In addition to getting to know the Roman city of Acqui Terme, there are two excursions in Session I to two of the most famous cities in Italy: Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region and second-largest city in Italy, and Turin, the capital of Piedmont. In Session II, there will be an excursion to the famous port city of Genova, the birthplace of Nicolo Paganini. Click on the arrows on the photos next to each city to see more pictures.
Milan, Lombardy, Italy
(Session I and Session II)
Home of Italy's stock exchange, an industrial powerhouse and the internationally accepted arbiter of taste in fashion and design, Milan is a seething metropolis. The grand Gothic cathedral, the Duomo, lies at the geographical heart of this one-time Imperial Roman capital, and expresses the love of beauty and power that still drives the city today. Art collections old and new, unparalleled shopping, one of Europe's biggest trade-fair complexes, sparkling nightlife, the prestige of opera at La Scala, the mark of Leonardo da Vinci's genius, a religious addiction to calcio (football), and endless opportunities to eat the best of Lombard and Italian food make Milan much more than the puritanically work-obsessed city it is often portrayed.
Turin, Piedmont, Italy
There's a whiff of Paris in Turin's elegant tree-lined boulevards and echoes of Vienna in its stately art nouveau cafes, but make no mistake – this elegant, Alp-fringed city is utterly self-possessed. In Turin, the capital of the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, sports cars and chocolate are a matter of pride. The city houses the Egyptian Museum, one of the most impressive collections of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt. A stroll around Piazza Castello and along the Via Roma encompasses many of the must-see sights. Valentino Park houses an 18th-century castle, botanic garden and medieval village.
Originally settled by Celto-Ligurian tribes, and attacked by Hannibal in 218 B.C., Turin has a rich history. It was a Roman military center dedicated to Augustus, and was conquered by the Byzantines, Lombards, and Franks of Charlemagne respectively. Turin became the capital of the Royal Duchy of Savoy in 1563, and was annexed by the French Empire in 1802, until the fall of Nappoleon in 1814. For a brief time, Turin was the capital of the newly unified Italy in 1861, and later home of the Fiat.
Genova, Liguria, Italy
The birthplace of Nicolo Paganini and Christopher Columbus, Genoa (Genóva in Italian) is Italy's leading port, with a long history of maritime power that began when it defeated rival Pisa in the 10th century. The riches that flowed into the city in the 16th and 17th centuries still show in the marble palaces that earned it the nickname of La Superba. These old noble palaces, more numerous and splendid here than in any other place in Italy, are the city's most important tourist attractions. Along the waterfront, in the tangle of steep streets and lanes of the old sailors' quarter, fanning up from the Porto Vecchio (old harbor), you gain a sense of what the city must have felt like at the height of its sea power.
If you have time, visit the streets and squares near Piazza de Ferrari - Piazza Matteotti, via Dante, and Via XX Settembre. But remember: things that look close on the map may be a long climb apart. Genoa is a vertical city, rising abruptly from the arc of its harbor to the lower slopes of the Apennine mountains. You cannot simply drive across town - its various segments are linked by five road tunnels and high bridges.
Travel in Piedmont
Acqui Terme is one of the ancient Roman spa cities in the red wine region of Piedmont. They are also known for their excellent grappa and French-influenced food. If you have time to travel after the festival, there are many beautiful sites nearby, such as the cities of Genova and Cremona.