With direct flights from the UK, taking round two hours, Turin is a handy vacation spot for an extended weekend. Initially laid out by the Romans, the streets nonetheless comply with the identical grid sample, and the centre is compact sufficient to discover on foot.
This was a Royal metropolis, first the capital of the Kingdom of Savoy after which, briefly Italy’s first capital, earlier than turning into an industrial powerhouse within the 20th century. Nowadays the factories are silent and the pedestrianised centre is filled with museums, galleries, cafes and eating places.
Exhibiting the affect of Hapsburg Empire, town is endowed with ornate historic cafés much like these in Vienna. Their interiors are a riot of gilded upholstery, chandeliers, picket panels and lengthy mirrors. Ava Gardener and James Stewart have been regulars on the Café Torino and Baratti & Milano is legendary for its thick scorching chocolate. Café Mulassano invented the Tramezzino in 1926, the Italian tackle a crustless triangular sandwich they usually nonetheless serve round 40 varieties at round four€ every.
Ice Cream Parlours
Gelateria Pepino was based in 1884 by an ice cream maker from Naples however the current store dates from 1929. The grandfather of the current proprietor, Edoardo Cavagnino, got here up with the concept of placing gelato on a stick in 1935 however it was sloppy and troublesome to eat. He solved the issue by coating it with chocolate to maintain it cool and the primary Pinguino or Penguin went on sale in 1939. It initially bought for one Italian Lira, the value of a cinema ticket, and claims to be the world’s first choc ice. In fact it was an incredible success and they’re nonetheless making it at present in 5 completely different flavours.
If you happen to actually wish to get an thought of the standard of the area’s produce, you then received’t be upset on the Porta Palazzo Market, situated in Piazza della Repubblica. With over 800 stalls, it’s one of many largest open air markets in Europe and is open Monday to Saturday. There are additionally three market halls devoted to fish, meat, cheese and bread and a farmers’ market with round 100 stalls promoting recent produce.
Close by is the Museo Nazionale dell’Vehicle with over 200 autos from Italy and the remainder of the world on show. The museum dates from 1932 however was extensively refurbished in 2011 and is imaginatively laid out on three flooring, utilizing sound and light-weight to boost the expertise. It’s a journey by means of the historical past of the car, from the earliest fashions to vehicles of the longer term. Don’t miss the 1892 Peugeot and a 1980 Ferrari 308. There are additionally sections coping with automotive design and environmental points.
The elegant 17th century facade of the Palazzo Reale and the splendour of its quite a few, richly furnished rooms, mirror luxurious life at court docket and centuries of historical past of the Home of Savoy. Don’t miss the Armeria Reale, the Royal Armoury, with an extended gallery of armoured knights sitting on full sized stuffed horses, together with King Carlo Alberto’s favorite animal. Adjoining the Reale is the chapel the place the Shroud is stored, however it was closed for repairs after I visited.
The Museo Egizio has the most important assortment of Egyptian artefacts outdoors Cairo. King Charles Emmanuel III began buying objects in 1753, however it was King Carlo Felice who established the current museum in its 17th century Palazzo. There are three flooring exhibiting over six thousand objects. Highlights embrace a granite statue of Rameses II and the 3500 yr previous Ellesija Temple, saved from Nile flooding and moved right here in 1966. The Tomb of Kha is the museum’s centrepiece, containing sarcophagi, statues, furnishings and meals for the afterlife, together with salted meat and bowls with stays of tamarind and grapes.
The pagoda-like spire of the Mole Antonelliana stands out on the Turin skyline and it was initially constructed as synagogue within the 19th century. Nowadays it homes the Museo Nazionale del Cinema with over 7,000 movies within the library, a group of 150,000 posters and varied bits of cinema historical past, together with Marilyn Monroe’s bodice. 5 flooring doc the story of the flicks and themed exhibitions embrace Love and Dying and Horror and Fantasy, all with movie units, images, designs and sketches. Take the glass raise up 87m to the highest of the spire for excellent views of town, the river and the Alps.
FIAT Manufacturing unit
On the finish of the metro, within the suburb of Lingotto, is the large former FIAT manufacturing unit, now tastefully transformed by Italian architect Renzo Piano into a fancy of outlets, cinemas, eating places and inns. There’s additionally the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, a small gallery housing a choice of footage from the non-public assortment of Fiat founders, the Agnelli household. You’ll discover 25 gems from the likes of Canaletto, Picasso, Dali and Matisse plus short-term exhibitions. From right here you’ll be able to entry the rooftop and stroll across the 2.5km automotive check monitor, made well-known as a location for the Italian Job with Michael Caine.
Simply throughout the road, in one other disused manufacturing unit, a rare meals corridor opened in 2007. Eataly now has branches all around the world and the idea is a component grocery store, half farmer’s market and half wine cellar. They provide one of the best native produce and there’s an entire part dedicated to Sluggish Meals. It’s not only a store as there are additionally eating places and cafes serving dishes of the day at affordable costs.
STAY: Grand Lodge Sitea is within the centre of Turin. Costs for a double room and breakfast begin from £129.
The fashionable Lodge NH Torino Lingotto Congress within the transformed Fiat manufacturing unit, serves glorious meals. Costs are round £120 together with breakfast.
EAT: Porto di Savona is one town’s oldest eating places and serves typical Torino fare.
Pastificio Defilippis is a store and restaurant, providing each form and measurement of pasta.
FLY: EasyJet flies direct to Turin from Gatwick and Luton. Fares begin at £29.99 a method.
Torino has details about town.
MORE: Piemonte has details about the area
SEE THE SIGHTS: A Torino+Piemonte Card, from the vacationer workplace in Piazza Castello, offers free entry to a very powerful museums. €35 for two days.