Torino – Turin – is not on most tourists’ must see lists. This is a pity because it is a very impressive city. It is not far from the Alps, which make a very dramatic backdrop for the city, especially when they are snow covered. It was the capital of Italy’s first King, Vittorio Emanuele II, the home of Fiat and it houses the famous Shroud of Turin.
The city had a major overhaul for the 2006 olympics. I didn’t visit before this, but I have been 4 times since and I think it is a great place to see. It was built later than many Italian cities and has the look of Vienna more than Rome or Florence. The streets are wide and lined with porticos and the piazzas are huge. It is all very grand.
I think this is where it all started for Grom. Soon it will take over the world.
The Golden Donkey is an interesting name for a shop selling school books, don’t you think?
Some of Torino’s attractions are the fabulous historic cafes. Chocolate is synonymous with Torino. You can’t leave without eating a lot of it, for it is very good. You must also try a bicerin, which will have its own post soon. It is a delicious drink of coffee, chocolate and cream. You will find it in most of the grand cafes. Have lots.
Torino was once the centre of Italy’s film industry until Mussolini moved it to Rome. The National Museum of Cinema occupies most of the Mole Antonelliano building which has a huge huge tower from which you can view the city and the mountains. I haven’t been there yet – next time. There is also a huge Egytian Museum, which is very popular. So much stuff was plundered from Egypt it is a wonder there is anything left there.
It now makes a very handy skateboard park.
A good time to visit Torino is in October, when the Salone del Gusto takes place. The next one will be in 2012. The whole area of Piedmonte is beautiful. It is a major wine area, with important wines like Barolo, Barbaresco, and Nebbiolo, to name a few. Take some time to travel to beautiful towns like Alba, Bra, La Morra and Barolo and visit some of the wineries.