A hiking tour visiting a few of Italy's best known sights leaves plenty of scope to see the lesser known areas between them: Start in the Dolomites on the Via Ferrata, relax at Lake Como, visit the Shroud and more in Turin, then walk Via Garibaldi.
Recently in Turin to research a new play, I found the city to be the epitome of style, culture, and charm. Many thanks to the Primo Levi Centre and the University of Turin's Archives Department for their generous assistance. Turin is the perfect base to visit Genoa and Bologna, though the city itself offers fabulous cafes, bars, museums, and shops.
Here are some of my favorite places:
Grand Hotel Sitea on Via Alberto Carlo is the best place to stay in Turin. With its efficient staff and plush environment, Sitea is a fabulous choice: www.thi.it
Caffe Torino and Caffe San Carlo are historical city-center cafes providing a whisper of old world charm and culture.
Platti and Pastis are two wonderful restaurants serving savory food.
Luxemburg International Bookshop offers a comprehensive collection of English language books, journals, and international newspapers.
At nearly 300 years old, Teatro Carignano is a must for the experience of seeing theater in a stunningly beautiful building.