We ride on the bicycle, discovering Turin and its beautiful hills in a slow and ecological way. Walking along the streets of colors and flavors, we encounter nature, art and good food. Here is an unusual cycle tour of Turin through its hills between Superga and Chierese.

I find myself exploring less-known destinations in the surrounding area of Turin, thanks to a ciclotour along the “Strade dei colori e dei sapori” (that in Italian means “Streets of colors and flavors“) organized by the “Turin and the province”. A three-day of full immersion in an unusual Turin: along the Turin’s hills, between Superga and Chieri, to discover naturalistic routes, museums, churches and amazing local food.

Ready Set Go!

Turin, view of the city with Mole Antoleniana
Turin, view of the city with Mole Antoleniana, photo via pxhere.com

First day.

When I reach Turin, I’m welcomed by Mirko, my guide in this ciclotour, who is very prepared and enthusiastic. We meet Pablo, of the Spanish operator of “Bike Spain”, my adventure companion. The first stop is to taste local food atthe typical restaurant “Porto di Savona”, located in the city center, where we enjoyed the delicious dishes of Turin.

The kitchen I tasted in these few days is entirely based on local flavors such as homemade cured meats and cheeses, breads and homemade breadcrumbs, agnolotti or ravioli with roast or ragu sauce, seasoned meats, all generously watered with white or red wines such as Nebbiolo, Bonarda or Freisa and then, dulcis in the bottom, so much chocolate and the fantastic Bonet.

When Serena, our day guide, arrives we start visiting the city center.

Turin between Arts and local specialties

In a beautiful balance between history and modernity, the elegant Turin is a city completely surrounded by greenery. Turin is in a strategic position: at the foot of the western Alpine arch with its snow-capped peaks, embraced by the hills and crossed by the Po river. Rich in art and culture, Turin is the first Capital of Italy, characterized by wonder monuments and food excellences, and recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO.

Turin
Turin, ph. by Cecilia Vecchi

Let’s discover museums, streets, squares and historic bars.

Let’s take a short tour of the amazing Mole Antonelliana that hosts the National Cinema Museum. We see the beautiful Palazzo Carignano an the Royal Palace. On the first hill in the city center, we discover the Villa della Regina, surrounded by gardens and agricultural areas. Then we visit the Duomo of San Giovanni and its “Shroud”, those jewels of art history that are the church of San Lorenzo, with the dazzling dome of Guarini and San Filippo Neri. Then again, the twin churches of San Carlo and Santa Cristina in Piazza San Carlo, the triumph of baroque art and the neoclassical Basilica of Mary Help of Christians.

We are immersed in the Jewish quarter, Via Carlo Alberto and its luxurious showcases, in the most youthful and sparkling Via Garibaldi, in the most sought after Via Maria Vittoria and Via della Rocca.

We taste a “bicerin” and the chocolates, winners of the “Best Chocolate Gianduja”, in the renowned and historic café and confectionery Guido Gobino, and then we enjoy the light and the colors in the Valentine Park.

Green Turin

village with the fortress in the park of Valentino, realized as pavilion of the General Italian Exhibition of 1884
village with the fortress in the park of Valentino, realized as pavilion of the General Italian Exhibition of 1884, photo by Ric.Facchini84, via flickr

With its 320 km of tree-lined avenues and numerous urban and extra-urban parks, Turin is one of the Italian cities richest in green areas. In addition, in the hills around Turin there are beautiful trails and itineraries dedicated to bicycles surrounded by nature.

In the Valentine Park, in the Royal Gardens or in the Ruffini Park, you can walk or bicycle relaxing. You can also take a canoa and see the city from an unusual point. Just a few miles from the center is the La Mandria Natural Park, where many species of wildlife live among clearings, secular trees, flower meadows and golf courses.

We move to Pralormo, reaching the bed & breakfast “Lo Scoiattolo”, a family-run bike hotel surrounded by a beautiful park. The day after a beautiful ciclo-tour is planned.

On two wheels in the hills near Turin

Pralormo – Chieri – Pecetto – Pino Torinese – Superga – Baldissero – Pralormo

Landscape from the hills near Turin
Landscape from the hills near Turin, ph. by Cecilia Vecchi

Second day.

The hotel where we stay also offers a bicycle rental service. Our itinerary includes two days of visits and two-wheel drive. The landscapes we cross are suggestive, and in a few kilometers we come to Pecetto, where we visit the small church of San Sebastiano, in the first half of the fifteenth century. We continue the road in a hall and descend at different altitudes to the Lighthouse of Maddalena, the monument dedicated to Vittoria Alata, near the hill of Maddalena, where we stand and admire Turin from above.

Lighthouse of the Maddalena, the monument dedicated to Vittoria Alata, near the hill of Maddalena, from which to admire Turin from above, photos of Cecilia Vecchi
Faro della Maddalena, the monument dedicated to Vittoria Alata, near the hill of Maddalena, from which to admire Turin from above, ph. by Cecilia Vecchi

We ride on the bicycle arriving to Superga, where we see the beautiful Basilica, where the monumental sepulchres of the Savoy kings are guarded. In the back of the complex we see the commemorative plaque of the Superga tragedy of 1949: the airplane carrying the Grand Turin team, returning from a trip to Lisbon, collapsed and did not leave any survivors.

We go down a handful of miles and reach the restaurant “Il Paluch” with its beautiful garden and the refinement and delicacy of its portions.

We resume the itinerary downhill, along the beauties of the boroughs. In total, on this first day by bike, we went 84 km along the hilly route.

We arrived at the hotel immediately to visit three bed and breakfasts in the area.

B&B eco-friendly Il Punto di Vista, Chieri, Turin
B&B eco-friendly Il Punto di Vista, Chieri, Turin

The eco-friendly Bed & Breakfast “Il Punto di Vista” in Chieri, set on a plateau to enjoy an amazing view, is also a strategic point for hiking or cycling routes.

“Gli Specchi” Bed & Breakfast, in Pino Torinese, is a late 19th-century villa surrounded by a big garden.

B&B Gli Specchi, along the road of colors and flavors, Turin
B&B Gli Specchi, along the road of colors and flavors, ph. by Cecilia Vecchi

Finally we spend a rich and typical dinner at the restaurant and bed and breakfast “I Conti della Serva” in Cinzano. And the day is over.

By bike from Casa Martini & Rossi to the Astronomical Observatory

Chieri – Piorino – Palormo – Pino Torinese

By bike from Casa Martini & Rossi to the Astronomical Observatory
ph. by Cecilia Vecchi

Third day.

We start our third day by gently moving by bicycle towards the village of Chieri. The destination is the Martini & Rossi’s house. A large building, that features 150 years of history, today is the ideal place for meetings and conferences. In the same complex you can find culture (represented by the Museum of History of Technology and the Martini Gallery), training (with the Bar Academy, the Botanical Room and the Old Laboratory), sociality (the Martini Terrace and the Lounge Bar), and leasure (with the Martini Store). The museum reveals how the wine is born and the history of one of the companies that has become synonymous with the most famous aperitif in the world. Then we have an aperitif, clearly based on Martini and we visit the Martini Store.

It’s time for lunch, in a nice place in the center of Chieri “Stassera cucino io” we are served rich and tasty dishes. We follow the afternoon to discover the town, with its Cathedral and its streets.

Than we stop at the “agrigelateria San Pé“, where you can eat a genuine icecream. The place is ideal for children (it has a playground) and is surrounded by greenery. The project was born from the owners’ idea of ​​turning a part of the “High Quality Milk”, their lively farm and the fruit of their orchards into an excellence and a local ice cream.

We finish our journey along the streets of Pralormo, discovering its streets and its center.

We went back to the hotel, in two days we went about 70 kilometers on bicycle.

The great “Pigna D’Oro” restaurant in Pino Torinese makes us toast for our last dinner. After dinner we visit the Planetarium. It is a modern science museum that hosts numerous interactive installations to experience and deepen astronomical issues. With its Museum of Astrology and Space and a digital planetarium among the most advanced in Europe.

We go to the Astronomical Observatory where you can use the Morais refractor telescope that, with its 42 cm diameter, is the largest lens instrument on the Italian territory.

Too bad that the cloudy sky did not reveal the moon that, at times, was seen in that gloomy night.

The next day is the time of greetings. After the warm greetings to the people and territories I met, I take a train to take me home. Light, but with a mind full of unforgettable images and experiences.

For bicycle lovers, this is the perfect destination: unspoiled paths, naturalistic roads, local food, special wines and artistic excellences. Suitable for different levels, it is suitable for different types of people, from children to more or less experienced two-wheelers, this bike tour is hight recommended.

In the heart of Piedmont, the best way to enjoy the beautiful surrounding hills is the bicycle!

 

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Author: Silvia Ombellini

Sono un architetto con la passione del viaggio, una mamma che sente sempre più urgente e necessario riuscire a vivere in armonia con l’ecosistema del quale siamo parte. Dopo la nascita del mio secondo bimbo è nato anche ViaggiVerdi, un'avventura intrapresa per cambiare il modo di viaggiare, per renderlo più sostenibile, giusto e buono con l'ambiente, i luoghi e le persone che li abitano.
More posts by Silvia Ombellini →


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