Planning a Piedmont itinerary is an excellent way to explore a gorgeous area of Northern Italy. Truly an Italian region off the beaten path, Piedmont is the perfect corner of Italy for anyone searching for breathtaking landscapes, a gastronomic paradise, and a richly deep history.
Best known for truffles, stunning alpine scenery, decadent chocolate, and wonderful wines Piedmont is a small slice of heaven in Northern Italy. While neighboring regions such as Lombardy and Genoa bring in more visitors yearly, spending 3, 4, or 5 days in Piedmont will give you a glimpse into one of Italy’s most bountiful corners of the simple pleasures of life.
Continue delving into this article to begin planning a blissful yet exciting time in the incredible Piedmont region of Italy.
How Many Days in Piedmont?
When deciding how many days to spend in Piedmont, it’s important to keep in mind that the region is vast, making it the second-largest region in Italy after Sicily. While spending time in the capital city of the region, Turin, is essential, it’s also important to get further into the region to understand Piedmont better.
If you’re short on time and can only plan your trip for a long weekend, 3 days in Piedmont at the minimum will allow you to dive into the heart of the region in the city of Turin, as well as head into one or two of the smaller towns to feel the heartbeat of Piedmont.
With 4 days in Piedmont, you’ll enjoy a more comprehensive experience in Italy’s second-largest region by exploring beyond the city and further into gastronomic towns such as Alba (which is also located very close to the Barbaresco and Barolo wine regions) and the UNESCO World Heritage wine region of Asti.
For those with 5 days in Piedmont, you’ll find ample time to delve deeper into the region’s treasures, allowing you to explore its charming towns, indulge in its renowned culinary delights, and immerse yourself further into its rich cultural heritage. If you’re a food and wine lover, then spending 5 days here is essential.
Getting To & Around Piedmont
The Piedmont region can be reached by either air, train, or car travel, making it accessible from other destinations in Italy as well as abroad.
The main international airport in Piedmont is the Turin-Caselle Airport, which has connections to major cities in Europe. The airport is located about 16 kilometers north-northwest of Turin city center and can easily be reached by shuttle bus or taxi in a short 30-minute journey.
If you’re visiting Piedmont from elsewhere in Italy, Piedmont is part of the extensive Italian train network, making the region reachable from just about anywhere in the country.
Turin is a major railway hub, with high-speed trains, linking it to other Italian cities. From Turin, you can easily reach various destinations within Piedmont. You can view train schedules here.
Bus transportation is also another option if you’re hoping to reach the Piedmont region by bus. Long-distance buses also provide transportation to Piedmont from other locations in Italy as well as other neighboring European countries. You can view bus schedules here.
Companies like FlixBus offer routes to major cities in the region such as Turin, but also to smaller towns such as Alba, and Asti. For a budget-friendly and convenient mode of travel, bus transportation is a great option to reach Piedmont.
In terms of getting around Piedmont, the region is well connected to the national train network, making it the cheapest and most convenient way to move around Piedmont.
Regional trains connect various towns and cities within Piedmont with low ticket costs, offering quick and convenient travel between just about anywhere in the region.
If you prefer to take advantage of public transportation in Piedmont but prefer to forego train transport, the region also has a well-developed bus network that connects various cities, towns, and rural areas. Although train transportation is cheaper and quicker, bus transport in Piedmont still offers a convenient and scenic way to make your way around this special region.
A Piedmont road trip is another unique and picturesque way to see the region. While some areas of Italy can be overwhelming to drive around and see by car, Piedmont is quite accessible and easy to get around by car, even in larger cities such as Turin.
A road trip around Piedmont gives you the ease and flexibility to see the region as well as enjoy the scenic countryside of Piedmont. If you need to rent a car for your trip, you can browse Rentalcars.com which compares prices across many major companies.
3, 4 or 5 Days in Piedmont Itinerary
Spending time in the Piedmont region is a must for any Italy aficionado searching for a unique adventure in one of its lesser-known regions.
On this Piedmont itinerary, you’ll first dive into the classic and historically rich city of Turin before spending time in other parts of the region to get a taste of Italy’s gastronomic belly.
Day 1 – Turin
The perfect place to begin any Piedmont itinerary is in the region’s capital city, Turin.
As the 4th largest city in Italy, Turin is steeped in history, culture, and a sense of elegance that’s unrivalled throughout the rest of the country. Turin is typically missed off of the main tourist itinerary for Italy, and it’s a shame as Turin is a captivating and culture-filled city.
While just the first day of this Piedmont itinerary will be spent in Turin, I recommend staying in different accommodations at the stops after Turin, although it is possible to stay in Turin for the entirety of the itinerary and make day trips to each destination.
Your first day in Turin and Piedmont begins in the city’s main square, Piazza Castello. Piazza Castello’s buildings date back centuries and represent various architectural styles and periods, giving a true grandeur to the square.
The square is lined with various museums, cafes, restaurants, theaters, and green spaces offering stunning views and a pleasant start to your visit to Piedmont. Enjoy a cappuccino at one of the surrounding cafes and prepare for your stay in vibrant Piedmont.
One of the most important buildings located in Piazza Castello is the Madama Palace.
The Madama Palace or “Palazzo Madama”, is a captivating historic building that showcases a fascinating blend of medieval and Renaissance architecture.
Originally a castle, it was transformed into a palace and now serves as the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art. While visiting the palace, make sure to admire its impressive facade, explore the museum’s diverse art collections, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Turin.
Turin Cathedral & the Holy Shroud
Turin Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, is another important religious landmark in the Piazza Castello area of Turin.
Home to the revered Shroud of Turin, the Turin Cathedral showcases a harmonious blend of architectural styles from Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical as well as beautiful stained glass windows.
If you’re keen to witness magnificent views of Turin, make sure to make your way up to the bell tower, or the “Campanile”, to witness outstanding panoramic views of the beautiful Italian city among the Alps.
Turin is home to many fascinating museums showcasing a wide range of arts and culture that are important to both Turin and Piedmont. With at least 8 major museums in the city and just one day, it’s hard to choose which museum to visit.
My personal recommendation is to spend at least a few hours at the Egyptian Museum, or “Museo Egizio”. The Egyptian Museum of Turin is one of the most important museums of ancient Egyptian art and archaeology in the world and easily one of the most treasured museums in Turin to locals.
The museum hosts over 30,000 exhibits and is truly a special spot to further discover ancient Egypt and its importance. It is also possible to book a skip-the-line guided tour here.
Among Turin’s many names to fame, one of the most known throughout Italy and internationally is the tradition of aperitivo.
The concept of aperitivo, meaning “to open,” emerged in the late 18th century and has since become a significant part of Italian culture, with its roots in Piedmont and Turin, specifically.
To wind down from your first day in Piedmont and day in buzzing Turin, make your way to a local spot to take part in this classic Italian ritual in its birthplace. The Gran Bar, located in Piazza Gran Madre di Dio is an ideal spot to enjoy a classic aperitivo in a scenic Torinese atmosphere.
You can opt for a cocktail or, if you’re interested, find yourself a glass of local Piedmont wine – such as a Barolo or Barbaresco (which are made from the red Nebbiolo grape) or a glass of Barbera or Dolcetto. Or, if you’re after something light and bubbly, Asti Spumante is never a bad idea!
Where to Stay in Turin
B&B Torino Arcuri – This centrally-located bed and breakfast is perfect for those looking for a mid-range option in Turin. They have a range of great rooms to choose from, an excellent location and a wonderful breakfast available. Click here to check availability
Corte Realdi Luxury Rooms – This hotel is perfect for those after a luxury option while in Turin. They have a range of gorgeous rooms to choose form along with a perfect location for exploring all Piedmont’s capital has to offer. Click here to check availability
Tomato Backpackers – Budget and solo travellers will love this hostel located in the centre of Turin. Offering both private rooms and dorm rooms, they also have great common areas and self-catering facilities. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Turin hotels!
Day 2 – Sacra di San Michele Day Trip
Sacra di San Michele
Located about 40 kilometers west of Turin above Mount Pirchiriano in the Val di Susa sits one of the most important symbolic monuments of Piedmont. The Sacra di San Michele is a beautifully majestic abbey nestled amidst the Italian Alps.
For your day trip to the Sacra di San Michele, start by taking a train from Turin Porta Susa or Turin Porta Nuova train stations to Avigliana. Trains depart regularly, and the journey takes around 20 minutes. You can also take a shuttle bus from Turin or go on an organised tour.
From Avigliana, you can either take a taxi or a local bus to Sacra di San Michele. If you’re enjoying this Piedmont itinerary as part of a Piedmont road trip, the drive from Turin to Sacra di San Michele takes just around 40 minutes amongst outstanding scenery.
San Michele Abbey
As you approach the hilltop abbey, marvel at its impressive Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with its grand facade and towering structure. Step inside to discover the abbey’s rich history, exploring the intricate frescoes, the serene cloister, and the ancient crypt.
Ascend to the terrace and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the Susa Valley and the surrounding mountains, providing a picturesque backdrop.
If you’re a keen hiker or find interest in nature, consider a hike along the scenic trails that surround Sacra di San Michele, immersing yourself in the natural, diverse beauty of the area.
After wandering through the unique 12th-century complex of San Michele, I suggest heading to the nearby village of Sant’Ambrogio for a walk around and a delicious traditional Piedmont meal to close out your day.
The village itself feels as if it’s stuck in time with picturesque corners and local, family-run shops on just about every corner, ready for a photo opportunity.
Day 3 – Alba
On day 3 of your time in Piedmont, you’ll make your way to Alba, a gastronomic paradise and one of the best cities in Piedmont to visit. Nestled in the heart of the Piedmont region, Alba is a charming Italian town surrounded by outstanding rolling hill scenery, known for its exquisite wines and truffles.
Explore its historic center, indulge in delicious local cuisine, enjoy some wine tastings, and immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of this foodie heaven.
If you’re spending 3 days in Piedmont, consider taking a day tour from Turin. You’ll find that Alba is an enchanting last stop and if you’re staying longer in the region, you’ll be further drawn to this rich and diverse region.
If you have the time, consider even making a stop in the beautiful hilltop town of La Morra while en route to Alba.
Truffle Hunting Tour
It’s not a trip to Alba without exploring the world of Alba truffles. Not to be confused with sweet chocolate truffles, here we’re of the umami-rich fungi dominating cuisine worldwide.
The town of Alba is renowned as the truffle capital of the world, particularly famous for its white truffles. A truffle hunting experience is an optimal way to head to the source of this prized fungi, offering a chance to join trained dogs and their handlers in the search for these treasures in the nearby Piedmont forests.
These tours typically begin on a truffle hunt locally and end with a tasting showcasing a variety of truffle products. There are also options such as this half-day tour that combines truffle hunting and Barolo Wine Tasting.
Alba Historic Center
During your time in Alba, make sure to spend time exploring the town’s enchanting historic center. The ancient streets of Alba’s historic center are filled with preserved medieval architecture, charming squares, and beautiful buildings give the opportunity to experience one of the most vibrant towns of Piedmont.
The town has a large number of artisanal shops with local specialties, including the world-famous Gianduja, a classic Piedmontese chocolate made from a combination of hazelnuts and chocolate, creating a smooth and creamy treat.
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
Located in the main square of the town, Piazza Duomo is the Alba Cathedral, or the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. The red-brick, neo-Gothic building stands watch over the town’s Piazza Risorgimento, making it a proud monument for the people of Alba.
To get a panoramic overview of Alba and its surrounding, rolling hill scenery, ascend the bell tower of the Alba Cathedral for near perfect views.
Dinner at Osteria dei Sognatori
Wrap up your day in charming Alba with a traditional Piedmontese meal at Osteria dei Sognatori located centrally in the town.
Piedmont is the home of the slow food movement, a sustainable and ethical approach to food, and a response to the fast food culture and the loss of traditional food practices, making a traditional Piedmont meal a necessity.
Osteria dei Sognatori’s menu is seasonal, with a changing menu depending on the time of year, guaranteeing an outstanding culinary experience in Piedmont.
Where to Stay in Alba
Voglia di Vino Locanda – This cool three-star hotel is an excellent base when staying in Alba. They have a great location in the center of the city along with an array of chic rooms to choose from. There is also an on-site restaurant and breakfast available in the mornings. Click here to check availability
Casa Soave B&B – This sustainable bed and breakfast is another fantastic option when basing yourself in beautiful Alba. Offering a range of clean and comfortable rooms, they have a perfect location for exploring the city and the surrounding area along with breakfast on offer each morning. Click here to check availability
Rivetto Suites – If you’d like to have your own space while visiting Alba and the Piedmont region, then these suites are a great option. They offer an array of flats, ranging in size, along with being in a great location and plenty of wonderful amenities for guests to enjoy. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Alba hotels!
Day 4 – Asti
Day 4 of your time in Piedmont will be spent in Asti, a city nestled between the hills of Monferrato and Langhe, and in the center of the Piedmont region and in the heart of wine country.
A small city with a wide array of things to do, see, and taste, Asti is the ideal city to enjoy the pleasures of Piedmont without the crowds of other, more populated, and visited spots.
Alfieri Palace & Piazza Vittorio Alfieri
Alfieri Palace and Piazza Vittorio Alfieri are iconic landmarks in Asti located in the center of the city. The Baroque-style Alfieri Palace is a stunning sight, highlighting intricate details and architectural beauty with strong importance to Asti, as home to Vittorio Alfieri, the renowned poet, and playwright.
The palace is filled with exhibits paying homage to the Italian literary treasure, along with various aspects of history regarding the palace and Asti itself. Across from the palace, Piazza Vittorio Alfieri is a vibrant square where locals and visitors gather to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere at the heart of Asti.
The Towers of Asti
Once known as the city of towers with around 125 towers at the end of the 17th century, Asti is now home to only 12 of these towers.
Today, the Towers of Asti, such as the Torre Rossa and Torre dei Comentini, stand as enduring symbols of the city’s historical significance. These towers were once used for defensive purposes, allowing residents to keep a watchful eye over the city.
While visiting Asti, you have the opportunity to explore these two towers and climb their steps to enjoy panoramic views of Asti and the surrounding rolling landscapes.
Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, also known as the Asti Cathedral, is a magnificent religious landmark in the heart of Asti and the main church of the city of Asti. This impressive cathedral stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and architectural powers not just in Piedmont, but elsewhere in Italy.
Dating back to the 4th century, the cathedral underwent numerous transformations and expansions over the centuries, resulting in a stunning blend of architectural styles you have the opportunity to witness today.
With an interior of grandeur with intricate artwork, emotional frescoes, and stained glass windows, visiting the Asti Cathedral offers a special experience and a deeper look into the history and fabric of Asti.
The Asti wine region, located in the picturesque Piedmont region, is internationally acclaimed for its exceptional wines, particularly its sparkling wine known as Asti Spumante.
To dive further into this important part of the Asti wine region, I highly recommend taking part in a delightful wine-tasting or wine tour to learn more and savor the region’s sweet gold, firsthand.
Asti offers a variety of wine tours that allow you to explore the region’s vineyards and wineries, and taste its internationally acclaimed wines. These tours provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich winemaking heritage of Asti and gain insights into the local wine culture.
Not only can you sample Asti Spumante while on a wine tour, but you can also sip a few other local Piedmont region wines such as Barbaresco and Barolo reds.
Wine tours typically include visits to local vineyards where you can witness the winemaking process firsthand. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through the vineyards, explaining the characteristics of the grape varieties grown in the region and giving tastes of the wines you’ve learned about.
Day 5 – Lake Maggiore
On your 5th and final day in the dynamic Piedmont region, you’ll head to one of Italy’s most beloved lake districts, Lake Maggiore.
Often forgotten in the hindsight of more popular Italian lakes such as Lake Como or Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore is a captivating combination of breathtaking views, elegant gardens, and charming islands located on the border between Italy and Switzerland.
Nestled on the western shore of Lake Maggiore, the town of Stresa is a lakeside gem that exudes charm and elegance with just a small number of tourists compared to other Italian lake resorts.
While in Stresa, spend time exploring the town’s beautiful lakeside promenade, lined with vibrant cafes, stylish boutiques, and peaceful surroundings. Immerse yourself in the relaxed atmosphere as you take in the panoramic views of the shimmering lake and surrounding mountains.
Stresa is also an ideal base if you plan on staying in the area longer to explore the enchanting Borromean Islands, just a short boat ride away.
Isola Bella, one of the Borromean Islands across from Stresa, is a captivating island that is known for its natural beauty, stunning architecture, and its exquisite Borromeo Palace and picturesque gardens. You can take a ferry to get here.
While on the Isola Bella, Explore the magnificent Borromeo Palace, a Baroque masterpiece that showcases ornate halls, elegant furnishings, and intricate artwork. Another highlight of Isola Bella is its stunning gardens.
Known as the “Italian Garden,” these terraced gardens are meticulously landscaped with an impressive collection of flowers, shrubs, and rare plants. While spending time wandering throughout the gardens, don’t miss the stunning “Staircase of the Hundred Steps,” which leads to the upper terraces, offering breathtaking views of Lake Maggiore from above.
Where to Stay on Lake Maggiore
Sempione Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel on the banks of Lake Maggiore is an excellent place to stay when visiting this lovely place. Located in the town of Stresa, they have a number of rooms to choose from, a delightful terrace to enjoy and plenty of other great amenities. Click here to check availability
Casa Divero – These cool apartments in Streso are an excellent option for those after self-catering accommodation and a bit more space when visiting Lake Maggiore. There are a few flats to choose from and all are fully furnished with everything you may need. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Lake Maggiore hotels!
Whether you’re spending 3 days in Piedmont or 5 days in Piedmont, you’re destined to discover that the Piedmont region is one of the richest regions in the country, with a culture as dense as its fertile land giving life to its truffles and wine.
Are you planning to visit the Piedmont region? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!