For a country navigable every inch in its reputation of being the Bel Paese, Italy indeed is a land as poetically beautiful as the phrase that alludes to it. In its enticing mild weather, rich cultural heritage and splendid natural endowment, this land of beauty is one of the most visited countries in the world. And why should it absolutely not be? In its many amazing cities that can inspire a montage of the most diverse shots, be it the famed waterways of Venice or the ancient vibe permeating the city of Rome that which also brings into celebrating the many ruins of this land seating in an aura still catering to it like in its heritage, as well in its mesmerising cultural encompassments that which obviously features the deliciousness of its many iconic foods ranging from pizzas and pastas to wine and cheese and of course its assortment of biscotti and breads and gelato, not to forget the luscious, luxurious sweet heaven called tiramisu, there are more than an umpteen number of reasons famous enough to make this gorgeous destination in Europe one of the most coveted of picks on the tourism radar.
But while Italy might be a haven of wondrous beauty and breathtaking stupor in any of its many explored towns and cities or its many ravings of art and culture and the like, the country is as stunning an exploration in the many parts that sum up its delightful whole. In each of the 20 regions that which makes up the picturesque landscape of the country, Italy is an abundant reservoir of natural beauty and grandeur, matched equally by its exploits of the manmade in heritage and the cultural. One such fascinating expanse of charm characterising the prettiness of Italy, both in its presence as an abode of natural bounty as well as a manifestation of what defines its character, happens to be the region of Piedmont, the second largest in the country. Exquisite in holding, elegantly staid yet defined also by such thrill evoked by its premises looking onto the spectacular, this land of the mountains that which spells out also its name in Italian is every inch a captivating discovery in each of the numerous elements that make it so ambiently poised much like the country in entirety. As also a region that borders two other equally gorgeous lands, the snowy terrains of Switzerland and the love steeped expanses of France, Piedmont is every inch a delight to decipher for the sense. The allure of the mighty majesty of Italy, compounded also by the proximity with two equally lauded international destinations, Piedmont reveals itself amply as a veritable beauty of every sephorous extent imaginable.
Distinguished also in its history, in being the unifying stronghold of Italy, Piedmont rests its place of pride in its capital city of Turin that which emerged to be briefly also the capital of Italy at one point of time. While Turin was succeeded by Florence and then by Rome as the capital, relegating also the institutional and administrative stature of Piedmont, the legacy persists to this day and in a manner most worthwhile of celebrating the exquisiteness exclusive to it. In providing the then nascent nation with its first prime minister and its dynastic royal family, Piedmont came to be the proud beholder of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, today recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one that endows the region with an identity unique to its own. In its historical as well as cultural stemmings that which now defines Piedmont’s existence as an Italian region rich in its inheritance, this system of Royal Residences make for one of the most important factors in the touristry scene of it, particularly in being exclusive only to Piedmont within the entire geography that makes up the breathtaking facade of Italy in its entirety.
It however isn’t just Piedmont’s dwellings in the times of the past that make it so significant a physical presence in Italy. The Piedmont of today is as steeped in its own offerings of repute, flamboyant enough to hold one and all in enthrall with the mere diversity of it. Cupped by the mighty Alps in the north, the very premises of Piedmont is one that come across as royal in the striking look of it. Yet, venture beyond the pride of its magnificent heritage and you will be as taken aback to discover a place as cosmopolitan in identity as possible. Known for its cherishing love of the football and the Fiat that which comes forth through the distinguished presence of Juventus F. C. as well as being the region where the Fiat Automobiles found root more than a century ago, Piedmont, and its capital of Turin in particular are undoubtedly global presences stemming from Italy.
But perhaps the most remarkable attribute that does up the identity of Piedmont is its dwelling in the culinary. Particularly in catering to the trademark Italian palate of cheeses and wines, the region is second to no other in the country. One of the greatest wine growing regions of Italy, Piedmont brings to the table some of the most flavorful of Italian wines. Interestingly, even the winemaking industry of Piedmont had been as important an element of the Italian unification, or Risorgimento, with a whole lot of prominent figures of the era owning vineyards there. Noted in the pages of history as early as in the 14th century, Piemonte wine today enjoys a prominence special to it. Most famous for the Barolo and Barbaresco, the range of intense wines native to the region lends Piedmont an identity that celebrates it as much in ‘spirit’ as in the richness of its history. No any less exhilarating is the region’s dwelling in its many cheeses that are of terrific quality, unsurprisingly though, bordering as Piedmont is of another of the cheese churning havens of France. Suited also in its geography as a mountainous region that which ensures the cattle reared here give milk rich enough to make the most exquisite tasting servings of cheese, Piedmont comes across also as much a gastronomical heaven as it is the traveler’s delight. A serving of luxury in all its appetising cheesiness and mulled intoxication no wonder elevates the Piedmont experience a few notches more.
But not just in its staples, Piedmont comes across as much of a delight also in its aromatic coffee lore. While coffee indeed is the maverick that makes for one of the best Italian desserts ever, the creamy decadence of the tiramisu, the cuppa of caffeine also is as much a cultural exploration of the country. And Piedmont’s claim to fame with this favorite beverage is once again a linking with its unification history. With the invention of the espresso machine attributed to Angelo Moriondo from the capital of Turin, the coffee shops in this historically distinguished city became the point of meeting for men in bowler hats to plan the Italian unification. In fact in being the Italian way to prepare coffee, espresso establishes Piedmont prominently as the region at the center of the coffee culture of the country that which itself has granted the ‘caffe’ terminology to the world of the much loved caffeine drink. Also, with Turin churning out its very own distinctive chocolate drink based on coffee, what the world relishes as bicerin today, it is easy to applaud once more the sinful assertion of Piedmont when it comes to experiences pertaining to the arousal of the sense of taste as well.
The coffee experience in Piedmont might be special, but what lends this region an almost unsurpassable claim to food distinction is its prized possession of its white truffles. One of the most expensive foods of the world, truffles are a specialty of the town of Alba in the region. In being in fact the truffle capital of the world, this indeed is one treasure you need to hunt out while treading across the picture perfect terrains of this Italian jaunt. Across its range of such exotic food trails therefore that which leads you on an euphoric journey in discovering some of the most exquisite namings in the epicurean world, Piedmont does indeed much in titillating each of the senses for a travel experience that is unparalleled and one of a kind.
Venturing off the food trail and persisting with pursuits more intrinsically touristry, it would be apt to do a roundup of also the most prominent tourist attractions that define Piedmont. On course indeed would be the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, but also featuring prominently in the lineup would be a number of such attractions that which includes the Forte di Fenestrelle and the adjoining Great Wall of Piedmont. Also serving your cravings for Egyptian history would be Museu Egizio in downtown Turin that which is distinctive in being the world’s first Egyptian museum outside of Egypt. Returning however to the glitter of the royalty, Piedmont offers a lot many options to discover the opulent wonders of the regal. Be it the many castles like the Castello di Camino, Castello di Belveglio, Castello di Rocca Grimalda, La Venaria Reale — the Versailles of Turin, or even a stroll through the many arches of Turin, a dive into the rich history of the land will leave you brimming with a host of experiences that shape up quite wholesome an experience of almost living the royal life.
But why just history embedded in aristocracy, an exploration of the cultural history of Italy is as much a possibility if you manage to squeeze in the National Museum of the Automobile in your itinerary as well. Beholding also the glory of nature and the wilderness as you hike and trek through the many national parks dotting the region will give you an experience of Piedmont that is worlds apart from the riches unearthed along its cultural and historical trails. Seeking out Truffle Festivals for a feel beyond the culinary reaches of it as well as losing yourself at the Grand Balon, the monthly flea market somewhere in Turin are other such experiences you need to be a part of to not mist out on the vast diversity of Piedmont in any of its encompassing elements. For a dive into adventure, a visit to the ski resort of Ala di Sutra is the best way to have your adrenaline levels up and gushing with excitement and thrill. And just for the record, as the host of the Winter Olympics way back in 2006, Piedmont offers also a range of other adventurous sports for you to seek out particularly in the beautiful valleys of Valle di Susa and Valle di Chisone. Seeking out instead the charming mountain hamlets quaintly embedded in this expanse of pristinity is also as feasible an option if you want to indulge your soul instead in some relaxation rather than having it soar high and up, hovering over the majestic range of the Alps.
Piedmont might be only one part of the kaleidoscopic landscape that makes up Italy in all its servings of rich and authentic history but the region sure is no less expansive a land to discover in all its charms as well. A trip to Piedmont would make for a travel experience that you don’t often encounter but once you do there is no way you would be returning from there the same again. In its exuberance as well as in its elegance, you lose a part of yourself but emerge all the more richer, soaking in every aspect of its being that which endows you with just so much to covet and rejoice. Piedmont indeed more than justifies Italy’s standing as the Bel Paese, enamoring with attributes that goes beyond a beauty merely visual to emerge as an experience that fully indulges the deepest extants of your soul.