City of Museums
Friedrich Nietzsche, who lived in Turin from 1888 to 1889, once described it as “a magnificent city, and remarkably bene-ficial”, as “not a place one abandons”.
In 2016 Turin was the city that received the highest number of awards for the best museums in Italy. It boasts various museum complexes, much appreciated by both Italian and foreign visitors, from the Museo Egizio to the Museo Nazionale dell’ Automobile, the Museo d’Arte Orientale, the Polo Reale, which includes the Palazzo and the Giardini Reali, as well as Armeria Reale and Galleria Sabauda. Turin is also a city of great interest in terms of modern and contemporary art: visitors shouldn’t miss out on the Castello di Rivoli, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, the Pinacoteca Agnelli, the Fondazione Merz and the Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti per l’Arte (soon to open in Rivoli).
The world’s most beautiful piece of furniture
Among the many attractions to see I would recommend the “Doppio Corpo” at Fon-dazione Accorsi-Ometto, a masterpiece by cabinet-maker Pietro Piffetti (1701–1777), considered by international critics to be one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture in the world. It is a bureau cabinet enriched with inlay work in ivory, mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell, signed and dated 1738.
Stylish lunch break
For lunch (or coffee), I suggest the Galleria Subalpina in Piazza Castello with one of the most glamorous historic coffee houses in Turin, the Baratti & Milano. It has ranked among the most prestigious names of Italian confectionery since 1875. Do not miss the ancient, resplendent Ristorante del Cambio in Piazza Carignano, founded in 1757 and a witness to the history of the city. A more “affordable” option is a quick snack at the adjacent Farmacia del Cambio on the premises of the former historic Farmacia Bestente.
Initially Roman, then Renaissance, later Baroque, Art Nouveau and now Contemporary, aristocratic and blue-collar, Turin has always been the “capital” – namely of the House of Savoy, of Italy, of the Alps, of labour, and ultimately of art, both ancient and contemporary.