Piedmonte, Italy Offers Marathons, Truffles and More in 2017

The Slow Food cheese competition in Bra, Italy.
The Slow Food cheese competition in Bra, Italy.

The region of Piemonte, Northern Italy, is proud to present its annual event calendar for 2017. Many of these events are hosted in Italy’s ancient capital, Torino (or Turin), which offers activities and attractions for every type of traveler.

As the historic birthplace of Fiat, it’s no surprise that Torino is home to the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile. This automobile museum dazzles visitors with its collection of over 200 cars – everything from an 1892 Peugeot to a 1980 Ferrari 308. Art and culture lovers will enjoy Torino’s Egyptian Museum, Academy of Fine Art, Modern Art Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art housed in the historic Rivoli Castle.
Hiking near a reservoir in Piedmonte, Italy.
Hiking near a reservoir in Piedmonte, Italy. Max Hartshorne photo.
For outdoor lovers, Torino offers many beautiful parks to explore such as the elegant Valentino Park– a perfect place to take a stroll in spring. For those looking for a faster pace, Torino also offers a twelve-mile cycling path, which travels along the Po River. Providing a bird’s eye view of Torino, the city’s historical rack rail train travels to the hilltop Basilica of Superga for breathtaking views of the city that are not to be missed.
Easily accessible from Milan by train or car, Torino serves as the perfect gateway to Piemonte’s year round events from truffle festivals to the largest food fight in Italy.
February 25-28, Ivrea
Established in 1808, the Carnival of Ivrea is one of the oldest festivals in the world. For many, the highlight of the annual carnival is The Battle of the Oranges. In this lighthearted reenactment, the people, represented by orange throwers on foot without any protection, pelt oranges at the feudal lord’s army, represented by those throwing oranges from horse-drawn carts.
May 5-28
In 1909, 127 riders embarked on the first Giro d’Italia–a cycling race covering a total of 1,521 miles (of which only 49 riders managed to finish). This May, Italy’s most famous cycling race will celebrate its 100th anniversary, covering nearly the entire country of Italy, from the South coast to the Alps of Piemonte. The race will take place through the streets of Piemonte where famous Italian cyclist, Fausto Coppi, first learned to ride. In addition to winning the Giro five times in his lifetime, Fausto also won the Tour de France in 1949 and 1952 and the World Championship in 1953.
May 18–22, Torino
The largest event devoted to publishing, reading and culture in Italy, the 30th International Book Fair is expected to see over 120,000 visitors over its five days. Visitors will have the opportunity to hear presentations from over 2,000 speakers including Nobel Prize winners, scientists, philosophers, historians, journalists, artists, architects, bloggers and personalities from the entertainment world.
May 23, Torino
Founded in Torino in 1986, the Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is one of the oldest LGBT film festivals in the world. The Festival will take place in Cinema Massimo, the multi screen theatre of the National Museum of Cinema. 2016’s festival featured two American films including: Stuff by Suzanne Guacci and Those People by Joey Kuhn. 2017’s lineup is to be announced in March.
July, Barolo
Heralded by rocker Patti Smith as “The essence of what a festival nowadays should be”, Collisioni combines literature, music, food and wine. For a few days, the small town of Barolo turns into an open-air non-stop stage where festival goers attend lectures, readings and concerts. Past entertainment guests have included the likes of Bob Dylan, Jamiroquai, Deep Purple, Neil Young, Sting, Elton John, Salman Rushdie and David Sedaris.
September, Turin and Milan
For three weeks straight, MiTo Settembre Musica offers three or more events per day, featuring world-class classical artists and orchestras. MiTo’s concerts take place from Milan to Turin, thus creating one immense virtual stage for the month of September. The event attracts over 100,000 people who come to discover and appreciate the wide variety of classical music on display.
October 8November 27, Alba
Dedicated to the famed white truffle of Alba, a delicacy for gourmands worldwide, the 87th Annual White Truffle fair will host events from the beginning of October until the end of November.  Events include truffle exhibitions, donkey parades, fashion shows, poetry nights and a truffle hunt. A highlight for all, the truffle hunt allows visiting enthusiasts to follow along as a truffle hunter and his dog search the woods for the precious underground fungus, guided only by their mutual instinct and intuition gained through years of experience.
October, Bra
Over 270,000 visitors attended 2016’s bi-annual celebration of all things dairy and 2017 is expected to see even greater numbers. Organized by the City of Bra and Slow Food Italy, the streets and squares of Bra will again be packed with over 300 exhibitors from 23 countries including two American exhibitors. With over 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, festival attendees will have their pick of countless dairy delights and rarities from all over the world.
November, Torino
Marathoners looking to run through a city rich with art galleries, churches, palaces, opera houses, parks and museums might consider the Torino Marathon in November. Last year, two U.S. athletes competed in the 26.2-mile race and received sixth and seventh place. The event also offers a 6K Fun Run for visitors looking to take part and a 1K Junior Marathon for young aspiring runners.
November, Torino
The Cioccolatò – or Torino Chocolate Festival – is an appealing event dedicated to chocolate in all its forms and interpretations. Torino is the home to the Italian chocolate tradition, with the first chocolates produced dating back to the seventeenth century. Every November in Torino visitors can enjoy chocolate-themed entertainment, tastings, recipes and expert panels.
November, Alba
Making headlines in 2016, the worldwide white truffle auction raised a total of over $450,000, with the top bid coming from a Philadelphia chef. The prized truffle up for action, an incredible specimen weighing a total of 2.5 pounds, was snapped up by Chef Zhenxiang Dong for a phenomenal $100,000!
For Piemonte’s full calendar of events and more information, please visit http://www.inpiemonteintorino.it/web/en. Photos available upon request.