With 2006 Olympic Games Coming to Torino in Three Months, Piedmont Region is Must-See European Destination

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American travelers – for whom Torino and northwestern Italy is an unknown corner of Europe, often overlooked in favor of Paris, London and Rome – are in for a pleasant surprise. The Piedmont Region offers several world-class attractions: from outstanding ski slopes to the first-rate cuisine to the many opulent castles and mansions of the Savoy royal family. Following is a brief introduction to the region.

With just three months until the 20th Winter Olympics Games begin in Torino, the world’s attention soon will be on Italy’s Piedmont Region, where skiers, skaters, snowboarders and more than one million spectators from around the globe will gather for the quadrennial celebration of winter sport.

American travelers – for whom Torino and northwestern Italy is an unknown corner of Europe, often overlooked in favor of Paris, London and Rome – are in for a pleasant surprise. The Piedmont Region offers several world-class attractions: from outstanding ski slopes to the first-rate cuisine to the many opulent castles and mansions of the Savoy royal family. Following is a brief introduction to the region.

Winter Sports

With magnificent ski resorts mixed in with traditional mountain villages, the Piedmont Alps will captivate the world as the setting for the 2006 Olympic Games. The region offers winter sports enthusiasts more than 1,200 miles of ski runs, spanning from the Maritime Alps to the Monviso and the Susa Valley to Monte Rosa. Nestled in the snow-drenched area nicknamed “the Milky Way,” the region’s resorts provide an outstanding setting for every type of winter activity, including dynamic downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, nighttime skiing, ice-skating, ice climbing and dog sledding with Siberian Huskies.

Culinary Delights

To experience the Piedmont Region is to experience culinary delights that can be found nowhere else in the world. With meals made of impeccably fresh ingredients, the people of the Piedmont region live to eat and drink… as the saying goes, in Piedmont baby's comforters are dipped in wine!

Piedmont is home to the Slow Food Movement, a global organization founded in the small town of Bra. Heralded as the “cure” for a distressingly fast-food world, slow food promotes the sanctity of taste, taste education and food preservation with fairs, events and educational programs.

Piedmont also is home to tuber magnatum pico, commonly known as the white truffle, a fungus coveted by gourmands around the world. Piedmont now is in the height of white truffle season (late October through early December), and a pound of the tubers can go for more than $2,000.

The Piedmont Region also is one of the world’s best wine producers. Of Italy’s 20 regions, Piedmont leads the pack in number of wines awarded DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status, including bold red Barolos and Barbarescos and complex, dry, Gattinaras and Ghemmes and sweet, lighthearted white Astis.

Year-Round Beauty

Piedmont’s Lake District provides breathtaking vistas and rejuvenating waters. The great Lake Maggiore, the smaller Lake Orta, both just 90 minutes from Torino, shimmer like the most exquisite precious stones. Visitors will find the perfectly preserved villas, luxurious modern resorts and charming fishing villages have changed little over the centuries. Piedmont’s stunning parks and mountains, and the region’s untouched valleys, lakes and rivers, offer world-class hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking, rowing, cycling, paragliding, horseback riding and five of the top ten golf resorts in Italy. The Alpine valleys close to Torino – Lanzo, Susa, Chisone, Germanasca and Pellice – are ideal for both day hikes and lengthy treks.

Culture and History

The Piedmont Region is the intersection of many critical moments in Western civilization and offers several museums and attractions that serve as windows to the past. Following are just a few of the cultural landmarks in the region:

Getting To the Piedmont Region

The Piedmont Region is served by two airports: Torino International Airport (TIA, http://www.aeroportoditorino.it/EN/voli/default.php) in Caselle and Malpensa 2000 Airport in Milan (http://www.sea-aeroportimilano.it/). TIA is located 16 miles from downtown Torino. Seventeen airlines operate over 450 weekly scheduled departures linking Torino to 25 destinations, 15 of which are international. Intercontinental links are provided through Malpensa 2000, with easy connections from Paris, London and the United States. All of the major car rental firms have counters at both airports.

Region Piedmont Web Site

The Region Piedmont in northwest Italy today launched a comprehensive new web site, PiemonteFeel.It, which provides a wealth of timely information on what to see, what to do and where to go in the Piedmont Region.

The Region of Piedmont is located in northwest Italy, sharing alpine peaks with neighboring France and Switzerland. The Po River, Italy’s largest, crosses through the region, with capital city, Torino (Turin) in the valley. After being the capital of the Savoy reign for 300 years, in 1861 Turin became the first Italian capital. In February, the city will host the 2006 Olympic Winter Games; visit http://www.torino2006.org for more information.

Contact:

Paul Cohen/John Riggin

Telephone: (410) 224-7688

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