Piedmont historic and unusual hotels, dream locations for tours in pursuit of beauty
5 destinations for a dream stay in villas and stately homes in Piedmont
1. In Turin at the Hotel dei pittori
12 rooms have been created in an Art Nouveau villa dating back to 1897. You will walk on the carpets that cover the parquet floor, then, lying in bed, you can gaze at the stars through the floor-to-ceiling windows with wooden beams. The hues are soft and soothing, and the fabrics of the bed and curtains are sophisticated. From the little Savoy balcony and the terrace of the deluxe rooms you overlook the historic district of Borgo Vanchiglia, right next to the mediaeval city walls and bordered by the river Po and the Dora.
From the hotel you can walk to the main sights of Turin: the Mole Antonelliana, the Giardini Reali and Piazza Castello, as well as the lively Via Garibaldi and Via Roma.
The restaurant serves a wide range of local cuisine, dominated by Bagna Caoda, Tajarin and Agnolotti al sugo d'arrosto, as well as risottos. For the more international palate, there is chicken in teriyaki sauce and miso soup with clams.
2. In Alba at Palazzo Finati
The residence dates back to the early 19th century and has been restored according to a strict philological standard: just nine rooms, with original furnishings, of understated Piedmontese elegance. Breakfast is served in a room containing archaeological finds from the Roman era. Local contemporary artists also exhibit their works here.
You are right in the historic centre of Alba, a jewel of the Langhe to explore on foot, starting from here. You will soon reach the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, an imposing Gothic building, and the Baroque Church of the Maddalena.
This is one of the most gourmet villages in Italy, home of the prized white truffle. And just a stone's throw from Palazzo Finati is the famous Piazza Duomo restaurant headed by the multi-starred chef Enrico Crippa in collaboration with the Ceretto wine cellars. The rooms have an artistic feel, as do the dishes: innovative local cuisine of the highest level, on a par with the wine list.
3. In Asti at the Relais Cattedrale
As exclusive as it is unusual, the accommodation is housed in the 18th-century Palazzo Curbis di San Michele and has a highly eclectic style: antique furniture is juxtaposed with design and modern pieces, with some forays into furniture from distant lands. Guests can enjoy a terrace, a garden and a library room with a vinyl collection.
From the palace where you are staying, move on to the magnificent ones in the historical centre: Alfieri, Mazzetti and Ottolenghi. Wander around and admire the village's mediaeval architecture and towers, then step into the Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta.
For dining, you can explore the trattorias of Monferrato or take a break in the town, which gives its name to the famous sparkling wine. Try the Vitel tonnato (veal with tuna sauce), the meat dishes served raw, and don't forget to close with a hazelnut dessert.
4. In Alessandria at the Palazzo Paleologi
You are just outside the city, in a verdant setting of rolling hills. Period furniture decorates the rooms of the ancient palace, which also organises wine tours for guests.
Alessandria, the second largest city in Piedmont, is famous for its wealth of aristocratic residences, particularly clustered in Piazza della Libertà. The fortified citadel is perfectly intact, while the neoclassical cathedral houses valuable works of art.
Without leaving Palazzo Paleologi, you can book a table at the Ristorante Antico Monastero, located in a wing of the building. The interior boasts ancient fireplaces, while verandas and terraces overlook the greenery. If you love meat, choose a tagliata of Piedmontese Fassone beef.
5. In Biella at the Tenuta Il Giocco
This is a 17th-century villa surrounded by an immense park of 60,000 square metres, including a swimming pool. The interiors are stunning for the opulence of the furnishings, statues and paintings, vaulted ceilings and terracotta and wooden floors.
Biella is a five-minute drive away, and the first stop is Biella Piano, the oldest part of the city that clusters around the monumental Duomo.
You can dine at the Tenuta Il Giocco restaurant or in Biella, a city of many traditional products: among the cheeses are toma and beddu, while some typical desserts are canestrelli and turcetùn. The risotto with mallow is a speciality. When considering the wine list, do not hesitate to choose a Nebbiolo.
Piedmont is the ideal region if you want to combine breathtaking landscapes, food, nectar of the gods and history. Here, historic hotels, cities of art and villages of outstanding beauty are not only exceptional destinations, but destinations where you can rediscover yourself.