This is a list of charming towns in Piemonte: Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Cuneo, Novara, Vercelli and Verbania. Each one is particular and has its own history, which could be discovered by walking, visiting the museums or simply by admiring the skyline at sunset.

Alessandria is the capital of Lower Monferrato

Its Baroque buildings, impressive squares, arcades, streets and shops give Alessandria a typically Piedmontese air, in the heart of a territory that already breathes the air of Liguria in its art, dialects and cuisine. The Cittadella is the symbol of the city situated on the left bank of the river Tanaro. This huge hexagonal fortress designed and built by Giuseppe Bertola in 1733-45 for the House of Savoy is a unique monumental masterpiece of military architecture in Europe. Piazza della Libertà is overlooked by the eighteenth-century Palazzo Municipale (Town Hall known as "Palazzo Rosso), the Baroque-style Palazzo Ghilini (current seat of the Prefecture and the Province) and Palazzo delle Poste e Telegrafi, which features the mosaic of the futurist artist Gino Severini on the façade. The Cathedral dedicated to Saints Pietro and Marco preserves the statues of the patron of the 24 cities of Lombard League. The medieval Church of Santa Maria di Castello has a beautiful Gothic-Renaissance physiognomy. In the Museo Civico and the Pinacoteca gallery we can find the series of 15 frescoes inspired by the exploits of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, among the oldest testimonies of the "Lanzaloti room" preserved up to the present day. Find out more on

Asti, Palio and spumante

Asti, which is situated on the Borbore stream, used to be an ancient Roman settlement called Hasta Pompeia. The Palio, a spectacular medieval re-enactment takes place there every year in the first half of September. Its admirable artistic heritage ranges from Romanesque to Baroque, with the elegant profile of sacred buildings and noble palaces, such as Palazzo Mazzetti, seat of the Civic Art Gallery and exhibition venue, Palazzo Ottolenghi, (seat of the Risorgimento Museum) and Palazzo Alfieri, birthplace of the count and artist Vittorio Alfieri. You can admire the charming UNESCO vineyard hills of Monferrato Astigiano just outside the town. Meanwhile the nearby town of Canelli is characterised by the "Underground Cathedrals": historic cellars dug into the sixteenth and nineteenth century limestone tuff that hold fine wines and sparkling wines to enrich tables around the world. Find out more on

Biella is a UNESCO Creative City, 'Italy's Manchester

Textile tradition, nature and contemporary art are the most evident characteristics of Biella and its territory. This is a town in the heart of the district that Camillo Benso the Count of Cavour called the "Italian Manchester", embraced by the Zegna Oasi and the Burcina Park that date back to the 1700s. Its cultural and immaterial knowledge are jealously guarded and cultivated, and thanks to which, Biella became part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network in the "Crafts & Folk Art" category for crafts and popular arts in 2019. Its creativity and passion for wool and cashmere is harmonised with the contemporary art in Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto, a centre open to classes, exhibitions, conferences and other events. It is based in the former and historic Trombetta Wool Mill, today a complex of industrial archaeology. Situated in the upper part is Piazzo, the historical core of Biella, with its medieval buildings of Palazzo della Cisterna and Casa dei Teccio with its beautiful Gothic portico and elegant arcades; the homonymous Romanesque-Gothic style church and the noble 16th century Palazzo Gromo di Ternengo, which was completely restored in neo-romantic style in the 19th century stand out in the small square of San Giacomo.  In Corso del Piazzo, the main arterial road, you can find the ancient Palazzo La Marmora. Find out more on

Cuneo, the heart of the "granda" province

Cuneo is a capital of the fourth largest Italian province where six valleys between Liguria and France come together. Here in Cuneo, you can admire the seventeenth-century Cathedral of Santa Maria del Bosco with the wonderful altarpiece by Andrea Pozzo, which overlooks the main street - Via Roma - bordered by arcades; the church of Santa Chiara, with its sinuous curvilinear façade; Palazzo Audifreddi, with its beautiful red brick austere façade, and the church dedicated to the patron saint of Milan, Sant'Ambrogio, a reminder of the devotion of a group of Milanese citizens who rushed to help Cuneo in 1230 for its reconstruction, after the cruel assault of the Marquis of Saluzzo. Contrada Mondovì, with its low arcades, was in ancient times one of the most important mandatory passageways to the city across the Gesso river. Here we discover the fifteenth-century synagogue, the fulcrum of the ancient ghetto, palaces and sacred buildings such as the church of San Sebastiano that tell us about the urban evolution of the area. Piazza Duccio Galimberti, with its surprising dimensions is the meeting point between ancient and modern and it is surrounded by shops, restaurants and cafés which are the city’s true institutions. Find out more at

Novara is a Baroque gem surrounded by plains and rice fields

The elegant, 121-metre-tall and highest brick dome in Europe of the Basilica of San Gaudenzio is Novara’s architectural landmark. The city is located between the Sesia and Ticino rivers, surrounded by plains and rice fields. It is to be discovered by walking in the medieval historic centre, among the squares surrounded by ancient arcades and  cobbled streets: from the early 4th-6th century Christian baptistery in the four-sided portico in front of the Cathedral, the defensive bulwarks and the monumental complex of Broletto (13th century), up to the Visconteo-Sforzesco Castle, the original 13th century tower-house, today an important cultural centre. The city is surrounded by a network of walking and cycling itineraries leading literally rom "Riso al Rosa" along the towpaths of the Cavour Canal, the great work of hydraulic engineering that connects the Po to the Ticino river, up to the sixteenth-century Villa Picchetta in Cameri and the Sforzesco Castle in Galliate. There is a succession of churches and monastic complexes on the roads along the rice fields and canals, such as the beautiful Abbey of San Nazario and Celso in San Nazzaro Sesia, up to the vineyards in the hills and cellars that preserve the precious Boca, Fara, Colline Novaresi and Sizzano DOC wines, along with Ghemme and Ghemme Riserva DOCG, a wine renowned since the time of Pliny the Elder. Find out more on

Verbania, gardens and amazing villas at the lake

The best time to take a trip to astonishing Verbania is at the first signs of spring. The reason why the town was called "a garden at the lake" is because it overlooks the Borromean Gulf. Founded in 1939 by the merger of Intra and Pallanza, it has been the capital of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola since 1992 and is an elegant international holiday resort lying between Omegna on Lake Orta and Val Formazza in the north of Piemonte. The aristocratic villas and parks are among the major tourist attractions: Botanic Gardens of Villa Taranto - with its 1000 plants and about 20,000 varieties and species of botanical interest; Park of Villa San Remigio; Villa Giulia overlooking Isolino di San Giovanni (property of the Borromeo family), which was the favourite summer destination of maestro Arturo Toscanini. There is a monument placed on top of the Castagnola promontory next to Romanesque buildings such as the Madonna di Campagna church and the Oratory of San Remigio. Baroque style dominates the historic centre of Pallanza, where nowadays, Palazzo Viani Dugnani is one of the headquarters of the Museo del Paesaggio (Landscape Museum). A little more than ten kilometres away, you reach Stresa: from its shores you can enjoy the splendid view of the Borromeo Gulf with the small archipelago of the islands: Isola Madre, Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori. Find out more on

Vercelli, an ancient heart on the Via Francigena

Vercelli was an obligatory stop for pilgrims on the way from Canterbury to Rome in the Middle Ages and to date it is still an important hub of the Via Francigena. Vercelli became the European capital of rice and socio-economic workshop at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the centre of piazza Cavour there is a monument to Camillo Benso the Count of Cavour who was the first president of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy and creator of the Cavour Canal, the great innovation of the irrigation and rice cultivation system. Its frescoed porticos delimit the square, which is dominated by Torre dell’Angelo, a fifteenth-century tower house. Its remains recall the complex of civic and private towers that made Vercelli the only towered city in Piemonte. Its landmark is Basilica of Sant’Andrea, which celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2019. This is an early example of Italian Gothic architecture, the polychrome marble of which is inspired by Cistercian decorative models. Among the unique finds of the Museo del Tesoro del Duomo is the Vercelli Book: dating back to the end of the 10th century and written in Old English prose, it has contributed to the European reputation of the town over the last centuries. Among the remarkable sites are the monumental crucifix dating back to the year 1000 in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sant’Eusebio, and the church of San Cristoforo: the "Sistine Chapel of Vercelli" full of wonderful frescoes. The thirteenth-century Visconti Castle and the interesting Museo della Farmacia (Pharmacy Museum), which recounts two-hundred years of its history are to be seen. The former church of San Marco (the subject of a skilful architectural recovery) houses the "Arca" exhibition centre, which has seen important exhibitions organised with the Guggenheim Foundation. Find out more on