Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour

Piedmont's Castles and Abbeys Tour
Tour Abbazia Ranverso
Tour a Saluzzo nel Piemonte medievale
Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour
Tour Abbazia Ranverso
Tour a Saluzzo nel Piemonte medievale
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TOUR OF Piedmont’s Medieval Castles and Abbeys

Our Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour is a 5-day itinerary through hidden treasures and less-visited yet charming sites of northwest Italy.

Led by an expert medievalist tour guide, delve into the rich history and art of the Piedmont region of Italy, once one of Europe’s most strategic getaways. 

From Vercelli, where the Basilica of St. Andrew was completed in 1227, to the fortified hamlet of Candelo, our Piedmont Tour reaches the foot of the western Alps.

Step inside the fairy-taled Castello della Manta, the pilgrim hospital of Ranverso, and explore the evocative town of Saluzzo, gems of this tour of Piedmont’s medieval castles and abbeys.

Then, get access to the iconic St. Michael abbey, which inspired writer Umberto Eco to set its novel “The Name of the Rose” and the off-the-beaten-path Romanesque parish church of Cortazzone, perched on the hills of the wine region of Piedmont.

From Chieri’s medieval baptistery to Asti’s slender towers, reminiscent of Guelfs and Ghibellines rivalry, the Piedmont’s Castles and Abbey Tour is sure to leave you in awe while enjoying the local food and wine.

castles and abbeys in Piedmont map

Marco delivered on all aspects of our visit…Alberto was our guide, well versed in the region’s history and suggested an excellent restaurant for lunch… It was an unconventional trip not available from a large tour company with their canned tourist stops. Meet Piemonte has many regular tours but can do a great job if you have unique requirements.
Bob C. – May 2022

Read all reviews on Tripadvisor and on Google

Trip Highlights

Stay 4 nights in Chieri or Turin

Expert tour guide

Traditional food of Piedmont and wine tasting

Gain access to less-visited sites


5 days | 4 nights

From/To Turin or Milan

Learn more about Meet Piemonte and the team of Tour Guides

Pricing & Availability


Get an accurate quote for a private tour, based on the number of participants of your party. Fill in the form below or send an email to info@meetpiemonte.com

What’s Included

The rate includes:

  • 4 nights in a 4-star hotel near Chieri or in Turin, breakfast included
  • Tour guide for 5 days
  • Transportation as per itinerary
  • 3 traditional dinners with wine included
  • 2 traditional lunches with wine included
  • 1 wine tasting
  • Entrance tickets to St Michael abbey, Castello della Manta, Ranverso abbey
  • Credit card commissions
  • 22% VAT
  • Tour Operator limited liability insurance

The rate does not include:

  • Hotel city tax
  • Personal Insurance
  • Any other meal, tasting, entrance fee, transfer, personal expense, tips and anything else not mentioned above in the field “The rate includes”. The wine included is the one presented during the meal or wine tasting and it is never unlimited. Any extra is at your own discretion.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour: Vercelli and Candelo

Meals included: lunch and dinner

The departure point of the Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour can be arranged from Turin or Milan. Guests who drive their vehicle can start directly from Vercelli, the first stop of the tour.

Meet your expert medievalist tour guide in Vercelli, where the impressive Basilica of St. Andrew was completed in 1227.

The unique façade with two side towers and three splayed doors is a unique combination of Romanesque style and Gothic elements. Visit the interior of the basilica before exploring the ancient city center of Vercelli with its medieval palaces.

Lunch is served in an old-fashioned trattoria to savor the best risotto in town with a glass of wine.

The tour of medieval sites in Piedmont continues toward the fortified hamlet of Candelo. Built to stock grains and as a defense for the inhabitants, the perfectly preserved architecture of Candelo takes visitors on an evocative journey back in time.

Late afternoon, time for an optional stop in Biella, where a quick ride of the funicular takes us to the upper town.

Check-in at a 4-star selected hotel in Chieri or Turin, depending on availability. Dinner is included in a traditional restaurant.

Medieval hamlet of Candelo
The medieval hamlet of Candelo

Day 2 – Tour of Medieval Gems: Chieri and the Romanesque Art of Piedmont

Meals included: breakfast and wine tasting

Your day begins at the hotel with an earthy breakfast with local products. Then, start the tour of two medieval gems: the town of Chieri, often forgotten by most tourist itineraries, and the Romanesque art of Piedmont, found in a countryside church in the wine region of Asti. 

Chieri is set just outside the metropolitan sprawl of Turin. It boasts an elegant town center with precious architecture like the medieval church of San Domenico with works of art by a local painter Moncalvo, defined as “the Rafael of Piedmont”. Later, step inside the Duomo with access to the ancient baptistery decorated with an important cycle of frescoes.

Stop at a bakery for a tasting of local breadsticks before reaching the highest point in town, at the foot of the Civic Tower.

Lunch on your own.

Romanesque Art and Wine Tasting near Asti

​In the afternoon, transfer to the heart of the Monferrato wine region near the village of Cortazzone. Perched on a hill crest, stands the Romanesque parish church of San Secondo set in a bucolic environment.

Friezes and bas-reliefs adorn the exterior walls and the capitals of the three naves, charged with zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures related to astronomic references.

The Monferrato hills, north of Alba are home to one of Piedmont’s famous wine regions. We visit a winery and enjoy a wine tasting of Barbera d’Asti and other local grape varietals.

Back at the hotel, tonight’s dinner is on your own among the restaurants located within walking distance from the hotel.

Romanico Astigiano a Cortazzone
Romanesque Architecture in Cortazzone, near Asti

Day 3 – Piedmont’s Tour: Saluzzo and Castello della Manta

Meals included: breakfast and dinner

After breakfast, Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour arrives at the foot of the western Alps to the charming town of Saluzzo.

The medieval vibe of the town, once the capital of a powerful Marquisate, together with the well-preserved architecture are the reasons that led Saluzzo to be mentioned on Condé Nast as one of the not-to-be-missed beautiful towns of Italy.

On the highest part of the town lies the Castiglia, the original medieval fortress, with views over the rooftops below. Walking downhill we get to the Civic Tower, the Palace of Liberal Arts. We step inside the medieval church of St John and admire a highly decorated tomb in Gothic Flamboyant style.

We continue on cobbled streets down to the medieval porticoes in Via Carrera, all the way to the Cathedral to admire a beautiful altarpiece by Flemish artist Hans Clemer.

Piedmont’s Castles: the fairy-taled Castello della Manta

After free time for lunch, a short transfer takes us to one of Piedmont’s most fabled Castles, Castello della Manta, built by the Marquises of Saluzzo.

The tour of the castle focuses on the Baronial Hall decorated with a fresco that takes the full length of the room. Named “Nine Worthies and Heroines” the fresco cycle is a masterpiece of chivalric tradition and it faces, on the opposite side of the same hall, “The Fountain of Youth”. This subject was known in French literature since the XII century and it is here represented with an interesting dynamism.

Return to the hotel. Tonight’s menu includes the angel-hair pasta called tajarin or the small ravioli called plin, pinched by hand one by one, examples of the refined cuisine of Piedmont.

Tour Piemonte Medievale a Chieri
Cathedral in Chieri

Day 4 – Piedmont’s Abbeys Tour: Sacra di San Michele and Ranverso

Meals included: breakfast and dinner

Sacra di San Michele (St. Michael Abbey) and Ranverso are two iconic inclusions of the Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour.

The iconic St. Michael Abbey, in particular, perched on a cliff that dominates the alpine Susa Valley and the plains of Turin, is often used as a symbol of Piedmont and its rich medieval history.

The strategic position of the abbey resulted in a great deal of power, controlling merchants, pilgrims, and conquerors traveling between Italy and France. It had political and economic power and it still preserves a mystic and evocative atmosphere that inspired writer Umberto Eco to set his novel “The Name of the Rose”.

After the guided tour, relax on the shores of the lake of Avigliana where lunch is on your own.

The Abbey of Ranverso, a Treasure Cove of Piedmont’s Art

In the afternoon we transfer to the nearby abbey and pilgrim hospital of St Anthony in Ranverso.

This abbey was built along the pilgrim route connecting the Alps to Rome and it was conceived to assist wayfarers and people in need of care. The medieval hospital boasts the façade in Gothic style and it is next to the peaceful cloister.

With donations from nobles and aristocrats, the abbey increased its power and became known for the cure for shingles and skin infections.

Enter the Romanesque church enriched by works of art of the most prominent masters of the XV century: a cycle of frescoes by Jacquerio and the highly-ornate altarpiece by Defendente Ferrari.

Return to the hotel. Tonight’s dinner is focused on the wide array of starters for which Piedmont is known: sliced boiled veal topped with a tuna and caper sauce, vegetable soufflé served with alpine cheese fondue, and more.

Vercelli nel Tour del Piemonte Medievale

Day 5 – Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour: Asti

Meals included: breakfast and lunch

Breakfast and check out.

Depart for Asti, the most powerful town in southern Piedmont between the XI and the XIV centuries.

Families of bankers and fabric traders left marks of their wealth still visible in the modern city: slender medieval towers, private palaces with gates and windows in clay and sandstone,  and streets of Roman origins named after their family names.

The Cathedral of Asti is considered to be the largest Gothic one in Piedmont and it contains works of art by local painter Gandolfino da Roreto, originally commissioned by prominent families. The walking tour ends in one of the central piazza of Asti and it brings to life some of the stories related to the Palio – the oldest horse race in Italy.

Get more ideas on Things to do in Asti on our blog.

We celebrate the end of our Piedmont’s Castles and Abbeys Tour, with one more lunch in a rustic farmhouse set in the countryside.

In the afternoon, a transfer back to the airport can be arranged.

Flight & Transfers

Flight Information
  • Airfare to and from this destination is not included in the tour cost.
  • Suggested arrival and departure airport: Milan Malpensa (MXP) or Turin (TRN).

Payment & Cancellation

To save your spot, complete the form at the bottom of this page with any questions you may have. When you are ready to commit, you will receive via email the contract that you need to fill out with your information and sign electronically.

  • The tour is confirmed with at least 6 participants
  • A 30% down payment is required in order to confirm the reservation.
  • The remaining balance is due 45 days before the tour.

Cancellation policy:

  • There shall be a 250€ non-­refundable processing fee (per person) on any cancellation request, regardless of the time frame within which the cancellation is submitted;
  • From 90 days to 46 days before the performance of the Tourist Package, by paying a penalty equal to 30% of the price;
  • From 45 days before the performance of the Tourist Package, by paying a penalty equal to 100% of the price

Read here the full terms and conditions.

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Mobility & Things To Know

  • To enjoy this tour, you should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances. This is not a physically demanding tour, however, there will be a lot of walking, often on uneven steps, cobblestones, uphill and downhill.  One of the charming aspects of Italy is its historical and architectural conformation. Many towns and attractions can only be visited on foot, as vans and buses cannot access the pedestrian areas where most places of interest are located.
  • Unfortunately we cannot accommodate wheelchairs or motorized scooters.  Our tour managers and tour guides are unable to provide ongoing individual assistance to guests with walking difficulties or other physical needs.
  • While the driving time on our tours is limited, getting to remote farmhouses and villages may require driving on windy roads that may cause motion sickness.
  • Due to the historic nature of many of the luxury boutique hotels where we stay, some rooms may include stairs and differ in size and layout.

A complete list of things to know about Italy, such as what to pack, money, electricity, health, tipping, VAT refund, and more, will be sent after the completion of the first down payment.

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