I Love Touring Italy - Small Town Piedmont
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Depending on your interests, this beautiful area might be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food, and wash it down with fine local wine.
There are even some parts of Piedmont that haven't yet been discovered by tourists. This article presents "the rest of Piedmont", Piedmont outside Turin, the region's capital and largest city. A companion article presents Turin.
Piedmont means foot of the mountains, and that describes the area perfectly. A large part of the region is surrounded by hills and by mountains such as the Alps. While the setting is beautiful, don't expect a Mediterranean climate such as found in most of Italy. The Piedmont climate is continental; its summers are hot and its winters are cold, especially in the plains.
We'll start our tour of the Piedmont at Stupinigi just west of Turin and go west to the Bardonecchia near the French border. Then we will head south and east to Alba and finally northeast to the city of Casale Monferrato near the Lombardy border.
Stupinigi, a village of about two hundred inhabitants a few miles southwest of Turin in central Piedmont is our first stop. The Palazzina di Caccia (Caccia Hunting Lodge) was built early in the Eighteenth Century. With its 137 rooms and 17 galleries, it is really something to see. It houses the Museo d'Arte e Ammobiliamento (Museum of Art and Decoration). The lodge is surrounded by the Parco Naturale di Stupinigi (Stupinigi Nature Preserve) with its collection of rare plants and animals.