Turin is Piedmont Capital town, and the first historical capital of Italian unified nation, in 1861. The city is surrounded by green charming hills, fascinating all types of tourist.
Easy to be reached, positioned into the heart of Europe, Turin is the perfect short break destination, as well as an unmissable stop along a tour of Piedmont or Italy.
Museums for all tastes
Turin is a friendly and surprising town, with more than 40 museums, from ancient history to contemporary arts, from natural and environmental sciences to the “seventh art”, from car-history to culture of food.
“Mole Antonelliana” – the building, symbol of the town- with its 167m of height, hosts the Cinema Musuem. The Egyptian Museum, with its set-up by Oscar awarded scenographer Dante Ferretti, is second only to the Cairo one.
Lingotto former FIAT factory, hosts Pinacoteca Giovanni y Marella Agnelli, with its unvaluable Canaletto, Modigliani, Balla and Matisse masterpieces.
XIX Century and contemporary Art addicted, will certainly visit GAM – Modern and Contemporary art Gallery- and Rivoli Castle.
And last but not least, National Automobile Museum, with Françoise Confino set-up, and National Italian Risorgimento Museum
Royal Residences “Crown of Delights”
Savoy Court dinasty left the magnificent Royal Residences, UNESCO world heritage. Royal Palace and Madama Palace, flanking the majestic Piazza Castello, Valentino castle, built on Po riverside , and some other castles in the boundaries of the town, form the “Crown of Delights”. Among these, the Royal Palace of Venaria, structured achitecture complex, surrounded by La Mandria Park and its gardens, and Stupinigi hunting residence, are the most significant.
What to taste in Turín
A travelling in Turin is also a trip through food culture. Aperitivo is a must: a glass of wine or a cocktail, with some snacks, tastings and salads, in one of the trendy bars is a modern habit with an ancient origin. Vermouth has born in Turin in 1757 and Martini & Rossi still has its main base close to town.
Historical Cafès, with their vintage atmosphere, are beautiful places for tasting local delis: such as Bicerin- traditional Turin drink, made with coffee, chocolate, and cream – hot chocolate with cream, or the liquour flavoured Sabayòn, and the “Gianduiotti”( chocolate candy with hazelnuts).
Why not take a trip to Turín? Have a look at our flights here!
Turin for Film Lovers
It was a film that led me to Turin. I was stunned by a giant edifice topped by a spire which towered over the city. It was the Mole Antonelliana, a vivid name alluding to both its blunt presence and its designer, Alessandro Antonelli, who had initially conceived of it as a synagogue. I discovered it in a humble but significant independent film entitled Dopo Mezzanotte (After Midnight), by Davide Ferrario, who lives in the city and has shot many of his films there. It is a hymn to cinema, a passion triangle with the action set in the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, which has been housed in the Mole since 2000. With an area of 3,200 square metres, it is the largest in Europe dedicated to “the Seventh Art”. It is a highly original, spectacular exhibition, both for its location and the layout of its collections, including pre-cinematographic devices, magic lanterns, and both old and modern stage items – notably masks from Star Wars and Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, Superman’s cloak and Marilyn Monroe’s bodice. It is actually one of the most frequented museums in Italy, quite a feat in a country with such a rich history and art heritage. It is also the site of the Turin Film Festival, next slated for 20 to 28 November, which has featured such filmmakers as Nanni Moretti, Gianni Amelio and Paolo Virzi.
The City that Bewitched Risi, Tornatore and Argento
The fact that Turin was Italy’s first capital is evident in its cinema, from Neorealism to erotic comedies, with a profusion of such explicit detective films as Double Game, Black Turin and Torino, centrale del vizio. It was in Turin that the master of horror movies and self-confessed lover of the city, Dario Argento, shot several scenes from one of his first hits, The Cat o' Nine Tails. He went on to film in their entirety his latest works, Do You Like Hitchcock?, Sleepless (Non ho sonno) and Giallo.
The city of the Juventus and Torino football clubs, the annual contenders at the “Derby della Mole”, is also an obligatory stop on the journeys depicted in the perennial classics. Enrico Loverso emigrates from the poor south to the Turinese industrial north in The Way We Laughed (Così ridevano) by Gianni Amelio. In Everybody's Fine (Stanno tutti bene), by Giuseppe Tornatore, an elderly, splendid Marcello Mastroianni visits his adult children distributed across Italy and finds the last of them – of course – in Turin. And, the irascible blind captain played by Vittorio Gassman sets off from Turin station in Scent of a Woman, directed by Dino Risi (the remake, with Al Pacino, came years later). Risi also happened to make his cinema debut in the same Alpine city, when he was assistant director during the shoot of Piccolo mondo antico (Little Ancient World), and it was there, too, that he one night declared his eternal love to the stunning actress, Alida Valli, while they were sitting in a carriage in the rain, in the romantic, lush gardens of the Parco Valentino.
The Setting for Robberies and Spies in American Movies
In The Pink Panther 2, with Steve Martin, one of the city’s most prized treasures is stolen – no less than the Turin Shroud. However, the film that has probably set Turin most on the map is the 1969 cult movie, The Italian Job, by Peter Collinson (which has seen a recent remake). In it, Michael Caine flees with his loot from the carabinieri in his Mini Coopers, through the Palazzo Carignano, along the inner staircases of the Palazzo Madama and around the exterior of the Gran Madre di Dio Church, skidding through the glamorous Galleria San Federico shopping centre, and driving over the flared roof of the Palazzo a Vela, built for the Italia 61 Exhibition and refurbished as a sports centre for the 2006 Winter Olympics. He also drives up the heady oval test track on the old FIAT factory – the city’s veritable economic driving force for decades – housed in the Lingotto building, now a multidisciplinary space for trade fairs and festivals. In his final getaway, his Minis reach the nearby Alps, the formidable mountain range which acts as the backdrop for this stunning city, after having crossed the river Po.
And, opposite the Po stands the majestic Piazza Vittorio Veneto, which appears in The Bourne Ultimatum, a saga starring Matt Damon. However, the café where we later see the fired up secret agent sitting is actually in Madrid! The fact is that the film crew were back working in Spain when a change to the script forced them to repeat the shoot of the scene originally filmed in Turin. The magic of cinema always involves some hidden devices!
If you fancy seeing the city for yourself, secure your ticket here!
Text by Carlos G. Vela para ISABELYLUIS Comunicación
Images by Felipe Cadona Colombo, Jean-Pierre Dalbera, Luigi Giordano, Marco Coïsson, MarkusMark, Nicola Gambettimore info
The Most Gastronomic Turin
By: Belén Parra and Carme Gasull
The gastro-event: Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre. 23 to 27 October, 2014
Turin, the ultimate in good taste. From the moment you set foot in Turin, you feel at home, you become imbued with its unique quality and understand why it was the first capital of modern Italy. While the city’s 2 million inhabitants are fully aware of its many attributes and how best to enjoy them, Turin remains relatively untouched by tourism. For decades, the city has been creating its own reality, far removed from the mass tourism of other Italian destinations. The 2006 Winter Olympic Games was clearly a major turning point for Turin, which has never depended on tourism. And the tourists it does receive are mainly from Italy. This is certainly not due to a lack of attractions… Among them, gastronomy. The aptly named Città del Gusto (Good Taste Event) also seduces the taste buds.
Warmth. This best sums up the Turinese nature. You just have to show curiosity, interest or mere ignorance about something to promptly find the desired answer. With a notable generosity. “La buona accoglienza fa bene al turismo”, is the slogan of the day. And they lead by example. There is no place better than Turin for a stress-free stroll. There are no hordes of foreign tourists everywhere you go unless, of course, the city is hosting a major international event.
Obviously, the best way to explore any destination is on foot, but Turin’s superb transport system lets you move around the city at your leisure. Train, bus, underground, tram, public bicycles… Everywhere is so accessible, which makes sightseeing a pleasure. Even so: a gentle stroll, especially around the city centre, is still the best way to discover its pulse, its unique layout and its infinite charms.
Due to the city’s emerging tourist sector, accommodation in Turin is centred on mid to high range hotels. We suggest 2 enticing options of contrasting ambience.
Best Western Hotel Piemontese
Via Claudio Luigi Berthollet, 21
Quaint, discreet and comfortable. It stands in one of the city’s best areas for social and night life. The hotel is surrounded by bars and restaurants for breakfast, fine dining or just drinks. It is also close to the city’s main railway station: Porta Nova.
NH Santo Stefano
Via Porta Palatina, 19
Located in the centre of the modern Quadrilatero Romano, it is within easy reach of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the historic city centre. Its proximity to the Porta Susa and Porta Nuova railway stations offers easy access to Turin by train.
Being a city of contrasting weather, Turin’s squares are a hive of activity throughout the year. So don’t be surprised to see lots of tables in the streets and especially in the squares. From the imposing Piazza San Carlo, one of the biggest and most elegant squares in the city and which leads to Gran Madre de Dio, through to Piazza Castello or the small squares known as Emanuele Filiberto and Della Consolata.
Snacks, coffee and local beers abound on the tables. The drinks menus at the different establishments offer a seemingly infinite choice. Did you know Turin is also the home of vermouth? Whether winter or summer, the enticing outdoor cafés in the squares are sure to be open. The squares are also home to historic gastronomic establishments.
Establishments with history
Ancient establishments teeming with history and fine produce. Busy places. Like their cafés. Turin is the third city in Italy in terms of historic establishments.
Piazza Castello, 15
The famous tramezzino was created here; a lightly toasted sandwich with a variety of high-quality fillings. The most typical one is filled with d’aragosta’ (lobster) salad. It has been in the same location since 1907.
Piazza Castello, 29
Just a few meters away from the first one, but bigger and for a much sweeter tooth. Delicious chocolates, sweet pastries and cakes are all showcased inside.
Caffè Cioccolateria Al Bicerin
Piazza della Consolata, 5
This small, incredibly popular business (with an adjoining delicatessen) has been open since 1763. Marble tables and chairs, and its star product: bicerin, a drink combining coffee, chocolate and cream. You can try one for just €5.
Caffè Pasticceria Abrate
Via Po, 10
This café boasts a long history of baking and confectionery. It was founded in 1866.
Piazza San Carlo, 214
One of the city’s most famous establishments, it was founded in 1903 and has been at its current location since 1930. It has successfully adapted to the changing times. This large café has a popular snack buffet to accompany your aperitif, as well as outside tables where you can watch the world go by in the bustling Piazza San Carlo square.
Eat and drink
Located in San Salvario, an area offering some of the best night life in the city. The kitchen stays open till the small hours and the bar itself closes at 4 am. It offers home-made pasta, typical sweets, excellent bread, wines, craft beers and good service. It has something for everybody. Its decor is one the star attractions. A sublime fusion of order and chaos. Visiting it is a must!
Via Monte di Pietà, 23
A modern trattoria or an evolution of the typical trattoria without being a cutting-edge establishment that meets the slow food precepts. It is also famous for its worldwide and Italian natural wines, beers and liquors.
Via Carlo Ignazio Giulio 4/G
Managed by two Tuscan sisters, this is a simple and welcoming establishment where the traveller can feel at home eating a good pasta meal with a glass of excellent wine or craft beer, such as the Turinese Brew Up. Next to the Porta Palazzo market.
Piazza Emanuele Filiberto, 9b
The South in the North. With a decidedly retro ambience, this establishment is managed by a Sicilian who has the soul and humour to give his business a character all of its own.
The owner, Andrea Tortorella, makes his presence felt on the walls and even the floor of the café, but especially in the tasty home-made recipes and almost uninterrupted timetable of the kitchen service. Personalised attention to detail in a decor that even includes one of the last pieces of the demolished Berlin Wall. On a cold day, its covered terrace is a great option. Excellent value for money.
Via Goito, 9
Or ‘neighbour’ in the local Piedmont dialect. This small restaurant follows the precepts of the Slow Food philosophy, or eco-gastronomic project (as they like to call it) since it reduces CO2 emissions. Simple home cooking using fresh, local produce. Within easy walking distance of Porta Nuova station.
Via Avogadro, 2
This restaurant and pizzeria is a veritable Mecca for those who like freshly-made pizza baked in a wood-fired oven (you can even watch the entire process from start to finish). The listing of pizzas is fairly classic and prices, opposite to other meals on the menu, are quite economic.
Via Conte Giambattista Bogino, 5
An ideal place to try a typical Piedmont menu with different options to suit all tastes, including such dishes as vitello tonnato (cold, roast veal with mayonnaise and capers). And be sure to try (or purchase) some of the wines exhibited throughout the whole restaurant.
It is named after the most famous 18th century Turinese mathematician, who invented rational mechanics. They say that focaccia is a mathematical science based on a finite number of flour particles subjected to a dynamic encounter with water and oil. Nothing else. You can judge for yourselves at three establishments (Via Lagrange 11/f, via Sant’Agostino 6 and Piazza Castello, 153).
Via Cavour, 10
A myriad of bread in all its shapes and forms, such as grissini (breadsticks) which were invented in Turin to help young Vittorio Amedeo II, who was a weak child and loved to eat this crunchy, easy-to-digest bread. Or so they say. The establishment is often packed and has long queues of people waiting to buy fresh bread, biscuits or sweet pastries, or to enjoy a panino, focaccia or just a coffee.
Where to go shopping
Porta Palazzo Market
A fabulous blend of colours, flavours and cultures, it is the biggest market in Turin and the largest food market in all of Europe. Shops, bars, trattorias and businesses under one roof and offering all kinds of products, from clothes to antiques. Time simply flies by when you’re browsing the stalls.
Via Maria Vittoria, 27/C
The cake shop-boutique par excellence. A true emblem of quality chocolate. The owner obviously loves chocolate, pampering it as if he had grown it himself. In his workshop, a few kilometres away from the city, Guido Castagna teaches his profession. His know-how has attracted many followers and given rise to some exceptional giandujotti (a typical Turin sweet made from chocolate and hazelnuts) . You have to try them!
Torino is not only the city of chocolate, but also of ice-cream. And the best is made by Alberto Marchetti. He has two ice-cream parlours in the city. The largest is at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 24bis, while the other is at Via Po 35 bis. And he’s opening a third on Via Rossini. There is such a choice of flavours, they’ll let you try a few first. Just as well, or you’d be there all day trying to choose! Try some popcorn ice-cream or a delicious pallino (espresso and a scoop of ice-cream with whipped cream on top). It’s all home-made. Delicious. Amazing ice-creams from just €2. It is also babyfriendly (changing table in the bathroom and a table with games).
Eataly Alti Cibi
Via Nizza, 230/14
A great deli on a large scale. Due to its size and its wide range of quality products. It has something to suit all tastes. If you’re looking for something in particular to try or and even as a gift, you’re sure to find it here: pasta, rice, chocolate and other sweets, coffee, sauces and condiments, cookery books, kitchenware… Quality, sustainability and ecology. The first shop was opened in Turin, followed by Rome, Florence and Milan. Today, there are 26 Eataly establishments worldwide.
Also be sure to visit…
Two great museums
Or two in particular, at least. The Egyptian Museum (Via Accademia delle Scienze, 6) is considered the second most important museum in the world after the Cairo Museum due to its collection of antiques. An ambitious refurbishment is currently underway and is not due to end until 2015.
If you’re a film buff, we recommend the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, located in Mole Antonelliana, a major landmark on the city skyline (Via Montebello, 20). Rising 167 metres above the city, it has a glass lift that takes you up to the top of the huge dome, where you can enjoy panoramic views. Simply breathtaking.
CathedralA must in the city, this beautiful building from the 14th century dedicated to St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Turin, holds the burial cloth in which Jesus was wrapped after being lowered from the cross: the Holy Shroud, also known as the Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud. The relic is shown only on special occasions.
Take a stroll along its banks. If you still have time for more sightseeing, you can stand on one of the many bridges and watch the Po flow by. If you prefer, you can also go for a boat ride on the river. It is the most Parisian touch of this Transalpine city.
Now, as before, we will always have Turin.
We’ll be there. If you want to come too, check out our flights here.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Turin
The sins of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride were singled out as the deadliest by early Christians, and yet their popularity remains unchecked. Turin, with its sublime beauty, its elegantpalazzosand boulevards, and enchanting personality, is a great place to indulge your favourites.
Lust is commonly regarded as being produced by excessive thinking. For abundances we have the Palazzo dell’Accademia delle Science,containing the Museo Egizio Museum, which holds the most important collection of Egyptian archaeological treasures outside Cairo. But nothing is more opulent than the Piazza Castello. This square boasts several museums, theatres, and cafés of note. There we find the Museo Civico d’Arte Antica in the fabulous Palazzo Madama, a castle that is half medieval and half Baroque, and the museum contains modern and contemporary works of art. At night it’s easier to reach the state of lust. The city’s best night spots are in Murazzi del Po, amongst the archways next to the rive, between the Vittorio Emanuele I and Umberto I bridges. Much to be recommended are the clubs Hiroshima Mon Amour (Via Bossoli, 83), the United Club (Corso Vigevano, 33) which is the meeting point for the city’s rock scene, and Blah Blah (Via Po, 21), in a former cinema.
For unbridled consumption of food and drink to the point of satiety and beyond, try a breakfast or brunch at the morning food specialist Andrea Perino(Via Cavour, 10), a favourite of such luminaries as Alexandre Dumas, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Giacomo Puccini. Or have an excellent cup of coffee at the welcoming Caffè Mulassano (Piazza Castello, 15). This art nouveau café, decorated with gilt carvings of bronze, wood, and leather, was once frequented by the Savoy family and by performers from the adjacent Teatro Regio. Here you’ll find the city’s best stand-up espresso. To continue with luxurious excess, there’s the Caffè San Carlo (Piazza San Carlo, 156), an unbeatable option. There’s nothing like its cakes and sweets, made to recipes more than a century old. To end the day with some serious overeating, your best choice is Sfashion (Via Cesare Battisti, 13), for Turin’s best pizzas, with thick dough and traditional Neapolitan ingredients. But your gluttony needn’t end there. Keep in mind that the first chocolate in tablet form was made in Turin when you visit Al Bicerin (Piazza della Consolata, 5) to try some. In addition, in March the city hosts a famous chocolate fair, known as Cioccola-tó.
Greed is a sin of excess in the acquisition of wealth. The elegant tree-lined boulevards and porticoed promenades feature the city’s most expensive fashion boutiques. More affordable clothing is to be found on the pedestrian mall on Via Garibaldi, and in Via Po there are amazing shops selling records and vintage or alternative clothes. But we can also find just the opposite in Turin, the birthplace of Arte Povera (“poor art”), a revolutionary artistic movement in the 1960s, whose members employed humble materials to awaken memories and symbolisms through sculpture and installations. The movement had a major international impact thanks to artists like Gilberto Zorio, Giuseppe Penone, Mario Merz, and Michelangelo Pistoletto.
Sloth is related to ordinary laziness or the lack of motivation to do anything. It’s a well-known fact that during a trip the days are often exhausting. That’s why it makes sense to schedule in some relaxation time, and the best place to chill in Turin is Parco Valentino, the park on the banks of the Po. A number of open-air bars and restaurants operate there from late spring to early autumn. And at night, there’s nothing better than to walk back to your room at the Hotel Dogana Vecchia (Via Corte d’Appello, 4), built in the early 19th C. Mozart was a guest there, and so was Napoleon. The location in the Quadrilatero Romano makes it one of the city’s best hotels.
Wrath may be described as a disorderly, uncontrolled sentiment, such as that which can be provoked by one of the world’s greatest historical mysteries: The Holy Shroud of Turin, revered by many as the burial shroud of Jesus ever since 1898, when photographic techniques revealed the negative imprint of a man’s face and body on the cloth. The Museo della Sindone is in the crypt of the church of the Sacra Sindone (Via Santo Doménico, 28). Another building that can disquiet us is the Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano, located in the Baroque Palazzo Carignano, a former residence of princes.
Envy is characterised by the coveting of someone else’s possessions. And that’s the predominant feeling among visitors to the Museo dell'Automobile as they eye the four-wheeled gems on display, the most marvellous cars on the planet. But to turn our envy a deeper shade of green we should visit Turin’s cathedral, the Duomo di San Giovanni (Piazza San Giovanni), built in 1491-1498 on the site of three old churches. In one of the chapel the actual Holy Shroud of Turin is kept.
On nearly all lists of sins, pride is regarded as the original one and the most serious of all. It is identified as the desire to be more important or attractive than others. In the past, the local football teams led the league at a distance from the rest. In the 1940s Torino FC was the undisputed leader, winning five consecutive titles, but the entire teams died in a plane crash in 1949. Four decades later it was the turn of Turin’s other first-division team, Juventus, starring the three-time Golden Boot winner Michel Platini. But there are other sources of pride, such as one of the city’s most famous symbols, the 167-meter tower Mole Antonelliana (Via Montebello, 20), with an aluminium spire, reaching closer to heaven than any other building in this magical city.
Have a look at our flights here!
Report by Isabel y Luis Comunicación
Pictures by Turismo Torino e Provincia