Unraveling the Charms of Italy’s Cultural Capital, Turin

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In the Northern part of Italy, you’ll find the cultural capital called Turin. The region around this city is known for the history, culture, and much more.

In this blog we will talk about Turin, the following will be addressed:

Tip: Turin is close to the Italian Alps, which is the perfect place for some outdoor adventure like hiking and skiing in the mountains.

What to know about Turin

Turin has a long history, and it used to be the capital of the Duchy of Savoy. Afterwards in the 19th century it was the capital of Italy. Now it’s the cultural capital, and Rome is the capital of Italy. There are many universities in the city, and it’s known for the impressive architecture and engineering programs.

Some general information about Italy you should know:

  • Country: Italy
  • Capital: Rome
  • Currency: Euros (€)
  • Official language: Italian
  • Largest religion: Catholic
  • Neighboring countries: Austria, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Marino and Vatican City
  • Republic day: 2nd of June

In Turin there are many historic buildings, big museums, and many landmarks. The Mole Antonelliana is the tower you will immediately notice in Turin, and I recommend you go to the top to have an amazing view over the city. This city has so much industrial heritage, with famous car brands like Alfa Romeo and Fiat starting their business in Turin.

The city is known for its coffee and chocolate. One thing you must eat is gianduja, a chocolate hazelnut spread that is famous in Turin. Make sure you also eat some gelato because, well, you are in Italy. Another dish you should try out is Piedmontese such as vitello tonnato, agnolotti pasta and bagna caude. If you love wine, I recommend you try out the local wines at the wine bars and enotecas.

Tip: visit a local market to buy some fresh Italian products. The Porta Palazzo Market is one of Europe’s largest open-air markets.

Something else you must know is that Turin hosted the Winter Olympics twice, which is impressive. They were held here in 2006 and 2008. Also, one of the best football teams in Italy is from Turin.

Top activities to do in and around Turin

When visiting Turin, there are many places to visit. Below, I will talk about all the activities you can do in the city center and the surroundings of Turin.

City center of Turin

Turin is a nice city to walk around and discover the many piazzas. The city has so much to offer, and you can easily spend a few days here. Besides the city center, I recommend you discover the surroundings and even go to the Italian Alps to enjoy some peace after visiting a crowded city.

Some places you must visit while you are in Turin are:

  1. Go up the Mole Antonelliana and have an amazing view. At this tower you’ll find the National Museum of Cinema, which represents the history of cinema. If you don’t want to visit the museum, you can just go up the tower for the view.
  2. Visit the Egyptian Museum. In this museum you can find one of the most important collections of the Egyptian history.
  3. Discover the Royal Palace of Turin and Palazzo Madama. The Palace is the residence of the House of Savoy. You’ll find a big collection of weaponry and armor at the Royal Armory inside the Palace.
  4. Admire the Cathedral of Turin and the Holy Shroud.
  5. Stroll on the central square, Piazza Castello. Here you will see historic buildings, including the Royal Palace, the Royal Library and Palazzo Madama.
  6. Wander around the medieval district of Quadrilatero Romano.
  7. Enjoy the beautiful views while walking along the Po River.
  8. Explore the Valentino Park with the squirrels and castle. This park lays along the Po River and has beautiful paths and a medieval village.
  9. If you’re a sports fan, watch a soccer match at Allianz Stadium.
  10. Watch a performance at Teatro Regio di Torino.
  11. For a panoramic view, you should walk to Basilica of Superga. From there you have a view over the city and the surrounding landscape.
  12. Go shopping at Via Roma shopping street.
  13. Drink a Bicerin at a historic café like Caffè Al Bicerin or Caffè Mulassano.
  14. Relax in the spa and wellness center.

Surroundings of Turin

The city center of Turin is nice to visit, but it doesn’t end there, with many more activities outside the city center.

It’s fairly easy to go to the Italian Alps. Turin is only one hour and a half away from Aosta, a nice little Italian town located between the mountains. Also, Gran Paradiso National Park is just an hour away, which is the perfect place to go hiking.

There are several activities and places of interest to explore near Turin, both within the city’s surrounding region of Piedmont and slightly further. Here are some options for activities near Turin:

  1. Drink wine at the Langhe region. This wine area is the perfect place to drink Barolo and Barbaresco wine and enjoy the breathtaking views.
  2. Explore the Aosta Valley with stunning alpine landscapes, many outdoor activities, and historical landmarks.
  3. Go skiing or snowboarding at Cervino ski paradise or visit the glacier paradise and have impressive view over the Monte Cervino also called the Matterhorn.
  4. There is a town in the Alps called Bardonecchia that is a popular destination for some outdoor adventures like hiking, skiing, etc.
  5. Learn about the history of the abbey Sacra di San Michele. The abbey is located at the top of Mount Pirchiriano which gives a beautiful view over the surrounding area.
  6. Just outside Turin, you find the Royal Palace of Venaria that you can visit.
  7. A beautiful lake is Lake Maggiore that is surrounded with charming little towns and stunning gardens.
  8. If you love shopping, then Serravalle Designer Outlet is the place to be. It’s Europe’s largest designer outlet.
  9. Local wines and medieval streets you can find at the little town Asti.
  10. The Susa Valley is the perfect place for mountain landscapes, outdoor activities, and historical sites.

Milan is another impressive city that is just 1 to 2 hours away from Turin depending on which transport you take. It is the perfect city for lovers of fashion, culture, and art.

Tip: the town Ivrea is nice to visit if you’re there during carnival. There is the unique Battle of the Oranges.

These are just a few of the many options for activities near Turin. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, outdoor adventures, or simply enjoying the beauty of the Italian countryside, there’s something for everyone to explore in the region surrounding Turin.

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