48 Hours between Cremona and Turin
17 November 2016
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The territory of Cremona stretches flat from North West to South East within the borders marked by Adda, Oglio and Po rivers.
Cremona’s territory is an area with unique and well recognizable characteristics, which includes three areas corresponding to its major towns: the provincial capital and the proper Cremona territory in the centre, Crema with its territory in the North-West, Casalmaggiore and its territory in the South-East. Each of these three areas has its own history, traditions and dialectal accent and a town in the centre, which is on a human scale in terms of size and lifestyle and renowned for its history and sights.
The artistic, historical and cultural values related to the music, violin making and organ-making traditions in particular, the typical products and the natural resources give new knowledges and emotions to tourists and visitors.
The art of making string instruments is definitely the trademark of Cremona and its territory all around the world: a tradition that can be still found in the over 150 violin making workshops that daily revive the tradition of masters Andrea Amati, Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù.
A territory shaped by water, with the rivers Po, Adda, Oglio and Serio, that man was able to preserve in its specificities, while exploiting its characteristics.
The fertile countryside guards century-old traditions, whose typical agricultural and food products are evidence of an excellence that is recognized worldwide.
A territory to be discovered through slow tourism, which finds its most appropriate mode in river navigation, cycle tourism and guided tours of natural parks.
Turin is a city with many souls, great beauty still to be discovered, great energy flowing in the streets and infinite details that make it unique. It has been capable of renewing itself during the past decade with the thrust of the Winter Olympic Games of 2006 and continues to do so every day, always in ferment and searching for unprecedented dynamism in tourism and cultural energy as evidenced in the very attractive blog #lamiatorino.
Its urban space is strewn with royal residences of the Savoys that form the circuit of the ‘Crown of Delights’, UNESCO world heritage sites including Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama, Castello del Valentino, Reggia di Venaria and Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi – to name a few, now the venues of prestigious events, such as the shows ‘Toulouse Lautrec. La belle èpoque’ at Palazzo Chiablese (until 5 March 2017) or ‘Brueghel. Masterpieces of Flemish Art’ at the Reggia di Venaria (until 19 February 2017).
The rich history of Turin and its province is entwined with the birth and fame of the refined coffee houses and historical restaurants of which there are so many in the city centre, real monuments to its long history. The best known include the timeless ‘Ristorante Del Cambio’, in piazza Carignano, ‘Al Bicerin’ (from the name of the famous hot beverage made of chocolate, coffee and fresh cream, served in the traditional glass with a metal handle), ‘Baratti&Milano’ (where the famous chocolate cream of the same name was invented), ‘Stratta’, ‘Caffè Elena’, ‘Fiorio’, ‘Mulassano’, ‘Pepino, ‘Platti’, ‘San Carlo’ and many others that enliven the meeting places of the most regal piazzas of the city.
However, Turin is not only Savoyard. It also has a strong bond with contemporary art. Forty-eight hours of full-immersion in art, with the Torino+Piemonte Contemporary Card offers visitors access to the contemporary collections and shows at the Castello di Rivoli – Museo di Arte Contemporanea, the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, the Fondazione Merz and the MAU – Museo d’Arte Urbana. The card includes access to other collections and museums such as the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, the Museo Ettore Fico, Camera – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, plus discounts and reduced fares for special buses and taxis. Winter nights in Turin shine with a special twinkle: they are in fact illuminated by ‘Luci d’Artista’ [Artists’ Lights], the famous light installations by contemporary artists. Admire them while strolling with your head tipped back or while comfortably seated on the special red two-story panoramic bus, ‘Lights on the Bus’.
One of the most interesting and culturally effervescent places of the Piedmont capital is the San Salvario quarter that hosts many examples of street art and contemporary muralism, which can be admired on the ‘Street Art Tour di Torino’, a 2 hour guided walking tour through parks, bistros, libraries and design studios on the lookout for famous artists and the tags of newcomers to the scene.
Some of the best production firms of Turin are ready to open their doors to tourists for a ‘Made in Torino. Tour The Excellent’: from Martini&Rossi, to Pastiglie Leone and many other brands of industrial tourism such as Alenia Aerospace, Pininfarina, Bertone and Italdesign-Giugiaro, that tell the story of the passions of Turin.
And what about chocolate? Isn’t that a typical passion of Turin? The insuperable protagonist of this sweet love affair is the ‘tonda gentile delle Langhe’ hazelnut, a certified variety that is an indispensable ingredient in the confection of the Gianduiotto, the first chocolate to be wrapped that later became the universally recognised symbol of the Piedmont chocolate tradition. A group of famous firms such as ‘Caffarel’, ‘Leone 1857’, ‘Baratti&Milano’ (today owned by the Novi Group), ‘Venchi’, ‘Peyrano’ and ‘Streglio’, together with emerging artisans of the calibre of Guido Gobino, Guido Castagna, Giordano and La Stroppiana maintain the name and tradition of this sweet. A delicious taste of the best chocolate tradition of Turin and Piedmont, but also of Italy and international greats is to be had at the must-see ‘CioccolaTò’ event, held every year in November in the squares of the city centre.