Turin has always embraced change and innovation. Its energy has transformed the city from stately centre of the House of Savoy to an industrial powerhouse generating more chocolate than France and Belgium combined and Italy’s favourite car, the Fiat Cinquecento. In the post-industrial 21st century, Turin’s cultural regeneration enlivened historic palazzos with schools of art, architecture, food and wine. The rooftop test track of the avant-garde 1920s Fiat building, the Lingotto, remains a feature in Renzo Piano’s reworking of the iconic site into an arts complex. The Slow Food movement celebrates traditional Piedmontese cooking, using renowned ingredients, such as the Alba truffle. A trip to Alba offers the chance to discover the secrets of truffle hunting, sample regional wines and visit the celebrated white truffle fair. This tour reveals a creative city continuing to embrace new concepts with its own elegance and style.
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Fly from London (regional connections available) to Turin with British Airways and transfer to NH Piazza Carlina (or similar), a historic city-centre hotel with a rooftop terrace, for 4 nights. Walk to the Circolo dei Lettori, historic meeting place for the literati, for an introductory talk and dinner. (D)
Walking tour of the city including the Palazzo Madama and the 1920s Lingotto former Fiat factory. Fiat head, Gianni Agnelli, amassed a fine art collection, now displayed in the gallery. Visit the first EATALY food hall to discover the origins of this renowned chain dedicated to Italian produce. Visit Casa Martini to see their wine museum and join a cocktail mixology class. (B)
Morning tour of Europe’s largest covered market, the Porta Palazzo market, accompanied by a local chef. Taste a bicerin, Turin’s coffee and chocolate drink, at the cafe where it was devised, before discovering a surprising church across the street. After lunch, visit a Turin landmark, the Mole Antonelliana. Originally conceived as a synagogue, it is now home to the National Cinema Museum. Take a glass lift to the 360-degree viewing chamber for city views. Evening after-hours tour of the Museum AccorsiOmetto with the director of this decorative arts collection displayed in a 17th-century palazzo. Taste a typical aperitivo. (B, L)
Drive to Alba to discover the secrets of truffle hunting in woodlands. Continue though the Unesco-certified Langhe wine region to see the old and contemporary wineries of the region. Return to Alba for the white truffle fair. Visit the neogothic Castello di Pollenzo, where Savoy royalty established vineyards and a farm. Now the castle houses the University of Gastronomic Science, which teaches the principles of Slow Food, and the Wine Bank. Continue to Bra for dinner at Boccondivino, the restaurant where the Slow Food movement was founded in the 1980s. (B, D)
Morning at leisure followed by a drive to Castello di Rivoli, once owned by the powerful Dukes of Savoy and now the Museum of Contemporary Art. Transfer to Turin airport and fly to London. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
A collection of expertaccompanied tours focusing on creativity in its many forms. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is required.
This tour is fully escorted throughout by a lecturer who has specialist knowledge of the destination and its culture, as well as an experienced local guide.
Based in 4-star accommodation.
This tour involves some long walks over uneven ground and therefore requires a good level of fitness.
Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Also private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be re-arranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
Stephen Nelson is a practising sculptor, working in the UK and Italy and exhibiting internationally. His work has been shown at the Royal Academy and the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art. He has also curated exhibitions for the British Council in Tanzania and Eritrea. Stephen lived in Italy and has extensive knowledge of the country's art, archaeology and architecture.
Watch our video interview with Stephen on Compass Online.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
FAA2018: 4 Nights