10 Day Piedmont Itinerary for Italy

I am really trying to push us to visit more new places. It’s not always easy because we have such great experiences. Establishing relationships with hotels and restaurants make it difficult not to go back to the same places. After planning and canceling several trips to Piedmont, we finally made it! And, it did not disappoint. One of the things I loved about the Piedmontese is how proud they were to be from the area. They will tell you it’s basically where Italy was founded, and you could feel their connection with the country and their communities. It was the perfect balance between rustic and comfortable, as well as urban and rural. Overall, I found our Piedmont itinerary really relaxing.

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Click here for the perfect 10 day Piedmont itinerary that combines Milan, Torino, and one of Italy's best wine regions!
The difference in the types of architecture that exist throughout Piedmont makes it a fascinating place to visit!

Getting to Piedmont

The great thing about Piedmont is that it’s pretty accessible via a variety of airports. You could fly into Milan and out of Torino if you didn’t want to backtrack. Obviously, there are plenty of direct and connecting flights to Milan. Air France flies into Torino. Torino and Milan are also well connected by train, so you could just rent a car for your time in the Piedmont wine country.

We opted to drive from Milan to La Morra to Torino and back to Milan. From there, we took a train to Florence for a few nights. That gave us a quick before before renting a car to visit Montalcino and Montefalco before flying home from Rome.

Journey of Doing - Piedmont by train itinerary
The Torino train station is beautiful and well-connected to Milan.

2 nights in Milan

In a lot of ways, Milan simply feels like a big city. While I’m glad that we went and we had a good experience, it was not my favorite stop on our Piedmont itinerary. We spent a lot of time exploring the city on foot to try and beat our jet lag.

Things to Do in Milan

Milan reminds me of a lot of European capital cities. It rewards the traveler who is patient and willing to peel back the layers. Obviously, there is world-class shopping in Milan, and if you stay in the city center, you will have every brand at your fingertips. That’s not how I choose to spend my time or money, but everyone has their own thing.

Journey of Doing - walking tour of Milan

How to See the Last Supper in Milan

If you want to see The Last Supper, you have to buy your tickets in advance. They let a limited people in for each time slot, very similar to the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. If you can’t find any availability through the website, you can sometimes book a Milan walking tour that includes the Last Supper. For us, this was the perfect way to see The Last Supper and introduce us to Milan.

We had an engaging guide, John-Luke, who met us at Santa Maria delle Grazie for an early viewing of The Last Supper. While we were waiting in the de-humidification chamber, he taught us what to look for in the fresco and understand different things that were significant. Once we finished viewing The Last Supper, he took us to see Bramante Sacristy, and we made our way through Milan’s monuments and museums. We walked through the Sforza Castle, the museum quarter, the Milano Duomo, and Galleria Vittoro Emanuele II. John-Luke made the tour approachable for everyone, regardless of their knowledge of Milan, Italian history, or art.

Journey of Doing - best way to see The Last Supper in Milan
Journey of Doing - Milan walking tour
Journey of Doing - things to see in Milan

Visit the Museums at Castello Sforzesco

With more time available after the tour, I recommended visiting the museum that interests you the most. There is truly something for everyone with the many museums housed on on the grounds of the Castello Sforzesco. You can find the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco (art museum with a lot of Italian masters), the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Egyptian Museum (though the best one is Torino), the Archaeological Museum, the Applied Arts Museum, the Antique Furniture & Museum, as well as some other smaller collections and museums.

Journey of Doing - Castello Sforzesco museums

See La Scala Opera House

I think La Scala was the greatest surprise in Milan to me. As a former ballet dancer, I’ve heard of La Scala, and I thought it would be as grand as La Fenice in Venice. From the outside La Scala doesn’t look like much. In fact, if John-Luke hadn’t pointed it out, we would have completely missed it. The inside is where it’s at. You can take a tour of the Milan’s famous opera house or get tickets to a performance. Milan offers opera, ballet, and concert performances at La Scala. I strongly recommend getting familiar with the calendar and the ticket sales dates. You’ll want to set up an account in advance. Tickets sell quickly when general sales open. It’s worth it though.

Take a Food Tour of Milan

Journey of Doing - Food Tours in Milan

If you ask the Milanese, they will tell you that Milano is the birthplace of apertivo. And, like every other region in Italy, Milan has their own food and drinks they are famous for. The best way to learn more about the apertivo is through a tour dedicated to the Milan apertivo experience. Milan is famous for the classic Negroni, which is a cocktail with gin, vermouth rosso, and Campari, and orange peel. You’ll also find the Aperol spritz, if Negroni in all its forms is too strong from you.

If apertivo hour isn’t your style, you can take food tour in Milan. Milan and the surrounding area is known for its hearty dishes, including ossobucco, cassoeula, cotoletta alla Milanese, polenta, and my favorite, risotto. It’s important to know that Milan has more Austrian and German influence on its cuisine than other areas in northern Italy. I love doing different food tours in the same city because you get to try different foods and wines and discover more places to eat in an area! What we found on menus in Milan was very different from what we found in Piedmont or Torino, so try as much as you can!

Where to Stay in Milan

We stayed at the Park Hyatt Milan for 2 nights, and I loved it. The location cannot be beat. It’s in the heart of Milan and within 2 minutes, you’re in front of the incredible Milano Duomo.

We stayed in a Park Executive suite with an interior courtyard view. It’s laid out similar to a junior suite, and much like the Park Hyatt Paris, there is not a dividing wall or door between the sitting area and the bed. I though the Park Hyatt Milan did a great job of making it feel more private though.

What I loved most about this room was the huge bathroom. We had a huge walk-in shower with great water pressure and a deep soaking tub. There was also a huge assortment of Lorezno Villoresi bath products. The Milano body scrub and the loofah were the perfect amenities to fight jet lag after a long flight. I loved that they replaced the bath salts each evening, and I definitely enjoyed taking a long soak each evening.

The Park Hyatt Milan has a nice spa area. I had a lovely deep tissue massage from Rosa at Aquavm. Tom and I both enjoyed relaxing in the jacuzzi after the massage, too. It’s a completely different vibe than the hotel, but it is very relaxing.

Journey of Doing - luxury hotels in Milan
While I was initially surprised by the chic decor at the Park Hyatt Milan, this room was incredibly comfortable for our short stay in Milan!
Journey of Doing - luxury hotels in Milan
Journey of Doing - Hyatt hotels in Milan
Journey of Doing - luxury hotels in Milan
Journey of Doing - luxury hotels in Milan
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Milan
Booking the Park Hyatt Milan with Prive or Virtuoso Perks:

As a Hyatt Globalist, I get upgrades, free breakfast, and additional amenities that made our stay perfect. If you’re interested in the same experience, please reach out to me for booking assistance. The Park Hyatt Milan participates in both Hyatt Prive and Virtuoso programs, which offer some of the following benefits:

  • Welcome amenity upon arrival
  • Complimentary breakfast at La Cupola
  • $100 Property credit
  • Priority for room upgrade, sometimes confirmable upon booking!
  • Early check-in & late check-out
Journey of Doing - Park Hyatt Milan globalist benefits
Journey of Doing - Park Hyatt Milan virtuoso benefits

3 nights in Piedmont Wine Region

The second stop on our Piedmont itinerary was at a wine resort near La Morra. If I’m being completely honest, the wines of Piedmont are what got us most excited about visiting this area. In fact, I had booked and cancelled a trip to Piedmont at least 3 times (because of conflicts). If there was a single new destination we were going to visit in Italy, it was going to be Piedmont.

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Barolo

Where to Stay in Piedmont

We stayed at Palas Cerequio, a wine Barolo wine resort in the heart of Piedmont. Palas Cerequio is a classic Italian wine resort with a series of traditional rooms in the original house, as well as some more modern rooms that offer balconies and views of the Barolo countryside. We stayed in the Cannubi suite, which was a corner room with a living room, bedroom, large bathroom with a soaking tub, a walk-in shower, and a en-suite steam room!

In addition to comfortable rooms and gorgeous views, Palas Cerequio offers an on-site restaurant (La Corte) that is absolutely incredible. We were able to try several regional specialities, including tajarin with salsiccia di Bra and plin al sugo d’arrosto. The entire meal was delicious.

Palas Cerequio offers a pool and you can rent bikes on property to explore the area. We also enjoyed a variety of wine tastings at Palas Cerequio, which included a selection of Michele Chiarlo wines, a Barolo vertical tasting, and a Barolo horizontal from different wineries in the area.

Journey of Doing - best wine resort in Piedmont Italy
Journey of Doing - best wine resort near Barolo Italy
Journey of Doing - best wine resort near Barbaresco Italy
Journey of Doing - Palas Cerequio wine resort
Journey of Doing - where to stay in Piedmont Italy
Journey of Doing - Piedmont resort
Journey of Doing - best Piedmont resort

Wine Tasting in PIedmont

In addition to the wine tastings we did at our wine resort, you can also make appointments to visit other wineries nearby. Palas Cerequio is an easy drive to some of the most famous wineries in Barolo. You do need appointments though.

You know I’m anti day trip, so if you’re going to visit the other villages, make sure you engaging locally. We really enjoyed was driving to the nearby villages and visiting their wine comunales for information about the specific area varietal and tastings. The comunales we visited on this trip were in La Morra, Barbaresco, and Barolo. We found the staff at the La Morra to be the most excited about sharing information with us. Many times they will carry most of the producers in that commune and the prices have no mark up.

Journey of Doing - visiting Barbaresco Italy
The Barbaresco wine commune is housed in deconsecrated church.
Wine Bars in Piedmont

The other thing we really enjoyed were wine bars. Without question, my favorite wine bar in Barbaresco was Nonsolovino. Not only were they the most friendly, but once they realized that we were excited to try things we didn’t already know – they were more than happy to make recommendations. Their charcuterie platters paired perfectly with the wines they recommended. We spent a lovely afternoon watching the world go by in one of the main squares of Barbaresco.

In Barolo, Vinicola 23 spent the most time with us, and we actually found some specific vineyards in Barolo that we really enjoyed. There is also the Wi Mu (Museo del Vino), which isn’t quite as large at Cite du Vin in Bordeaux, but still provides some great information about wine production!

Lastly, if you are looking for a comfortable restaurant with an extensive wine list and good food, head to Osteria More e Macine in La Morra. We loved this place so much that we went back a couple of times. The plin with lemon and lavender was unreal. The wine list covers the entirety of the Piedmont area and has small and large producers. I was really excited to find the Francesco Versio Barbaresco wines, which we had at Le George in Paris. (We didn’t find them find them at any wine shops, but I did find and buy them from Berry Bros when we spent a long weekend in London in May!)

Journey of Doing - best Barbaresco wine bars
Journey of Doing - best Barbaresco wine bars

3 nights in Torino

The third and final stop our Piedmont itinerary was Torino (Turin). Like all of our experiences in Piedmont, the drive was super easy. I first got excited about Torino by following Stacie Flinner’s adventures with Marta Scarampi. I loved the architecture and it felt very local. It surpassed all of our expectations with beautiful architecture, rich history, and delicious food. The people of Torino are proud. It’s where Italy (as we know it) started and they are quick to share its history with you. The city itself feels local and alive, not unlike Parma and Bologna. In many ways, it also reminded us of Padua and Verona. Torino is truly a lovely place to spend a few days.

Journey of Doing - visiting Torino Italy
This square in Torino is just as beautiful as Piazza San Marco in Venice, I think!

Where to Stay in Torino

One of the things that I found very challenging about Torino was figuring out where to stay. There are a few luxury hotels (which were sold out for our dates), and many chain hotels were further out than we wanted to be. We ended up booking a luxury apartment in the city center that was perfectly located on one of the main pedestrian streets. The location was exceptional for sightseeing.

This loft apartment was quite large and offered plenty of room for the two of us. Matteo was able to provide us with covered parking that was nearby which was much appreciated. (You will need to walk your luggage to the apartment from the garage.) The kitchen had all the amenities for cooking and plenty of workspace. You have a walk-in shower that can be used as a sauna in the bathroom, as well as plenty of room to get ready.

This apartment is perfect for a short stay in Torino. It is not super luxurious, but it’s comfortable enough. If you are looking for something more upscale, I recommend Principi di Piemonte (which is right across the street and offers perks when booking with a travel advisor like me!) or the Turin Palace Hotel.

Journey of Doing - what to do in Turin

Things to Do in Torino

Torino is another destination that is overlooked by guidebooks. None of Italy books had much to offer in terms of orienting ourselves to the area. (This is perplexing to me because it’s such an important place in Italy history.) There are several interesting and niche museums to visit, including one of the world’s most prominent Egyptian museums. The collection is so vast that I strongly recommend taking a tour. It’s a place where Egyptologists come to study. There is also the National Museum of Cinema, which is highly lauded for its collection and history.

Piedmont is known for breadsticks, chocolate (and chocolate with hazelnut!), specific Piedmontese pastas, vermouth, and bicerin. I strongly recommend taking a food tour in Turin to try a bit of everything.

If our schedule had lined up better, I would have visited the Marta Scarampi atelier. I own several of her capes and would love meet her in person!

Journey of Doing - what to see in Torino
Journey of Doing - what to do in Torino
Journey of Doing - food tour in Turin

Walking Tour of Torino

We booked a walking tour of Turin on our first full day in the city. Our guide was incredible. I strongly recommend this tour so that you can get a sense of why the city is laid out the way it is, learn more about how it became famous for certain specialities, and visit many of the city’s famous squares. She also provided us a lot of history about the Savoy family, who are very important to the area! (Have you ever about about the Savoie family in other area of Italy? I haven’t!)

One of the things that I was struck by is how many architectural elements there are in Torino. In many ways, it felt as if all my favorite cities had to come rest in a single city. Our guide was very helpful in explaining how that came to be and the influence that Torino has had elsewhere.

This tour also gave us a lot of information about the history of the Shroud of Turin, something we were hoping to see. Unfortunately, they don’t bring the shroud out very often, but should visit the church and chapel anyway.

Journey of Doing - things to do in Turin
Journey of Doing - things to see in Turin Italy
Did you know there’s a second Last Supper in Italy? This one is in Torino rather than Milan!

Southern Italy Influence on ToRino

One of the things that our tour guide explained is that the Savoy family maintained ties to Sicily and southern Italy. You can still see that southern Italy influence throughout the city. We particularly noticed this with cuisine. (You need reservations for most restaurants in Torino.)

On an evening when we wanted an easy dinner, we headed to Trappizzino. Trappizzino offers two items on its menu: suppli (also known as arancini) and trappizzino. Not only are suppli hard to find in northern Italy, but good suppli are more even more difficult to find. These are outstanding. Suppli are fried balls made of Carnaroli rice (the same rice used for risotto) and usually have a filling. I’m a bit of a purist. I love mozzarella and ragu, but Trappizzino makes a delicious amatriciana suppli. The trappizzino is essentially pizza sandwich with a delicious filling – my favorite was the polpetta al sugo. Trappizzino isn’t fancy, but it offers an extensive and delightful wine list, and the outdoor seating is lovely. (The bartender is also a true artisan.)

Journey of Doing - where to eat in Turin
This is one of my favorite meals with one of my favorite vintages of Brunello from Castiglion del Bosco! We definitely didn’t expect to find that in Piedmont!

Final Thoughts on Your Itinerary for Piedmont

I’ve always been a fan of pairing larger cities with small towns when I travel. Piedmont is no exception. Milan is a European capital city, for better or for worse, and it can be an easy point of entry for your Piedmont itinerary. Torino feels local, lively, and there is plenty to see and do. We barely scratched the surface with only 3 days in Turin. The real magic for me, however, was in the countryside of Piedmont. Barolo and Palas Cerequio feels more rustic than Tuscany. It’s not to say that Barolo is undiscovered. It’s not and the wine prices reflect that. However, the wine resorts, the restaurants, and the people we met felt closer to the ground. The feeling reminded me a lot of places we’ve stayed in Umbria.

I don’t like the word authentic because I think you can find authenticity anywhere. I believe the beaten path is beaten for a reason and its up to you to find the magic everywhere you go. If Umbria’s the green heart of Italy, perhaps Piedmont is the beating heart of Italy. We encountered so many people who proud to be Italian and share so much of their history with us during our trip to Piedmont.

I already have more wine resorts in Piedmont saved for future travels. One of the trips we cancelled previously was during the Alba white truffle festival, and if I had to guess, I’d say that would be the next Piedmont itinerary that I’ll be putting together. I have a sneaking suspicion that the countryside is beautiful in the fall.

As with everywhere, it’s impossible to not want to go back immediately… but the world awaits.

Journey of Doing - Torino Italy at night

Follow along with Sara!

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