Piemonte - Vallee D'Aosta

Basic Information

International Rail Travel to Piedmont & Valle D'Aosta 

Turin is the main "rail node" of the Piedmont & Vallee D'Aosta Regions. There are three daily TGV connections from Paris (Paris - Milan route): 
Turin can also be accessed from Milan using the high speed Frecciarossa services and regional - Inter City and  Frecciabianca trains that travel on the ordinary lines. (High Speed) services Milan - Turin (ave time 54 mins - 1.03 mins) Frecciabianca services Turin-Milan-Venice line (ave time Milan - Turin 1 hour 45 mins) Regional services/Inter City
  • Travel to Turin from Zurich via  Milan 3hours 41 mins to Milan then 1 hour Frecciarossa to Turin (Note change of station may be required in Milan)
  • Travel to Turin from Munich to Milan (change in Verona) Journey time between 07.00 to 07.45 hours then one hour Milan to Turin  (Note change of station may be required in Milan)
  • Travel to Turin from Vienna Vienna - Milan (changes in Innsbruck and Verona) Journey time 10 hours 11 mins and 10 hours 41 mins then one hour Milan to Turin (Note change of station may be required in Milan)
  • Travel to Turin from Moscow Moscow - Milan (Depart Thursdays) 42 Hours 55 Mins then one hour Milan to Turin (Note change of station may be required in Milan)
  • Talgo (Salvador Dalì) Service from Barcelona (depart 19.25 Arrive Turin Porta Susa 08.11) Departs Barcelona on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Genoa - Turin times vary between 1 hour 45 mins to 2 hours 25 mins. There are various routes to choose from (via Alessandria, Savona or Arquata Scrivia)
  • Ventimiglia to Turin via Cuneo (between 3 hours 15 mins to 4 hours) 
  • Domodossola to Turin (various options - ranging from 2 hours 45 mins to 4 hours with from one to three changes)   
    Schedules can be verified and bookings made through Rail Europe
    From Switzerland bookings can also be made through the Swiss Federal Railways
    Trips within Italy with Trenitalia

    International Connections to North-Eastern Piedmont (Domodossola and Lago Maggiore)
    • From Paris TGV to either Geneva, Lausanne or Basle and then onward connections to Domodossola via Brig with EuroCity - travel time 6 hours 37 mins (via Geneva) 6 Hours 49 mins (via Basle) and 6 hours 29 mins (via Vallorbe/Lausanne. 
    • From London Eurostar-TGV-EC Via Paris Geneva/Basel Fastest time via Geneva 9 hours 48 mins via Basle 10 hours 
    • From Hamburg via Basle travel times between 9 hours 48 mins and 11 hours 4 mins. Number of connections (train changes) range from 1 to 4. 
    All of the above journeys to Domodossola  can be booked through  Swiss Federal Railways
    Motor Rail Services to Alessandria
    Motor rail services are available to Alessandria from:
    • Germany (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Neu Isenburg). 
    • Netherlands (Den Bosch to Alessandria & Livorno)

    Tourist Information
    Overall Information
    World Heritage Listings in Piedmont
    In Turin 
    Outside Turin
    See also UNESCO listings under Biella below.
    Regional Capital Piedmont
    Turin (and Province) borders with France and the Aosta Valley, extending to Pinerolese, the picturesque  Susa Valley, the Canavese and the hills to the east and south of the city of Turin. The province is  characterised by its varied landscapes: magnificent alpine resorts, vast pasture lands, woods and large stretches of vineyards. The province also possesses a number of nature reserves such as Riserva Naturale del Sacro Monte di Belmonte and the Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso. The City of Turin (the first capital of the united Italy) is surrounded by spectacular natural landscape there are many cultural and historical sites, in particular evidence of the  long reign of the Savoy family, such residences  and historical houses surrounded by huge parks,a number of which are  listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
    Tourist Information
    Provincial Administrative Centres
    In addition to Turin, that is the regional capital and also the administrative centre for Turin Province, there are seven other provinces in the Region. These are:
    Alessandria Situated in the extreme southeast of Piedmont that has for long been of strategic importance for its connections with Lombardy and Liguria. The province consists of many hills and sometimes remote valleys and the southern part of the province is  dominated by the Ligurian Apennine Mountains.
    Tourist Information 
    Asti This mostly hilly province is situated at the heart of Piedmont and borders with Liguria to the south. The province is a major wine producer and is renowned worldwide for its spumante. 
    Tourist Information 
    Biella stretches across northern Piedmont and borders the Valle d’Aosta Valley to the west. It is very much unspoiled and contains nature reserves. The Biella Province has two  Unesco World Heritage sites. The Marian Sanctuary of Oropa, which is one of the The Sacred Mountains of Piedmont and Lombardy (Includes also a WWF sanctuary) and Lake Viverone  which is part of the " Prehistoric stilt villages of the Alpine arc "(Images of lake)
    Tourist Information 
    Cuneo Province extends to the south-western tip of Piedmont and borders France to the west and Liguria to the south. The province is dominated by the Alps, (Monviso massif) and the hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato. The large plain traversed by Po, Tanaro and other rivers forms the central part of the province.
    Tourist Information
    Novara, the easternmost province of Piedmont  is bordered by  Lombardy to the east and south.  The southern part of the province, enclosed by the Ticino and Sesia rivers, is predominantly flat with hills in the centre of the province and mountains to the north in the area of Monte Mattarone. Novara province includes parts of Lake Orta and the southern part of Lake Maggiore.
    Tourist Information
    Verbano - Cusio- Ossola situated  in the north-eastern strip of Piedmont, on the borders of Switzerland and Lombardy..
    Tourist Information
    Vercelli lies in the north-eastern part of Piedmont and extends along the Sesia River, from Mount Rosa to the Po River, through the Baragge and flatlands southeast of the provincial capital.
    Tourist Information
    Valle D'Aosta 
    Aosta Is the only province of the autonomous region of Valle D'Aosta. The city itself has a strong Roman presence and the province, especially the route up to Mont Blanc is scattered with fortresses built in the past to protect the valley from invaders.

    Tourist Information

    Access to Ski Resorts by Train 
    Piedmont and Valle D'Aosta are blessed with an abundance of ski resorts. All of the ski-resorts offer summer time facilities (trekking biking etc)
    Valle D'Aosta
    Ski-ing in Valle D'Aosta and how to arrive by train. Connections from Turin/Milan are at Chivasso Times from Turin to Aosta between 2 hours and 2 hours 20 mins and from Milan fastest time just over three hours options include Frecciarossa to Turin and then train to Aosta changing either in Chivasso or Ivrea; or regional train from Milan to Chivasso and change for Aosta. 
    There are alternative rail travel options to those suggested on the Valle D'Aosta website. They can be longer but are worth the trip both in summer and winter for their spectacular view. These options are:
    • TGV from Paris to St. Gervais Les Bains. Direct TGV leave Paris 07.11 & 11.11 arrive St Gervais Les Bains at 11.32 and 15.18 respectively. There are other options with change of train in Annecy ; Tramway St. Gervais Les Bains to Chamonix and then bus connection to the Aosta Valley through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. 
    • TGV from Paris to Lausanne (Depart Paris 07.57, 11.57, 15.57, 17.57 then to Martigny (arrive 13.07, 17,07, 21.12, 23,07). From Marigny there are a number of options using the  Transport Martigny Region TMR. The first is by train to Chamonix  (Video Mont Blanc Express) Photo Images Timetable  and th en bus to the Aosta Valley through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The second is by train from Martigny to Orsières (St Bernard Express  Photo Images ) then by bus to Aosta through the St Bernardo Tunnel. Both of trips offer really spectacular views. 
    Piedmont - By Province Ski Guide for Piedmont (English Version)
    Turin Province
    • Bardonecchia (more extensive description in Italian)(Photo Images) is a ski location that is not connected to others in the Turin Province. Bardonecchia is on the Paris-Turin-Milan TGV route (three trains daily). It is also reached on the regional services from Turin.
    Turin Province - Resorts on the Via Lattea (Milky Way)
    The station that serves these ski-stations is Oulx-Cesana-Claviere-Sestriere on the Turin- Bardocchia line. In addition to the regional services, the station is also served by TGV Paris-Turin-Milan service (three trains daily). Bus times from the railway station to the resorts,
    Verbania-Cusio-Ossola Province

    Cuneo Province
    The resorts in Cuneo are readily accessible by train and short bus connections. Artesina, Frabosa Soprano and Prato Nevoso can be reached by travelling to Mondovì station then by bus. 
    Vercelli Province


      Trips - Trekking and Outdoor Activities
      The following are a selection of  websites provide some ideas for outdoor activities. The Slow Train to Culture and Food™ STCF™ Blog will deal with trekking and outdoor activities in greater detail and linked to specific rail journeys.
      Eating - Regional Products 
      These links provide some indications; local recipes and products will be elaborated upon in the blog entries for each of the rail journeys.
      • Agriturism food and accommodation can be found in Regioni Italia Directory Piedmont   and Val D'Aosta 
      • The official site for Piedmont lists restaurants and indicate price ranges. The opening page can be found here. Select your desired price range and the province.  
      • The official site for Valle D'Aosta has a restaurant search facility
      • Prodotti Tipici Valle D'Aosta (with translation facility) lists restaurants. Click on the name of the restaurant for full information. The website also contains a list of typical products(food and wine), producers and recipes.   
      • iPhone/iPad applications Slowfood Guide  Osteria di Italia 2012 and Gambero Rosso Ristoranti d'Italia contain menus and prices of restaurants in the regions of Piedmont and for Valle D'Aosta.
      • Travel Italia provides a list of restaurants, description of cuisine and prices for Piedmont  and Valle D'Aosta Select the restaurant of choice  Click on the green button "more details" for expanded information of the restaurant.


      Main Rail Locations and Secondary Lines 

      Source Regione Piemonte
      The locations below have been selected as a potential base from which to take rail journeys. Details of the intermediary stops along the secondary lines will be covered in the Blog

      Please note that the Piedmont Region is considering the closure of up to twelve secondary lines.
      Getting there by Train
      • See introduction above 
      Turin Porta Nuova Station is the third busiest in Italy. Prior to the introduction of the Frecciarossa services to Rome- Naple- Salerno, there were frequent intercity services to Rome-Naples along the west coast line. Similarly, there were sleeper and motor rail services to southern Italy. 

      From mid-June 2012 Arenaways plans to introduce train hotel services to Calabria and Bari. These services will use Talgo trains. There will be a motor rail service from Alessandria associated with the service. Arenaways also has plans to introduce a number of Intercity services.
      Italo recently introduced services using the high speed network. Although planned, there are no Italo high speed services operating from Turin.

      "Former Main Line" services  from Turin
      A number of lines termed "secondary" were in fact mainlines that offered Intercity and Eurostar services prior to the introduction of Frecciarossa services on dedicated high speed lines. These are the first four lines in the list coloured blue.

      These lines are now mainly served by trains operated by the Region of Piemonte (some cross into other regions). The Paris - Milan TGV service runs on the former main lines and stops at Bardonecchia, Oulx-Cesana-Sestriere, Turin, Vercelli, Novara.

      There are occasional Frecciabianca services that run on the former main lines for example Turin-Piacenza-Bologna-Bari and Turin-Venice. Trains to Genova are predominantly served by regional trains. It is important to bear in mind that when you search on the Trenitalia website you will invariably be directed to a high speed Frecciarossa option. For example if you wish to travel from Turin to Piacenza, you will be offered services via Milan using the Frecciarossa to Milan and then Intercity or regional services from Milan to Piacenza. You will not be offered the options of travelling on the former main line (which is more scenic and of course cheaper) as there are few direct trains; you will not be offered the choice that will allow  you to take a train to either Alessandria or Tortona and then change for a train to Piacenza.

      Frecciabianca and Inter-City services from Turin are as follows:
      • Turin - Bari (Frecciabianca)Depart 08.25 Arrive Bari 17.12 direct service. There are other possibilities with train changes in Milan and/or Bologna. Note that the journey time of this direct service is only 9 minutes longer than if opting for a Frecciarossa to Milan/Bologna with a continuation of the journey with either an Intercity or Frecciabianca service. The direct service also costs 35€ less than the latter option.
      • Turin - Salerno (Intercity) (via Genova-Grosseto) Depart 11.05 arrive Salerno 21.32. The journey time is three hours more than the Frecciarossa option but costs 90€ compared to 184€ in first class and 65€ compared to 143€ in second class
      • Turin - Venice (through service) 74.50€ first class  52.50€ second class (single). Note that if you opt to take Frecciarossa to Milan and change trains, the price will increase by  19€ in first class and 12.50€ in second. Taking the Frecciarossa/Frecciargento  option and changing in  Bologna will add 42.50€ in first class and 34.50€ in second class. The journey time savings will be approximately 35 mins. Times for the direct service:
        • Dep 06.05 arrive 10.40
        • Dep 07.05 arrive 11.40
        • Dep 11.05 arrive 15.40
        • Dep 15.05 arrive 19.28
        • Dep 17.05 arrive 21.40 
      Secondary Lines from Turin
      Alessandria: Getting there by train:
      Located on main lines: Turin - Piacenza - Bologna; Turin - Genova and Novara-Genova
      • Turin - Alessandria  between 58 mins and 1 hour 15 mins 
        • TGV connections from Paris to Turin Porta Susa:
          • Depart Paris Gare Lyon 07.49 arrive Porta Susa 13.25 connecting regional tains to Alessandria departs  13.54 change at Lingotto arrive in Alessandria 15.00
          • Depart Paris Gare Lyon 10.41 arrive Porta Susa 16.17 connecting regional tains to Alessandria departs  16.42 change at Lingotto arrive in Alessandria 18.15
          • Depart Paris Gare Lyon 14.41 arrive Porta Susa 20.13  connecting regional tains to Alessandria departs  21.13 change at Lingotto arrive in Alessandria 22.27 
      • Genova - Alessandria aprox 50 mins with Intercity, 1 hour on fast regional trains and up to 1 hour 50 mins  on others (depends on route taken)
      • Milan - Alessandria 1 hour 11 mins and 1 hour 25 mins 
      Lines from Alessandria (Station Italian English)
      • Alessandria -Nizza - Bra - Cavallermaggiore Map    (Note: there are no longer direct services connecting using the Alessandria and Cavallermaggiore line. Fastest train times Alessandria - Nizza Monferrato (37-41 mins direct service or ave 1hr 15 mins via Asti) Alessandria - Bra (fastest time via Asti 1 hour 49mins); Alessandria - Cavallermaggiore (via Trofarello or Torino Lingotto fastest time 1 hour 40 mims)
      • Alessandria - Acqui - S. Giuseppe Map Alessandria - Acqui Terme approx 35 mins
      • Alessandria - Ovada - Genova Map 
      • Alessandria - Novi - Arquata S - Genova Map
      • Alessandria - Novara (for connections to Lake Maggiore and Biella) Direct regional trains between 50 mins and 1 hour 12 mins
      Asti -Getting there by train:
      Lo cated on main lines: Turin - Piacenza - Bologna; Turin - Genova
      Lines from Asti
      • Asti - Chivasso Map and Description  Steam Video Bus has substituted the rail service.
      • Asti- Casale M. - Vercelli Map and Description Bus has substituted the rail service between Asti and Casale M. Rail only journeys between Asti and Vercelli have to use connections via Alessandria or Turin 
      • Asti - Castagnole Map and Description approximately 20 mins journey alternate bus or train with hourly service early morning until 10.00 and then again hourly from 13.14.
      • Asti - Nizza-Acqui- Ovada (on to Genova)  Map and Description
      Casale Monferrato 
      Tourist Information
      Getting there by train:
      From Turin via Chivasso from Milan via Vercelli
      Lines from Casale Monferrato 
      • Chivasso - Casale Monferrato (hourly service journey times approx 1 hour)
      • Vercelli-Casale M. Valenza) (Journeys between Vercelli and Valenza will require a change at either Casale M. Alessandria or Mortara -  journey times approx. 1 hour. Journey time for Casale M.-Valenza between 15-20mins
      • Casale M - Mortara- Milan Map & Description  1st Section (Asti - Mortara) 2nd Section Mortara - Milan The train service between Casale M. and Mortara has been replaced by a bus servie (47 mins). The train journey either via Vercelli or Valenza takes between 1 hour 11 mins (via Valenza) to 1 hour 24 mins (via Vercelli)
      Lines from Chivasso
      Cuneo Getting there by train:
      • From Turin Hourly service Journey time between 1 hour 20 mins and 1 hour 30 mins. Trains leave Turin Porta Nuova at 30 or 35 mins past the hour. 
      • From Ventimiglia and French Riviera see below.
      Lines from Cuneo (Station description and connections in English)
      North East Piedmont Domodossola - Verbania and Lake Maggiore
      Getting there by Train
      • To Domodossola see introduction above 
      • To Verbania 
        International line Milano - Domodossola
        Verbania Pallanza station (From Milano Centrale approx. 1 hour 20 mins from Milano Porta Garibaldi 1 Hour 35 mins

        Nord line Milano - Varese - Laveno Input Timetable
        From Laveno car-ferry boat Laveno - Verbania Intra
      Lines from Domodossola

      Getting there by Train 
      Novara is situated on the main line between Milan and Turin (Not high speed) Regional fast trains take approx. 40 mins. (Leaving from Milano Centrale) Trains from the other Milan stations are slower.

      Lines from Novara 
      • Novara - Biella Map Direct service or via Santhia. Journey times from 43 mins to just over one hour. 
      • Novara - Luino Map From Novara Nord using Le Nord with a change in Busto Arsizio - Journey Time 2 hours. Departure 07.08 then 11.08 and every two hours thereafter. 
      • Novara - Varallo Map Steam VideoSteam Video 2 Replaced by a bus service
      • Novara - Saronno Map operated by Ferrovia Nord Milano (Hourly service 08 past the hour journey time 46 mins.)
      • Novara - Valenza- Alessandria (fastest time early morning (07.35) 47 mins otherwise 1 hour 11mins on direct services and 1hour 31 mins with change in Vercelli)  Map and Wikipedia line Alessandria - Arona (the Journey Arona - Alessandria takes between 2 hours 20 mins to 2 hours 50 mins; number of changes vary)

      Santhia - Arona Map There are ten direct services (starting from 06.40 last 20.42). Journey times approx. 1 hour.
      Santhia - Biella Map This service is to be replaced by bus

      Vercelli Tourist Information 

      Vercelli-Mortara- Pavia Map & Description 

      National rail travel bookings can be made on-line  Trenitalia