Words and Pictures by Massimo Usai
(Italian Version HERE)
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2022 AT TURIN
The news of recent weeks is that next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the Italian city of Turin, as was announced by surprise in recent days by the organizers.
Several Italian cities, including Rome, Milan and Florence, had submitted their candidacies for the competition.
The European Broadcasting Union and the Italian public broadcaster Rai which organized the competition ultimately opted for Turin.
The former capital of Italy takes up the role of “prima donna” of the national showcase of cultural tourism; after that, just 15 years ago, it was the last Italian city to organize the Olympic Games in the country.
Considering the perfect organization of those Olympic Games of 2006, you can bet that the Piedmont capital will be ready even for this prestigious musical event.
Almost 2 million people live in the metropolitan area of the city.
The Eurovision final will be an opportunity for foreigners and many Italians to appreciate a city that has always been shy in its tourist exposure, but that has nothing to envy many Italian cities decidedly more popular in the world.
Turin is located in a unique position, with the north-western Alps clearly visible from the city centre. The Swiss borders and French are close, just a few hours away from the Ligurian coast.
HILLS, MOUNTAINS, PLAINS AND SEA IS ALL AT YOUR FINGERTIPS FOR THE CITIZENS OF TURIN.
Being so close to the borders, Turin has experienced some exciting relationships over the centuries with its neighbours.
The Town has been a destination for decades of national immigration because of its industries. It has a southern spirit within it, which contributes to creating an excellent cultural mix that has integrated and mixed with the Piedmontese base of the city.
Turin will offer music and will do so by reciprocating with a series of places, museums and locations, which visitors will carry in their memories for many years to come.
Learn about Egyptian history at the Egyptian Museum
This museum is undoubtedly the city’s biggest tourist attraction. It showcases the most extensive collection of Egyptian artefacts outside of Cairo. With 24 human mummies, an essential statue of Ramses II and the intact tomb of Kha and Merit, it is a fascinating place to learn about ancient civilizations.
But Turin is not only a gallery and museum; there is also to admire the structure of its palaces in the historic centre and the baroque architecture of Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama, which leave visitors surprised by so much beauty.
Palazzo Reale is the former royal palace, built in the 16th century and now preserved as a museum and gallery of ancient art. Meanwhile, a short walk away is Palazzo Madama, a project by Italian architect Filippo Juvarra. The Museum of Ancient Art of the City of Turin is now located.
Nearby is also the famous Chapel of the Holy Shroud, where you can admire the Shroud of Turin – a piece of linen with the image of a man, which some belief is Jesus of Nazareth.
One thing I recommend you do is strolling through the beautiful streets of Turin, get lost in the labyrinth of arches, small restaurants and boutiques.
And walking among arches and elegant and classy people, every now and then, you get out of the protection of the arcades to find yourself in the centre of a beautiful square like Piazza San Carlo.
Although for me, one of the most evocative is undoubtedly Piazza Castello, home to some of the most impressive and important historic buildings in the city.
EXPLORE ITALIAN ART NOUVEAU ARCHITECTURE
As a total contrast, about twenty minutes from Piazza Castello, you reach a part of the city with incredible Art Nouveau architecture (known as The Liberty Style in Italy).
Discovering this part of the city is essential to get to know Turin better. I advise you to do it with a long walk. It is easy to find guides in the area who organize free walking tours (but do not forget to tip), who will make you take away a full of exciting information.
LET YOURSELF BE FASCINATED BY THE MOLE ANTONELLIANA
What a fantastic building! The tower of the Mole Antonelliana is visible throughout Turin and has become the landmark of the city. It was initially designed as a synagogue but was later updated as a monument to national unity. For a modest ticket, you can take the elevator up to the 85-meter platform for a view of the city.
Right next to it, you will find the National Cinema Museum.
ENJOY TURIN’S MODERN ART SCENE
Turin is a genuinely artistic and cultural city, so definitely add a gallery or two to your to-do list if you have time left.
GAM is the city’s modern and contemporary art gallery. There are always exciting exhibitions, and a visit to their website will allow you to better organize your stay.
THE NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM
Auto and Torino go hand in hand – in fact, the T in FIAT is for Turin!
Fiat is a historic car manufacturer for Italians, so you have to find time to visit the famous car museum in Turin. It has a collection of about 200 cars from 80 different car brands, so there is a lot to watch, admire and learn.
PIEDMONT IS A GUARANTEE OF EXCELLENT FOOD.
There are plenty of Piedmontese delicacies to taste, but you should definitely try the city’s fresh pasta.
In my recent visit, my pasta in Turin was a beautiful Baja Cauda followed by tagliatelle with rabbit sauce, all in white and with the final shoe to enjoy in an exhilarating crescendo of flavours and smells.
On the second day, I enjoyed a delicious bowl of agnolotti – a Piedmontese style of ravioli stuffed with roast meat and served in a roast ragout (similar to so many tasty ragout sauces, but very different from the most popular Emilian sauces).
The Piedmont region is famous for its many delicacies!
Not far from Turin is Alba, a town synonymous with truffles. There is actually an entire festival dedicated to indulgent delicacy every October and November.
Too bad that the singing event is in spring, but don’t worry, good food and high-quality wine will certainly not be lacking.
GOING BACK TO MUSIC…
The event dates are as follows; mark them on your agenda to be a memorable final. Being in Turin those days could be thrilling.
The semi-finals will be held on 10 and 12 May 2022, followed by the final on 14 May in the Pala Olimpico arena in Turin.
Do not forget that Turin is easily accessible through its Caselle International Airport. Still, it is also only a few kilometres from Milan, and its railway junction facilitates arrivals from all over Italy and Europe.
Italy became the host country of 2022 for the popular contest after Italian rock band Maneskin won this year’s edition.
It is not the first time Eurovision has stopped in Italy; the two previous occasions, in Naples in 1965 and in Rome in 1991, are still part of another era compared to tourism and communication.
This edition is undoubtedly more essential than many previous ones. The last edition winners (Maneskin) have become real international rock stars. A phenomenon that Eurovision had not recorded since the days of Abba when they won in Brighton 1974.
So there are no excuses, either for the final or even just for a different weekend out, Turin and the city, to mark in your diaries for 2022.
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