Torino (or Turin in English) is located in the north west of Italy in the Piemonte region. Originally the capital of Italy, it’s an elegant and grand city made up of wide boulevards, sweeping plazas and old marble arcades. It feels less touristy than Italy’s other major cities and spending a day or two strolling around allows you to observe city life and local Italian customs without the heavy crowds of Rome or Venice.
I have visited Torino twice, both times with visiting friends and family, and found I fell in love instantly with the compelling mix of culture, architecture, restaurants and wine bars. Located 120km from Milan it’s possible to arrive in under an hour on the fast train so makes the perfect place for a day trip. Here are my 6 must-do’s while visiting Torino…
1 – Try some Chocolate from a Traditional Chocolate Cafe.
The Piemonte region is famous for growing hazelnuts and a result of this is they make really incredible chocolate! Torino city center is full of traditional chocolate shops and cafes, all of which have inviting counters displaying hand-made chocolate and treats.
2 – Take the Lift Up the Mole Antonelliana & Admire the City Views.
You can’t miss the beautiful and unusual architecture of the Mole Antonelliana towering above the city skyline. Taking the lift up to the top of the tower allows you to admire the architecture up close and gives you panoramic views of the city below.
3 – Visit the Film Museum.
Inside the building of the Mole Antonelliana is the Torino Film Museum. One of the coolest museums I have visited in Italy, the museum features exhibits on cameras through the ages, optical illusions, famous film sets, movie props and 3D cinema. It feels really crazy and as you walk through the rooms you don’t know what you might find next.
4 – See Mummies at the Egyptian Museum.
Torino also has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo housed in the Egyptian Museum. See ancient Mummies, Sarcophagus, painted tombs, royal jewellery and even a Sphinx!
5 – Stroll Through the Widest Plaza in Europe.
Torino’s ‘Piazza Vittorio Veneta’ is the widest plaza in Europe, with wide boulevards stretching between marble archways, elegant shop fronts and open air cafes. The plaza finishes by opening up onto the banks of the River Po. Take a walk around the plaza and finish up on the river where you can walk across the bridge and enter the beautiful church on the other side.
6 – Have Dinner in a Local Trattoria.
The Piemonte region is famous for being one of the best regions in Italy for food. So make sure to eat in a little ‘trattoria’ – a simple style restaurant serving up local dishes from the region. These places are frequented by locals and have menus based on the season so you are sure to try some authentic Italian cuisine.