Turin at Christmas

Piazza San Carlo
Piazza San Carlo
Palazzo Madama Palace at the Piazza Castello
Palazzo Madama Palace at the Piazza Castello
Royal Palace Palazzo Reale and San Lorenzo church building on Castle Square Piazza Castello
Royal Palace Palazzo Reale and San Lorenzo church building on Castle Square Piazza Castello
Venaria Reale
Venaria Reale
View of Porta Palatina
View of Porta Palatina
Basilica of Superga
Basilica of Superga
Basilica of Superga
Basilica of Superga
Restaurants in Turin city centre
Restaurants in Turin city centre
Cafe in Turin
Cafe in Turin
Mole Antonelliana
Mole Antonelliana
Night view of Turin, the Mole Antonelliana illuminated for Christmas
Night view of Turin, the Mole Antonelliana illuminated for Christmas

Nestled on three sides by the towering Alps, whose snowy peaks are never far from view, Turin is as famous for its gourmet delicacies as its grand history. Birthplace of the Savoy dynasty and wellspring of Italian unification, Turin is blessed with a rich architectural heritage from its Roman foundations to its 17th century Baroque palaces. The grandeur of its past can be witnessed all over the city: in its grand royal palazzi, the large majestic boulevards, splendid piazzas, and, of course, La Venaria Reale, Turin’s equivalent of Versailles.

  • Experience a gem of a city, a little off the well-trodden tourist path
  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed Venaria Reale and Palazzo Carignano
  • Immerse yourself in the fabulous Egyptian Museum, the largest outside Egypt
  • Enjoy a Christmas Day walk along the splendid avenues and piazzas of Turin followed by a traditional Torinese lunch

Themes

  • Great Cities
  • Cultural Excursion
  • Christmas - New Year
  • Historic Churches

Practicalities

  • Just One Hotel

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

Today we fly to Turin, the city of the four rivers. After settling into our hotel, we take an evening walk illuminated by Turin’s famous Christmas lights. We head for the 17th century Piazza San Carlo and its famous cafe where we will fortify ourselves with an aperitivo. The Torinesi have been sipping their aperitivi in the city's grandiose cafes for over 200 years and once known as the intellectual lounge of Turin, Caffe San Carlo is one of the most famous.

Hotel: Hotel Sitea
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We spend all morning at the extraordinary Egyptian Museum, the largest outside of Egypt and the oldest in the world. The collection includes the temple of Tuthmosis III and the tomb of Kha and Merit, found intact by the Italian archaeologist Schiaparelli, as well as the most ancient known copy of the Book of the Dead.

In the afternoon, we walk to Piazza Castello where we will explore the history of the first capital of Italy and the family which made it great, namely the Savoy. We continue with a visit to the Palazzo Madama, which incorporates Roman gates and was the personal residence of two great Savoyard regents, Christine Marie and Marie Jeanne. The palazzo, which is framed by an exquisite Juvarra façade, has been superbly restored and contains important works of art and period furniture. This evening we enter into the festive spirit by visiting the famous Christmas market in the Piazza Borgo Dora where we can luxuriate in local chocolates, giandujas, or drink a bicerin, the local hot drink made with chocolate, coffee, cream and brandy.

Hotel: Hotel Sitea
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

This morning we visit two of the Savoy royal palaces, which have been dubbed delizie and have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. We start with the most famous of these, namely the extraordinary Venaria Reale. One of the largest palaces in the world, it is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture noted for Juvarra’s galleria grande and is filled with exquisite artwork.

After lunching in the borgo adjacent to the palace, we return to Turin where we explore the Palazzo Carignano, one of Turin’s most original Baroque buildings, built by Guarini for this cadet branch of the Savoy family. Here, we visit the Museo del Risorgimento in order to visit Italy’s first parliament.

Hotel: Hotel Sitea
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Today is Christmas day and we will celebrate it by indulging ourselves in local delicacies, enjoying the atmosphere of Turin’s famous café culture. We visit the spectacular Roman gates, the Porta Palatina before visiting to the Cathedral of Turin, the only important Renaissance building in the city which is famed for its Holy Shroud, currently housed in the cathedral itself. We continue with a visit to the church of San Lorenzo on Piazza Castello, which has an incredible Guarini dome.

Afterwards we walk down the elegant Via Po, which is covered with porticoes, to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto overlooking the Po and have our Christmas lunch. Next, we will explore Piazza San Carlo, dubbed Turin’s drawing room.

In the afternoon, we visit Turin’s most famous landmark, the Mole Antonelliana first conceived of as a synagogue but now the National Museum of Cinema.

Hotel: Hotel Sitea
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Today we return to Piazza Castello, where we visit the Palazzo Reale. We start with the incredible Chapel of the Holy Shroud, constructed by Guarino Guarini in order to host the Holy Relic acquired by the Savoys in the 15th century. We continue with a highlight, namely the Galleria Sabauda, which contains an incredible collection of Renaissance and Baroque art. There will be free time to visit the staterooms of the Royal Palace, along with the armoury equipped with the pistol of Charles V.

In the afternoon we drive to the Basilica di Superga, built as a thanksgiving gift to the Virgin Mary for the victory over the French in 1706 and final resting place of the Savoy family.

Hotel: Hotel Sitea
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Today we say goodbye to Torino and make our way home.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Hotels
  7. Flights
  8. Field Notes

Travel Information

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