This Hotel in Italy Has a Racetrack on the Roof

Fiat Lingotto Factory, once an avant-garde auto factory with a test track on the roof and ow an entertainment complex
Photo: Getty Images

Revving of engines and rushes of adrenaline are common at Lingotto, Fiat’s car factory and rooftop racetrack in Turin, Italy — and now so is a peaceful night's sleep.

The factory, designed by Giacomo Mattè Trucco and unveiled in 1923, completely transformed this humble farmland into a city at the center of unprecedented dynamism. Classic cars like the Torpedo, Topolino, Balilla, and the famed Fiat 500 would careen around a three-quarter-mile track, starting from the roaring 20s opening until 1982 when the factory was shuttered. Today, Lingotto is finding its place in a modern and changing Turin.

Fiat Lingotto Factory, once an avant-garde auto factory with a test track on the roof and ow an entertainment complex
Joaquin Ossorio-Castillo/Alamy Stock Photo

After the Lingotto factory closed, a high-profile architectural contest allowed the massive complex to be reimagined and reincarnated by Renzo Piano, who remarked that “one of the great beauties of architecture is that each time, it is like life starting all over again.”

It was important to preserve the soul of Lingotto, and Piano's design completed in 1989 included a glass-walled Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli art gallery, quirky blue cruise line chimney stacks on the racetrack, a heliport, a shopping mall, and even the automobile engineering department of TurinPolytechnic University.

Ushering the property into the 21st century is the accompanying hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto, which opened in January 2018. The hotel is the gateway to Lingotto and provides exclusive access to the rooftop racetrack for Fiat driving experiences (starting at ‎€1000, or $1,126 USD).

The property has 142 loft-like guest rooms and one spacious Presidential Suite, and the steel, marble, and glass design echoes the car factory’s aesthetics — while also considering restful sleep with airy ceilings and natural light.

Turin proudly embraces its past as a “Motor City,” and there are automotive-related adventures from the Fiat driving experience to the National Automobiles Museum — but there is more to this Italian city. Guests can also visit nearby attractions like the Museo Egizio (an archaeological museum that houses over 30,000 Egyptian artifacts), Valentino Castle, a wealth of chocolate shops, antique coffee houses, and Eataly’s flagship location.

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