PIEDMONT/TURIN

PIEDMONT/TURIN

THE ITALIAN JOB!

Piedmont, the name derives from medieval Latin, meaning “Foot of the Mountains” in this case, the Alps, which hem in the region on three sides. Second largest of Italy’s regions, it boasts incredible scenery particularly in the Alpine foothills. As with most of Italy’s regions, it is a prolific wine producer, with Barolo, Barbaresco and the much maligned Asti Spumante being the notorious appellations. The town of Alba in the south is regarded as the gourmet capital of Piedmont and is legendary for its white truffles, whilst Vecelli in the north is the largest producer of rice in Italy, but it is Piedmont’s regional capital, Turin, that is the Jewel in the Crown.

Turin is almost Italy’s forgotten city, as tourists flock to the magnetic must see cities of Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples, whilst Turin is perceived as some kind of grim, northern industrial city. Nothing could be further from the truth! Yes, it is home to the giant of the Italian motor industry, Fiat, plus the luxury marques, Masarati and Alfa Romeo and is the industrial powerhouse of the country, but it is also a city blessed with a rich architectural heritage borne from its Baroque heyday and role as the seat of the House of Savoy, once the most powerful dynasty in Italy.

Turin was the engine room of Italy’s unification and became the first capital of the country from 1861 to 1865. The legacy of the historical influence of the House of Savoy is a plethora of magnificently opulent palaces both within the city and also in its hinterlands. The Shroud of Turin is kept in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, believed by millions to be the burial cloth of Jesus, but don’t rush to see it, as it is only displayed in public every five years, the next being 2020.

Cradled by the rivers Dora to the north and Italy’s longest river, the Po, to the east, with the Alps on the northern horizon providing a constant compass point, Turin purveys a definite hint of Paris with its elegant, tree-lined boulevards, which in turn open out onto picture postcard piazza’s surrounded by buzzing bars, romantic restaurants and ageless Belle Epoque cafes. Be sure to imbibe an aperitif of Vermouth whilst there for this is the city that gave this potation to the world! 

The city was the inspiration and location of the iconic 1960’s, Michael Caine film, “The Italian Job”. Who can forget the car chase scenes through the streets of Turin, with three Minis hotly pursued by the police! Classic stuff indeed!

Piedmont and Turin’s golfing connections can be traced back to 1920 and the formation of the Torino Golf Club. The club moved to its present site in 1957, at La Mandria, a former hunting park of the Savoy’s. It was joined in 1972 by the magnificent Robert Trent Jones Snr. designed Royal Park i Roverie, located in the same hunting park. Between them they boast 72 holes of sublime golf that have hosted the Italia Open on no fewer than eight occasions.

Turin’s golfing credentials were firmly cemented by the World Cup winning exploits of its two famous golfing son’s, the Molinari brothers, who learnt and honed their skills at the Torino club, where they are still members to this day. Golf in Piedmont isn’t confined to Turin, there are an abundance of magnificent courses well worth a visit including Le Betuile in Biella, for many years voted the number one course in Italy, La Margharita just south of Turin and Castelconturbia and Bogogno in the east of Piedmont and within touching distance of Milan.

Reachable from most UK airports, within two hours flying time and with a multitude of flights arriving at either Turin or Milan’s airports, promotes this destination as being perfect not only for traditional golfing holidays but also for mid-week breaks and long weekends. Piedmont and Turin entices with a mesmerizing mix of memorable moments, the perfect canvas for an exceptional golfing holiday. Whether you are seeking golf galore, a cultural crusade, a gastronomic gourmets paradise or all, isn’t it time you booked your…

ITALIAN JOB!