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Who knows Turin? Piemonte? Milan/Lombardy? specifically for a two night first "taste of Italy?

Who knows Turin? Piemonte? Milan/Lombardy? specifically for a two night first "taste of Italy?

May 19th, 2007, 07:03 PM
  #1  
rex
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Who knows Turin? Piemonte? Milan/Lombardy? specifically for a two night first "taste of Italy?

This is a continuation of other recent questions, regarding our in-the-planning ten night September trip (nine nights on the ground). Taking my wife's brother and wife; he has never been... his wife has been to France once... she has much more concrete ideas of where she wants to go - - Burgundy, for example - - but she would like a "short excursion into Italy", if practical as well. She thought maybe Florence, though she could not say why, and when I mentioned that Florence was a world art capital - - well, that didn't seem to do much for her. (I know... I need to press her - - so what is it about Italy that you think you want to see/do?)

I'm a big believer that (almost) anything is possible (though some things are not a very good idea) - - and I propose three nights Paris, then fly Paris to Milan, two nights "there" (where?), then move on to France (morning train? from Turin to Chambery or Lyon, for example)... and four nights of wine and gastronomie from Lyon to Reims before heading home on the tenth day.

I am thinking "day visit" (only) on Milan upon arrival (Last Supper, Duomo, leave luggage at Milano Centrale for the day), then move on to Turin, spending both nights there, rather than splitting these two nights with two separate lodging destinations. Will Turin fill an entire day and two nights? (normally, I hate a question like this - - seems like such an insult to people who live there!) - - I guess what I mean is... "is there some place better?" Stresa? It seems a little late in "the season" for a visit to any of the Lakes. Any other Piemonte destination - - that represents a "taste of Italy"? (Enough Barolo, and anywhere in the Piemonte is heaven, right?)

Thanks in advance for all replies... and...

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 09:18 PM
  #2  
 
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Rex,

quite simply a day and 2 nights in Turin will barely scratch the surface of what this city ("Italy's best kept secret") has to offer. Go for it. The centre of the city is quite compact so most things are in walking distance. Check out www.turismotorino.org.

Barolo and other parts of Piedmont are not heaven, but very nice. However lots of driving.
Sampaguita is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 03:41 PM
  #3  
rex
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<< (Enough Barolo, and anywhere in the Piemonte is heaven, right?) >>

Hmmm... I was referring to drinking "enough Barolo"... LOL!!!

But as I suspected, there is so much more to discovering Turin than "we" usually talk about, here on this forum...

I'll get started on my homework...

Anyone else care to weigh in? Comparing or contrasting other candidate destinations in the same general vicinity? (Pavis, for example?)

Lodging suggestions?

Here are a few places that jump out at me, from a very superficial browse of tripadvisor.com and torinoturismo.org - -

http://www.romarocca.it (looks quite good, but first and foremost, a business hotel?)

http://www.hotelurbani.it (numerous reports of deeply discounted room rates available)

http://www.orsopoeta-bed-and-breakfast.it (only two rooms - - which might be nice?)

Looks like many other possibilities...

Thanks, Sampaguita...
rex is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 04:21 PM
  #4  
rex
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Okay... my first "wow" Internet discovery, regarding the gastronomy of Turin and the Piemonte...

http://www.regione.piemonte.it/turis...idachef_in.pdf

Browse it and gasp... especially if you are going there, and don't have a week (or several) for trying a number of these places!
rex is offline  
May 20th, 2007, 08:25 PM
  #5  
 
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If you are taking a train from Milan to Turin (not quite sure of your itinerary), the new AV train is on this route. These trains are a step-up from the ES trains. There are special fares available by purchasing on Trenitalia in advance (not sure how far in advance). Under fare, select the DueperUno.
kybourbon is online now  
May 20th, 2007, 09:28 PM
  #6  
 
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Ah, I didn't do my usual rave about the enogastronomia of Piedmont to avoid boring other readers, suffice to say we think its the best regional cucina in Italy! Of course Turin is the capital and you can find very good restuarants, however we think that the many small local trattoria and osterie in the countryside are steps to heaven.

Actually the Barolo valley is quite heavenly if you are a wine lover, but if truth be told I find the modern style of Barolo's not to my taste (still prefer the old fashioned monsters) and expensive. I prefer Barbera's as a wonderful drinking wine and very reasonable priced.
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May 21st, 2007, 03:15 AM
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I would say all these hotels are too far from the historic centre. I think you might enjoy a more central location, like that of the Dogana Vecchia (to my mind the best location in town) or the Liberty.
http://www.hoteldoganavecchia.com/
http://www.hotelliberty-torino.it/

I loved my stay at the Conte Biancamano but you need to reserve a courtyard room for peace and quiet at night. And I chose it because I had initially wanted to be close to the train station. If I hadn't I would have taken a more central hotel.
http://www.hotelcontebiancamano.it/

Turin is wonderful - many things to do, great atmosphere, wonderful food (Sunday market is superb!).
Keren is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 03:24 AM
  #8  
rex
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Hmmm... silly me - - I didn't even notice your e-mail address, so I take note of your vested interest in promoting tourism in the Piemonte.

Still, you did offer that...

<< a day and 2 nights in Turin will barely scratch the surface of what this city ("Italy's best kept secret") has to offer. Go for it. The centre of the city is quite compact so most things are in walking distance. >>

...and I think we might not even rent a car, as the city looks quite accessible on foot - - as you indicate.

Hopefully, the Piemonte countryside will still be there for another trip!

So... I pose my question again (for you and any one else)... lodging recommendations? personal experiences?

A search of "Turin" here doesn't yield much in the way of hotel info.
rex is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 03:25 AM
  #9  
rex
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Whoops, thanks, Keren... started my post before I saw yours!
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May 21st, 2007, 05:05 AM
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I remember nessundorma liked very much the Victoria. I think the location is OK but the 2 I've mentioned in my previous message are better located.
http://www.hotelvictoria-torino.com/

Others I've seen good comments about are the B&B Ai Savois and the Hotel le Petit. Places I looked were tripadvisor and venere.com.
http://www.aisavoia.it/
http://www.lepetithotel.it/

Also, Rough Guides have just issued a new guide for Italy. In the 2005 edition they had many recommendations for hotels in Turin, that's how I came by the Biancamano. Maybe they have new recommendations this year. The area around the Porta Nuova train station was fine, no safety issues there, but it was quite dead at night. That's why I think in Turin it's important to stay centrally.
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May 21st, 2007, 02:50 PM
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It was awhile back but we had a nice stay at the Victoria. I recall the location being convenient, but then we chose it because we were driving and parking was nearby.
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May 22nd, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Rex,
What if you take the TGV train (3.5 hrs) from Paris to Avignon, then rent a car and toodle around Provence, crossing over into Italy? Torino is just a 5 hr drive from Avignon.
I would skip Milan and Lombardy this time.
There is so much great stuff in Piemonte.
Cheers,
Ellen
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May 22nd, 2007, 08:31 PM
  #13  
rex
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My SIL has a specific interest in Burgundy over Provence (I think) - - as do I (never been touring in either one, extensively - - but more eager to discover Dijon/Beaune this trip than further south)...

Trying to avoid backtracking with a rented car across the Alps and back again - - nor do we want to pay the drop charge from one country to another.

But we have not ruled out flying into, nor back home out of... Milan.

My initial reading supports the notion that we need not spend a night in Milan nor anywhere in Lombardy. Even so, if we are using a Milan airport (especially if Linate), then I think they would like seeing the Last Supper.

And walking around on the roof of the main Duomo in Milan is pretty cool... if you have never done it.
rex is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 11:52 PM
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Can't help with the lodgings as we live only an hour outside Torino and have not had that need.

Things to do in Torino -

.. take the train up to the superga - a great ride and (if clear) spectacular views over the city and the surrounding Alps.

..shop! sounds silly, but Torino has over 17 Km of covered walkways where you can shop without fear of a soaking or burning (rain or sun that is)with many stores that are unique rather than just chains - plus it has Europes largest daily outdoor market.

.. culture, go to the opera, or other musical event of which there are many, visit some of the 40 plus museums and stroll the streets for their great barroque architecture.

.. must do - the mole antena (the signature landmark for Torino) it is the museum of cinema, which may or may not interest you, but the glass elevator that takes you through the centre of the museum and literally through the roof to the observation deck is a great experience.

.. must do - apperitivo hour (lets say from 6 till 8 pm) where bars and cafes lay out "free" food for those drinking with them at that hour. Our favorite is Bar Norman on Via Pietro Micca opposite the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics exhibition.

.. Egyptian museum, rated the best outside of Cairo.

.. drink Barbera, its Piedmont's biggest red wine (in terms of production) and the best of it can hold its own with the Barolo's quite easily - oh and try a glass of the Moscato d'Asti very refreshing on a hot day...

Have a great trip
Piedmont_Phil is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 10:02 AM
  #15  
F77
 
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I just came home from a 5 day trip to Piedmont. I'd like to suggest that you try to decide what it is you want out of your stay. You will find yourself wanting to do a lot of things when you're there. Rushing through a bit of everything will not work. I skipped both Turin and Milan. Don't do things because you're "supposed" to do them. Do what you like.

I stayed for 3 days at a vineyard (http://www.querciarossa.com) close to Moncalvo and made day trips from there. I spent the last night in Barbaresco. I barely scratched the surface of the Piemontese countryside. If you're short on time, I'd recommend La Morra, Barbaresco and Alba. Visit the enotecas, and try to make some arrangements with the wine producers beforehand.

The scenery is amazing, as is the wine and food. The countryside is pretty down to earth, so if you're only after Michelin Guide kind of places, stay in Turin and drink the Barolos and Barbarescos there. I'd recommend staying in the countryside. The lifestyle of Piemonte is relaxed and the people are very welcoming and friendly.

I'm not sure what your interests are. I wanted a relaxing trip with good food and wine, and I couldn't be happier. La Morra is beautiful and has some of the world's best wineries in walking range. Wine tasting in Barbaresco with view over the entire valley was magic aswell. The entire region is surprisingly free from tourists, which is nice but also means you need to find your way around for yourself.

I have a photo gallery from the trip here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9463127...7600334485565/
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Jun 11th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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Just saw this thread, Rex, and wanted to mention that Torino has a great tourist card, available in different increments of hours. It truly runs the numbers of hours, so if you bought a 24-hour pass, it could be used two days, say 12 noon to 12 noon. The pass includes virtually all the sights previously mentioned, including the Mole Antoinella and Cinema Museum, the Egyptian Museum, the incline rail to Superga, a short boat ride on the Po, many, many other museums within Torino and within the region, AND free public transport for the duration of the pass.

The price was incredibly reasonable when we were there in May 2006--under 20 euros for the 72-hour pass we purchased. (Which we used for 4 days, 12 noon day 1 to 12 noon day 4)

And the pass gave a a discount on the ChocoPass--something you may not need. But do visit a few of Torino's glamorous chocolate shops, just for the experience. My favorite: Peyrano.
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Jun 11th, 2007, 04:15 PM
  #17  
rex
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Thanks for the post F77 - - we were set on a relatively modest lodging budget for our brief Piemonte visit - - and train straight into the city, without a car, and explore (only) the city on foot and/or by taxi.

But your QuerciaRossa looks great - - oddly, they don't have any prices on their website. I can write to them and ask - - but can you give me an idea here, pending their response?

And yes, we are aware of the pass(e)s, ellenem - - thinking about the Chocopass quite a bit. If our schedule were different, we would be quite interested in "Cioccolatorino", offered by the Grand Hotel Sitea - - 360 euros for two nights stay, (one) dinner with wines (for two people) and a Chocopass - - seemed enticing, but available only for Friday and Saturday night arrivals.
rex is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 10:52 PM
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F77
 
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The countryside isn't particurlarly expensive. I think rooms are around 30-60 euro/night (double room for two persons) in the area. I believe la Quercia Rossa is around 35eur, but I got the trip as a birthday gift and didn't do the booking. Wine tasting is either free or very cheap. What might be a problem is that some restaurants only have full 3 course menus which can be pricy in the long run - expect to pay around 25 eur/person + wine for those.

Not sure about La Morra. It could be pricier, but I'd strongly recommend at least one nights stay there. Check out Fratelli Revello vineyard and b&b, they were very friendly and it's close to the center of La Morra.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 05:23 AM
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Rex, The Villa Sampaguita B&B is great value with hosts that speak English and are very helpful. We will be spending a week with them in Sep this year for their Palio d' Asti festival.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Bob, you will not regret your stay at Villa Sampaguita. We had an awesome week with them. Just trying to find the time to do a trip report.
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