Off The Beaten Path in Cuneo, Piedmont Italy

This post was written by Roads Less Traveled Italy who plans unique and sustainable trips to Italy for clients across the world.  Contact to start planning your trip!

Cuneo_PiazzaGalimberti_panorama (1)

The first time I heard of the city of Cuneo in Piedmonte, I learned that it’s famous for three things: cycling, the Maritime Alps, and rum-filled chocolates. Of course, I had to check it out!

Just for some background, Cuneo is a city of about 80,000 people, an hour south of Turin in Piemonte.  Sitting on a football-shaped promontory, it is surrounded by nature. Highly influenced by the Savoy dynasty that ruled the area, its porticoed streets and colorful palazzi have a bit of a French feel to them. It feels like something right out of a picture book. 


Any trip to Cuneo will start in Piazza Galimberti, its characteristic square surrounded by shops and cafés, and home to annual festivals such as the Fiera Nazionale del Marrone a Cuneo, one of the most important food and wine festivals in Italy, that takes place each October, as well as a weekly market.  (I bought some of my favorite leather sandals there for 35 euros.)  

cuneo church

This is also the spot to try Cuneesi al Rhum – the rum-filled chocolates mentioned above. The town’s major sights line the streets, including the Church of Sacro Cuore di Gesu with its beautifully decorated bell tower and the magnificent Cattedrale of Nostra Signora nel Bosco.

Cuneo Bikes

From here, head to Piazza Torino to borrow one of the city’s bikes and go for a spin.  Cuneo is the perfect town for riding, whether tooling around the city or heading into nature. 


When you’re done exploring the city by bike, simply head east from Piazza Galimberti to find the Panoramic Elevator that will take you and your bike off the plateau and a block away from the trails of the Parco Fluviale Geso e Stura, which offers 5 cycling itineraries of multiple lengths.  If you don’t feel like riding, this is also a stunning park to experience on foot. 


While in the area, you can’t miss a chance to go for a walk or hike in the Maritime Alps, nearby.  A wonderful starting place for hikes is the small town of Entracque. About a 30-minute drive from Cuneo, stop at Entracque for a bite to eat and some hiking maps.  Then, head up the road and park at Trinità, where multiple lovely walks and hikes begin.  If you get hot in the summertime cool off with the natural air conditioning of various small glaciers along the side of the trail.  


After your day in nature, head back to Cuneo and wander the side streets to find classic Piemontese slow food restaurants, with options such as Agnolotti Piemontesi (Piemonte’s version of homemade ravioli) or Tajarin ai Tartufi, topped with the famed white truffles of the region.  Make sure to start with some Bagna Càuda, a hot dip made with garlic and anchovies, perfect for dipping in bread of veggies! 


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