Turin is one of the most charming cities in Italy, where the fervor of modern life spreads between historical monuments and majestic palaces. Many people know him from the Shroud, but only a few excursions allow admiring this relic up close. The prestige of the city is also due to the numerous palaces and museums of national importance, even though it is less popular than, for example, Rome and Milan.
The capital of Piedmont, the place of origin of wines and white truffles of the highest quality, is a paradise for gourmets. Try local specialties in the restaurants that are waiting for you in the center and along the Po River. If you prefer to shop, don’t miss the shops on Via Roma. Between shopping, you can admire some of the most beautiful squares in Turin. Whether you chose it because of its art or taste, take a look at what you can do, see and experience in Turin and you won’t regret it!
Start the day with Piazza San Carlo
Piazza San Carlo is the main square of Turin. Surrounded by magnificent arcades of 17th-century buildings, it has a historical charm that will enchant you. On the south side of the square, there are two twin churches: Santa Cristina with its unmistakable bell tower and the Church of San Carlo Borromeo, and in the center, there is a bronze equestrian statue depicting the Duke of Savoy Emanuele Filiberto. At the tables of the famous bars under the arcades, Caff Torino and San Carlo, you can drink typical bickering and admire the square in all its beauty.
Walk along Via Roma: opening of shops and boutiques up to the Royal Palace
Via Roma is Turin’s answer to London’s Oxford Street. This 700-meter-long pedestrian street starts at Piazza San Carlo and ends in front of the Royal Palace. It is surrounded by the beautiful arcades of its historic buildings, which overlook the windows of numerous boutiques of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bershka, and Swarovksi. These arcades are often enlivened by street musicians performing covers of famous or original songs.
Don’t miss the Royal Palace: visit the Palace and Royal Gardens
The Royal Palace in Turin is the historic residence of the Duke of Savoy and his family. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is enriched with several large rooms, gilded apartments, the Royal Museum, the Armory, and the Royal Library, which can be accessed by participating in tours of the palace (the cost of full admission costs about 12 euros). The royal gardens, which are spread out behind the building, are free to enter. From Piazza San Carlo to the palace can be reached in 10 minutes on foot Via Roma. In the central part of the castle square, you can also admire the Palazzo Madama.
In search of souvenirs in the Porta Palazzo: visit the great market of Turin
Porta Palazzo, the city’s largest fresh produce market, occupies the southeastern corner of the octagon formed by Piazza Della Repubblica, north of the Royal Palace. Inside the so-called “Watch Market” you will find stalls selling not only fresh products but also clothes. Behind this building is a Peasant shed where farmers sell their products. Moroccan was one of the first immigrant communities to settle in Turin, so it is not surprising that the market also remained influenced by this culture. There are many stalls selling halal meat, spices, or exotic herbs, as well as magnificent souvenirs from Morocco, including glass and ceramics.
Palazzo Madama Museum: the Turin fortress and the former residence of the Senate have been turned into a museum
This impressive fortress, located opposite the Royal Palace complex, was used as the City’s Museum of Ancient Art. On its 4 floors, there is a permanent collection of classical paintings and centuries-old artifacts from all over Italy. Admission costs about 10 euros for adults and is free for children under 18. On the first Wednesday of each month, admission is free for everyone. Temporary and joint exhibitions are often organized throughout the year, for example, dedicated to the history of perfumery or medieval paintings from castles in France. In connection with such events, the ticket price may change.
Culinary offers of I Tartufi Bistrot that cannot be missed
Turin is famous for one of the most valuable ingredients in the world: white truffle. Visit Turin between October and November and you will have the opportunity to take part in the city’s festivals dedicated to this culinary treasure, where you can taste the best wines of the region and a variety of truffle dishes. However, the real Turin temple of truffles is I Tartufi Bistrot. This delicacy is always present on the menu of the restaurant, which offers tastings from €23.
The unmistakable dome of the Pier: a landmark that makes the profile of the city unique
The Mole Antonelliana, named after the architect Alessandro Antonelli, is one of the most characteristic structures of Turin. It’s very high dome offers a magnificent view of the city. La Mole Dome is a 10-minute walk from the Royal Castle Complex. To get to the first terrace of the dome, you will need to take a panoramic elevator suspended in the center of the building; a full ticket costs about 8 euros. With a combined ticket (about 15 euros) you can also visit the cinema museum in the structure.
Quadrilatero Romano Happy hours that cannot be missed
Quadrilatero Romano in Turin is a charming neighborhood intersected by a maze of narrow streets connecting palaces, Romanesque churches, and some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and shops. With a simple walk, you can discover some of the most interesting sights and courtyards in the city. In the evening, this quiet area comes alive thanks to the numerous bars and clubs in the area, one of the most popular for aperitifs and happy hours. The trattorias overlooking the small Piazza Emanuele Filiberto offer drinks and a buffet menu for about 10 euros.
Have dinner on a seaplane by the river: excellent Mediterranean cuisine with a wonderful view
On the banks of the Po River, near the historic center of the city, you will find L’idrovolante, an elegant restaurant overlooking the river. Often several ducks climb onto the terrace of the restaurant, which offers a magnificent view of the meadows and gardens of the Parco del Valentino. Among the seafood dishes that should not be missed are fried shrimp and mojito salad with pineapples, and meat lovers can try glazed pork tenderloin with raspberries and polenta gratin. You can try the dish of the day offered by the chef, accompanied by a glass of wine for about 30 euros.
Finish the day at the Teatro Regio in Turin: Wagner and Verdi’s operas come to life on stage
The Teatro Regio, the only opera house in Turin, was built in the early 18th century and is located east of the Royal Palace. From October to June, there are usually 9 to 13 ballets, symphonic concerts, and operas, including such great classical works as “Tristan and Isolde”, “The Nutcracker”, and “Swan Lake” and many others, each of which can last up to 5 hours. From September to July, 90-minute tours of the theater are organized, during which you can not only admire the lobby and atrium but also get acquainted with the technical details of the performances and historical archives.