Day 97: Palazzo Reale a Torino, an all-day event!

Ciao a tutti. We are continuing our weekend trip here in Torino, or Turin, as English-speakers call it. Turin is a bit off-the-beaten path to first-time Italy travelers, despite being a very large Italian city, mainly because it is not one of “the big 3″(Venice, Florence, Rome) visited on large-group tours. You may have heard of Turin if you remember the Winter Olympics 2006. Another tidbit informs that Torino used to be the Capitol of Italy, before Rome. To me, Torino feels like a mix of Paris and Vienna, but everything is in Italian. That’s enough reason to come here!

We are here with our dear friend and travel comrade, Mike, with whom we have planned European and Italian adventures for the last 3 years. You’ll remember Mike as the winner of our Italian Family guest award 2014. 



Mike, Drew and I in front of Palazzo Reale

Today was overcast with rain imminent. We decided to make it an indoor day and spent the day in the museums of the Palazzo Reale, former home of the Savoy family. Upon arrival, we bought our tickets and then had some real troubles actually locating the entrance to the Galleria Sabouda, a gallery with pre-renaissance religious and Renaissance Dutch and Italian paintings. 

As you can see, one sign says the gallery is to the right, while others say it’s straight ahead!

This is where travel perseverance comes in handy. All three of us love Italy very much, but of course, one thing that we find annoying is the either lack of signage, conflicting signage, or signage that leads you to a round-about and then high and dry. It took about 15 minutes of following conflicting signage, until finally a nice Italian guide actually walked us there. 

The Galleria Sabouda is the first museum we visited. This is a perfect 2-3-hour jaunt for art lovers and dreamers. Mike is especially interested in the Dutch painters, so it was right up his alley. Drew and I appreciated the magnificent landscapes. Our big recommendation to you, via Mike, is to start at the end and work your way backwards. We started at the beginning and were overwhelmed by an entire floor of pre-Renaissance religious art, many with the stereotypical symbols (Palm branch signifying martyrs, dogs symbolizing loyalty, fidelity and orthodoxy) and a lot of symbols we couldn’t explain. No offense to those who love it, but how many Madonna and Childs do you need to see? And how many paintings depicting the wise man having shown up immediately after Christ’s birth do you need to see before you get annoyed? This is our main reason for suggesting to go to the end and work your way backwards. That way, you’ll be most energized for the paintings that you are actually interested in. 

After a lunch break, we made our way back to the Palazzo Reale to make our way through the inside, with Versaille-like baroque interiors. This palace can be described as a factory-like exterior with an oppulent, Baroque style interior. You’d never know from the outside what would show up inside! 

The gilded dining room.



The beautiful ballroom, full of light and shiny delights.

As you can see, the palace is an unexpected surprise and we’d recommend it on your next trip to Torino. 

After the palazzo, we made our way back to the gallery, where the archeological museum is housed. The archeological museum is well-laid out, with signs in English and Italian, and close to the Roman ruins, which can be seen outside the entrance to the gallery. This would be a must-see for any history and archeology fan. Obviously, Drew was very happy!

Roman ruins which can be seen outside the archeological museum and once formed a Roman Theater.

After 3 museums, we were ready for a rest, so we headed back to the apartment to relax before going out later. We’d recommend that you pace yourself. €12 ticket for a potential viewing of 5 museums. 3 museums in 1 day is a lot, so know yourself, make your plan, have fun and explore the museums that the Palazzo Reale has to offer!

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