Charming, welcoming and elegant: this is the first impression Turin gives off when you get off the train. As well as one of the most important economic and financial centers of Italy, Piedmont’s main town is a very young and vibrant city, thanks to its numerous universities. The importance of Turin was already clear and well-known to our forebears, when they chose Turin as the capital of their new country, about 200 years ago. Considered a gem of our beautiful North, it is a place that can be visited at any time of the year, since there is so much to do, see and most of all, eat.
WHERE TO EAT
Porto di Savona (Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 2)
Let’s start with a classic. This restaurant, located in the city’s most important square, is a place you just cannot miss if you want to try local Piedmont cuisine. Inside, the place tells the story of Turin, in its photographs and in its 19th century furniture, while the view and the sun will keep you company if you sit outside. Try their agnolotti and their ravioli, they will blow your mind.
Bottega Mia (Via Palazzo di Città 19)
Once again, the location of this place is part of the reason why we love it, as it is only a few steps away from the Palazzo Reale. They serve Mediterranean fare, and focus on Italian tradition. If you decide to stop here for a meal, you will definitely be away from the hordes of tourists. The ambience is elegant but not excessively so, and if you are coming with your partner, it will be a good romantic spot to enjoy together. Our local friends recommend to just put your trust in the waiter on what meal to choose, as well as for your choice of wine.
Le Scodelle (Via Stampatori 16/c)
A small, and not yet very well known place in town. If local specialties are too heavy for you, but you still don’t want to give up on good cuisine in the city center, this is the place for you. Le Scodelle prepare traditional food from the Emilia-Romagna region: the owner is also the chef, and he is ready to take care of all your needs. They serve tagliatelle, polenta and a great selection of cold cuts and cheese platters. Just make sure you reserve a table, especially for dinner!
Farmacia Del Cambio (Piazza Carignano, 2)
This little gem of a place is located in an important square for the city, opposite the building that hosted the first Parliament of Italy, and it is definitely worth a visit. They have a pretty large menu and it is quite pricey, making it a good breakfast option, or a good place for a lovely, pleasant aperitif, if you would rather not spend too much money.
WHAT TO DO AND SEE
Turin, like many important Italian cities, has a lot to see for tourists. We tried to find more unusual, lesser known spots for you, in addition to the classic, must-see ones like the Museo Egizio archaeological museum, the Palazzo Reale and the National Cinema Museum.
If all the beauty you see on the surface is not enough, try venturing underground, away from the sun. Turin has a lot of history underneath its streets, just get a flashlight, and a guide will take you to visit mysterious locations with a history, like the city catacombs. Ready to discover the city from a new, previously unexplored perspective?
Reggia di Venaria palace
This palace is one of the most visited locations of the region, and it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list for about 20 years. The interior is very luxurious and is most definitely worth a visit, as are the gardens, so representative of the majesty of that time. Even if you don’t make it to this one, make sure you include in your itinerary at least one of the residences of the Savoia family, who were famous all over the world for their good taste: there are quite a few of their former places to visit around town.
Parco del Valentino e Borgo Medievale
Get away from the madding crowds so typical of all cities, and wind down in one of Turin’s most beautiful parks. This doesn’t just work as Turin’s lung, it is also a romantic spot, framed by the Po river. After breathing in some fresh air, visit the Borgo Medievale, a reproduction of a village of the middle ages. This village, together with the Rocca, is a very popular open-air museum, appreciated both by locals and foreigners.
One last tip: if you can’t find a hotel you like at the last minute, we have a place for you. Le Tre Madame is just a few meters away from the station: 3 apartments, furnished with taste and utterly comfortable, ready to host you. Guendalina, the fantastic owner, will welcome you with a smile and a ton of tips about the city.