Our next destination was Turin, the birthplace of FIAT and therefore the spiritual home of The Van. We arrived in Turin during the evening rush-hour and got a really good sample of Italian driving. We witnessed a few angry exchanges, quite a lot of cutting each other up and tonnes of late lane changes – all at +20km/h over the speed limit. If you concentrate hard, it’s actually fairly predictable chaos and almost entertaining. Joolz wasn’t a fan though. What also didn’t help her nerves was we had an issue with a toll-booth. First the window wouldn’t wind down (not reproducible), then the automatic booth refused our credit card and issued us a fine (which we found out that evening we can avoid by paying the normal toll amount online), and then because I turned off and restarted the van, the SatNav didn’t reboot quick enough and I drove the wrong way… which meant we drove the same bit of toll road 3 times. Joolz needed a medicinal Whispa bar when we finally reached the campsite.
Thankfully the campsite did help to calm us down a bit. It’s on the river and pretty close to the centre of Turin. And for some reason, it was infested with pretty tame bunnies.
When we woke in the morning, it was warmer than it had been up in the mountains, but it was really wet. Thankfully, one of the best attractions in Turin is the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile. There are several areas including the history of the car, which had many notable models through the years, a section on the engineering, a racing car exhibit, and a design exhibition, which mainly included famous cars styled by Bertone.
The museum was very good. We spent 3 hours there, which was way more than we expected. Part of this was due to the extremely good audio guide, which provided far more context and information than the plaque for each vehicle. Not surprisingly, the collection was very Italian-centric, which was fine, but the car history section did sometimes ignore non-Italian icons like the 2CV and the Mini.