A piazza full of palaces. A legendary shroud. Ancient ruins dotting the road under an Alpine skyline. Welcome to Torino.
Often overlooked in favour of more-famous Milan or Rome (la-dee-da…), Turin is possibly one of Italy’s most charming, unique cities-- as well as its third largest!
If you’re wise enough to spend any measure of time in Torino, you’re gonna want to make the best of that time. Lost for where to start? We’ve got you covered.
Put on some comfy shoes, grab your camera, and head out the door with this guide!
Explore the Armoury in the Royal Palace
First thing’s first: get your dose of royal history in.
Head over to the Piazza Castello, one of Turin’s most popular and central meeting points, and wander into the Royal Palace. You won’t be disappointed.
Head up the grand staircase, and imagine yourself as an elegant Savoy royal. Peruse the ornate rooms and daydream about the palace in its heyday. As you head farther in, you’ll come to the best part: the armoury.
If you love wartime history (or Game of Thrones…), you’ll be right at home here. The armoury is jam-packed with suits of armour, blackjacks, medieval swords, rifles, and even horse armour. Make a mental note: when the zombie apocalypse happens, this is the place you want to be.
When you’ve finalized your zombie survival plans, head downstairs-- the lower floors are full of art galleries. You might even spot a prototype of Botticelli’s Venus hidden away down there if you look long enough!
Down, down, and down some more, you’ll come to another amazing spot in the palace: the Ancient Roman section. Located below ground, you’ll find all the ruins, remains, and artifacts you could ever dream of.
The palace is otherworldly in its scope. And it just keeps on going and going and going and…
Go! You won’t regret it.
Pay a visit to the Duomo, and Contemplate the Face of Christ (maybe)
Once you’ve finished at the Palace, walk just a few meters over to Turin’s Duomo, where an age-old mystery survives.
The Duomo is home to the extraordinary Shroud of Turin, the burial shroud which is purportedly marked with the image of Jesus himself.
You can’t see the real thing-- the Shroud is only taken out for public viewing once every few years-- but you can pay a visit to the large casket that it is kept in.
Sit for a spell, and contemplate the face on one of the many reproductions.
Is it the face of God? Maybe. But a trip to Turin is incomplete without seeing it for yourself!
Oh, and on your way out, stop over and check out the Roman ruins and the Porta Palatina, the ancient gate to the city, which lay just next to the Duomo. Who said you had to go to Rome for ruins?
Shop, and then see some mummies (a classic combination!)
When in Italy, get in touch with your inner Gucci. Or, well, maybe just the high street. Whatever your price point, Turin has no shortage of shopping.
If you’re looking for some lower-cost deals, take a walk down the enormous Via Garibaldi. Or, if you’re searching for something more beautiful, stroll down the pedestrian Via Roma, which has gorgeous architecture-- and the city’s Zara!
For all the Chanel and Prada your closet (and wallet) can hold, head over to the upscale Via Lagrange. Window shop a bit. Marvel at the luxury. Start thinking about unbelievable wealth and opulence. And then take the short walk over to the Egyptian Museum.
Turin’s Egyptian Museum is the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt, the 2nd largest in the world. Here, you’ll find the corridors packed with mummies, ancient wigs, jewels, mummies, papyrus, statues, and mummies.
Did we mention the mummies? There are TONS. So cool.
Italy used to be the epicentre of the film industry. Don’t believe it? Take a walk over to the Mole Antonelliana.
Apart from being an incredible building to behold, the Mole Antonelliana is home to Turin’s Museum of Cinema.
Even if film isn’t your thing, you don’t want to miss this: take the elevator to the top of the Mole for some inspiring views of Turin and the Alps!
First dinner, second dinner
I mean, what else do you really come to Italy for?
You can wax romantic about ruins and palaces and royals all you want, but we know you’re in Italy for one thing and one thing only: to eat till your stomach pops.
And, in Turin’s Piemonte region, your taste buds won’t be disappointed.
First up: get an apericena. It’s just what is done in Turin. Around 5pm, lots of bars and restaurants will start filling their windows with delicious spreads of delicacies. Head in, pay a flat rate for a drink and some food, and dig in. Be sure to try a Martini-- it comes from right outside of Turin! And we’re not talking about the shaken, not stirred variety.
And that’s just pre-dinner.
Dessert and a view
Haven’t had enough food? Of course you haven’t!
If you’re the sort of cool person we know you are, the sort we could really hang out with in Turin, you probably have your sights set on dessert.
We can help you out here.
There’s only one place to go: Fiorio.
Caffé Fiorio isn’t just your average cafe. Sure, it’s been serving up coffees and sweets since 1780. Sure, it was one of Nietzsche’s favorite haunts. Sure, it has gorgeous, velvetine benches and marble tables that make you feel like royalty. And it may have served as the intellectual base of the Italian Unification.
Yeah, that’s fine and all. But Fiorio is more than that.
Fiorio has amazing gelato.
How amazing? It’s so good that they don’t even list the flavors on the menu. You have to ask them what flavors they’ve got for the day.
Our recommendation? Get the hazelnut (or nocciola around these parts) and pistachio. You can thank us later.
When you’re all full up on sweets, take a drive (or a taxi) up to the Monte dei Cappuccini. The Renaissance-style church sits atop the hill over Piazza Vittorio, and at night it has the most incredible views of Turin.
Ice cream and a view-- it doesn’t get any sweeter than that.
Follow this guide, and you’ll be sure to make the most out of a few days in Turin. Or stick around for a while and explore more of the city-- there is plenty waiting to be discovered in Torino.
What are your favorite things to do in Turin? Let us know in the comments below!
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