Adventures in the marvellous Mini of doom!

Dave Smart

Palazzo Vela
Palazzo Vela

Capers around Turin

I planned a trip round Turin to visit a few places from the original Italian Job and tried to discuss this with the owner of the hostel, who spoke very little English. He knew nothing of the movie, as many Turinians, and was amazed to see scenes from the city in the movie clip I showed him.

It was going to be quite difficult to get to some of the sites, so I concentrated on the simpler ones like the old Fiat factory, now a shopping centre and hotel complex, where the Minis raced around the roof top test track. Palazzo Vela, the sail shape roofed building and the Gran Madre de Dio church where the Minis criss crossed the steps during a wedding. Whilst looking at the weir the Minis crossed on the river Po, I spotted that whilst renovation work was going on and there was construction fencing around the entrance, it wasn’t locked, so I popped down the pedestrian area, opened the fencing, and reversed the Mini up to the side of the weir for a quick picture.

I almost managed to get in a little trouble at Palazzo de la Citta, where Camp Freddie overlooked the traffic jam, by parking a little too close to the tram line to take a picture, just a matter of seconds before a tram arrived. Later I also sussed out the Piazza San Federico, where the police motor cyclist fell off his bike on the freshly cleaned floor, I also managed to find the area where the Minis entered and exited the sewer.

Returning to the Hostel, I met up with a couple of guys from my room and their friend, all Spanish students studying various courses in Turin for a year. After the customary signing of the car, we went out to find a supermarket to get solid and liquid supplies for the evening, but found it was closed, so we headed to a pizza and kebab shop they knew where they had the oddest kebabs, rolled up with a whole meal contained in the pita, everything including chips.

The weir
The weir

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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