Northern Italy & Burgundy 2011


Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini


As its name implies, Piedmont is literally at the foot of the mountains in northwest Italy. Being located between France and its rivals and being able to negotiate well, it remained independent when most of Italy had foreign rulers.  The Val di Susa, west of Turin, links Italy with France.  High above the valley is the Sacra di San Michele.  Legend says that the abbey was built with the help of angels before the 10th century.  It was a rest stop on the pilgrimage route to Rome.

In 1051, the heir to the French House of Savoy acquired the Marquessate of Susa through marriage.  A castle was soon built in the town of Avigliana and it was a favorite residence of the counts of Savoy.  It retains much of its medieval character today.

Over time, as their territory increased, the House of Savoy went from being counts to dukes to being the kings of Italy.  The Palazzo Reale was begun in the 17th century and continued in usage until the king’s abdication in 1946.

The history of Turin begins with the Romans. When the House of Savoy moved their capital here in 1557, it became much more important and was elegantly rebuilt.

As a city, Turin is underrated and surprising with well-balanced Baroque architecture.  The arcaded Via Garibaldi follows the route of the original Roman east-west road. 

Royal collections are housed near the palace.  The Museo Egizio houses one of the world’s greatest collections of Egyptian art.  The Shroud of Turin is enshrined in a chapel of the Duomo.

The Mole Antonelliana is  a 550 foot landmark that was designed to be a synagogue in 1863.  Today it is a museum of cinema and the symbol of Turin. The views from the top are outstanding.

Many fine wines are grown in Piedmont, south of Turin, including Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto and Asti.

The photographs were taken with Leica cameras, the M8, M9 and D-LUX 3.  All images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission. We can be contacted via e-mail at   Our home page is

January 11, 2012                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         wgfm

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