Presentation of the destination
Moncalieri is a town in Italy in the province of Turin. Moncalieri has a population of 58,000 inhabitants. Moncalieri is in the Italian Piedmont region which is a region surrounded by the Alps and shares a border with France and Switzerland. The town of Moncalieri was founded in 1228 and is famous for its castle that was built in the 12th century. Moncalieri was the summer residence of members of the House of Savoy who stayed in the castle and their wealth and influence can be seen throughout the region. Temperatures in Moncalieri reach highs of 24-25°C (76-77°F) in the summer and drop to lows of 1°C (34°F) in the winter. Moncalieri is in the time zone UTC +1 except for during the summer months of Daylight Savings Time when it is UTC +2. The official language in Italy is Italian and the currency used is the Euro. Italy is a multiethnic country and has a large immigrant population from various countries, mostly Romania and Morocco.
Points of interests / things to see
The Castle of Moncalieri was previously used as a residence for the Royal House of Savoy when they were at Moncalieri. Since 1997 the castle has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The very first castle on the site was built by Thomas I of Savoy in 1100. It was constructed on a hill and served the purpose of controlling access to the city of Turin from the south. Many centuries later, the wife of Duke Amadeus IX, Yolanda of Valois, had work done to the castle in order to convert it into a residence for pleasure as opposed to a site of look-out and command. The building was enlarged and many of the rooms were reformed by the architect Carlo di Castellamonte. Through the years the castle was the site of various marriages and deaths of European royals. In 1798 the castle was taken by the French and was occupied by the French Army until 1814. At that time the French turned the castle over to Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia. Today the castle is used as the home for the First Battalion of the Carabinieri which are the Italian military police. The Carabinieri were first created and organized by King Victor Emmanuel I of Savoy in order to have a police force for the Kingdom of Sardinia. Even though the castle still serves a functional purpose, rooms are open to tourists to see the inside. Address: Via del Castello 2 - 10024 Moncalieri (TO)
Isola Bella is a small rocky island in the waters of the Lago Maggiore in northern Italy. The island is found 400m (1,312 ft) from the shore of the town of Stresa. The island is small, a mere 320m (1,049 ft) long and 400m (1,312 ft) wide. Before 1632 the island’s only inhabitants were a group of fishing families that managed a living on the island. However, in 1632, Carlo III of the House of Borromeo decided to use the island as the site for the construction of a palace in honor of his wife, Isabella D’Adda. The name of the island was changed to be named after her. However Carlo III was not able to complete the palace due to a severe plague outbreak that halted progress. Construction was completed by the son of Carlo III who then used the finished palace as a party and event venue for Europe’s nobility. The gardens were finished after the palace was and were completed in 1671. During the rule of Gilberto V Borromeo who lived during the years 1751 to 1837, the island achieved its highest rate of social success with such distinguished guests as Napoleon with his wife Joséphine, the Princess of Wales Caroline of Brunswick and Edward Gibbon, an English historian and politician. Today the island is home to 16 people who live there all year long, but in the summer months, Isola Bella becomes a very popular tourist attraction. Ferry services shuttle visitors from the towns of Stresa, Laveno, Intra, and Pallanza. Visitors can only visit the gardens and the first floor of the palace as the second and third floors are inhabited during the summer months by the family that owns the palace. There is a large number of paintings in the palace that are part of the Borromeo family’s collection and visitors can pay an extra €4 to see the Picture Gallery room. Entrance fees: Adults €16.50, Children €7.50
Mount Mottarone is a mountain found in the Western Alps in northwestern Italy. The mountain has a height of 1,492m (4,895 ft). The mountain is most closely located to the town of Stresa. From Stresa there is a cable-car that goes up the mountain and visitors are rewarded with incredible views over Lake Maggiore including being able to see both Isola Bella and Isola Superiore. If the day is clear, the views extend even further including to Monte Rosa which is on the border with Switzerland. The cable-car trip takes 20 minutes and takes you to a height of 1385 m (4,544 ft). From there you can either walk the extra 15 minutes to the top or take a chairlift for free to the very top. Another option for the mountain is stopping at the Alpino mid-station which is located at about 803m (2,634.5 ft) up the mountain. At the Alpino mid-station is the Giardino Botanico Alpinia which is a botanical garden that was founded in 1934. The garden includes a variety of Alpine and sub-Alpine species. The mountain also includes many hiking and mountain-biking trails and bicycles can be rented from the Stresa cable-car station. Most of the mountain-biking routes are majority descent starting from the top of Mount Mottarone and out of a three hour ride, only about 30 minutes require going uphill. Bicycles are allowed on the cable car. People interested in hiking can get a map from the cable-car station as well which outlines a two hour hike to the Giardino Botanico Alpinia or the four hike to the summit of Mottarone. Mount Mottarone also has ski trails ideal for beginners as the mountain is gently sloped. Another winter sport available on the mountain is Alpyland which is a bobsled track that allows riders to adjust their speeds based on what they feel comfortable with doing.
Barolo is a small town located 63 km (39 mi) to the south of Moncalieri. Barolo is the home of the Castello del Marchesato dei Falletti which is the castle that houses the Museo del Vino a Barolo, or the museum of wine. The wine museum takes visitors throughout the rooms of the castle with various displays including paintings and photos detailing the wine-making process. The tour begins on the third floor and focuses on nature and the vineyards and harvesting grapes for wine. The next rooms focus on astronomy-how the grapes need the sun and how the moon dictates the best time for workers to plant and harvest the grapes. The last part of the third floor focuses on the gods and their love of wine. The second floor focuses on wine throughout history and its role in the arts. The exhibit traces the historical development and importance of wine from its ancient roots to today and how it has affected all the civilizations. Wine in art shows wine’s influence in different musical pieces as well as different paintings and sculptures from various time periods throughout history. The displays on the first floor of the castle are devoted to the history of the castle and its residents, the Falleti family who were instrumental in wine-making in the region. At the end of the tour visitors can sample Barolo wine as well as other types and shop in the gift shop. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone number: +39 0173 38 66 97 Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 10:30-19:00. Closed on Thursdays. Entrance fees: €7
The Susa Valley is a valley in the Alps found in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. It is a long valley, the longest found in Italy, and it runs from east to west for 50 km (31 mi). The town of Susa is in the valley and that is where the valley got its name from. There is also a river that goes through the valley, the Dora Riparia. The valley goes from the border with France to the city of Turin. During the time of the Romans, the Emperor Augustus wished to use the valley as a passageway and made an agreement with Marcus Julius Cottius, who was the king of that part of the Alps, that allowed the passage of the Romans. In the town of Susa there stands today the Arch of Augustus which was built at the end of the 1st century BCE symbolizing the agreement that the Romans could pass through. Susa then became an important area and city during the Roman Age as they used the valley as a passage through the Alps. Later, in the Middle Ages, the Susa Valley continued to be very important as it was the most traversed pass through the Alps and many pilgrims from other parts of Europe used the Susa Valley as the path through the Alps to keep making their way to Rome. Because of the high volume of pilgrims passing through, various churches and abbeys were built to offer accommodation to the pilgrims and still stand today.
The Borromean Islands are three islands and two islets that are found in Lago Maggiore in northern Italy. They received their name from the Borromean Family who started buying them in the 16th century and today owns the islands of Isola Bella and Isola Madre as well as the Islet San Giovanni. They are all small, together the five equal 20 hectares (50 acres) in area, but they have become popular tourist destinations for their beauty. The Isola dei Pescatori (or Isola Superiore) is permanently inhabited with a fishing village. Isola Madre is the biggest of the three islands and has English-style gardens as well as a palace. Isola Bella also has a palace and gardens. The smallest is Malghera which is little more than a rock but it does have a small beach to offer visitors. The last is Isolino di San Giovanni and it is found just off the coast of Pallanza.
The Margherita Hut (in Italian the Capanna Regina Margherita) is the highest building in all of Europe. It is a hut on Monte Rosa, a mountain in the Alps, that sits at 4,554m (14,941 ft)above sea level. It is owned and managed by the Italian Alpine Club. The hut is named after and dedicated to Margherita of Savoy, who was queen from 1878 to 1900. The first hut was built in 1889 and was not built on the site but rather in the valley then taken to its place on Monte Rosa by men and mules and it opened in 1893. The hut that stands today was built in 1980. Today the hut is open June to September and it holds 70 beds for those that wish to make the climb to the hut and stay there for recreation or study. The only way to get to the fort is by hiking for two days and spending the first night at a hut part way up the mountain. The climb is strenuous and is only for those that are fit.
The Castle of Racconigi is a palace that is on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list and is a Residence of the Royal House of Savoy. It is located in Racconigi, 31km (19 mi) from Moncalieri. The first record of a castle on the site is from the year 1000 and it was not acquired by the House of Savoy until the 16th century. It was the residence of the Savoy-Carignano line of the House of Savoy which was founded by the Prince of Carignano, Thomas Francis. At that time the castle had the design of a castle of defense with a moat and four corner towers. In the 17th century, the family had it redone in order to be a pleasure residence as opposed to a defensive castle. At that time gardens were also created near the palace. In the 18th century the interior was renovated and the castle was expanded further. The last King of Italy, Umberto II received the castle as a wedding gift and used it as a place to put the family art collection. The gardens and landscape park on the castle grounds were built in both the French style and the English style.
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is a monastery of the Roman Catholic faith found in Leggiuno, 175 km (108 mi) from Moncalieri, in the Province of Varese. It sits along the shores of Lake Maggiore and due to its placement along a rocky ridge, visitors can only reach it by walking down a long staircase or taking an elevator down or by accessing it from the water by boat. The monastery was built in the 14th century but many of the frescoes in the interior were done in the 19th century. The hermitage is made up of three buildings, two convents and a church. Today it is still an active convent.
Vacation rentals in Moncalieri (Piedmont)
How to get there ?
There are a number of airports that service northern Italy. The closest airport to Moncalieri, at a distance of 9km (5.5 mi), would be the Turin airport, Caselle Airport (http://www.aeroportoditorino.it/en/hp_en.html), which has connections with many other Italian cities as well as other European cities. Milan, 170 km (105 mi) from Moncalieri, also has three different airports including Malpensa (http://www1.seamilano.eu/landing/index_en.html) which is the busiest airport in Italy in terms of international traffic. There is also Linate Airport and Orio al Serio Airport (http://www.sacbo.it/Airpor/portalProcess.jsp?languageID=2). There are also options for arriving in the Piedmont region from France and Switzerland by train. There is a train route that runs Lyon, France to Turin and the railway from Switzerland comes through Domodossola, Italy. There are local buses and trains to explore the Piedmont region, however by car can sometimes prove the best way if you want to visit places outside of Turin, Moncalieri and a few other cities. If you want to visit various sites out in the country, car is the best option although factor in the high price of gas as well as tolls. The Italian rail system is run by ItaliaRail (http://www.italiarail.com/) which offers connections between many cities all across the country. The train ride between Turin and Moncalieri takes from four minutes to 11 minutes depending on the type of train. From Turin there are rail connections with much of the country. Italy rail passes are also available to buy for frequent travel. Bus is another option for travel around Italy, especially to reach smaller towns. They are not often cheaper than trains but buses do go places that the trains don’t. It is generally only necessary to book the bus tickets in advance if traveling during peak season.
Moncalieri city hall
Hotels in Moncalieri (Piedmont)