Things to do in Turin
Visiting and discovering Turin is easy. Turismo Torino e Provincia suggsts some affordable systems that can be purchased from the comfort of your home at www.turismotorino.org, from the tourist bureaus in Piazza Castello on the corner of Via Garibaldi, Piazza Carlo Felice, Via Garibaldi 45a and other points of sale viewable online.
- TORINO+PIEMONTE CARD
The Torino+Piemonte Card can get you practically everywhere. It offers free or reduced-cost admission to the main museums, exhibitions, monuments, castles, fortresses and Royal Residences of Torino and Piemonte: it is valid for one adult and one child under the age of 12, is personal and not transferable. And for those aged under 18 there is also the Torino+Piemonte Card Junior! For an additional cost it is also possible to travel free of charge on city and suburban public transport. (www.turismotorino.org/card/en)
- CITY SIGHTSEEING TORINO
The best way for seeing the city from a high viewpoint is to board the bright red tour buses City Sightseeing Torino - all of them with easy access for disabled people. Departure is from the terminus in Piazza Castello: what is both useful and fun is the chance to "hop on or off" at every stop. A commentary is available on all the tours by means of a multilingual digital audio system (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, portuguese, Russian and Chinese; a dedicated channel for children in Italian and English), and dogs are welcome. Tickets can also be purchased on board. (www.turismotorino.org/en/citysightseeing)
- THEME TOURS: YOUR FIRST TIME IN TORINO
Specifically for those who have never come to this city, Your First Time in Torino is a walking route in the first capital of Italy - designed also for people with limited mobility - among beautiful squares, magnificent churches and elegant palazzos to discover the history of the city, from its Roman origins to baroque splendour. The tour takes palce every Saturday, departing at 10 am from the Tourist Bureau in Piazza Castello, and is commented in Italian/English: for French and other languages, a minimum number of participants is required. (www.turismotorino.org/en/guided_tours)
- THEME TOURS: ROYAL E-BIKE TOUR
The most enjoyable and ecological way to discover Turin als its "Royal heart" is on an electric bike in the company of bike tour guides on the Royal E-Bike Tour. Starting from the city centre, going along bike paths and areas closed to traffic, it is possible to see places of great historical and architectural interest, also going alongside the River Po for a long stretch. The tour takes place every Sunday, departing at 10 am from the Tourist Bureau in Piazza Castello, and is commented in Italian/English: for French and other languages, a minimum number of participants is required. (www.turismotorino.org/en/ebiketour)
- MADE IN TORINO: TOUR THE EXCELLENT
Made in Torino: Tour the Excellent is an exceptional proposal: new journeys for discovering the best productions from Turin to find out the methods and secrets bringing about a product of excellence in the automotive world, the aerospace adventure, the thrill of luxury, the temptations of wine and food, the art of painting and fine craftsmanship through to cosmetics. (www.turismotorino.org/en/madeintorino)
Turin needs not only to be discovered step by step along its streets and squares but, above all, to be 'lived' whether for a weekend, just one or several days. There are some things that must aboslutely be "done", "seen" and "tasted".
1. THE ROYAL RESIDENCES
There are already 6 in the heart of the city - the Royal Palace, Chiablese Palace, Madama Palace, Carignano Palace, Valentino Castle, Villa della Regina - and then another 11 outsidfe town: a priceless heritage - recognasied by UNESCO since 1997 - with castles, palaces and villas spanning centuries of history.
2. THE MUSEUMS
With over 40 museums, everyone can find something of interest in Turin. Some examples:
- the Egyptian Museum, second in the world only to the one in Cairo for the quantity and importance of the articles held;
- the National Museum of Cinema housed in the Mole Antonelliana, the city's symbol;
- the GAM-Gallery of Modern and Contempory Art which exhibits paintings by Chagall, Modigliani and Picasso;
- the Juventus Museum to retrace the history and victories of the football club.
3. SAVOY GALLERY
The new Savoy Gallery was opened in December 2014, the last part for completing the Royal Hub which offers the public one of the most important artistic circuits in Europe in an area of 46.000 mq. Built in 1832 under Charles Albert, it is one of the most important art galleries of Italia with more than 700 invaluable works by Italians and Europeans from the medieval period to the 20th century, with masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance and the "Flemish school": Andrea Mantenga, Tintoretto, Rubens and Van Dyck.
4. LEONARDO SELF-PORTRAIT
Few people know this but beneath ground in the centre of Turin there's a treasure! It is none other than the famous Self-portrait in sanguine (i.e. drawn in haematite) of Leonardo da Vinci. Why in Turin? Simply because it is kept here, in an air-conditioned vault of the Royal Library: after various vicissitudes, this precious artefact dating from 1515 was purchased in 1839 by Charles Albert of Savoy. When can it be seen? Very soon...
5. ART AND ARCHITECTURE
From the Roman remains of Augusta Taurinorum to modern and contemporary installations passing through Romanesque, Baroque and Art Nouveau... Turin is all of this: the Porte Palatine with the statue of Augustus, the medieval part of Madama Palace, the Royal Residences and the churches, the elaborate aristocratic palaces, the museums, works en plein air by Merz, Penone and many others, the new districts and contemporary architecture. Just a word of advice: look upwards when walking around Turin...
6. PLACES OF WORSHIP
Practically all religions are present and represented in Turin, each with its own place of worship: synagogue, mosque, Waldensian temple, several orthodox churches. Obviously the Catholic places of worship outnumber them all and they, like the civil buildings, tell the story of the city through their architects: from the Cathedral with the Holy Shroud to the "twin churches" San Carlo and Santa Cristina, the "Royal" San Lorenzo and San Filippo Neri, the Shrine of Consolata, the Basilica of Maria Ausiliatrice, the Gran Madre di Dio, the Basilica of Superga through to the ultramodern Church of the Holy Face.
7. PLACES FOR TASTE BUDS
Turin is the capital of taste and its flavours are unforgettable. Where? In the warm atmosphere of the historical cafés where many a famous person has sat at their tables, to discover the pleasure of the bicerin - the city's characteristic drink - hot chocolate beverages, "zabaglione", mini pastries. Otherwise in the abundant ice-cream stores, a delight for the young and old, or in the trendy bars to drink an aperitif in company, and in the restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets where tradition and quality can always be found.
8. GREEN AND WATER
Few words are needed: the great architect Le Corbusier said that Turin "is the city with the most beautiful natural position". This is because the hill on which it stands, the riverside - it is crossed by the Po, the Dora Riparia, the Stura di Lanzo and the Sangone - the 17 parks (including the famous Valentino), the 320km of tree-lined avenues, make this one of the greenest cities of Italy. And as a result there's cycling, rowing, jogging, walking, golf, open-air events and performances, as well as many indoor facilities to practice all kinds of sport.
Turin is also the capital of shopping, for all tastes and all budgets under its 18km of arcades: Via Roma, Via Carlo Alberto and Via Lagrange are home to all the major fashion brands. In Via Garibaldi there are jeans shops, jewellers and stalls; in Via Po many antiquarian bookshops, while the district within Via Barbaroux, Via San Tommaso and Via Monte di Pietà is full of craft shops, wine bars and delis. Then, not to be missed are the markets in Porta Palazzo and the Balôn... and then more!
Whatever anyone says, Turin surprises even at night with its extensive offer, and every part of the city is alive with proposals and moments for meeting not to be missed. After an aperitif and dinner with friends, perhaps in the ethnic areas or opting for traditional Piedmont meals, choose the way to spend your evening however you want: theatre, dance, shows of every kind from the classic to the contemporary, large events or also the pleasure of listening to live music in trendy bars.