It was now time to pick up our great friends, Mark and Nancy, who were joining us for a week. We met them in Milan and took a side-trip to Lake Como for lunch on our way back to Turin.
Great weather allowed us to share our walking routine with our friends, and we revisited the Holy Shroud and the several piazzas in this great city. We enjoyed ham lasagna in Piazza Vittorio Veneto and explored new areas of Turin, including the Basilica of Superga and the Hunting Palace of Stupinigi with its famous deer on top of the dome.
Perched atop a hill overlooking the city 625 meters below, the Basilica of Superga was built in honor of a battle the Italians won during the French siege in 1706. It is a masterpiece designed to provide thanks to the Madonna for protecting the troops. It is reached by car or a tramline converted from a funicular in 1934.
The Hunting Palace of Stupinigi is about 30 minutes outside the city center and what might be described as an over-the-top hunting lodge – massive in size and decorated to the nines. Not many animal trophies but lots to see. It was built as a hunting lodge for the Savoy family in 1729 but quickly became the royal summer residence used for parties and weddings. Inside there are 137 rooms, of which 50 are decorated with fresco paintings. A must-see.