Cuneo is one of the south-western Piedmont city, capital of the province of Cuneo. Turin is about an hour from the city, half-way there are the Langhe and Roero and in one hour by car you can get the sea of Liguria Region. There are many things to visit nearby Cuneo and… maybe that’s why those who decide to spend their holidays in Piedmont forget visit Cuneo.
Just like us…
The first time we visited Cuneo it was by chance. We were passing our holidays in the Langhe but it was a very hot day and we decided to take a stroll downtown. So we discovered Cuneo: the city lies on a triangular plateau, a “Cuneo” (that means “wedge” in fact) situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Stura River and Gesso River.
Cuneo City is in the heart of Piedmont, just a step away from France, lying along its endless street Rome and surrounded by mountains.
Cuneo is a relaxed city with a friendly atmosphere, with its arcades and its checkerboard system that guides you along the main street, to the medieval old town. It is a city of antique dealers, markets and sweet treats but also the city where you can enjoy a drink in the arcades after admiring the sunset in “Piazza Torino” (Torino Square).
What to see in Cuneo
Visit Cuneo in a day
Start to visit Cuneo from “Piazza Galimberti“, the heart of the city, continue along the nineteenth century “Corso Nizza” (Course Nice), which runs through the city to the heart of the historic center.
Enjoy an aperitif under the arcades, buy a “cuneese doc” (a small traditional swet of Cuneo) and walk to “Piazza Torino” admiring the ancestral homes and palaces: the beautiful “Palazzo della Città” (City Palace), the “Palazzo Municipale” (Town Hall) and the “Palazzo della Torre” (Palace of the Tower) that incorporates the ancient Municipal tower.
Stop to admire the seventeenth-century “Cattedrale della Nostra Signora del Bosco” (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Woods) and stop in the “Contrada Mondovi” (Mondovì City Quarter) with its characteristic narrow street where, under the medieval arches, small antique shops selling antiquities. Finally, end your visit to Cuneo in “Piazza Torino” with some relax on the benches.
What to taste in Cuneo
The traditional cuisine is one of the pleasure of a holiday in Piedmont ( I have spoken abundantly in this article about where to eat and what to taste in Langhe (with also some tips about restaurants in that area).
But if you visit Cuneo you should taste the magnificent “Cuneesi al rum“, traditional sweets made in Cuneo since many years. The “Cuneesi” are small sweet chocolate filled with a soft cocoa paste soaked in fragrant liquor! I suggest you to buy them in the patisserie who invented them: the “Pasticceria Arione“. I assure you that, although they are always good, here you’ll try the best ones.
Visit Cuneo with children
Cuneo is absolutely a city to visit with kids. There is no problem to turn with the stroller and the eight kilometers of porticos provide shelter from the sun (or rain) while walking. Incredibly there are also working fountains and there are no enemy barrier wheels.
What to do in Cuneo with kids
Below we point out some of the things to do in Cuneo and surroundings with children. We (obviously) we have not experienced all that day but we got back on the area:
- “Parco Fluviale Gesso e Stura” (River Park Gesso and Stura): In this park you can enjoy various sports and there are also educational activities, environmental education projects and workshops for children.
- “Centro Uomini e Lupi” (Men and Wolves Wildlife Centre): This wildlife center is a journey inside the wolf planet and its legends, with multimedia projections, sounds, images. And if you are lucky from the tower you can really spot the wolves run free in the environment created just for them. The centre is located in Camerette Entracque.
- Vernante: This is the country of Pinocchio, not because there is a park but because, in honor of the puppet, the walls of the houses of this beautiful village in the mountains are all painted with scenes of the novel. It is about half an hour from Cuneo, and the area is very nice even for trekking or just for a picnic. (But if you love Pinocchio you have to go in this amusement park )
Things to do nearby Cuneo with kids
There are many things to do nearby Cuneo. Here I suggest you to combine the visit of the city with a day in the mountains. The location that I suggest you is Entracque, a small village on the mountains, and you can organize a weekend here.
If you go to Entracque stop to the “Real Park“, where there is a beautiful area for those who want to spend a day out perhaps with packed lunch. In addition to the restaurant and bar are in fact barbeques with covered gazebo as well as tables and chairs scattered everywhere for those who decide to take a picnic and then perhaps relax in the sun. In addition to there are football field, the lakes and the area equipped for campers will also point out the fishing reserve and children’s play area, complete with inflatables, trampolines, ball pools the joy of children.
You can also paddle in a canoe in the lake, rent mountain bikes or play miniature golf and not far you can also visit the Wildlife Center Men and Wolves that I mentioned in the “What to Do in Cuneo with the kids.”.
Useful tips to visit Cuneo
Where is Cuneo
Cuneo is one of the main cities of Piedmont Region, close to the border with France. Piedmont is a region in the northwest of Italy surrounded on the Alps. The region is famous for its wines, which include some of the best Italian wines such as “Barolo”, “Barbaresco”, “Barbera”, “Dolcetto” and “Moscato D’Asti”.
From Cuneo get Turin, the main city of Piedmont, takes is 1 hour and the distance is more or less the same to Alba, the capital of the Langhe.
How to get Cuneo
You can get Cuneo by car, by train or by plane. There is a confortable motorway that connect Cuneo with Turin. The closest airport is “Cuneo-Levaldigi” Airport, otherwise there is an other airport in Turin (“Torino-Caselle” Airport). There are two train stations: “Cuneo Centrale” Station and “Cuneo-Gesso” Station.
A holiday in Piedmont
Aholiday in Piedmont could be a good idea for many reason: excellent food, amazing wines, historical cities, nature … And the Ligurian sea is not very far! 🙂 If you are planning a holiday in Piedmont I suggest you a tour to visit: Cuneo, Mondovì, Alba and the Langhe, Asti and Turin (a sort of triangle and back to Cuneo). If you are looking for more tips you can simply follow the links to our articles.