Primavera in Piemonte: Why You Should Visit Italy’s Glistening Mountain Region in Spring

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| Wed, 02/14/2024 - 08:14
Oasi Zegna in Piedmont
Oasi Zegna in Piedmont / Photo: Shutterstock

Early spring is a magical time in Piemonte (Piedmont). Gardens at the House of Savoy’s former royal residences around Turin or the Oasi Zegna in Biella and far beyond are blooming with color, and it’s an ideal season to explore the area’s vast vineyards through tastings and time with the winemakers. 

“Piedmont is a treasure trove of culinary, cultural, and natural wonders, ensuring an unforgettable journey for any traveler,” says Fabio Fasone, who for the last 40 years has shared the best of the region with visitors through the tour company Your Custom Journey

We chatted with Fasone to discover how you can plan your own Piedmont adventure this spring from Turin to lesser-known cities and villages.

Piedmont high points

Italy Magazine: What is your favorite thing about spring in Piedmont?

Fabio Fasone: The blossoming vineyards and landscapes in Piedmont are breathtaking all year round, especially in spring when they come to life. The lush greenery, blooming flowers, and the revitalization of nature create an enchanting environment that's hard to resist.

IM: For first-time visitors to the region, what are must-visit destinations?

FF: For newcomers, I always suggest the cities Turin and Alba, the countryside in Langhe and Roero, and the villages surrounded by vineyards in Barolo and Barbaresco. These locations offer a blend of history, gastronomy, and stunning panoramas. You can visit wineries and meet the winemakers at smaller vineyards to get a true taste of the region. 

IM: What should people know about Piedmont's dining and restaurant scene compared to the rest of Italy? 

FF: Piedmont has many rustic trattorie that focus on traditional recipes. These are rich dishes like agnolotti (filled pasta), tajarin (a thin pasta often served with a rabbit ragu), and Brasato al Barolo (roast beef in wine sauce). Meats are frequently paired with Barolo and Barbaresco wine sauces and most dishes area hearty and savory, even in the spring.

IM: Tell us about Torino; what are some of the best local spots?

FF: Quadrilatero Romano is a neighborhood known for its bars and cafés where you can try the region’s hot coffee drinks made with chocolate, such as a creamy bicerin. Monte dei Cappuccini, a hill that overlooks the city center, is one of the best places to see Turin’s skyline.  

IM: Piedmont is famous for having some of the best quality wines in Italy. What makes it such a special place for wine lovers?

FF: The unique terroir and dedication to winemaking traditions make Piedmont a paradise for wine enthusiasts with both small and large-scale producers. Along with private vineyard tours with the winemakers, in the fall travelers can also be part of the grape harves, helping to pluck grapes from the vine.

IM: Spring is around the corner, but we know fall is also an ideal time to visit and taste Alba’s famous white truffles. Where would you say are the best places to try them? 

FF: The Alba White Truffle Fair in autumn is an unparalleled experience. There are truffle hunting expeditions along with tastings and auctions for the most prized varieties. 

IM: Aside from truffles, what else is not to be missed as part of a culinary tour of Piedmont, especially for more seasonal dishes? 

FF: In the colder months, Piedmont delights foodies with hearty bagna cauda, a warm dip with vegetables and cheese that is a cousin of fondue. Spring brings fresh produce like asparagus. But wine tasting can of course happen any time of year.

About Your Custom Journey

Located in Venice, the staff at Your Custom Journey “simply love what they do,” says Fasone. Avid travelers, the company’s tour designers create customized itineraries based on their experiences. Travelers can visit the website or email to get started on building a custom tour.