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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.

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

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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 …………

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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