Piemonte – Territory
Piedmont is a predominantly mountainous region, surrounded by the Western Alps and the Ligurian Alps. Three peaks over 4,000 meters (Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and Monviso), many are over 3,000. The only plain is located near the border with Lombardy.
All rivers of the region are tributaries of the River Po, whose sources are in Piedmont, on the foothills of Monviso.
Three lakes: Lake Maggiore, which marks the border with Lombardy and penetrates in Switzerland, and two smaller lakes, Lake Orta and Lake Viverone.
The mountains of Piedmont and protected areas, including Gran Paradiso National Park and Val Grande National Park, are the perfect scenery for outdoor sports and snow activities. It’s no coincidence that in 2006 Piedmont has hosted the Winter Olympics and Sestrière, in Susa Valley, has been chosen as the site of the Ski World Cup.
Piedmont is also known for the production of hazelnuts and above all famous for its wines, in particular the red ones (barbera,barolo, barbaresco, nebbiolo). The panorama of some areas is a succession of vineyards and hazelnut groves and the Langhe- Monferrato-Roero has been named Unesco World Heritage Site
On the Piedmontese territory it is possible to organize wonderful walks and challenging hiking on the paths of Monviso. Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta are a good choice for practicing sailing, windsurfing, and canoeing.
Bike paths along the Po river and in the territory of Vercelli.
On the shore of Lake Maggiore, the majestic Villa Taranto in Verbania is surrounded by a huge botanical garden with blossoming azaleas. Arona is a charming tourist center dominated by the famous “San Carlone”, a large statue dedicated to St. Carlo Borromeo.
Other cities to visit are Novara, Biella, famous for its fine wool, and Vercelli, the undisputed capital of rice.
NATIONAL PARKS IN PIEMONTE:
The National Parks of Italy are natural areas of land, sea, river, or lake whose value is a well-preserved ecosystem. Thus their nature, together with their cultural, educational, or recreational values are protected by the Italian Government in order to be preserved for the future. Currently, in Italy there are 25 National Parks, covering an area of over 1,500,000 hectares (15,000 km²), about 6% of the Italian territory.
Gran Paradiso National Park
Grande Valley National Park
REGIONAL PARKS IN PIEMONTE:
The Italian Regional Parks are land, river, lake, and sea areas facing the coast. Their value is being like a system including the nature of the places, art, and cultural traditions of the local inhabitants. The Italian Regional Parks are more than 150 and cover an area of approximately 1million and 500,000 hectares.
Alta Valsesia Regional Park
Laghi di Avigliana Regional Park
Lagoni di Mercurago Regional Park
Bosco delle Sorti della Partecipanza di Trino Regional Park
Gran Bosco di Salbertrand Regional Park
Monte Fenera Regional Park
Sacro Monte di Crea Regional Park
Alta Valle Pesio and Tanaro Regional Park
Collina di Superga Regional Park
Val Troncea Regional Park
Ticino Valley Regional Park
Capanne di Marcarolo Regional Park
Lame del Sesia Regional Park
Rocchetta Tanaro Regional Park
Stupinigi Regional Park
Orsiera – Rocciavrè Regional Park
Colle del Lys Regional Park
Conca Cialancia Regional Park
Monte San Giorgio Regional Park
Monte Tre Denti – Freidour Regional Park
Alpe Veglia and Alpe Devero Regional Park
Alpi Marittime Regional Park
Lake Candia Regional Park
La Mandria Regional Park
Gesso and Stura
NATURE RESERVES IN PIEMONTE:
Nature Reserves, also called Protected Natural Areas or Natural Oasis, their mission is to maintain their “equilibrium” by conserving and increasing biodiversity. These areas are characterized by heterogeneous landscapes and they are home to different species of animals and plants. They are the animal’s shelter for reproduction. Hunting is prohibited. Actually Protected Natural Areas in Italy are more than 145
In the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola:
Monte Mottac Nature Reserve
Grande Valley Nature Reserve
UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE IN PIEMONTE:
Unesco Biosphere Reserves are areas representing important land, sea, coast ecosystems in which the conservation of its biodiversity is associated with the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of local communities. The worldwide network of Biosphere Reserves includes 669 reserves in 120 countries on five continents, of which 16 Biosphere Reserves in Italy
Valle del Ticino
UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS IN PIEMONTE:
Unesco global Geoparks are natural areas of particular geo-mining interest representing the 4,600 million-year history of Planet Earth and the geological events that have shaped it. Geoparks’ mission is to increase knowledge about the value of geo-diversity and to promote the conservation, tourism, and the popularization of the geological heritage. More than 100 Geoparks (Global Geoparks) are recognized worldwide in 33 countries, of which 69 in Europe. In Italy, there are 10 Unesco Geoparks.
WWF NATURE RESERVES IN PIEMONTE:
The WWF Oases are the first Italian network of protected areas managed by a private association. WWF activities in the Oases range from ecotourism to nature holidays, education, training, and environmental information programs. There are more than 100 WWF Oases in Italy, covering more than 30,000 hectares of land in 18 regions. They are visited by more than 500,000 people a year.
In the Province of Asti:
Bosco del Lago
Forteto della Luja
In other Provinces:
Baraggia di Bellinzago (Novara)
Cascina Bellezza (Torino)
Garzaia della Val Bormida (Alessandria)
Giardino Botanico di Oropa (Biella)
BLUE FLAGS IN PIEMONTE:
Blue Flag is an International recognition reserved for lakes or seaside tourist resorts that comply with sustainable land management criteria. The Blue Flag is awarded annually by the non-governmental and non-profit organization “Foundation for Environmental Education” (FEE). Only the localities whose waters have been excellent in the previous season can apply. In 2020, more than 195 municipalities and over 407 Italian beaches have been awarded “Blue Flag”.
In the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola:
Cannero Riviera – lido
Cannobio – spiaggia lido
ORANGE FLAGS IN PIEMONTE:
Orange Flag is a tourism-environmental quality mark awarded by the Italian Touring Club to small towns in the Italian inland (maximum 15,000 inhabitants) which stand out for their quality hospitality. The Orange Flag has been awarded to over 200 Italian municipalities.
In the Province of Cuneo:
In the Province of Turin:
In the Province of Verbano-Ciusio-Ossola:
Santa Maria Maggiore
In the Province of Vercelli:
In other Provinces:
Orta San Giulio (NO)