Tortona is a charming city set in the foothills of the Ligurian Apennines. The uncrowded historic centre filled with authentic cafes, bars and trattorias offers a taste of life in rural Italy. Admire centuries-old churches, explore the ruins of an ancient castle and enjoy authentic Piemontese cuisine.
Things to do in Tortona
Stroll around the historic centre and admire a jewel box of churches, chapels and cathedrals. Tortona Cathedral is one of the most beautiful and features an elegant Neoclassical façade. Step inside to admire the soaring barrel vault ceiling and ornate high altar carved in the 18th century.
Shops, cafes and gelaterias spill onto Piazza Duomo, the town’s lively main square. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a “bicerin” coffee sweetened with chocolate and cream or sip an aperitivo. Small streets and alleys branch off the square and take you to smaller plazas and courtyards.
A crumbling brick-and-limestone turret is all that remains of Castello di Tortona. The ancient stronghold dates back to the 8th century and is perched on a hilltop overlooking the town. The strategic location commands sweeping views over the surrounding forests, vineyards and plains.
From rustic trattorias to upscale ristorantes, Tortona is a great place to try traditional dishes from the Piemonte region. Order specialties like grilled fish topped with “salsa verde” parsley sauce, “tajarin al tartufo” pasta tossed with white truffles and “vitello tonnato” veal served with a rich tuna sauce. Indulge in “bonet” chocolate custard and “baci di dama” hazelnut cookies for dessert.
Getting around Tortona
Tortona is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The town is in Piemonte, 30 minutes from Alessandria by car or train. Rental cars offer the freedom to visit Tortona and explore Piemonte at your own pace. Milan Malpensa Airport is a 1.5-hour drive away.