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I was born in the province of Cuneo, near the Alps, in a village that looks like a still from a 1930's movies, where women still feel they need to have red lipstick and heels to leave the house and go buy bread, where Sunday is still the day you go to mass at eleven in the morning, then stroll down the portici of the main street, chatting with people and end up at the caffe' for a San Simone before lunch.
A village where you still see the scars of World War Two, because our valleys have lost a whole generation of men, then, and there is not a single person who does not have a soldier's story to tell or remember.
43,123 inhabitants. Macerata is a nice, small town that is right on the top of a hill and it resembles the typical Italian panorama, just about 300 meters above the sea level. The city is pretty, probably not as breathtaking as some of the most famous ones such as Florence, Rome or Venice, however it still represents a pleasant visit and interesting historical site to see. Two areas worth seeing are the Porta Mercato (Market Door) and Porta Montana, two doors that in the past were access points to the city. The Cathedral completed in 1464 is also worth visiting, as well as Palazzo of the Priori and the palace of the Regione.
31,115 inhabitants. A fairly recent province considering that it was only established in 1992, Verbania has an extraordinary location, right on the shores of Lake Maggiore. It combines nature, mountains and national parks in the very favorable geographic location surrounding Verbania.
Among those parks the one that definitely deserves a visit are the botanic gardens of Villa Taranto. They are actually the product of the hard work of Scottish man, Neil McEacharn, and today it is a rich garden with over 20,000 different species of plant.
While visiting Piedmont is exciting at any time of year, it is worth a visit in winter when its famed sky resorts and the structures left from the Winter Olympics of 2006 offer first class infrastructures to winter sports lovers. Spring and autumn are also beautiful, when the weather is fair.
The region of Piedmont in Italy is spread over an area of 25,399 sq km and has a population of around 4.4 million. The region is surrounded by Alps on three sides. It shares a border with France and Switzerland the regions of Aosta Valley, Liguria and Lombardy. The region has quite fertile land, because of which agriculture in the region is of high quality.
One of the most important pilgrimage sites in Italy are the Sacri Monti, or Sacred Mountains, that are located in the northern part of the country. These mountains are actually nine groups of churches and chapels created in the 16th and 17th centuries. Along with their religious significance these structures are also noteworthy for their architectural features and wealth of amazing art. For these reasons the Sacri Monti were named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.
Some of the best known Royal Houses from this complex which have been included in the world heritage list are as given below:
Varallo is a comune and a small town located in Piedmont region in Italy in the province of Vercelli. The town is commonly called Varallo Sesia and is located in Valsesia region at an altitude of 450 meters above sea level. Varallo is located close to the city of Vercelli and was once known are Varade.
The town itself is divided into two different boroughs by a stream. Varallo is spread over an area of 87 sq km and has a population of close to 7500. Varallo was given a golden medal for military value in the year 1971 for its bravery against the Germans in World War II.
Neive is a small comune and town located in the Piedmont region of Italy in the province of Cueno. The town is located close to the cities of Cuneo and Turin. Neive is spread over an area of 21.2 sq km and has a population of approximately 3000. Neive is basically famous for its wine producing region and there are several vineyards located close to the town.
The town does not attract many visitors except for those who are interested in wine. Because of the rise in agritourism in the recent years, quite a lot people now come to Neive to experience rural Italian village lifestyle.
Santa Maria Maggiore is a small village and a commune located in the Piedmont region of Italy in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. The village is located 25 km from Verbania and 130 km away from the city of Turin. Santa Maria Maggiore is located on the border of Switzerland. The village is quite small, with an area of 53 sq km and a population of close to 1200.
Bene Vagienna is a small town and commune located in the Piedmont region in Italy in the province of Cuneo. The medieval town is located close to the cities of Turin and Cuneo. The town is spread over an area of 48 sq km and has a population of close to 3500. The town has several narrow cobblestoned streets, charming old houses, porticos and small piazzas that can transport visitors back in time.
Alagna Valsesia is a village and a small commune located in Piedmont, Italy in the province of Vercelli. The village is located on the Val Grande Mountain in the Valley of Valsesia alpine. Alagna Valsesia is located at an altitude of 1152 meters and is a popular tourist destination for winter sports, skiing and mountaineering.
Mergozzo is a small commune and town located in the Piedmont region in Italy in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. The town is located close to the cities of Verbania and Turin. Mergazzo is spread over an area of 27 sq km and has a population of approximately 2000. The economy of the town is based mainly on tourism that the Lake Mergozza attracts, all of which falls within the commune.
Macugnaga is a small mountain village located in the Piedmont region of Italy in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. The village is located along the Anzasca valley in the Monte Rosa mountain range. The village was first inhabited by the Walser, which are German natives belonging to the Swiss Canton Wallis.
Candelo is a small comune and town located in the Piedmont region of Italy in the province of Biella. The town is located close to Turin and Biella and does not attract many tourists. Due to its medieval nature and its village like atmosphere it has become a center for agritourism in the recent years.
Barolo is a small town located in the Piedmont region in Italy in the famous wine producing region of Langhe. The town is famous for its many vineyards and its many varieties of red wine which are made from the nebbiolo grape. Barolo is located in the Cuneo province and it can only be called a village.