Monday 24 October 2022


ON arrival at Turin airport, once past customs, you will be greeted by a row of taxis. 
They are identical and they are part of the cities living history - as they are all made by Fiat. 
Of course Turin is the home of the famed automobile company and I was lucky enough during my visit to be staying at the stylish NH Lingotto hotel, former Fiat factory and living museum complete with a fine vintage specimen in the lobby and its own car test track on the roof. 

NH Lingotto room 

The hotel has a certain panache that only the Italians can master with its tasteful marble interior, delicate floral arrangements in the foyer, classic leather stools and seating thoroughly the lobbys and high ceilinged modern rooms with double showers. 
The food on offer is second to none with the breakfast buffet incorporating a selection of cold meats, fruits, cereals and pastries complete with Turin created Nutella spread (in nearby Alba) , as well as hot breakfast with sausage, bacon and egg for the less adventurous traveller. 
They are also knowledgeable when it comes to the gluten free or vegetarian/ vegan diet and are more aware and cautious of cross contamination than many hotels in the UK. 

Bev with Eataly pizza 

For those who wish to eat outside the hotel, the nearby Eataly complex is a great place to hang out and try out some freshly made Italian favourites including pizza, pasta, risotto and the round farinata from Liguria, made with chickpea flour. 
It has its own supermarket on site selling freshly made delights that would make any chef equal with delight from the local white truffles to the balsamic glaze. 
A card can be purchased at the nearby tube stop for ten euros which allows three days of unlimited travel and fifteen minute journey will take you into the centre. 
Turin centre boasts a wealth of manufacturing history and museums and is often referred to as the Paris of Italy. 

Indeed walking along the grand boulevards and arcaded pavements with its vast squares and monuments you will understand why. 
As well as the magnificent architecture of the Porta Nuova station with its recently restored arches and distinctive red interiors and frescos, there are other museums and sights to please.
The national museum of cinema in the Mole Antonelliana tower was  initially built as a synagogue before its overzealous architect and his ceiling height blew the budget. 
It  is a must see for all the family with its history of the moving image from shadow puppetry and zoetropes to modern day cinematic achievements like Dracula and Tweetie Pie. 

Porta Nuova station 

It holds a labyrinth of rooms and each floor promises a new immersive experience. 
The National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento is the first, the biggest and the most important among the 23 museums in Italy dedicated to the Risorgimento the unification of Italy also boasts magnificent frescos and a Garibaldi room too. 
And the Egyptian museum is the is the only museum other than the Cairo Museum that is dedicated solely to Egyptian art and culture.

National Museum of Cinema  

For those who like to shop Turin has plenty to offer form three big name global fashion houses like Gucci and Dior to the locally owned urban stores like Hannibal. 
As you wander through the arcades it’s a must to experience the local gelato and im still salivating over the Gelato di Latte at Biraghi. They only sell one flavour - milk - made with milk, sugar and cream - and it has a full creaminess to it that would challenge any urn in Devon. It’s only 2€ and it is huge.  
For those who love a further bargain, the Saturday market at Porta Pallazo won’t disappoint with its sample sales, cheap Italian designed jeans, bags and sunglasses as well as local produce. 

Bev with the mayor of Turin 

There are more than 300 stalls as well as fifty shops bars and restaurants max but it is best to take a taxi from the nearest station in the centre.
Turin may be known for the shroud,  a length of linen that for centuries was purported to be the burial garment of Jesus Christ which has been preserved since 1578 in the royal chapel of the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in Turin, Italy but it is gone go so much more. 
From Juventus to its location overlooked by the nearby Alps, it is a real undiscovered gem. 
It also recently hosted the Eurovision sing contest and is twinned with Glasgow - and from the warm and friendly reception I received its easy to see why. 
I flew by Air France from Edinburgh via Charles de Gaule to Turin (return from £210)  and stayed at the Hotel NH Lingotto Congress (prices from £99 per night off season). 
For full disclosure my trip was sponsored. 

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