Madama, The Shroud, and an amazing dinner at Gramsci

Turin Travel Blog

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Citadella 1564

UUUUGGGHHHH!!! Cloudy, COLD, and foggy, too! I repeat, UGH!

I got up and had breakfast and nice chat with Marco. I was being sluggish and didn’t rush out into the cold Torino air.

When I finally made it out I headed to The Galleria Sabauda near the Piazza San Carlo. The city was empty on this quiet Sunday morning.

On my way I found the Citadella, the first expansion of the city outside of the Roman Walls. It was built between 1564 ��" 68 by and architect from Urbino. It was spared destruction by Napoleon.

I reached the Academy of Sciences and couldn’t find the Sabauda.

View of Torino from observation level of the Mole
I walked around and through it for about 15 minutes. I finally realized that it must be closed right now. There is a lot of construction going on. The building is an interesting mix of Neo-Classical, with a Renaissance component and even an Eastern, almost Islamic, geometric element to it. I finally gave up and enjoyed the architecture a bit and then went on my way.

I returned to the Via Po and down to the Mole Antonelliana. Today, even with the terrible fog and cloudy skies, it was my last change to take the panoramic life to the viewing level to see the city.

I imagine that on a clear day the view to the Alps must be spectacular. Today, the view was extremely limited. You could only see for several kilometers around. The city is ……a nice city but, it’s mostly lot of the same. I can only imagine that the surroundings on a beautiful day would enhance the classically styled city.

I returned to the Piazza Castello to revisit the museum with a camera and audio guide so that I may have more information and also be able to share some of my favorite pieces with everyone.

CLose up of detail on 14th century panel

There is a room with many pieces from a 16th century church. There are doors, pews, and an altar piece make up this collection.

In another room there are many paintings, wood carvings, ornamental boxes, and icons from the 13th ��" 16th century.

In another room there is a collection of stone items: crests, crypts, and grave stones.

Up a level there is the Baroque collection. There are many rooms showcasing the palazzo’s Baroque era with its frescoes ceilings and gilded details.

The main ballroom showcase some Baroque era treasures such as; a wood and mother of pearl model of the Church of the Holy Seplchre in Jerusalem, jeweled bowls, coral, lapis, and mother of pearl framed art, an 18th century sedan chair, an amazing Baroque lavoratory, elaborately detailed tables, and large sculptures of Ivory and wood.

Close-up on detail of a box whose decoration was created in Limoges

The special exhibit, as I had told you, yesterday, is table wear from the Russian court of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is on loan from the Hermitage.

Ok, I’m no china aficionado but, they pieces showcased here are works of fine art. The hand painting on them is perfection. The service recreated the theatrical setting of “The service a la Francaise” in which the banquet was a spectacle put on for the court.

I revisited the from stairway and took a walk up and through it’s upper level. The stairway alone is more spectacular than even many of the beautiful rooms of the Palazzo. It is known as one of the most beautiful staircases in all the world. The staircase is 12 meters across and crowned by a barrel vault that is more than 20 meters high was designed by the great architect, Filippo Juvarra and commissioned by Maria Giovanna Battista of Savoy-Nemours.

Legs of an 18th century wash basin

From there, the Santurario Della Consulata with its bell tower from the 10th century. The church was built on the ruins of the old in the 17th century. It was rebuilt in 1330 and the 15th century with stone from Roman ruins. Services were being held at that time, so I didn’t go inside.

My final stop, today, was the Museum of the Shroud. They have a film that explains all the detail that is on the shroud. They also tell the story of the cult of the shroud in a museum filled with different pictures and artifacts. What looks to be kind of a mess of a room is a wonderful explanation of the facts and the mystery surrounding the mysterious shroud.

There is a viewing this April and May. The last viewing was in 2000. You must have a reservation to view it and this can be made online.

China from the Russian Court
These wonderful little old ladies were very helpful and proud to be showing their museum. A lady that speaks English well, took me around to many of the rooms and explained.

The chapel houses the only fabric reproduction to made, off of the original. It is hung above the altar and is of actual size. I was able to take pictures here, luckily.

I made my way back to Marco’s place and took my shoes off for a rest. After a bit, he told me that he would be having dinner with a friend and asked if I would like to join. He was going to get the car and would be back shortly.

He returned and we picked up Francesco, nearby. We went to Gramsci, an obviously popular spot as it was packed with people enjoying their evening.

Marco picked a white wine for us from the Aeolian Islands.

Santurario Della Consolata
It was fabulous, good pick, Marco! They had a meat platter and we also shared a cheese platter that the highlight was an creamy sweet truffle cheese. It was so delicious that it was like a dessert cheese. I had a ravioli stuffed with a gooey flavorful cheese and topped with porcini mushrooms….mmmmm good!

We had a great meal and stimulating conversation. It was definitely the highlight of my experience in Torino. Thanks so much, Marco!

After dinner, it was back to Marco’s for packing and a bit of rest Tomorrow would be a long day of a bus to a plane to a bus to a train to a bus to a metro….WOW!

Torino, was a mixed bag for me. I have longed for this visit for a long time. As a city, I’m not so impressed. The sights……well, maybe they are more interesting in better weather, not sure.

S.S. Sudario di Torino- the Museum of the Shroud is attached. This is an exact fabric copy of the shroud.
The food and the people are a different matter. They are a wonderful reason to enjoy a visit to Torino. There are great museums, I hope that they are all open when you visit.  If you do visit, a stay at Marco’s Porta Sousa B&B will elevate your opinion whatever it may be.

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Citadella 1564
Citadella 1564
View of Torino from observation le…
View of Torino from observation l…
CLose up of detail on 14th century…
CLose up of detail on 14th centur…
Close-up on detail of a box whose …
Close-up on detail of a box whose…
Legs of an 18th century wash basin
Legs of an 18th century wash basin
China from the Russian Court
China from the Russian Court
Santurario Della Consolata
Santurario Della Consolata
S.S. Sudario di Torino- the Museum…
S.S. Sudario di Torino- the Museu…
photo by: aleksflower