From trails that move through low-lying valleys to towering alpine hills that serve as tracks for the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, like Moncenisio or Finestre, Piedmont is a testing ground for those who love long climbs, which can easily rival the more famous counterparts of Stelvio, Mortirolo or Gavia.
A comprehensive exploration of this region on a road or mtb holiday allows you to nourish both sides of your soul – dividing your time between the mountainous military routes, complete with challenging and technical single tracks, and trails which wind through the hills of Montferrat and inside the alpine parks, surrounded by unspoilt nature. In fact, when you’ve finished with the mountains, this region gradually gives way to flat plains, though not immediately.
Piedmont offers more than that, though; it’s also known and appreciated around the world for its wine, forming part of the Langhe-Roero and Montferrat viticultural areas. These have received worldwide designation from UNESCO, along with the Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy and the Residenze Reali of Turin and Piedmont.
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Granfondo Sestriere Colle delle Finestre
In Sestriere, where cycling's greatest champions have written the most epic passages of the sport's history, a new challenge awaits. Named the GF Sestriere Colle delle Finestre, it promises a thrill that won't soon be forgotten.
The highest mountain biking competition in Europe, the Assietta Legend lives up to its title. It's also distinguished by its high-mountain landscape, on the watershed between the Susa Valley and Val Chisone.
A warm container is placed in the centre of the table, and the dish is eaten by dipping raw vegetables into it. A rustic dish, typically enjoyed in autumn.
Brasato al barolo
Brasato al barolo is a typical recipe in Piedmontese cuisine, consisting of meat cooked in barolo wine for many hours. This softens the meat; in the process, it also absorbs the flavours contained in the pan, including herbs, vegetables and, of course, the wine itself.
This traditional recipe calls for thighs or round steaks, which are covered in vinegar and water, as well as onions, cloves and herbs, and left to marinate for at least 12 hours. Vitello tonnato is served cold, after the meat is sliced and sprinkled with the cooking liquid and capers.
Small chocolates shaped like capsized ships and made from gianduia. Recognisable by the gold or silver wrapping in which they are usually found.
History & Culture
Piedmont is the westernmost region in Italy and the second largest in surface area. Visitors find plentiful attractions here, from landscapes and natural wonders to history. The range of landscapes spans the plains of Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli, painted with the verdant greens of fields and paddies, the hills of Astigiano and Canavese, not to mention Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore and the mountains that punctuate the borders between Switzerland and France, with their mythic peaks, such as Monte Rosa.
When it comes to sports, Piedmont is the land of Fausto Coppi, who was born in Castellania and lived in Novi Ligure for many years; here, you’ll find the fascinating Museum of Champions (Museo dei Campionissimi del ciclismo), where Costante Girardengo, another local resident, is also honoured. Thanks to its thriving economy, Piedmont has been the birthplace of many of Italy’s most notable brands, such as Fiat and Olivetti, which have been exported all over the world; it is also known for gold smithing in Valenza Po in the area of Alessandria.
Road tours in Piedmont
1 Bike hotel in Piedmont
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