Insider's Guide: Piemonte


Arabella Smith, Programme Head, Europe, for Expressions Holidays (expressionsholidays.co.uk), which specialises in tailor-made luxury holidays in Italy and other destinations, is our guide this week to the Italian region of Piemonte.

1 Turin is renowned for its chocolate, in particular the gianduiotto, originally served only as a drink for privileged aristocrats. To sample some of Turin's finest chocolate, go to Peyrano (peyrano.com), on Corso Moncalieri, a family-run chocolatier where they make more than 80 types of the mouthwatering treat.

2 Sample a glass of glorious Barolo wine. Made from the nebbiolo grape, grown not only in Barolo but all over the hills surrounding the tiny village south-west of Alba. Try the Vincafé at via Emanuele 12 in Alba, a favourite with locals (open noon to midnight).

3 Visit Turin's L'Armeria Reale, at Piazza Castello 191, one of the most extensive collections of arms and armour in the world. Once the property of the House of Savoy, it opened to the public in 1837.

4 Arguably one of Italy's most spectacularly situated religious buildings, the Sacra di San Michele (sacradi sanmichele.com) perches above the town of Avigliana and hangs over a 3,280ft bluff. The Abbey was built on Monte Pirchiriano in the 11th century and once controlled 176 churches in Italy, France and Spain.

5 If you want to see the ultimate in regal and opulent living, the Palazzina di Caccia is a fine example of how the House of Savoy lived and entertained. You'll find it in Stupinigi, just 8km (5 miles) from Turin. This hunting lodge, set in fine gardens, was built in 1729 by the Baroque architect Filippo Juvarra.

6 Some of the most famous wine producers have only just begun to open their doors to the public. Ceretto, Marchesi di Barolo, and Oddero have opened walk-in tasting rooms and offer tours by reservation. Take your camera and snap the most perfect shot of Piemonte from the terrace at Marchesi di Barolo, the town's imposing casle, set against a backdrop of the Langhe's rolling vineyard-carpeted hillsides, is wine country in all its splendour.

7 The sophisticated town of Alba is famous for the elusive but exquisite white truffle, one of the world's most expensive foods. In honour of the start of truffle season, Alba hosts the annual Truffle Fair (fieradeltartufo .org), from 8 October to 13 November. The winner of the Truffle of the Year award is announced and there is a white truffle auction, too.

8 Take a boat from San Giulio to the island of San Giulio on Lake Orta to enjoy one of the region's most beautiful views. You'll also find the Basilica of San Giulio with its ancient frescoes, named after the fourth-century saint.

9 Limber up for the Lake Maggiore Marathon (lagomaggiormarathon.it) on 16 October, renowned as one of the most beautiful marathons in the world. Thousands will run from Avona to Verbania, going along the lakeside through the gorgeous town of Stresa, in the shadow of a stupendous mountainous backdrop.

10 Take a private boat transfer from Stresa to the Borromee island of Isola dei Pescatori and enjoy dinner at the Hotel and Restaurant Verbano (hotelverbano.it). Its unrivalled position looking out over Lake Maggiore and excellent reputation for local cuisine provides a perfect setting for dinner. There are even 12 stylish rooms for those wishing to stay to check the view over breakfast.

For more information, visit the website of Abtoi (Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy) at loveitaly.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
News
Tattoo enthusiast Cammy Stewart poses for a portrait during the Great British Tattoo Show
In picturesThe Great British Tattoo Show
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?