Did you know that San Francisco, London and Turin comprise an ancient route of black magic? This legend dates back to Roman times, but today it lives on in these cities’ contemporary cultural life. As relevant, exotic and exciting today as they were centuries ago, these three cities come together to form a must-see tour.
From its Gold Rush origins to its current seat as the tech-capital of the country, San Francisco has long been attractive to the adventurous. Throughout the years, San Francisco, home to the Beat Generation, housed famous writers like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Beat aficionados will love the hip, vintage feel of City Lights Bookstore. After browsing for books, have an absinthe at the Beat hangout Vesuvio’s then hop on the train to the Mission, home of San Francisco’s first Latino Poet Laureate, Alejandro Murguía. In the afternoon, grab a snack at the enormous food co-op and onetime hippie hangout, Rainbow Grocery.
When you arrive at San Francisco International Airport, it’s easy to jump on the AirTrain to BART and be downtown and within walking distance of the best hotels in San Francisco in under an hour.
When you arrive in London, don’t be surprised if you are greeted by some royally dark British humor. From Gatwick airport, it’s an easy half-hour trip to Victoria Station, a major transportation hub for the entire city, where you can fill your Oyster card and hit the town. Check out the modern textiles at the Tate Modern on the South Bank then cross the London Bridge to stop at the Apex City of London Hotel before checking out the London Wall.
London was home to the designer, craftsman and socialist William Morris, who was well-known for his love of textiles. The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow is free to enter and boasts gardens and a tea room in addition to its many galleries. Visitors with a sense for the macabre should also check out the Hunterian Museum, which is full of medical oddities like pickled fetuses and brains in jars. The British Library, which is walking distance from countless pubs, hotels, and other attractions, is also a must-see.
Although it is a stunning, historical city, Turin is generally not as well-known as London and San Francisco. Nonetheless, Turin, home to the 2006 Winter Olympics and located at the foot of the Italian Alps, is home to many artists, writers, and modern businesses, which lends it a modern and cosmopolitan feel. There are flights to Turin and trains also arrive right downtown at the Porta Nuova station.
Turin boasts a vibrant underground art cafe, the Cafe des Arts, as well as the Museo Egizio, which is the only museum outside of Cairo dedicated solely to Egyptian culture. Additionally, this city’s nightclubs along the River Po make it home to some of the best nightlife in the world, with plenty of art and music going on at all times. When you’re in the mood to eat and drink, take advantage of the city-wide happy hour that includes a wide selection of food and cocktails as well as world-class people watching. After a long night, head back to one of Truin’s beautiful hotels, such as the Grand Hotel Sitea, to prepare for another day visiting Il Circolo de Lettori, a brilliant and hospitable reading room where visitors can sip thick, creamy hot chocolate while pondering Nietzsche’s famous work titled The Turin Horse.
Turin’s magic can be attributed to its location on the 45th parallel. According to esoteric legend, the Black Magic Triangle between San Francisco, London and Turin is based upon ancient, energetic currents flowing between the cities. While we may never know if the Shroud of Turin actually exists or what the people who built the London Wall were thinking, this three-city voyage is meant for the thrill-seeker who appreciates the finer things in life.
Head to Hipmunk to book your trip to San Francisco, London and Turin today.