Underneath the arcade
Turin Home to stunning architecture and some of Europe’s finest restaurants, Italy’s one-time capital offers more than Fiats, confectionery and that shroud, says Lee Marshall
Come to turin! Its Fiat factories, its fog. its football stadium! Its famous pointy building! Its controversial length of Biblical fabric! Its soft and slightly nutty chocolates!
You can sec the problems faced by the local tourist board. Turin is up against the likes of Rome. Florence and Venice in the Italian city-break market. Put to the test, your average punter will come up with a few reasons to visit the big three: the Colosseum. Michelangelo, gondolas, that sort of thing. But say Turin’ and most of us are stumped.
One Torinese I spoke to a dour hotel porter – doubted that the city could ever become a major tourist destination. There is the Holy Shroud of course but, outside of special years (2015 was the last), the original is kept under wraps. Oh, and there is always the Egyptian museum – second only to Cairo’s National Museum, he’d heard. And the new cinema museum, I suggested. Yes. he agreed, suddenly enthusiastic – and all those paintings, and the Savoy castles, and gianduia. And the old-fashioned trams, I prompted, and some of Italy’s most harmonious
baroque architecture, and a range of delightful, historic cafes and bars, and som marvellous restaurants and elegant shop For a moment 1 thought I’d won him over but then he brought up the weather. Freezin fog in winter, stifling humidity in summe with very little spring or autumn in betwee It’s not much better in Venice,” I objecte Yes,’ he said, but Venice is Venice.’ At tl point 1 gave up and went out to enjoy Turi Back in the years when Europe was stil patchwork of duchies, Turin was the pow base of the House of Savoy. With the
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