Turin was the first capital of modern Italy, and was the host of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. Many say that it’s the European capital of Baroque as many palaces and churches were built in this style during the kingdom of the Savoia. The city is reminiscent of Paris, with wide boulevards and portico-covered sidewalks. Turin is also home to the FIAT auto group.
Book a room at Town House 70 and request the Luxury Weekend promotion. A junior suite is available at a special rate of 119 euros per night. This boutique hotel is centrally located and serves as a great launch point for a day in Turin.
Start the day in the hotel’s communal breakfast room. The buffet-style breakfast bar offers bread, charcuterie, eggs, and cheese. Of course an Italian breakfast wouldn’t be complete without a shot of espresso.
After breakfast, head north on Via 20 Settembre toward Porta Palatina to see the remains of the ancient Roman city. The Palatine Gate with its two towers rises up next to the Roman walls was one of the entrances to the city and represents one of the best preserved examples of a Roman gate.
Next destination is the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Established in 1824, the museum is the second largest in the world after the Cairo Museum. The museum houses over 30,000 items, the most notable being a 3000 year old figure of Rameses II wearing the blue crown which was used only in battle.
Now it’s time to experience the main thoroughfare in Turin city center. Via Po offers an endless line of café’s, shops and bookstores. Stop at Caffé Florio for lunch. Founded in 1780, it was called ‘The café of the pony tails and the Machiavellians’ because it was the meeting point of may aristocrats, officials and members of the government. Be sure to try Florio’s famous gianduia, cream and hazelnut ice-cream.
Via Po leads to the river Po. Cross the Piazza Vittorio bridge to reach the Gran Madre di Dio church. It was built between 1818 and 1831 to commemorate the return of Vittorio Emanuele I to Turin on the 20 May 1814. The church now houses the remains of 5000 men who fell in the first world war.
Retrace your steps back on Via Po toward Mole Antonelliana. The Mole is the tallest building in Turin and was originally commissioned as a Jewish synagogue. Today the Mole is home to Italy’s National Cinema Museum. Pay the entrance fee of € 6.80 to gain access to both the museum and the panoramic lift. Then take the 59-second journey in the all-glass lift to the viewing platform. From the viewing platform one can take in the fantastic views of Turin and its surroundings.
Returning to the ground level, enjoy a fascinating tour of the museum’s collections, which cover all kinds of movie history, technology, exhibits, and several continuously playing films and programs.
The visit to Turin wouldn’t be complete without tasting the region’s wines. The last stop of the day is Le Vitel Etonné. This wine bar and restaurant features wine and dishes local to the Piedmont region. A bottle of Barbera d’Alba paired with the classic vitel tonne (braised veal with a sauce of mayonnaise, tuna, anchovies and capers) should do the trick.