronomic journey in the Bistrot, under the banner of the quality of traditional Campania flavours, and those who need a quick lunch at an affordable price. WEBSITE


Cantina Monsordo, Alba

Where to wine taste in Langhe
Cantina Monsordo

Thanks to the creative ambition of the Ceretto family, in 2009 Tenuta Monsordo Bernardina became a modern space dedicated to wine tasting and sales, and to the promotion of meetings, conventions and cultural events. The highlight of the structure is the ‘Acino’ overlooking the Barolo vineyards, a transparent landscape-architecture that blends harmoniously into its surroundings. Their aim has always been to choose symbolic contexts in which to set works of art, which enhance the heritage of the territory. This, together with the inestimable value of their wines, is part of their desire to be ambassadors of the Langhe, where they always keep their feet firmly planted, and where they have the ambition to take everyone.  WEBSITE

where to sleep

Casa di Langa, langhe

Casa di Langa

Waking up surrounded by the gentle hills of Piedmont, with breathtaking views as far as the eye can see: all this is possible at Casa di Langa. The 39 rooms are designed to welcome guests in typical refined Italian simplicity. The soft tones of the natural environment are reflected in the richness of the fabrics and specially selected local materials. Each room has a cosy private terrace with a relaxation area and a bathroom with invigorating waterfall showers and relaxing Le Labo toiletries. WEBSITE

La Darbia, lago d’orta

where to sleep in Langhe
La Darbia
Where to sleep in Piedmont
Restaurant with a view

Overlooking the most romantic lake in the world, La Darbia is a venue that excites. It is a place with a family atmosphere, with a wonderful panorama and special features designed to make your holiday unforgettable, such as the breakfast basket with typical products left outside the door every morning. The complex is divided into two-room and three-room apartments, all different in shape, furnishings and character and all surrounded by greenery: the flats on the ground floor have a private garden with a portico, while those on the first floor have a charming panoramic terrace. WEBSITE

Le Marne, langhe

Where to sleep in Piedmont
Room with a view at Le Marne

The relais Le Marne is in the heart of Piedmont, between Langhe and Monferrato, in an area declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the territory of wine, truffles and the best hazelnuts in the world. A place where the evocative landscapes preserve a harmonious and indissoluble bond between nature, people and culture. Among the precious jewels of the Relais are 13 rooms, carefully designed in every detail, each one bearing the name of the work of art by which it is embellished. WEBSITE

Casa Fantini lake time, lago d’orta

Lounge at Casa Fantini

Casa Fantini/Lake Time is an exclusive concept hotel with a refined, contemporary design that dialogues harmoniously with the old buildings in the village of Pella. Here antique and modern merge with balanced elegance, preserving their own identities and languages. The rooms of Casa Fantini/Lake Time amplify the atmosphere of serene relaxation suggested by the lake. The garden and the lounge invite guests to stop and read a book, listen to music, take time out. The elegance of the eleven rooms is enhanced by the neutral tones of the furnishings; wood contrasts beautifully with chrome and glass, warming the interiors; from the terraces, a light trickle of wind enters and the light of the lake invades the spaces. The two suites of Casa Fantini/Lake Time entirely occupy the first and second floors of the old building. Wood, stone and contemporary design give the spacious rooms a sophisticated cosiness. WEBSITE

Arborina Relais, La Morra

Where the land is intertwined with castles, wineries and villages that smell of tradition, you will find the Arborina Relais, a boutique hotel nestled in the vineyards and overlooking the rolling hills of Barolo. The Arborina suites are designed to offer maximum comfort and allow guests to enjoy the breathtaking landscape of the Barolo valley, thanks to the panoramic windows in all the rooms. This space also features a food and wine LAB, the Osteria Arborina, which offers a unique and simple experience of emotions and memories to rediscover the true pleasure of dining. The careful choice of raw materials is combined with the genuine flavour of good cooking and bears witness to the link with the territory. WEBSITE

Relais San Maurizio

Relais San Maurizio stands in an ancient monastery dating back to the 17th century. It is a unique and magical place, where nature and man coexist harmoniously. Inside the structure lives the starred restaurant Origins Bistrot, which offers a journey through the local gastronomic tradition, to rediscover original and authentic recipes. All this is done following the philosophy of love for the essential and the discovery of authentic emotions. WEBSITE

Relais Poderi Einaudi, Dogliani

The Relais dei Poderi was, for a long time, the holiday residence of the Einaudi family and still retains the charm and intimacy of a private home in which to be received by friends, sip an excellent wine by the fireplace, have breakfast in the winter garden and relax with a dip in the swimming pool. And if work is the priority, the well-equipped meeting room is at guests’ disposal. The rooms, eight doubles and two suites with bathroom, TV and internet connection, are furnished with the original furniture of the house and offer an exceptional view of the rolling hills of the Langa, protected by the majestic crown of the Alps. For those who wish, it is possible to visit the adjacent Einaudi wine cellar, learning the secrets of vine cultivation and winemaking, with a series of tastings that will satisfy even the most demanding palates. WEBSITE

Villa Ottolenghi Wedekind, Acqui Terme

Guests at Villa Ottolenghi Wedekind can enjoy an absolutely out-of-the-ordinary experience living in Arturo and Herta’s rooms and discovering surprising details born from their passion for art and culture; such as the castings and chisels of the Ferrari blacksmiths and the woodwork of the house carpenters. Here they will be able to admire the green vineyards of Dominio BorgoMonterosso, visit the winery, the park, the gardens, the Patio della Bagnante with its elegant portico and visit the Temple decorated with a grandiose cycle of mosaics by Ferruccio Ferrazzi. All this with the services, comfort and attention to detail of an elegant and exclusive Relais. WEBSITE

Hotel Nordelaia, Cremolino

Situated in the UNESCO world heritage site of Montferrat, deep in Italy’s Piedmont wine country, the independent boutique hotel Nordelaia is a 12-room hotel set among five hectares of agricultural land planted with vineyards. The hotel, respectfully built around a farmhouse dating back to the year 800, has been transformed by British design studio These White Walls together with local architect Valerio Tunesi of Tunesi Studio Genova. The aim was to restore the building’s historical elements, as well as create a direct connection to the local nature and terroir. A striking three-tier structure houses the hotel’s restaurant, bar and events space, curated by Michelin-starred chef Andrea Ribaldone and resident chef Charles Pearce.  Suites, guest rooms and apartments have a distinctive modern aesthetic and highlight the heritage pieces present within the property. There is also a wellbeing area set in the vaults of the building opens up views across the valley of Montferrat, bringing the healing power of nature inside. Gastronomy, wine and experiences are inspired by the wine country’s distinctive local terroir and immerse travellers in nature, romance and tradition. WEBSITE

where to sleep in Langhe
Exteriors of Nordelaia

Laqua by the Lake, Pettenasco

Suites at Laqua by the Lake

“Casa al Lago” is the new the place to be on the shores of Lake Orta. Here, design, contact with water and nature come together in a private, secluded location overlooking Lake Orta. In the main body of the residence there are 16 flats and 2 penthouses. The design, by Primatesta Architecture Studio, is reminiscent of the surroundings and the use of the colours of nature and wood make the atmosphere serene and gentle; each apartment has a private kitchen, living room and outdoor terrace. The 2 penthouses also have a magnificent private jacuzzi with a view of the lake. In addition to the welcome area, which guarantees hotel services to guests, there is a large fitness and wellness area within the resort. The SPA philosophy places great emphasis on body care, with state-of-the-art anti-ageing technologies. During the days at the lake, the Beach Club is the ideal place for those who wish to experience contact with the water, without renouncing to an excellent personalised service; in fact, this is the perfect place for intimate, fun and exclusive moments of conviviality. Its large heated swimming pool is infinity-edge over the water of the lake and develops into a sunbathing area, with deckchairs, pieds dans l’eau. Live jazz music and a wide selection of cocktails, to be sipped at sunset, make the atmosphere magical. Unmissable is the proposal of tasty dishes created by Antonino Cannavacciuolo and linked to the local territory and traditions of the lake! Guests also have the opportunity to practice various water and wellness-related sports activities, such as wakeboarding or yoga lessons. WEBSITE

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