Turin Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Turin

Planning a short break to Turin? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Turin. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Turin. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Two major cultural festivals

Staged in Turin every year: the Extra Iorino Festival (in July), with programs devoted to dance, music, and film. The Settembre Musica, a month long festival (in September), offers dozens of classical music performances in various parts of the city. For details about these festivals, contact the Assesorato per la Cultura. Via San Francisco di Paolo 3. Tel: 011/4424715.

Turin has been named as the host city for the Olympic Winter Games in the year 2006. Turin will host the opening and closing ceremonies, the Olympic Village, and the press operations, as well as some of the events.

For more information visit - www.torino2006.it

Hotel Dogana Vecchia

The charming Dogana Vecchia was built in the 17th century. Once the headquarters of the postal service, converted to an inn (playing host to the likes of Verdi, Mozart, and Napoleon). You will find midsize to spacious bedrooms, recently renovated, and bathrooms with showers and tubs. The staff is the most helpful in the city. Facilities include: Bar, room service, laundry/dry cleaning. Expect prices 130€ - 145€ double; 140€ triple. Rates include breakfast. Located on Via Corte D'Appello 4. Tel: 011/4366752.

Go to www.ibow.com/DoganaVecchia/english.html

Del Cambio

Opened in 1757, it is the oldest restaurant in Turin. Here you will dine in a setting of white-and-gilt walls, crystal chandeliers, and gilt mirrors. The chef (who has received many culinary honours), offers white truffles in many of his specialties. The assorted fresh antipasti are excellent and the best pasta dish is the regional agnolotti piemontesi. Main dishes, which deserve special praise, include the agnolotti with truffles and the beef braised in Barolo wine. Artichokes stewed with bone marrow and truffles, girello aromatizzato alla piemontese, and tonno di coniglio a la maniere antica (rabbit) are some trademark specialties, that are derived from old recipes of the southwestern Alps. Be sure to try one (or two) of these. Main courses 16€ - 20€; fixed-price menu 60€. Reservations are required. Located on Piazza Carignano 2. Tel: 011/543760.

Cattedrale di San Giovanni

Dedicated to John the Baptist, the Renaissance cathedral, was severely damaged by fire on April 12, 1997. The chapel houses the Cappella della Santissima Sindone, resting place of the shroud in which Jesus Christ was supposedly wrapped after his crucifixion. Some three million pilgrims traveled to Turin to see its unveiling for the occasion of the cathedral's 500th anniversary. Most visitors to the cathedral must content themselves with a series of dramatically backlit photos of the relic near the entrance. The chapel is clad in black marble, and it ascends to a light-flooded, six-tiered dome (one of the masterpieces of Italian baroque architecture). Open daily 9am - noon, and 3 - 7pm. Admission is 5.50€. Located on Piazza San Giovanni. Tel: 011/4360790.

Holy Shroud Museum (Museo della Santissima Sind

One of the world's greatest mysteries, the Santissima Sindone (Holy Shroud) is the most famous and controversial religious artifact on earth. The shroud is said to be the one that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped around the body of Christ when he was removed from the cross. The shroud is usually tucked away at the Holy Shroud Museum and is rarely on view, but visitors can view it on back-lit photographs at the entrance of the Cattedrale di San Giovanni. Open daily from 9am to noon and 3 to 7pm. There is an admission of 5€. The museum is located Via San Domenico 28. Tel: 011/4365832admission of 5€..

Egyptian Museum (Museo Egizio)

The collection of the Egyptian Museum is world-class. The best known of the statuary, are those of Ramses II and Amenhotep II. In a room nearby, a rock temple consecrated in Nubia (by Thutmose III), is contained. One of the prized exhibits in the museum, is the Royal Papyrus, with its valuable chronicle of the Egyptian monarchs from the 1st to the 17th dynasty. It is exhibited in the crowded wings upstairs. The funerary art is exceptionally rare and valuable, especially the chapel built for Maia and his young wife. Also on view, is an entirely reassembled tomb (of Kha and Merit, 18th dynasty), discovered in good condition at the turn of the 20th century. This interesting museum is housed in the 17th-century Science Academy Building and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30am to 7pm. Admission fee to the museum is 6.50€. Located Via Accademia delle Scienze 6. Tel: 011/5617776.

Galleria Sabauda

The Gallery presents art collections acquired over a period of centuries, by the House of Savoy. It is one of Italy's richest collections of art, and definitely worth a visit. The largest exhibit is of Piedmontese masters, but there are also many fine examples of Flemish art. The best-known Flemish painting is the Three Children of Charles I, by Sir Anthony Van Dyck. Other important works that can be viewed include Botticelli's Venus, Memling's Passion of Christ, Rembrandt's Sleeping Old Man, Duccio's Virgin and Child, Mantegna's Holy Conversation, Jan van Eyck's The Stigmata of Francis of Assisi. There is also a selection of intriguing paintings by Brueghel, and a section of the royal collections between 1730 and 1832. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30am to 7pm, and entrance is 4€. Located Via Accademia delle Scienze 6. Tel: 011/547440.

Mole Antonelliana & Museo Nazionale del Cinema<

A landmark in Turin, constructed between 1863 and 1889. At one time it was the tallest brick-built structure on earth. The original intention was to make this the synagogue of Turin. Presently the building houses a film museum, where the history of cinema is traced, from shadow puppets to kinescopes. Famous costumes are displayed, including the bowler worn by "The Little Tramp" (Chaplin), a dress Bette Davis wore in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, and the robe worn by Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. You can also view film clips, including President Lyndon Johnson talking to Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. Most films deal with the Hollywood variety, but world cinema is also represented, including films coming from Cuba. Changing exhibitions add variety to the collection. You can take the elevator to an observation platform, for one of the grandest views in Piedmont. Here you can see as far away as the Alps on a clear day. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday and Sunday from 9am to 8pm; Saturdays are 9am to 11pm. Admission to the museum and panoramic lift are 6.80€. Located Via Montebello 20. Tel: 011/8125658.

Classical Music

Concerts are presented throughout the year, though mainly in winter, at the Auditorium della RAI. Via Verde 31. Tel: 011/8104653. Turin is also home to one of the country's leading opera houses, the Teatro Regio, Piazza Castello 215. Tel: 011/88151. Concerts and leading ballets are also presented here. The box office (tel. 011/8815241 or 011/8815242) is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30am to 6pm, and Saturday from 10:30am to 4pm (closed in Aug). Opera and other classical productions are presented in summer outside the gardens of the Palazzo Reale.

Shopping

The most adventurous shopping can be done at the Gran Balon, an old-fashioned flea market set up every second Sunday in Piazza della Repubblica (northwest of Piazza Castello).

At this market you will find almost anything you have ever dreamt of, at good prices. This is especially a great venue for bargain-hunters, and the needlework and craft stalls are worth a visit. Some of the best-known drinks in the world are produced in Torino, and for the best sampling, head for Paissa, Piazza San Carlo 196. Tel: 011/5628364.

Among the wine and food items available, you are guaranteed to find the best deals on Cinzano and Martini & Rossi vermouths. While taking a break from shopping you can pass you time at Al Bicerin Caffe, Piazza della Consolata 5. Tel: 011/4369325.

It is Turin's oldest cafe (dating from 1763), and its signature drink, coffee with the famous Giandujotti chocolate, served with whipped cream, is an absolute delight.

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