Turin is just a few kilometres from the mountains, with the Via Lattea being one of the most popular destinations for those who love winter skiing and summer hiking. The highest mountain in Piedmont is also the Gran Paradiso National Park. Yet greenery abounds within the city and its surrounds as well, with a range of pedestrian and park routes. You can also be immersed in the natural surrounding of the beautiful Piedmont lakes.
Those who love skiing will be familiar with the Via Lattea, a ski area in the upper Susa Valley that includes Sestriere, Cesana, Claviere, San Sicario, Sauze d’Oulx and Pragelato, and extends right to France’s Montgenèvre.
212 slopes and 69 ski lifts welcome ski and trekking enthusiasts, young and old alike, with space also dedicated to skiing champions during the major competitions held here. The Giro della Via Lattea is one of the most interesting activities to undertake. Following the recommended itineraries, one may cross all the areas of the district in just a few hours.
Even summer is a great time to visit the Via Lattea. If you love hiking, you will be able to explore the area with the help of one of the local guides to reveal the most beautiful places of these mountains.
Driving from Turin via the bypass and A32 motorway, it is possible to explore the Via Lattea on a day trip in the knowledge that a reserved parking space close to the Residenza awaits you upon your return to the city in the evening.
Between Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont, Gran Paradiso is protected by the State, which oversees the ecosystem and biodiversity to ensure it is a sustainable tourism destination.
The Park’s beauty is by no means seasonal – nature lovers can visit at any time of the year to enjoy a spectacular day on the snow or for a bespoke excursion along the footpaths and bridleways. Given the Gran Paradiso Park’s vast extension, we do recommend programming your visit and excursions prior to departure.
That Turin is a green city is evident merely from a glimpse of its hill. The Green Ring stretches out a good 34 kilometres and comprises six different paths that allow one to familiarise themselves with a unique side of city.
The Green Ring evokes such enthusiasm for its variety of routes in the city area and beyond that include parks, trails, historic sites such as the Basilica di Superga and beyond through to the woods, rivers, vineyards and picturesque landscapes not at all far from the big city. In fact, many people still refer to this as the “mountain of Turin”.
The history of Turin and its royalty is reflected in the three Parchi Reali (Royal Parks) of the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, Reggia di Venaria and Castello della Mandria, all within a few minutes’ drive from the Residenza dell’Opera.
The latter is situated within the Mandria Natural Park, a protected area and UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a unique combination of nature and architectural heritage thanks to the protected buildings – castles, farmhouses and churches, among others – held within. It is well worth a day trip to explore a park that offers great relaxation combined with yet another occasion to delve into the history of Piedmont.
How about a trip to the lake? All you need to do is choose…
Near Ivrea, in Canavese, Lake Sirio offers calm, low waters ideal for a refreshing dip and some relaxation in the shade of the magnificent adjacent greenery.
Lake Maggiore, second only to Lake Garda in terms of extension, is a perfect destination to explore nature and also visit beautiful towns such as Verbania and Stresa, as well as the famous Borromeo islands, with the Isola Madre and Isola Bella and their unforgettable gardens.
If you prefer to spend a relaxing day in a somewhat smaller area, choose Lago D’Orta, taking the opportunity to also visit Orta San Giulio, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, and its Isola di San Giulio.
In respect of the other lakes, it is lesser known yet equally as beautiful – if not more so. In visiting this stunning location, you join the likes of important figures such as Nietzsche, Balzac and Byron.
Finally, near Ivrea is Lago di Viverone, one of the “natural pools” close to Turin. It is much appreciated for anyone who loves to immerse themselves in nature, including stepping right into the scintillating waters of the lake.