If you plan to organize a holiday in Piedmont and you want exploring something different from the “usual places” today I will tell you two small towns not very well known but really nice: Saluzzo and Savigliano.
Saluzzo and Savigliano are two cities of Piedmont belonging to the province of Cuneo. Both are not so turistic but plenty of charme.
These cities are very different but equally fascinating: lively and up and down the first, Saluzzo, flat and quiet the second, Savigliano. Both, however, deserve a “stage” of our virtual tour of Piedmont.
Visit Saluzzo: what to see
Saluzzo, the first destination of this tour of Piedmont, is a city on two levels, perched on a hill that dominates the plain below, and surrounded by mountains.
The majestic “Monviso” (one of the most beautiful mountain of the Alps) is so close that it seems to be able to embrace it. And when you’ll arrive in Saluzzo you’ll immediately feel the change of temperature and the cool, crisp air that, even in summer, the big mountain gives this city.
You could start to visit Saluzzo right from the top of the hill surrounded by ancient walls. Leaving the car there the first thing you’ll notice is the “Castiglia” ( the Castile fortress): this is a imposing fortified building that was the home of the Marquis of Saluzzo. From there you can enjoy a splendid view of the medieval village and the surrounding hills.
Not far from the “Castiglia” there are the “Torre Civica” (Civic Tower) and the “Chiesa di San Giovanni” (Church of St. John) who complete this medieval village that contains postcard views, including historic houses hidden behind heavy carved wooden doors and narrow streets.
If you like walking then you can go down to the lower part of Saluzzo with a walkway that leads right in front of the gothic “Duomo” (the Cathedral), built just outside the walls. During the descent it you can stop to the museum dedicated to the writer and patriot “Silvio Pellico“, who was born here in 1789.
The old town of Saluzzo, which develops in the lower part around the Cathedral, is a succession of beautiful shops repaired under the arcades and bars where you can stop for a moment to rest. There are two squares to see there: “Piazza Cavour“, where the market takes place, and “Piazza Risorgimento“. Then end your visit of Saluzzo visiting “Casa Canvassa” (the House Cavassa) which houses the Museum and the “Villa Belvedere“.
Visit Savigliano: what to see
Savigliano is close to Saluzzo: less than half an hour by car along a road that runs through the orchards that have made this area famous. If you visit Saluzzo during Springtime this ribbon of asphalt that winds among flowering trees offers beautiful postcard views.
In Savigliano there are no castles and even a panoramic view of the mountains and the surrounding valleys but the city is very nice, with its bow bordering the historic center. To see in Savigliano there are the “Chiesa Collegiale di Sant’Anrea” (the Collegiate Church of St. Andrew), the seventeenth-century “Palazzo Taffini d ‘Acceglio” (the Taffini Palace), the church of “Santa Maria della Pieve” (Saint Mery church) and the “Museo Civico” (Civic Museum).
Then the first thing to see in Savigliano is the “Piazza Santorre di Santarosa” where it is held the local market. This large square will hit you entering in the city: it is a very large square named after Santorre di Santarosa, an italian revolutionary who was born in Savigliano. This beautiful rectangular square of the twelfth century welcomes the visitor in a sunny area, surrounded by ancient buildings that belonged to the noble families of the city and long arcades that shelter from the sun.
Right there next to the square, in the historical center, there is the “Quartiere Ebraico” (Jewish Quarter) where there was also the old synagogue, evidence of the time when the Jewish community of Savigliano was one of the largest in the area.
For those who want to discover the surroundings not far from Savigliano is the town of Monasterolo di Savigliano with a beautiful medieval castle now the town hall.
Useful information to see Saluzzo and Savigliano with kids
Visit Saluzzo with kids
If you decide to visit Saluzzo and your children do not walk yet keep in mind that the descent from the “Castiglia” to the “Duomo” is not very easy with strollers. Indeed, there are many stairs and the flooring is sometimes disconnected and made of pebbles.
If you decide to go to Saluzzo during Carnival period do not miss the parade of floats. There are more than thirty carnival floats, that come from neighboring villages and also from Liguria.
Visit Savigliano with kids
If you decide to go to Savigliano with kids remember that in the city there is the “Museo Ferroviario Piemontese” (Piedmont Railway Museum). It is a museum dedicated to railways who holds many trains.
Things to see in Piedmont near Saluzzo and Savigliano
Savigliano and Saluzzo and are not very far from Cuneo (less than 45 minute drive either way). This is the capital of the provice and a city to visit in Piedmont. Another city to visit during a holiday in Piedmont is Mondovì, with its sundials and its historic center on the top of the hill.
Other destinations to see in Piedmont are our beloved Alba and the Langhe and Roero. And of course … Torino. Although this city does not need any introduction! As usual if you follow the links you can read our tips.