TurinTurin, Italy's first capital, is a city awash with history, green parks and art, not to mention that it is a town with renowned food and even better drinks. Under the arcades of the city centre there are countless wine bars, grandiose continental cafés and lively bars and restaurants, all just steps away from luxury shopping streets. Even if it is mostly known abroad for Fiat and Juventus, Turin is a fascinating metropolis with its eyes set firmly on the future thanks to its young population and great universities.
The CityTurin is ideally located at the foot of the Alps, whose peaks you can admire from anywhere in the city. The city has its roots in the 20th century industrialisation and in the struggle for democracy and progress of that period. But today, in particular after the Olympic Games of 2006, Turin has turned into a lively and coloured place awash of students and young workers, also thanks to the University and the Polytechnic of Turin — the best in Italy. The struggle to unify Italy started in Piedmont, which is why Turin became the country’s first capital city. Before that, it was the centre of the Savoy Reign. Thanks to this noble family, Turin is rich in history and art of every sort. In addition, having been the centre of Italian automation during the 20th century, the city is also an important hub for contemporary arts, in particular for design and movie making.
Do & See
Turin's vivid history still colours the atmosphere of the entire city. Walking in the streets of Turin, its past as capital of the richest reign of Southern Europe is plain to see: stunning palaces, squares and arches cover the entire city centre, giving to it a magic aura. Some of the most important museums in Italy are right here, too. Don't miss the Egyptian Museum (second only to the one in Cairo), and the Museum of Cinema located in the building-symbol of the city — Mole Antonelliana. Besides art and history, you can also enjoy open air activities. The city centre with its huge park Valentino is a vibrant space for old and young alike. Just outside the city, dozens of Savoy's estates beckon you with their lavish gardens and parks. Last but not least, if you are a sport enthusiast, don't miss to visit Piedmont's ski runs — among the best in the Alps!
Piedmont region is a very important Italian gastronomic centre. Some of the creations invented here are now known all over the world, such as Grissini breadsticks or Gianduia — a typical hazelnut chocolate. The combination of chocolate and nuts gave the start to Nutella, which is also produced here in Piedmont. If you are an adventurous eater this region certainly won't disappoint you, offering a wide range of pasta, rice, game meat, freshwater fish and delicious desserts made with the best chocolate in the country. All this is normally accompanied by some of the finest wines in Italy: Barbera, Dolcetto, Barolo, Moscato and more. Last but not least, to finish your meal with a high note, enjoy some delicious local grappas.
Italy knows coffee, and Turin is no exception. In the city centre, you can find plenty of long-lived cafes mirroring the splendour and elegance of days of old. Turin cafes are all about chocolate and gianduja cream (a mix of chocolate and nuts). Speaking of which, do not miss the chance to try Bicerin, which comes in two forms: a hot drink of carefully layered espresso, chocolate and milk or a 15% liquor that tastes like Gianduiotto hazelnut chocolate. Last but not least, don't leave Italy before tasting a real Italian gelato. A very typical Turin tradition is the apericena (halfway between aperitif and dinner) served in almost all bars and cafes of the city, for which normally one pays for the drink and gets various dishes with it. It is the ideal meal to start your night in this amazing city.
Bars & Nightlife
Turin's nightlife is impressively varied. You are certain to find something that matches your taste and mood. From the elegant bars located on Piazza Vittorio, to the alternative pubs and clubs in Santa Giulia and Quadrilatero, to the real heart of Turin nightlife in San Salvario — each neighbourhood has its own style. During spring and summer, local revelers enjoy the warm weather outdoors, on the large terraces of bars or simply in Valentino Park, sitting on the banks of the Po. Clubs usually open at around 11 pm, but the party really gets going from 1 am onward. Furthermore, if you are a real party enthusiast, you can even enjoy some after parties from 6 am until noon.
Much like dining and nightlife, your shopping experience can also vary depending on the neighbourhood. In the Quadrilatero Romano area, you will find various ethnic, second-hand and artists' shops. If you are looking for something more sophisticated, you can walk under the arcades of Via Roma and along Via Lagrange, where all the major designer brands have their boutiques. On Via Garibaldi and Via Po, the two main roads to Piazza Vittorio, there are plenty of little stores selling clothes, accessories and local products. Last but not least, if you want to experience a genuine Italian market, you cannot miss Porta Palazzo Market: the biggest in Europe, merging into one farmers, fish and second-hand markets. This last is particularly famous: it is called Balon, and walking among its stalls bargaining with sellers is certainly a unique experience.