For many local Italians the Piedmont region, located in northwest Italy, just over the Swiss border, is known as: “The new undiscovered Tuscany!...
The selection of royal residences and particularly valuable castles, where you can organize a tailor-made vacation, is particularly high in Piedmont.
Before Italian unification in the 19th century, the country was governed by many small principalities. Piedmont was home to a number of historically significant families, most notably the House of Savoy, and so the region boasts some truly majestic architecture and an immense “treasure” of medieval castles, towers, forts and churches: a heritage of history and monuments that makes the region all the more exceptional and unique.
“From turreted medieval castles to ostentatious Baroque palaces, here you take a long step back in time.”
Out in the countryside, among the vineyards, the region is covered with hundreds of small churches, votive chapels housing sculptures and paintings from centuries past.
Other historical testimonies are the ciabot or casot, typical red brick cottages used by farmers to store their utensils or rest from their labours among the vine rows. These ciabot, combined with the traditional farmhouses give to Piedmont’s landscape its distinctive appearance.
Here is a list of some of the most beautiful places not to be missed in Piedmont:
- The Castle of Grinzane Cavour. It’s the Castle of Count Cavour, the late first Prime Minister of Italy. It became his primary recidency and he established a beautiful vineyard.
- The Castle of Serralunga d’Alba. Built around 1340 and 1357, it represents a unique example in Italy for its architectural structure, because it is a French Donjon. It had an important role in the control of the local productive activities.
- The Castle of Rocca Grimalda. It’s characterized by an imposing five-storey circular tower. In the 18th century, after a series of owners, it was transformed into a noble residency by the Grimaldi family.
- The Castle and park of Masino. Immersed within extensive grounds, this is the sumptuous residence of one of the most illustrious Piedmontese families, descended from Arduin of Ivrea, the first King of Italy; a thousand years of history through beautifully furnished and frescoed rooms.
- Venaria Reale. This magnificent Baroque estate built in the 1600s for Duke Carlo Emanuele II of Savoy, is considered ‘Turin’s Versaille’. The royal palace extends over an area of 80,000 sq. metres (861,113 sq. feet) and has extensive grounds and gardens.
- The Tower of Murazzano. This ancient tower stands on a hilltop in a beautiful public garden which offers a wonderful view on the surrounding landscape.
- The Tower of Barbaresco. It has a square plan with a side length of 9 metres and it is thirty-six metres high; up to the lower half the walls are three metres thick.
- The Castle of Barolo. Built in the centre of Barolo town, where the homonym wine was born. Today, it hosts the Wine Museum (Wi.Mu.) and the Regional Wine cellar of Barolo Producers.
- The Madama Palace. Located in the heart of the historic center of Turin and was so admired by Napoleon that he made it his Turin residence. The main palace structure dates from 1003 but the stunning façade was added by leading Baroque architect Filippo Juvarra in 1718.
Are you ready to see these incredible masterpieces with your own eyes?