Unexplored Piemonte: 7 Hidden Gems Near Turin, Alba, and Asti You Can’t Miss
Piemonte, nestled in the north-western corner of Italy, is often celebrated for its world-class wines and a rich culinary heritage that competes with any region across the globe. Yet, there’s so much more to this enchanting region. It hosts a bevy of lesser-known, but equally mesmerising attractions that often slip through the typical tourist itinerary. Let’s embark on a journey to discover seven such unique locations in Piemonte that deserve to be highlighted, and perhaps, cherished even more.
Discover the Hidden Treasures of Piedmont: A 3-Day Guided Tour
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty and hidden treasures of the Piedmont region in Italy with our exclusive three-day guided tour. Experience the vibrant mix of nature, history, and culture as we explore everything from majestic mountains to enchanting caves and from stunning waterfalls to tranquil lakes. This journey, designed to delight your senses, is perfect for those looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path Italian adventure.
Day 1 takes us to the heart of the Anzasca Valley for the Monte Rosa Trek in Vallanzasca. Witness the grandeur of Monte Rosa, Western Europe’s second highest peak, and learn about the valley’s fascinating history. Post this exhilarating trek, unwind as we drive you to the Grotte di Bossea. Marvel at this subterranean wonder, and uncover the secrets it holds.
Day 2 will sweep you away to the breathtaking landscapes of Val Formazza. Stand awestruck by the beauty of Cascata del Toce, the second highest waterfall in Europe, and explore the serene shores of Diga di Morasco. The emerald green lake, surrounded by towering mountains, promises a view you will cherish for a lifetime.
The final day brings history alive with a visit to the formidable Fort di Fenestrelle, Europe’s largest fortified structure. Traverse its ancient staircases and feel the echoes of the past. From there, we move on to the charming village of Usseaux, one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. End the day at the sacred Santuario di Oropa in Biella, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you can seek tranquility in its spiritual ambience.
Unexplored Piemonte: 7 Hidden Gems Near Turin, Alba, and Asti You Can’t Miss
Immerse yourself in the unexplored beauty of Piemonte, a region brimming with hidden gems and stunning landscapes. Away from the bustling cities of Turin, Alba, and Asti, discover captivating treks like the Monte Rosa trek in Vallanzasca, which offers enchanting vistas and the opportunity to explore the local wilderness. Venture into the depths of the Grotte di Bossea in Frabosa Soprana, a natural reserve that boasts a remarkable underground world complete with artistic installations, ancient stalactite formations, and the intriguing skeleton of a prehistoric bear.
Turn the pages of history as you explore the monumental Fort di Fenestrelle, the second-largest fortification in the world. Experience tranquility in the charming hamlet of Usseaux, adorned with vibrant murals and flowers. Recharge your spirit at the UNESCO-listed Santuario di Oropa in Biella, a unique architectural marvel dedicated to Madonna Nera. The natural spectacle of Cascata del Toce in Val Formazza, one of Europe’s highest waterfalls, and the enchanting Diga di Morasco, with its enthralling legend of a submerged town, complete this circuit of hidden treasures in Piemonte.
|Destination||Distance from Turin||Distance from Alba||Distance from Asti|
|Monte Rosa Trek, Vallanzasca||126 km (2h 40m)||170 km (2h 45m)||191 km (3h 10m)|
|Grotte di Bossea, Frabosa Soprana||124 km (2h)||59 km (1h 10m)||85 km (1h 35m)|
|Cascata del Toce, Val Formazza||170 km (3h 5m)||214 km (3h 10m)||236 km (3h 35m)|
|Diga di Morasco, Val Formazza||170 km (3h 5m)||214 km (3h 10m)||236 km (3h 35m)|
|Fort di Fenestrelle||80 km (1h 35m)||170 km (2h 15m)||141 km (2h 5m)|
|Usseaux||97 km (1h 45m)||187 km (2h 25m)||158 km (2h 15m)|
|Santuario di Oropa, Biella||89 km (1h 25m)||139 km (1h 50m)||102 km (1h 30m)|
1. The Enchanting Trek of Monte Rosa in Valle Anzasca:
Starting from Cuneo, the charming gateway to Valle Anzasca, you will embark on an unforgettable journey through the imposing Monte Rosa massif. The trek to the Zamboni Zappa Refuge is comfortable yet thrilling, revealing a breathtaking panorama where the Belvedere glacier once lay. Be prepared for unpredictable weather and ensure you’re well-equipped before setting off.
2. The Underground Wonders of Grotte di Bossea in Frabosa Soprana:
The Bossea Caves near Cuneo are not just a natural reserve, but a mesmerising art installation that transforms the underground world into a feast for the eyes. With about 3km of paths and around 650 steps, the journey through this mysterious underworld is nothing short of an adventure. One of the caves’ most fascinating features is a prehistoric bear skeleton, a testament to the site’s ancient history.
3. The Mighty Cascata del Toce in Val Formazza:
In the heart of Verbano Cusio, you will discover the Toce Waterfall, one of Europe’s highest and undoubtedly the most beautiful waterfall in the Alps. The vantage point from the wooden bridge offers a unique panorama of the waterfall and the surrounding valley. A short walk will bring you to the base of the waterfall, an immersive experience worth every step.
4. The Serene Morasco Dam:
The Morasco Dam, nestled in Val Formazza, paints a surreal landscape with its pristine lake, cocooned by the majestic mountains. According to a local legend, the lake hides a submerged town constructed by Ediso, adding an intriguing layer of mystery to the site.
5. The Impressive Fenestrelle Fort:
Fenestrelle Fort stands as the largest fortified structure in Europe and the second-largest brickwork construction in the world. This colossal defensive fortification on the Italian-French border beckons history and architecture enthusiasts. The highlight of your visit might just be the 4000-step stone staircase, a challenge as daunting as it is rewarding.
6. The Charming Village of Usseaux:
Recognised as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, Usseaux is a delightful hamlet adorned with vibrant flowers and captivating murals. Its quiet, cobblestone streets invite you to immerse yourself in its timeless charm.
7. The Spiritual Sanctuary of Oropa in Biella:
The Sanctuary of Oropa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an architectural marvel dedicated to the Black Madonna. After exploring the sanctuary’s distinctive three-level structure, take a cable car ride up to a panoramic viewpoint. A short walk will lead you to a picturesque lake, a serene spot to relax and reflect amid the awe-inspiring mountainous landscape.
5 INCREDIBLE places in PIEDMONT that you may NOT KNOW
Tour and Private Taxi Service Ideas:
- Hidden Gems of Piemonte Full-day Tour: Explore the less-traveled paths of Piemonte with an expert guide who can provide historical insights and ensure a memorable journey.
- Piemonte Private Taxi Service: A chauffeur service with local drivers knowledgeable about the region can make your trip more convenient and tailored to your interests. They can suggest hidden gems, local eateries, and lesser-known sights based on your preferences.
- Adventure and Spirituality in Piemonte: Combine outdoor adventures like trekking at Monte Rosa with serene spiritual experiences at Santuario di Oropa. Perfect for those seeking a balance of adventure and tranquility.
- Art and Nature Tour: A tour combining the artistic Grotte di Bossea and the charming murals of Usseaux, perfect for art and nature lovers.
- History and Legends of Piemonte Tour: Explore the historical Fort di Fenestrelle and hear the captivating legends surrounding the Diga di Morasco.
These offbeat attractions in Piemonte, each with its unique charm and character, bring you closer to the heart of the region. Far from the usual tourist hustle, these destinations allow you to experience Piemonte’s extraordinary natural beauty, intriguing history, and rich culture from an entirely fresh perspective. So the next time you find yourself in this beautiful corner of Italy, make sure to venture beyond the conventional path and explore the hidden gems that truly capture the essence of Piemonte.