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Last updated : Nov 2009
Piedmont - TravelPuppy.com
The densely populated Upper Po Basin, a vast area dotted with gargantuan factories and crisscrossed by motorways, is the site of Italy’s most important heavy industries. By contrast, the mountains to the west, on the border with France, are sparsely populated and have an economy based on agriculture and winter tourism and where the main ski resorts are including, Bardonecchia, Sansicario and Sestriere.

The wine region of Le Langhe offers a landscape of terraced vineyards, old hilltop towns and, owing to the small number of visitors, is nice and quiet as well as being a peaceful region to stay. The region produces several noted wines, the best known being the sweet, sparkling white, Asti Spumante, from Asti, and the bold red, Barolo, from Alba.


Turin (Torino) is the largest city in the region and the 4th largest in the country. During the early years of the 20th century, it was the automobile capital of the world. It was here that the Futurists became so excited with the potential of mechanised transport that they declared Time dead and henceforth, they naïvely declared, everything would be measured in terms of speed alone.

The city still remains the focus of Italy’s automobile industry. Fiat offer guided tours of their headquarters, where a full-scale test track may be found on the roof, while the Museo dell’Automobile (Automobile Museum), traces the history of the car on an international level.

Turin does, of course, add up to far more than an infatuation with the motor car. The inhabitants boast that, with its broad, tree-lined avenues flanked by tall, handsome townhouses, it is La Parigi d’Italia (the Italian Paris). Uptown Turin is centred on the main shopping street, Via Roma, which links the city’s favourite square, the Piazza San Carlo, with its most dramatic building, the Baroque Palazzo Madama, which houses the Museum of Ancient Art, one of several nationally important museums in the city, and the Egyptian Museum, the second largest in the world after Cairo. The famous Turin Shroud may be viewed at the 15th-century white marble Cathedral.