On the other side of the Po River from the main part of Turin is the hill of Superga where Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy built the Basilica of Superga after the siege and battle of Turin in 1706.
You can drive up the mountain to the Basilica but since we didn’t have a car we took the cog rail tram.
At the end of the tram, there is still a bit of a hike to the top.
Although the view was hazy, you can imagine how far you can see on a clear day.
Vittorio and his cousin had gone to the top of this hill to evaluate the best strategy to liberate Turin. He vowed to build a church if his strategy worked, and he kept his word.
I spotted a couple church cats.
One day we had a lovely tea break at the historic Baratti & Milano Café.
We also had a meal at Eataly. Think WholeFoods/Italian market/bakery/retail/restaurants and cooking school! Eataly started in Turin and there are now stores around the world.
We shared a pizza and the Cola was local – Mole Cola (the Mole is an iconic sight in Turin).
Parco del Valentino is a large park along the Po River in Turin. It was opened in 1856 and was Italy’s first public garden.
The park is home to Borgo a Medioeval, a medieval village and castle. Although it looks ancient, it was built for the 1884 Italian General Exhibition and was intended as an educational and promotional tool. The buildings and decorations are faithful copies of 15th century castles that can be found throughout the Piedmont region of Italy.
The village is a cluster of houses and workshops. In the summer visitors can watch artisans at work. We almost had the place to ourselves in October.
The Rocca, or fortress, is a fortified aristocratic residence. The rooms are richly decorated with furniture, accessories and fabrics that reflect the lifestyle of the nobility in 15th-century Piedmont.
In 1998 a medieval garden was added, featuring plants that would have been grown at the time.
This is a delightful castle even though it’s a re-creation, albeit almost 150 years old. (It may be more delightful because it is a re-creation! Real castles can be in pretty bad shape.)
We saw a bit of wildlife in the park.
There’s a police horse stable there too!
And pretty views of the river.
This wraps up our week in Turin. We would highly recommend a visit. All the fun of Italy without all the crowds!