23rd May 2010 at 8:36 pm

Milan and Turin

I’m in Italy on business – Milan first, then Turin.

Milan

I flew over late Wednesday arriving in Milan around 09:30 – about an hour late. Despite Hertz saying they would hold my car for at least an hour after my flight landed – they hadn’t and I had to settle for a lesser vehicle. Not a good start.

Late night was not the best time to be introduced to Milan’s crazy roads and to be driving on the wrong side of the road. No lane markings, and traffic lights at every intersection (approx. 200 metres apart). Anyway, as I was working I didn’t get to see anything more of Milan than the appalling traffic and I was glad to leave.

Next week I am working in Turin so I stayed in Italy over the weekend. Thankfully I planned to move to Turin on Saturday rather than stay in Milan. Turin still has crazy roads, but it is a far more pleasant place.

I’m staying in Le Meridien Lingotto which is located in the former Fiat factory – very nice with unique rooms and there is even a large shopping centre situated in the same building.

TurinTurinTurinTurinTurinTurinTurin, LingottoTurin

I spent today exploring the city on foot and also on the sightseeing bus. Turin is an incredible place with stunning architecture – there are also many attractions and museums. I decided that the must see place was “The Mole Antonelliana” – built originally to be a Synagogue but now home to the cinema museum. The added attraction is the glass elevator that takes you to the viewing platform high above the city. I hadn’t done much research, but the idea of the elevator and view seemed worth the hour long wait they were estimating and so I queued in the direct midday sun, for at least an hour at 35 degrees. Once through the door I queued for another 30 minutes but it was well worth it. The building is hollow – imaging inside the dome of St Paul’s, but twice as high. The museum is housed on several galleries inside the dome, leave most of the central space empty.

You catch the glass lift in the crypt level so you have no idea what you are in for. As the lift rises through the ground floor you are taken the entire heght of the dome, suspended in mid air with no lift shaft until eventually you pierce a tiny hole in the top on the dome and arrive on the observation deck in the tower.

The observation deck is not crowded and you are left with as much time as you need to enjoy the view over Turin.

Back inside, the museum is outstanding – there is so much there you could easily spend a whole day.