Often overshadowed by its glamorous cousins, the Italian city of Turin is just waiting for some well-deserved attention. With world-class museums, chic shopping districts and historical architecture that will leave you speechless, you’ll be saying ‘Rome who?’ in no time.
You can’t travel through Turin without coming face to face with spectacular architecture. A visit to the 16th-century Valentino Castle, 19th-century Our Lady Help of Christians church and early 20th-century Consolata Shrine should quench your thirst for magnificent monuments. If you’re craving a mocha and biscotti, look no further than the Piazza San Carlo, where the people-watching is just as satisfying as the food. And then after dark, the fun really begins as the beautiful people emerge and Turin’s pumping nightlife gets into gea.
Turin’s Top 10
10. Egyptian Museum The best collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts outside of Cairo. A little strange, but appreciated nonetheless.
5. Palazzo Madama A seriously stunning palace that is home to Turin’s most treasured ancient art collection.
9. Basilica of Superga This peach-tinged church has roots dating back to the 18th century.
4. Via Roma Come to this famed shopping strip for luxe brands and expensive-looking locals. Very posh.
8. Via Garibaldi This charming shopping strip is for pedestrians only. Less cars, more shops. That’s fine by us.
3. Turin Cathedral Dedicated to St John the Baptist, the façade may be uninspiring, but the inside is amazing.
7. Valentino Park Running alongside the Po River, this gorgeous park is perfect for a post-exploration wind down.
2. Palazzo Carignano This 17th century palace looks even better from the back than the front. Baby got back!
6. Museo dell’Automobile Car enthusiasts will be in heaven at this museum, which showcases everything from cool F1 cars to shiny new Ferraris.
1. Mole Antonelliana Once a synagogue and now a museum dedicated to cinema. A popular local hangout.
- Basilica of Superga – This beautiful cathedral stands atop a hill and celebrates a victorious war against the French.
- L’Armeria Reale -Turin's Royal Armoury holds an interesting array of exhibits thanks to the Sardinian king Charles Albert.
- Palazzo Madama – Also known as the Civic Museum of Ancient Art, this is the former home of the queen.
- Mole Antonelliana – This synagogue built in 1888 is Turin’s tallest building.
- Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist – Built in 1498, this is home to the Shroud of Turin.
Turin Art & Culture
- National Cinema Museum – This museum is home to a range of exhibitions perfect for cinema fanatics.
- Egyptian Museum – This museum houses an interesting collection of artefacts from ancient Egypt.
- Museo dell'Automobile – Home to 170 vehicles from throughout the ages. Keen motor enthusiasts will love it here.
- Galleria Subalpina – A pedestrian passage located between Piazza Castello and Piazza Carlo Alberto with historic cafes.
- Castello di Rivoli – Found in Rivoli, this castle features a modern art museum.
- Porta Palazzo Market – This ethnic market sells a wide variety of goods at inexpensive prices.
- 8 Gallery – A lengthy corridor in Lingotto that is home to a wide range of shops.
- Via Garibaldi – Strictly for pedestrians, this shopping zone can be located between Piazza Castello and Piazza Statuto. Ideal for a tranquil shopping experience.
- Via Roma – A mix of expensive, high-fashion stores and affordable clothing chains can be found here.
- Le Gru – A shopping complex located a short distance outside of Turin.
Gay & Lesbian Turin
- Caffe Basaglia – The perfect venue to mix with Turin’s gay community.
- Turin’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival – This annual festival in April is worth checking out.
- Centralino Club – This is one of the most popular clubs in town.
- Queever – The destination to party through the night and see men in drag.
- 011 Sauna Club – Relax in style and make new friends at this popular destination.
- River Po Park - A protected natural park and an idyllic venue to enjoy Turin in the sun.
- Valentino Park – Found near the River Po, this stunning park is one of Turin’s largest.
- Orto Botanico dell'Università di Turin – The botanical gardens of the University of Turin featuring many different species of plants.
- Parco della Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi – One of Turin’s most beautiful parks. Take a stroll around this park on a crisp autumn day.
- Parco della Tesoriera – This park features a playground that will keep kids amused for hours.
- Catch the Juventus F.C. play at their home ground, Juventus Stadium.
- Watch the skiers on the slopes of Piedmont.
- Visit the Palavela ice rink to watch figure skaters in action.
- Take a trip to the Valentino Park motor racing circuit to explore this large track.
- Check out the Turin F.C. at their home ground, Stadio Olimpico.
The Torino Comics and Games Festival in April is a comic book geek’s utopia. You’ll find everything from Superman to Asterix, plus dress-up comps and an entire area dedicated to Star Wars.
Breakdancing and ballet are bedfellows at September and November’s Torino Danza, an awesome dance fiesta with performances at venues across Turin.
Celebrate the unconventional, innovative and eclectic at the Torino Film Festival in November, one of the most important festivals in all of Italy.
The Artissima International Fair of Contemporary Art brings the crème de la crème of art exhibitions, theatre and dance studios to Turin in November. Perfecto!
Even the obnoxious buskers can’t dampen the colourful, jovial and utterly delicioso Turin Christmas Market in December.
When To Go
- Winters are frosty, so rug up if you’re planning an end-of-year holiday. The average winter temp sits at about 4°C (39°F)
- Late spring/early summer brings a truckload of rain. If you’re not a fan, avoid visiting between April and June.
- Summer is nice and toasty, with temps usually hitting the 25°C (77°F) mark.
- GTT operates the city’s buses, trams and interstate train line. Trains and buses are cheap, efficient and clean.
- There are plenty of bike lanes, but the notoriously heavy traffic can make cycling a tad stressful. If you’re keen on biking your way around the city, make sure to take extra precautions.
- Taxis are plentiful and reliable, but very expensive. Best only used for emergencies – like getting home from a night of serious clubbing.
The city known as Torino in the northern Italian region of Piemonte is a feisty Po River destination with the Alps as a desirable and dramatic backdrop. Most notable of late as congenial host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, Turin has parlayed the spotlight of the Games to focus attention on the city's tremendous tourist appeal.
The allure of Turin and in essence, Piemonte, is not solely in the region's spectacular landscape. With a metro population just shy of 2.3 million, the city is also a formidable player on Italy's vast cultural stage and a vital commercial and business hub. The home of the Shroud of Turin, Fiat, Juventus and former capital of the Duchy of Savboy and indeed, for a brief time in the late 19th century, Italy, the city is awash with architectural splendour. From cathedrals to museums and a culinary heritage that ranks as one of the best in the country, Turin is a wonderful discovery.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurant & Nightlife
Unlike most of Italy, Turin has a continental climate, with four distinct seasons. Winters are for the most part, dry and cold, with relatively comfortable summers.
- Winter (December to February) -2-8°C
- Spring (March to April) 6-16°C
- Summer (May to September) 10-27°C
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