Ours is an ideal base for a relaxing weekend, close to the great Savoy capital of Turin. Rightly famed for its extraordinary historical cafes and its nightlife, the city also plays host to some of Europe’s finest museums.

The Egyptian Museum, and that of the Cinema, are amongst Italy’s most celebrated. Elsewhere the Royal Armery, the Sabaudia Gallery and the Antiquity Museum at the Madama Palace recall Turin’s imperial past. The Oriental Art Museum beautifully invokes another place and time, whilst the Automobile Museum pays homage to 20th century Turin’s industrial metamorphosis, and arguably its greatest achievement.

The city boasts enviable contemporary art galleries too. Chief amongst them are GAM, the stunning Gallery of Modern Art, and the magnificent 10th century Castle of Rivoli, nowadays a renowned contemporary arts centre.

Firmly established as Northern Italy’s cultural capital, Turin plays host to scores of artistic and gastronomic events. The International Book Fair, Artissima, the Wine and Taste Fairs and the  reborn Automobile Fair are annual events, whilst classical, pop and rock concerts add to the mix. The remarkable Teatro Regio, the city’s centre for opera and ballet, has established a formidable reputation for quality.

What, finally, of the architect Juvarra’s baroque genius? His greatest masterpiece, the nearby Superga Basilica, is supremely elegant in dominating the city’s skyline, and houses most of Royal Sabaudian tombs. Superga also bears eloquent testimony to the immortal glory of the “Grande Torino”. They, Turin’s celebrated football team of the 1940s, lost their lives when their ‘plane came down there in 1949.

 

Turin was Italy’s first capital, and our extraordinary Sabaudian Royal palaces are within easy reach. The imposing Stupinigi hunting palace, the exquisite Reggia at Venaria Reale, and the great castles of Rivoli and Racconigi evidence our royal heritage. The so-called “crown of delights” of XVIII century Savoy architecture, they are to provide the fulcrum when, in 2011, Italy celebrates the 150th anniversary of its unification.

 

Along the way from Puntodivista lies the Langhe area, the “land of flavours and wines”. Here, against a truly beguiling backdrop, you will find a vast array of gastronomic delights; a must for those who love Italy’s tastes and natural beauty.

 

The Mountains of  the  XX Olympic Winter Games (hosted by Turin) lie an hour or so away by car. Miles of slopes provide the perfect winter sport environment.