North-West Italy at a glance

Written by on October 3, 2020 in North West, Regions

The North West Italy, Aosta Valley, Piemonte, Lombardia, Liguria at a glance

North-West Italy

So what does North-West Italy have to offer as a place to live or to visit on holiday?

Firstly there’s the Mediterranean Sea. Secondly you have the high Alps. Thirdly it is an area of stunningly beautiful and varied countryside. It has fantastic local food produce and a favourable climate means it can produce a very decent bottle of wine. In addition to its abundant gifts from the natural world, its buzzing Cities, vibrant towns and pretty villages are internationally renowned. Not to mention a rich cultural heritage and sophisticated yet authentic way of life. Throw in to the mix world class infrastructure and a thriving economy and it is clear that North West Italy has a lot going for itself!

Italy’s Economic Heart

North West Italy is one of the five official Italian statistical regions. Moreover, it is a constituency in its own right at the European Parliament.

It comprises four Regions, the Valle d’Aosta, Piemonte, Liguria and Lombardia. Together these regions cover an area of 58,000 square kilometres. North West Italy has a population of 16 million.

Regional GDP is euro 503 billion, 32% of Italy’s total output. GDP per head is euro 31,000, 119% of the EU27 average.

All things considered it is an extremely wealthy and successful part of the world.

The Region includes three of Italy’s top six biggest cities, Milano, Torino and Genova. They are among the most dynamic, commercially vibrant and culturally important cities in Europe. Additionally, Brescia, Bergamo, Monza, Novara, Cuneo and Aosta are some if Italy’s most productive and interesting towns.

Transport Infrastructure

The motorway and road network gives easy and fast car access to all corners of the region and beyond. The high-speed train links Torino and Milano to Paris and Rome. Flights from Milano Linate and Malpensa airports, together with Bergamo and Torino, cover all the main domestic and international routes. Regular ferry services from Genoa go to the islands of Sardenia, Corsica and also Sicily.

Freccia Rossa fast train runs between Turin and Rome

The Alps in summer & winter

The Western and Central Alps include some of Europe’s highest peaks and most iconic mountains. Such as Monte Bianco, Gran Paradiso, Monte Cervino, Monte Rosa and Monviso. During the summer they offer awesome hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, cycling. Plus every other kind of healthy outdoor activity imaginable.

Ski mountain in the Aosta Valley

And for the winter season there are of course the top class ski resorts of Piemonte and the Aosta Valley. Courmayeur, Cervinia, Sestriere, Livigno and Bormio are probably the most famous but there are many more to choose from.

The Ligurian Coast

The Ligurian Coast, or Italian Riviera, is an extension of the Cote d’Azur. 350 kilometers of stunning coastline all the way from Ventimiglia on the French border to La Spezia on the border of Tuscany. It is a coastline of small coves and rocky outcrops, a mixture of sandy and stony beaches. It’s gems include the Cinque Terre, Portofino, Portovenere, Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, Lerici, Rapallo, Zoagli, Chiavari and Sestri Levante.

Portofino, beautiful seaside town on the Ligurian coast part of the North-West Italy

The Italian Lakes

Lakes Como, Garda (west coast) and Iseo are to be found in Lombardia. Lakes Orta and Maggiore are in Piemonte. They all offer an intoxicating combination of stunningly beautiful scenery and stylish living, ideal for a day-trip or a romantic 5 star weekend.

View over the Borromean Island

The Langhe Wine Area

The whole of Italy is blessed with so much beautiful and varied countryside but it would be wrong not to make a special mention of the Langhe. This is a most lovely area, famous for its delicious and internationally renowned wines. Barolo, Barbera and Barbaresco red wines are the most well known but there are many more besides. It is located in Piemonte about an hour’s drive to the west of Torino. Centred around the medieval town of Alba, the spiritual home of the truffle industry and around Bra, home to the Slow Food Movement. It is a land of rolling hills covered in vineyards and pretty hilltop villages, a scenic, cultural and gastronomic rival to Tuscany in every way.

Langhe, beautiful vineyards - North-West Italy at glance

Gastronomy

It goes without saying that North West Italy is a food lovers paradise, from the traditional mountain cuisine of the Aosta Valley, truffles from Piemonte to seafood of Liguria. The area is so rich and varied in its local food heritage and traditions. Many traditional festivals throughout the summer celebrate local produce and friendly, family-owned restaurants serving authentic dishes can be found in every village.

Gastronomy in Northwest Italy at a glance

Culture

Last but not least, the culture. Majestic castles, museums, churches, art galleries, theatres and stately homes are to be found everywhere you go.

Milano and Torino are rich and historic Cities full of famous and beautiful attractions. People travel from all over the world to visit them. And even the smallest rural villages more often than not contain some modest but fascinating display. A historic site, a natural phenomenon or other interesting feature that makes an out of the way visit rewarding and interesting.

Fenis Castle, Aosta Valley

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