The main attraction of northern Piemonte is the mountains, especially the dramatic Alpine Valsesia, which winds up to the foot of Monte Rosa on the Swiss border. On the way is the industrial town of Ivrea and one of the region’s most visited sanctuaries, the Santuario di Oropa near Biella. From here you’re well poised for either Piemonte’s mountains or those of Valle d’Aosta, a few kilometres west. Worth a slight detour is the magical train ride that starts at Domodossola, conveniently en route if you’re heading for Switzerland.

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