When is the best time to visit Piedmont? Let’s review.

when to visit piedmont italy

If you are looking to visit Piedmont, you are not alone. The 2014 UNESCO World Heritage Site designation of Barolo, Barbaresco, Nizza Monferrato and Barbera, Canelli and Moscato d’Asti and the castle of Grinzane Cavour has brought attention from exciting places: Decanter is talking Barbaresco, The New York Times is exploring Barolo and Truffles, and The Guardian has a top 10 list for Piedmont travel.

The write-ups are fantastic and I especially love the shout-outs for producers and shopkeepers that I am lucky enough to call friends. But, for the everyday traveler a trip to Piedmont can be daunting to plan – though, the views alone make it worth the effort.

When I first started doing Piedmont travel in 2010 – no so long ago – it seemed near impossible to find any information. Few hotels or producers had websites and hardly any tour guide options existed. Today it’s easier to find lodging and more wine and food tour operators are open for business. Unfortunately though, while more sites on tourism exist, many are still difficult to navigate and the information is often in Italian only.

As a Piedmont travel planner — and local — I get questions all the time about the region. In the past six months alone I’ve done nearly a dozen articles and interviews on regional travel, food and wine, and wine tour tips. So, I thought I’d create a reference guide that captures the most important things to know about Piedmont wine travel, starting with the best time to visit Piedmont.

winter barbaresco
Winter. Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy. ©Valerie Quintanilla, Girl’s Gotta Drink.

When to Visit Piedmont

Save for those hot days in late June and July, I think any time of the year is a good time to drink Nebbiolo. So, as far as I’m concerned you will do just fine here year-round. Each season offers its own iteration of beauty as well as bountiful food. Let’s break down Piedmont travel by seasons.

When to visit Piedmont: Travel Seasonality (may vary slightly by the hotel):

visiting piedmont

    • Peak Season: July, September, October, November
    • High Season: April, May, June, August*, December
    • Off-eason: January to March
    • *A few words about August in Italy: The month of August is traditionally a time of rest in Italy. Many Italians pack up and head to the sea to escape the heat. Many used to take the entire month off, but that’s not as common anymore. In our area, people tend to do one or two weeks of riposa; generally centered around the national holiday of Ferragosto (August 15). You’ll find limited things open on the 15th and while you will still be able to explore the Langhe and Roero during the month, give yourself a little extra planning time as it may take a little longer to find things open. It will certainly be very quiet with closures varying throughout the month.

State Holidays in Italy (businesses, including wineries, may be closed):

    • Good Friday
    • Easter Sunday
    • Easter Monday
    • April 25, Liberation Day
    • 1st Friday of May, Labor Day
    • June 2, Republic Day
    • August 15, Ferragosto
    • November 1, All Saints Day
    • December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception
    • December 25 and 26, Christmas Holidays
    • December 31, January 1, New Years Holidays

Annual Piedmont Weather:

visiting piedmont
Top photo: Turin, Italy -Summer 2018. Right photo: Alba, Italy – Winter 2016.

Visiting Piedmont: By the Seasons

Winter: Shhh…the vineyards are sleeping — and so is much of the region.

Winter in Piedmont, old Barbaresco Vines
Old Barbaresco vines from Cantina del Pino with the Tower of Barbaresco and Monviso visible in the distance.

After all the hard work of the harvest, both the vineyards and the bulk of the area’s tourism close up shop for their own winter nap. Hotels, restaurants, and effectually some of the local tour companies shutter from January to mid-March.

Dates to know: If you are planning a late winter Piedmont wine trip be mindful of Vinitaly, Italy’s largest wine tradeshow of the year. It’s held in Verona and you will be hard pressed to schedule a winery visit during that week. The couple weeks leading up to it can also be difficult as many producers are at another wine industry event in Germany and / or they are prepping for the annual pilgrimage to Verona. Check the Vinitaly and ProWein websites for dates as they vary annually.

Spring: Experience bud break.

If you are looking for great weather and fewer crowds try visiting Piedmont in the spring. Hotels and restaurants have re-opened for business and tour guides and producers are less busy so you get a little extra attention during your visits.

barbaresco vineyards
Springtime in Piedmont. Neive vineyards, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy. ©Valerie Quintanilla, Girl’s Gotta Drink.

Spring Events in Piedmont:

April, May:

  • Vinum: Each year the primary wine town of Alba hosts a wine festival that features all Piedmont wines. The event usually takes place around the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. Prices start at 10 euros for four tastings (includes a souvenir wine glass and a wine pouch).
  • Festa della Barbera, Castagnole delle Lanze: The village of Castagnole delle Lanze welcomes visitors and locals for a Barbera celebration with local wine and food producers and live music. See site for details (site in Italian).
  • Barbaresco a Tavolo: Local restaurants around town offer set menus to taste the newest Barbaresco vintage. Generally, around 20 wines are featured each night with 60 new Barbarescos shown over three nights. The wines are presented blind and participants receive a tasting sheet. Wines are revealed at the conclusion of the evening.

    Barolo Vineyards Spring
    Barolo vineyards of Serralunga d’Alba in the spring. These vines are just starting to show life.

Summer: Watch the grapes grow.

Summer is a popular time for visitors, so it’s busier. The pros are that you can spend long nights outside, sipping wine. The grapes are turning lovely colors and the vineyards are ready for exploration. The cons are that if the mosquitoes like you, prepare for the attack. And, when booking wine tours, remember you could be tasting a lot of tannic, rich Nebbiolo in humid temperatures of 85°F / 30°C plus.

Dates to know: Don’t forget Ferragosto! After the long hot summer Italians all over the country retreat to the seaside in celebration of the August period of rest, generally kicked off on August 15, a national holiday in Italy. It used to be that Italians would either take the entire month of August off or the last few weeks after Ferragosto. Now, economic struggles are forcing more people to stay open. Be cognizant of this tradition if you plan to visit Piedmont in August as it can be very quiet.

Summer Events in Piedmont:

July, August:

  • Monforte Jazz Festival: An incredible jazz festival staged at the amphitheater in the historic hilltop village of Monforte d’Alba in the Barolo zone. Shows run July and August (site in Italian).
  • Collisioni, Barolo: The region’s biggest music festival runs three nights in July with international musicians who play in the center of the historic village of Barolo.

Fall: Harvest and truffle season – enough said.

There is nothing quite like zipping through the hills of the Langhe as the colors change. It is incredible. Plus, it’s the start of truffle season. The Alba White Truffle is arguably the most sought-after fungi in the world – certainly one of the most expensive. A visit to Piedmont in the fall is high season for tourism. Make reservations for hotels, tour guides, and even restaurants early. You can even book a truffle hunt.

Barolo Harvest at Bartolo Mascarello
Nebbiolo for Barolo Harvest at Bartolo Mascarello.
Alba White Truffle, Piedmont
Alba White Truffle or Tartufo Bianca d’Alba is shaved over pasta, fried eggs, risotto – anything and everything. Even gelato!

Fall Events in Piedmont:


  • Asti Palio: The Palio tradition also takes place in the historic center of Asti.
  • Festa del Vino: Each year the city of Alba hosts all the communes of the Langhe and Roero for a wine festival featuring wines from each location. Cost is 10 euros for a souvenir glass and wine holder.
  • Bra Cheese Festival, Bra: Every other year the Slow Food Organization hosts its international Cheese Festival in Bra. The event features cheese from all over the world, a beer tent, a wine and cheese hall, and more.

October, November:

  • Piacere Barbaresco: A two-day event in October that features only Barbaresco wines from recent vintages. Check the Entoeca Regionale del Barbaresco site for details, updated closer to the event.
  • Alba’s Palio degli Asini or The Alba Donkey Palio: Yes, that’s right, folks. In the center of Alba, you can see a donkey race. The legend goes that the city of Alba used to win the Asti Palio. Asti didn’t take too kindly to losing to their neighbor, so instead of upping their game, they eliminated the competition and stopped inviting Alba to participate. Alba answered by hosting an event to mock the Asti fete. Ah, Italy. How I love thee. The event takes place the first Sunday of October to kick off the Truffle Fair festivities.
  • The Alba White Truffle Fair: The biggest truffle fair in the world takes place over six weekends from mid-October to mid-November. The area organizes truffle seminars, events, and wine tastings in conjunction with the fair. Entry is 2 euros.


Bagna Cauda Day: A three-day event that celebrates one of the region’s most prized dishes. Bagna Cauda is an olive oil-based fondue of anchovy and garlic served over an open flame to keep it warm. Seasonal vegetables and bread accompany it for dipping.

Trediberri Barolo in La Morra
The vineyards of La Morra and a 2008 Trediberri Barolo.

I know, I’m a bit biased, but I think any time is good to visit Piedmont.

If you are planning a trip and have questions, drop me a note. For more on navigating the region, check out our post on how to get around Piedmont.

Get the updates on the region right to your inbox by subscribing to Girl’s Gotta Drink in the upper right and / or follow updates via FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

Cin cin!

More Piedmont Travel Resources:

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35 replies on “When is the best time to visit Piedmont? Let’s review.”
  1. says: Heather

    Oh Valerie… Anytime is a good time to visit Piedmont

    I remember each and every hour for sure
    Cherished Neive tours… The Villa Lauri lures…
    The wine festival in Barbaresco for sure !

    1. Thanks for reading, Heather! Yes, it is always a good time to visit Piedmont! Each season offers its own extra special goodness. Sigh.

      Never a dull moment. When will you be back!? Cin cin! Val

      1. Hi Val…… just stumble across your name as looking around the web on Piemonte… I am an avid believer in any and everything in the region. I have a small place near Santa Stefano Belbo and visit multiple times per year. Next time am around love to meet for a glass of vino. I live permanently in Hong Kong and also have a wine distribution company [here] focused on Italian wines. Cheers JR

    1. Thanks, Jen! It’s the question I get asked most about Piedmont travel. I have to laugh at myself because I can’t ever give a definitive time. There is something unique all the time! Can’t wait to show you around some day! Salute!

  2. says: Jeannie Ward

    Thanks for this fabulous blog. I’m staying in Alba 10/22 to 10/30. My first time visiting Italy and I’m excited about what is to come. I plan on doing the truffle fair on Saturday, and want to explore wineries, as well as visit Genoa. Any advice you could offer would be wonderful.

    1. Ciao, Jeannie! Thank you for your kind words! Please feel free to email me at girlsgottadrink @ gmail.com for specific questions. You can find more links to information with tips on our tour page as well as the “Piedmont Travel” category on the site. Enjoy your time here!

      Cin cin! Val

  3. says: Donna

    Hello! We are traveling to the Piedmont second week of October… would love some suggestion re small inns, hotels, agriturismo, rooms etc where we might find refuge for a night or two while traveling about.

    Ciao! and thanks!

  4. says: Amy G.

    Hi Valerie:

    I just found your site and wanted to thank you for the information! I’m in the early stages of planning a trip to the area in fall 2017. My ancestors are from Cuneo and Acceglio, so I have an interest in spending some time in Piedmont during my first trip to Italy (plus, it sounds amazing! I think I’m going to try to plan around the cheese festival now!). I hope you’ll keep writing.


    1. Ciao, Amy! Thank you so much for reading! I have a lot more to come. It’s just been a really busy period, so I’m behind on the posts! Please let me know if you need any recommendations or tips! How long will you be in the area? I’d love to meet up!


      1. says: Amy G.


        Thanks so much! Right now, my partner and I are planning a whirlwind two-week trip flying in to Rome and out of Venice. It will be our first trip to Italy, but hopefully not the last, even though we are planning as if it could be. Anyway, right now I’m thinking about spending 4 nights in Alba as a base. The only other place I’d like to visit is Acceglio, so that I can be in the town of my ancestors and, hopefully, go on a day hike. We also want to do some wine touring and eating, of course. It would be really cool to meet up! I’ll follow up with you as are plans firm, since we’ve got (what seems like) a long time.

    1. Thank you for reading, Joseph! Harvest is a lovely time to visit. It’s also very busy, so if you plan to come this year, I suggest you book lodging and activities early.

      Cin Cin! Valerie

  5. says: Pietra

    I love this blog post! I’ll look into coming to one of the events. I am an expat living in Rome and love adventuring in Italy.. we’ll send you an email before we come and see if you are not too busy.. Thank you for all the great information.

    1. Ciao, Pietra!

      Grazie Mille! If you come in the fall make sure to book lodging early. It’s been filling up far out the last couple years. Email me and I can give you some recommendations – girlsgottadrink @ gmail.com.

      I hope we can meet! My husband and I are thinking about a trip to Rome in May. I’d love to connect if we do!

      Buon weekend! Val

  6. says: Janine S

    Hi Valerie!

    Found your blog site doing some research for a day trip to the Langhe I’m in charge of taking my family on in September. Love it! I’ve been pouring over all of your winery and restaurant recommendations! Wondering if I could get your thoughts on my proposed itinerary, given we’ll be coming from Recco for the day – there are just too many places that I want to visit! Would love to chat. Thanks!

  7. says: lola abineri

    Hi Valerie,
    I am currently researching this area for a UK cooking program , you seem very knowledgeable on the area and was wondering if you could help me out with a few questions, can we correspond somewhere less public? my email is lola.abineri@freshone.tv ,

    looking forward to hearing from you


  8. says: Rebecca

    Hi Valerie! I stumbled upon this blog post and will be traveling to Northern Italy (flying in and out of Milan) 12/29 – 1/5 this year. We are hoping to spend some time exploring Piedmont, but we’re having trouble figuring out what will be shut down / best places to go. Alba seems great but will it be a ghost town? Do you have any recommendations for places to stay that’ll still have restaurants/wineries open and tours available?

    Let me know if chatting over email is easier! Thanks!!

    1. Thanks for reading, Rebecca. I’m actually surprised at how many requests we’ve had for the end of December. We’ve asked around and only have found one producer who will be open for just the 28th. Given your dates, you may find someone the 3rd or the 4th.

      Restaurants and hotels should be open in Alba. I would not say it will be a ghost town. It’s a city of 30,000. There will be some places closed, but overall, there should be stuff open.

      I will send some suggestions on hotels in response to the email you sent. As for restaurants, my suggestion there is to reach out to see who will be open and to make reservations.

      Ciao ciao! Val

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