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A day in Turin

May 16, 2017

Turin may not be your idea of a tourist destination, but it took me by surprise. For a start, there’s the river. Seen from the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele on a sunny day, it looks quite beguiling.


Cross the road from the river to reach the vast Piazza Vittorio Veneto, with its trams and scuttling traffic.


Then follow the road – the Via Po – to the grim faced Palazzo Madama.

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Now we’re approaching real tourist territory. Cross yet another piazza – the Piazza Castello …………


……………… to approach the Palazzo Reale. Within this sprawling complex, one glittering and gaudy room leads to another.


The Throne Room, with its swags and chandeliers may be the brightest ………

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……… but the armoury is the room that draws the crowds, with armour plated knights sitting astride their stuffed mounts.


When you’ve had enough of all this bling, cross the courtyard to the Galleria Sabauda.


This art gallery has its fair share of rather forgettable hangings, but there are some real gems. I particularly liked Rogier van de Weyden’s panels, A Donor praying and The Visitation.


In contrast, a couple of fifteenth century angels, by Giovanni da Fiesole, float through the air fluttering their golden wings.


Meanwhile, down in the basement, the archaeological museum is crammed with the broken remains of Turin’s Roman past.



Around the corner from the museum complex is the Cathedral of St John the Baptist.


For a cathedral it is quite modest in terms of size, in stark contrast to its international reputation as home of the Turin Shroud. A replica of the shroud draws the curious crowds, but I preferred a modest and uncontroversial fresco above a doorway.

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Whatever the weather, getting around in Turin is made easy by the miles of covered walkways.


There’s a lot more to see in this bustling city, but that is quite enough for one day.

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