Piedmont's most beautiful hamlets
Quaint locations designed on a human scale which boast harmonious juxtapositions of smells, lights and space. Piedmont is home to 17 of the “Most beautiful hamlets in Italy”, which have been chosen based on their history, art, culture, and environment, and for having maintained their authenticity and traditions.
The enchanted hamlets of the lakes
Orta San Giulio, located in the province of Novara, is enchanting thanks to its island and the Sacro Monte, located 400 metres from the lake shore, its slate roofs, the tall bell tower of its basilica, and its gardens. Vogogna is located in the Verbano area, between Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta, in the heart of the National Park of the Valgrande, in the most extensive wild area of Italy and nestled in the lush mountain landscape; its narrow streets, stone houses and wooden balconies convey a sense of magical stillness and it also boasts historic features, including the Viscount castle. The Candelo ricetto, near Biella, is one of very few fortified medieval structures in Piedmont to have been preserved. It was used as a shelter and food depot in the event of an attack.
The most beautiful hamlets of the Langhe and Monferrato
Monforte d’Alba, the heart of the UNESCO Vineyards Landscapes of Piedmont, boasts a beautiful historic medieval centre which has been celebrated and preserved for decades. Neive, a hamlet with elegant cotto palaces and narrow cobbled streets is known as the kingdom of the hazelnut. It is nestled between the vineyards of Barbaresco, Moscato d’Asti, Barbera and Dolcetto d'Alba.
Asti showcases its splendour between Cocconato and Mombaldone. The former is a scenic hamlet immersed in a lush green landscape; it is famous for Robiola cheese and it enjoys a "Monferrato Riviera" microclimate; the latter is a medieval gem with many details worth exploring. In the province of Alessandria: Volpedo, the home of Pellizza da Volpedo – the great artist who lived between the nineteenth and twentieth century – relies on the charm of its old farming traditions. It was awarded the Spiga Verde award for sustainable rural development. Garbagna is known for its vintage furniture and for the cultivation of the "Bella di Garbagna", the Slowfood cherry. Cella Monte lies on the hills of Barbera, Grignolino and Freisa, in the UNESCO wine making region; it is famous for its “Infernot” dug in the sandy stone and used to preserve the most exquisite bottles of wine.
Hamlets in the heart of the Alps
In Garessio, a hamlet located in Cuneo, you can already smell the scent of the sea: there is ample historic evidence of the past here, dozens of trails that traverse the maritime Alps, and a skiing station from which you can see the Gulf of Liguria. Located on different slopes at the foot of Monviso, Ostana and Chianale jealously preserve the Occitan language, traditions and architecture. Here you'll find many nature trails at high altitudes, while in Chianale, you'll find the Alevè, the most extensive forest of secular stone pines in the Alps. A few valleys further north you find Usseaux in Val Chisone. It is known as the "Hamlet of Murals" and it is composed of 5 Alpine villages and many refurbished buildings dating back to the eighteenth century: painted on walls you'll find the oven, the wash houses, the mills and the meridians. Ingria is a small municipality in the province of Turin. It lies in the Soana Valley, surrounded by the Gran Paradiso National Park, and features close to thirty mountain hamlets with typical stone-slab roofs (known as lòse) amidst woods and mountain streams. Rosazza lies in the area near Biella and is known as "the borgo dei misteri" (village of mysteries). With a population of just over one hundred, it has become famous for its 19th-century houses decorated with Masonic and Occult details and symbols designed by the village's most renowned and visionary citizen, Federico Rosazza Pistolet, a friend of Giuseppe Mazzini.