Piedmont offers every kind of landscape except the sea. In tact mountains make up more than 40 per cent of the region, the most westerly and extensive after Sicily. The Alps enclose the plain of the River Po on three sides, forming a sharp, majestic background.
In the central and south-east provinces of Novara and Vercelli as well as Alessandria, neatly geometric fields of rice and other crops are bordered with poplars. A good third of Piedmont is composed of the hills of the Langhe, Monferrato, Canavese, Turin and Ivrea areas. Continuous rolling hills and varied lines of vineyards are dotted with farmhouses and little villages, green meadows and woods. Sometimes they are sharpened by ridges and harsh river valleys, sometimes they are gentle, curved and open into poetic horizons of silhouettes of towers and castles in the distance. Between the mountains and the plain are the lakes – Orta, Maggiore and Verbano.
This geographical variety is unified by historical events that here more than elsewhere are linked to a royal house – that of Savoy, first lords of the region and then kings of Italy. This aristocratic self confidence may explain many aspects of the Piedmont region.
Attractions – of nature, culture, art and atmosphere – are all around. Very good food supported by remarkable wines completes an ancient, elegant tradition of welcoming visitors. Guests will discover this, whether they are staying in lovely rural homes amidst green countryside, in historic hotels in the heart of Turin, or in rustically elegant farmhouses between the dense vineyards of the Langhe or Monferrato area. They will find it too in late 19th-century villas overlooking gardens and enchanting views of a lake, in old family residences and religious houses converted into inns, or in chalets at the foot of the rocks and snow of Monte Rosa.