Saluzzo and the Marquisate lands
1st day – Friday
A little stroll in the town’s historical centre: particularly interesting are St. Claire’s Church, the Baroque façade of the Town Hall Building and the imposing Parish Church of St. Andrew built on a design by Bernini. Your visit may continue at PalazzoTraversa, the last remaining real Medieval building in town, and at the church of Santissima Trinità (Holy Trinity), rich in frescoes. You can then take a leisurely walk along Corso Garibaldi with its long Portico called “l’Ala” which on market day (Friday) houses a picturesque market.
Finally, don’t miss a visit to the best historical bars in town where you can enjoy excellent coffee and delicious fancy cakes typical of Piedmontese tradition. You can also decide to organize a cheese tasting at the shop / museum of Fiorenzo Giolito, historic cheese “affineur” in Bra.
In the evening you may then have a lovely dinner at Osteria Murivecchi, where you can enjoy the best dishes of the typical local cuisine and drink the best wines of the area.
2nd day – Saturday
Here we suggest a short visit to the ancient Marquisate lands whose thriving centre is the town of Saluzzo. The ancient capital of the Marquisate is nowadays one of the most fascinating Piedmontese towns as its historical centre has preserved its original urban structure boasting a splendid heritage of Medieval buildings and monuments to which later centuries brought interesting architectural additions.
The most ancient part of the town is perched on a hill slope. It can be reached by going up the street leading to the Castle thus reaching the ancient village main square lined up with aristocratic buildings. Among them the 15th century remarkable Civic Tower and the Castiglia, the Marquis’ Castle.
Walking along via San Giovanni, you will come across Casa Cavassa, now the Town Museum, an example of home-museum showing the best of Renaissance Saluzzo. After leaving Saluzzo and heading for Pinerolo, you can reach one of the most significant Piedmontese medieval monuments, the Abbey of Staffarda, the most important example of Cistercian architecture in the region.
From Saluzzo you can then get to one of the three Saluzzo’s valleys, namely: the Po Valley, with its famous Monviso from which this river itself springs out, the Varaita Valley going up to the village of Chianale and Val Maira, a unique narrow valley absolutely not to be missed.
Another attraction is Elva, probably the most evocative Val Maira village, because of its isolation, position and for its artistic treasures.
It can be reached from Val Maira following an arduous, absolutely fascinating road, called “ La strada del Vallone” or from Val Varaita going over Sampeyre’s pass.
This region boasts several restaurants and typical trattorie; and it is certainly worthwhile stopping at la Locanda Codirosso in Frazione Ruata Valle ,a tiny suburb of Stroppo.
3rd day – Sunday
Before going back home, we suggest a visit to a royal Residence par excellence: Racconigi Castle. Besides the sumptuous apartments, you will be able to appreciate the wonderful park designed by landscape architect X. Kurten and walk as far as “Margaria”, the site of the ancient stables, the old Dairy Farm and the Castle Glasshouses.
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From Racconigi you can then reach Turin, making sure you visit on the way the Stupinigi Hunting Palace and its surrounding Park. An architectural complex of extraordinary originality and boldness, the Hunting Palace was built on 18th c. architect Juvarra’s design to which many other architects contributed (Alfieri, Prunotto, Bo). It is now a Museum of Arts and Furnishings displaying furniture, paintings and beautiful objects coming both from the Palazzina original furnishings and from other Savoy Mansions. The building also houses
The ancient Savoy Court’s capital, Turin, well deserves a careful visit. This will enable you to discover the unquestionable austerity of its elegant buildings, the squares and the boulevards of a Royal city as well as the daring modern architectural solutions linked to the 20th Winter Olympics. A city absolutely not to be missed!