Following Italy’s victory last year, Eurovision 2022 is set to take place in Turin this month.
If you were lucky enough to get tickets or just want to hit the town to soak up the atmosphere, here are some suggestions for things to do in and around Turin.
What does Turin look like?
Surrounded by the Alps, it has a slight French feeling to the town and historically housed the Italian royal residence. Turin is famous for its cars (it is home to Decree), coffee (Lavazza) and Nutella which is produced nearby.
Due to its geography, Turin can get very hot, even in spring. The surrounding mountains act as a shield against the wind, and this means that in the summer the city can feel like it’s in a big flying pot. So be sure to bring light, comfortable clothes and stop by the ‘Toret’, the free public fountains dotted around the city.
The water comes straight from the Alps and the fountains are shaped like a bull’s head – the animal from which Turin takes its name.
What to do in Torino?
Visit the Mole Antonelliana
This monument is almost the logo of Turin, and you can see it punctuating the horizon from afar. There’s a panoramic elevator that takes you up to a terrace, or if you’re feeling brave you can also climb the stairs to the top.
Stroll through the Parco del Valentino
It is a large park in the center of the city, which houses the very beautiful architecture department of the university. There is also a medieval mini-town (“Borgo”) hidden in the park. It’s a great place to bring a picnic and relax, or go biking or skating.
Enjoy the view from Monte dei Cappuccini
After a slightly steep climb, it’s worth the hike to what is probably the best view in town. You can really see how Turin is surrounded by Alps that stretch for miles and it’s a great photo opportunity. Behind the belvedere is a late Renaissance style church, built for the Capuchin Order – which is also worth seeing.
Go for a bike ride by the river
There is a nice cycle path along the Po river. If you start at the Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio church and continue east towards Isolone di Bertolla, you will eventually arrive at Parco del Meisin where there is a small secluded beach.
There are many bike rental shops throughout the city, as well as the bike-sharing service app “ToBike”, which offers daily or weekend packages.
Discover the many museums
In the unlikely event that the weather is not on your side, good alternatives inside are: the Cinema Museum (located in the Mole), the Car Museum (ideal for Fiat fanatics), the Lavazza coffee and the Egyptian museum.
The Egyptian Museum is actually considered the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world outside of Egypt.
Where to eat in Turin?
You should try the local specialty of Gianduiotti, a hazelnut chocolate specific to the region, and of course the Nutella which is also made near Turin. Farinata is a type of pizza made with chickpea flour, which you will rarely find outside of Turin.
Other local specialties include Vitello tonnato and Fritto Misto.
It’s a cozy traditional place for lunch or dinner, and they almost exclusively serve local dishes.
It sits in a square – Largo IV Marzo – which is also full of other great dining options and is a fantastic place to have a pre-dinner ‘aperitivo’.
Burgers like you’ve never seen them before. This vegan spot offers burgers that look more like pop art: in neon pinks and Instagrammable purples.
Circolo dei Lettori
This is still relatively unknown and hidden by beautiful marble steps. Rooms that once belonged to the royal family now serve as paneled academic reading spaces and a tea room. With a peaceful library atmosphere, it’s a perfect place to enjoy tea and cakes accompanied by chandeliers and priceless artwork.
This is a great place for ice cream – worth trying the Gianduiotto flavor if you can.
Where to have a drink in Turin
Piedmont – the region that includes and surrounds Turin – is a famous wine region, so be sure to try some local varieties such as Barolo or Barbaresco during your stay.
After your dinner, you may be offered a local digestive from the region, often made from alpine plants, such as genepì or San Simone.
If you don’t drink, Molecola is a local variant of Coca-Cola (its name refers to Turin’s famous mole monument).
Bicerin is another favorite; it’s made of Espressodrinking chocolate and milk, usually served with whipped cream on top – although this one is perhaps better suited to winter.
In Piazzale Valdo, Open Baladin is a great place to sample Turin craft beers and chill with the locals. It looks more like a mini festival than a pub.
Try the San Salvario neighborhood if you want a slightly more edgy nightlife experience, and Club Centralino is a great LGBTQ+ spot.
How to get to Turin by train
From Rome, you can get to Turin by train with Trenitalia or Italo in about 5 hours.
There are also direct train lines from other major Italian cities such as Bologna, Florence and Milan.
From France, there are direct buses from Lyon, and a high-speed rail link under construction – although it is unclear when this will be completed.
There are also high speed TGV services from Paris which will take you to Turin in around 5 hours.