Although spring this year has a very bitter taste, the alarm clock in the morning reminds you that everything continues, inexorably and beautifully, to run its own course. The sun that warms the grass still wet from the dew, the rebirth of flowers and colors, the Easter of resurrection for believers and non-believers and a proud life crescendo.
This past weekend me and my beardy-boy where in Turin, the city where he lived six years to carry out his university studies, to visit some dear friends. If you know him a bit, you can imagine how much Fabrizio (the beardy love) knows about this city (he never even entered into the mole!). Luckily there’s me (without presumption 🙂 ) that sometimes fell the urge to visit, and our lovely friends, willing to show us around for hours through the streets of the city! A Turin weekend- including museums, art and fog (I know, I’m unlucky !!).
Bit of advice:
The cheapest way to reach the center from Turin airport is the bus service. Price is € 6.50 each way but I recommend you to book online! Me and my beardy boy had to queue for an hour to buy the tickets!
As usual, our trip cannot start without a typical Italian breakfast: croissant and cappuccino! (As you know, here in London they do not even know where to start to make coffee!! ). In Piazza Castello you will find Caffè Baratti & Milano, one of the most famous historic cafes of Turin, which owes its name to two known confectioners!
One of the city’s main attractions is the magnificent Egyptian Museum, devoted exclusively to the art and culture of the Ancient Egypt. Many international scholars devoted themselves to the study of its collections, confirming what Champollion wrote that: “The road to Memphis and Thebes passes right from Turin.” The museum is built on four floors and houses the beauty of 3300 historicist findings! I recommend you spend at least a couple of hours there (if that is something that might interest you! 🙂 ).
I always try to balance indoors and outdoor hours, so, after a fast lunch, I recommend a walk in the park! The best known city park in Turin is parco del Valentino, located along the banks of the Po. The walk along the river is really a charm :).
Still in the mood for a walk, me and my beardy boy opted for a stroll downtown, admiring the beautiful squares of the city and the arcades commissioned by the King to avoid getting wet on rainy days 🙂
If you love pizza, for dinner I recommend a special little place. The owners of “Ad Hoc“, to reduce the costs and not cover charge, at the beginning of their career made custumers clear the table! The pizza dough is a little secret and is more digestible, ideal for my gluten intolerance!
We are Italians and the the day always begins with coffee 🙂 An other historical patisserie of Turin is the famous Café Mulassano, built in the first half of ‘800 and considered, to date, heritage of the city of Turin!
Hidden among the narrow streets of the center is the beautiful Mole Antonelliana, symbol of the city and one of Italy ‘s treasures.
Inside the mole we find the National Cinema Museum, which tells the story of Italian cinema since its archeology (optical effects, photography, first film of the Lumiere brothers ..) up to what we now call “movies” . There are numerous reproductions of famous scenes along with costumes by Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and even the masks of Star Wars. The museum is one of the most visited in Italy!
Although it is not among the cheapest, I recommend you to buy the museum + panoramic lift package. The elevator will allow you to scale the mole until you get to the dome, where the view over Turin “should” be stunning (some sucker -like me- has caught the fog !!).
If you still haven’t had a chance, the center of Turin is cute and easy to explore on foot. Corso Regina joins Piazza della Gran Madre where you can visit the beautiful church of the Gran Madre di Dio.
If you feel like it, I recommend you to visit Monte dei Cappuccini with its beautiful church Santa Maria del monte dei cappuccini and the mountain museum. The trek is not the fastest but the view over Turin is really awesome!
For dinner I recommend the typical piemontese Osteria da Cianci, excellent and at very competitive prices. Only problem: the line! Make a reservation!!! It’s 100% worth it.
For breakfast opt for Pasticceria Ghigo! It was founded in 1870 and until the ’50s was known as a dairy. In the back of the store they were producing tomini and other cheese, then sold directly to customers. The recipes of the products have been jealously handed down for generations and still are used to make croissants and other unique products of their kind.
The last day our friends decided to take us to a little trip out of the city! 20 min away from the city center is located the famous Reggia di Venaria, the Savoy residence for centuries. Inside we find the whole history of the dynasty, told by representatives paintings showing its components, since the early 1600s.
The most beautiful part of the reggia are the king and queen accommodation and the outdoor garden, where a small outbuilding has been converted into a playroom for the little ones.
Returning from Venaria, stop to visit the Basilica of Superga, built by King Vittorio Amedeo II as a thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary, after defeating the French who besieged Turin in 1706. The basilica is famous for the Superga tragedy: a plane accident that occurred on the 4th of May 1949, which saw the death of 31 members of the Turin football team. The plane, carrying the whole team of Grande Torino, crashed into the retaining wall of the rear embankment Basilica. In 2015, in memory of the tragedy, FIFA has proclaimed May 4th as a “world day of the the football game.”
To round off a fabulous weekend, I recommend a romantic dinner at Distilleria la quaglia. I warn you, the portions are quite small but the dishes are amazing! Please do not forget to taste one of super famous spirits of the house, it’s spring and you must savor the violet!
Turin is a charm, if it only had the sea it would be a dream city!
I hope you enjoy 🙂
Thanks to Pif e Stellaccia <3
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