Torino - An Italian City Worth Discovering
Torino is the Italian name and Turin is the original local Piemontese name. It is the main city of our province and 4th largest city of Italy, and yet it maintains a very easy pedestrian central core. The old historic center has an old world feel and sadly very underrated. It is an easy day trip from here or would make a good addition to your stay here by adding on a day or two stay in the city, taking in the sights and the lively cafe/ aperitivo culture.
Trenitalia drops you off in the center of the old town and from there it is easy to get around in the city by foot or tram. If you are going to be in Torino for a couple of days, there is a very useful tourist card, that offers a package of the tourist bus and discounts on entrance fees and transportation for many of the museums and tourist attractions. You can pick up a card in Turin at one of the tourist offices. You do need to use it for at least two days to get the most benefit of the discounts.
What to see in Torino / Turin
Kings walk–the covered arcades that emanate from the Savoy palace in the center of Turin. There are gorgeous historic cafes dotted along these main streets which will entice you with their pastries and chocolate whilst indulging in Italy’s famous coffee. Torino’s “Bicherin”(be-chah-reen), mixes espresso, chocolate and cream, for a small indulgence while making your rounds of the city. It was first served in the Cafe by the same name over by the opulent Consolata cathedral. Look for a Grom gelateria too for some of the best gelato ever.
Mole Antonelliana and Museo Nazionale del Cinema-Originally intended to be a synagogue, it ran out of money while being built and after being taken over by the city was completed and now houses the very unique and interesting Cinema museum. The lift up through the art deco decoration is worth the trip and the panoramic view of Torino and the alps is a must do on your list when visiting.
Sindone (Shroud) of Turin, the famous religious relic is housed in the in the Duomo located behind the Palazzo Reale and across from the Roman Wall. There is a permanent display of a facsimile of the cloth in a chapel within the church. The actual relic is only on display when the Pope decides to bring it out.
Eataly, the flagship store is in an old factory over by the Lingotto area of town, and houses the most amazing collection of Italian food, dedicated to traditional production methods, fair wages and non polluting practices. It is truly an education and experience.
There are numerous other museums, like the Agnelli private collection of paintings housed in what is referred to as the jewel box, atop the old Lingotto Fiat factory. This is also where the test track made famous in the original “Italian Job” movie with Michael Cain still remains and the extensive collection of artefacts at the Egyptian museum.
Consider buying the Le Guide Mondadori’s “Turin and the Valley” for more in depth information, history and interesting reading.