The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Piedmont

Photo of Mary Jane Dempsey
9 February 2017

Piedmont’s name originates from its location at the “mountains’ feet”, but this Italian region has much more to it that its scenery. With museums devoted to Ancient Egypt and the history of cinema, the capital city of Turin has become a destination for lovers of culture and history, while foodies delight in the local produce and specialties of the area’s restaurants.

Mole Antonelliana | ©RicciSpeziari / WikimediaCommons

National Cinema Museum

Cinema, Museum, Synagogue
Map View
Housed in the Mole Antonelliana, which was meant to be the Turin’s synagogue, the National Cinema Museum is the place to learn more about the history of film. With exhibitions explaining the origins and science of film making, to posters and retrospective videos, the museum is the perfect place for any film buff to enjoy the day. The museum is also home to one of the most beautiful views of the city: take the elevator the top and enjoy a birds eye view from 75m up.

Opening hours: Sun – Fri 9am – 8pm (Closed Tues), Sat 9am – 11pm

Egyptian Museum

Building, Museum
Map View
One of the largest collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, Turin’s Egyptian Museum has a number of exhibitions focussed on the ancient kingdom, including the Assemblea dei Rei, made up of statues of the New Kingdom kings, tombs of Kha and Merit, and the Papyrus Room. The museum also houses three different versions of the Book of the Dead, including the oldest known copy in the world. Though the Egyptian collection had always been in Turin, the museum’s building was redesigned by Dante Ferretti in honor of the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Opening hours: Mon 9am – 2pm; Tues – Sun 9am – 6.30pm


Historical Landmark
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Superga, one of the most prominent hills near Turin, is worth a visit not only for it’s interesting topography, but also its history. The hill is famous for the Basilica di Superga as well as the number of tombs of Savoy kings who were buried here. However, it’s also associated with tragedy, as it was the location of the Superga air disaster of 1949, when Turin’s entire football team died when their plane crashed into the Basilica.

Opening hours: Mon – Sun 9am – 12pm, 3 – 6pm

Fenestrelle Fortress

Just overlooking the town of Fenestrelle, Fenestrelle Fortress dates back to 1690 when French King Louis XIV was organizing his defenses during the Nine Years’ War. The fortress was ceded by the French with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and since then many armies have marched in and out of this edifice, before it was abandoned after the Second World War. However, in 1990, a number of volunteers decided to renovate it and open it to the public restored to some of its former glory.

Opening hours: Thurs – Mon 10am – 1pm, 2 – 5pm

Fenestrelle Fortress, Via del Forte 1, Fenestrelle TO, Italy, +39 0121 83600

Santuario of Vicoforte

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Sometimes known as the Santuario Regina Montis Egalis, Santuario of Vicoforte is found in Cuneo. It began life as a medieval sanctuary, and in the 16th century became a pilgrimage site after a huntsman accidentally shot a picture of the Madonna and Child, causing the painted Virgin to reportedly bleed. The increased popularity led to investment and reconstruction of the building and it’s well worth a visit for its interesting history and architecture (including the largest elliptical cupola in the world).

Opening hours: Everyday 7am – 12pm, 2.30 – 7pm


Italian café culture is famous, but visitors to Turin are in for a particular treat with bicerin. With famous fans such as Alexandre Dumas, this coffee beverage is worth a taste. It is made from espresso, chocolate and whole milk, prepared in three distinct layers. Though there is still debate as to which café created the drink, many contest the original comes from Caffè Fiorio.

Gianduiotti | ©Clop / WikimediaCommons


Piemontese culinary culture is famous for perfecting the art of chocolate, particularly in combination with the region’s native hazelnuts. Named after the character from the commedia dell’arte, ‘Gianduja’, the little chocolates are meant to be shaped like the character’s hat. The original chocolate was created in Turin by Paul Caffarel and Michele Prochet in 1865, when they came up with the clever idea of adding ground hazelnuts to the chocolate mix.

Murazzi001 | ©Francofranco56

Nightlife on the Murazzi

Somewhat surprisingly for sleepy Piedmont, The Murazzi area of Turin, on the banks of the Po River, is home to a bustling night life scene. Between Piazza Vittorio and Valentino Park, bars and pubs line the streets, offering everything from mixology to live music for eager night owls.

Murazzi, Murazzi del Po, 26, Torino, Italy, +39 392 288 3024

Cantina del Glicine

Wine Seller, Italian
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The vineyard at Cantina del Glicine has been welcoming visitors since 1980. The equipment and processes have been in use since the late 16th century, making it one of Barbaresco’s most historical significant producers. Owners Adriana Marzi and Roberto Bruno hold guided regular tours to educate the consumers about the locally produced wines. Head along to get a real taste of the region.

Juventus game

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The Turin soccer club, Juventus, is one of the oldest and most successful in Italy, having won 59 official titles. In fact, in 2009, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics named Juventus Italy’s best club and the second best of Europe. If in Turin, soccer fans should check out Juventus players in action at the team’s home stadium. Viva la Madama! By Mary Jane Dempsey

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