This post is exclusively dedicated to the mountain lovers and to those looking for some peace & quiet oto avoid getting caught up in the maelstrom of their city life. My very personal top 3 spots within a 130 km radius (and/or a two-hours car ride) from Turin would be:
Vallée de la Clarée – a marvelous valley in Val-des-Près – the French Alps, near to Montginèvre, Briançon and the French-Italian border. There are oh-so-many day trips to make, with lakes and beautiful mountain scenery at only 2 hours of hiking away (if armed with a backpack full of energy bars & ham sandwiches and loads of water), with fantastically cheap camping and caravan sites up in the wilderness (!) and with lots friendly people proud to be mountaineers.
Mont Viso (3841m) – this is actually in Italy and it is the highest peak in the Cottian Alps, the pride and joy of the entire Piedmont, since many believe this is the mountain featured on the Paramount Pictures logo. To attempt a direct climb would be a bit risky (not to say foolish) without preparation, but one can enjoy the view from Pian del Re (2020m) – from where Po River flows – or from Pian della Regina (1745m, you can also camp here); since 2013 it entered the Unesco World Biosphere Reserve Network.
Colle del Nivolet (2612m) – situated at the heart of Grand Paradiso National Park, reachable from the picturesque Ceresole Reale and displaying a string of enchanting lakes that will accompany you up to the top, where one can enjoy a delicious local dish at the Savoy Refuge (2534m) before preparing for the last push.
Don’t get me wrong, this top 3 is indeed made out of awesome spots not to be missed, but Italy in general and its Northern regions (Piedmont, Aosta) in particular feature some of Europe’s best places for hiking: Colle del Moncenisio, Col du Galibier, Colle del Agnello and many others could easily be added to my list. Explore and enjoy!
N.B.: Pay attention to the moment of the year you are planning your trip, the road to some of these destinations is closed to the public from mid September until the spring.