PIEDMONT REGION, ITALY
Piedmont Region is one of the 20 regions of Italy and has an area of 25,402 square kilometres (9,808 sq mi), and a population of about 4.6 million. The capital of Piedmont is the city Torino (Turin). The name Piedmont comes from medieval Latin Pedemontium or Pedemontis, meaning “at the foot of the mountains”.Piedmont lies in a peripheral position with respect to the rest of Italy but its relative proximity to the sea and contact with France and Switzerland have, over the centuries, led to the creation of an important commercial transit network which has favoured its present economic development. Most people whom visit Italy only see the vast urban centers of Torino.
PROVINCES OF THE PIEDMONT REGION
Monviso, the Piedmont side of Monte Rosa and the other spectacular mountains in the region, create incredibly beautiful landscapes. The Alps form the background for sweeping, picturesque valleys such as the Val di Susa, Valsesia and Val d'Ossola. The landscapes of the Langhe and Monferrato hilly,but just as beautiful, a succession of cultivated hills and vineyards that are dotted with small towns and castles. Expanses of water and rice paddies, long rows of poplars and old farmhouses make up the typical scenery of the plains around Novara and Vercelli. Lake Maggiore is the most sought-after tourist resort, including Stresa and the Borromean Islands, charming as they are with their ancient villas surrounded by beautiful lawns and gardens. Yet, nature is only one of the many attractions in Piedmont. This region has many other reasons to visit: from Turin – the Italian car manufacturing capital – with its history and remarkable cultural heritage, and cities such as Cherasco, Alba and Ivrea. Medieval castles - like the imposing fortress at Ivrea - and prized works of architecture - the famous Residences of the Royal House of Savoy and the Sacri Monti (Sacred Mountains).
Physical Profile of the Piedmont Region
Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including Monviso, where the Po rises, and Monte Rosa. It borders with France, Switzerland and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Aosta Valley and for a very small fragment with Emilia Romagna. The geography of Piedmont is 43.3% mountainous, along with extensive areas of hills (30.3%) and plains (26.4%). Piedmont is the second largest of Italy's 20 regions, after Sicily. It is broadly coincident with the upper part of the drainage basin of the river Po, which rises from the slopes of Monviso in the west of the region and is Italy’s largest river. The Po collects all the waters provided within the semicircle of mountains ( Alps and Apennines) which surround the region on three sides. From the highest peaks the land slopes down to hilly areas, (not always, though; sometimes there is a brusque transition from the mountains to the plains) and then to the upper, and then to the lower great Padan Plain. The boundary between the first and the second is characterised by risorgive springs, typical of the Padan Plain which supply fresh water both to the rivers and to a dense network of irrigation canals. The countryside is very diversified: from the rugged peaks of the massifs of Monte Rosa and of Gran Paradiso, to the damp rice paddies of Vercelli and Novara, from the gentle hillsides of the Langhe and of Montferrat to the plains. 7.6% of the entire territory is considered protected area. There are 56 different national or regional parks, one of the most famous is the Gran Paradiso National Park located between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley.
OUTDOOR RECREATION IN THE PIEDMONT REGION
- Rock Climb the Piedmont Region
- Bike Tour the Piedmont Region
- Hike/Walk the Piedmont Region
- SKI RESORTS IN THE PIEDMONT REGION
TOWNS OF THE PIEDMONT REGION
Alba – Home of Ferrero company (makers of Nutella), famous for truffles & wine, historic center ringed by ancient Roman walls
Asti – Important town in Piedmont wine region, historic city contained by medieval walls, Palio di Asti is Italy’s oldest palio race
Barolo – Very small town famous for its eponymous red wine
Acqui Terme – City with hot sulphur baths frequented by ancient Romans
Stresa – Popular tourist resort town on Lake Maggiore
Verbania – Largest town on Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore – Italy’s second-largest lake, part of the lake is in Switzerland’s Italian canton (Ticino)