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Turin Travel Guide

Visiting the Piedmont City of Torino

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Italy, Torino Province, Turin, La Mole Antonelliana cityscape
Andrea Pistolesi/The Image Bank/Getty Images
turin photo

Piazza Castello in Turin

Martha Bakerjian, licensed to About.com

Why Visit Turin:

Turin, or Torino, is an interesting and often overlooked city in the Piedmont (Piemonte) region of Italy. Famous for the Shroud of Turin and Fiat auto plants, the city has a lot more to offer. From its Baroque cafes and architecture to its arcaded shopping promenades and museums, Turin is a great city for wandering and exploring. It also makes a good base for exploring nearby mountains and valleys.

Turin Location:

Turin is in the northwest of Italy in the Piemonte region between the Po River and the foothills of the Alps. Piemonte Map

Transportation to Turin:

Turin is served by a small airport, Citta di Torino - Sandro Pertini, with flights to and from Europe. See Turin airport information. The closest airport for flights from the United States is in Milan, a little over an hour away by train.

Turin is a major hub on the Italian train line and intercity buses provide transportation to and from Turin.

Transportation in Turin:

Turin has an extensive network of trams and buses that run from 5AM until midnight. There are also electric mini-buses in the city center. Bus and tram tickets can be bought in a tabacchi shop.

The main railway station is Porta Nuova in central Turin at Piazza Carlo Felice. The Porta Susa Station is the main station for trains to and from Milan and is connected to the city center and the main station by bus.

Where to Stay in Turin:

Here are top rated hotels in the historic center of Turin, near the main attractions.

Cafe Society of Turin:

Turin was one of the first cities in Italy to embrace a cafe society and has some of the best cafes in Italy. Besides coffee and other hot drinks, ice cream, pastries, and alcoholic drinks, many cafes in Turin serve sandwiches and even hot meals at lunch time and include food appetizers with the evening apertivi. Since you pay more to sit down, either inside or outside, make it worthwhile by spending some time at your table enjoying the scene.

Food Specialties:

The Piedmont region has some of the best food in Italy. Over 160 types of cheese and famous wines like Barolo and Barbaresco come from here as do truffles, plentiful in fall. You'll find outstanding pastries, especially chocolate ones. Chocolate for eating as we know it today (bars and pieces) originated in Turin. The chocolate-hazelnut sauce, gianduja, is a specialty. For where to eat see Restaurant Recommendations

Turin Pictures

Get an overview of the city or take an in-depth look at Baroque cafes, medieval borgo, and top attractions in our Turin Photo Albums.

Turin Festivals:

Turin celebrates its patron saint in the Festa di San Giovanni June 24 with events all day and a huge fireworks display at night. Turin's big chocolate festival is in March. Turin has several music and theater festivals in summer and fall. During the Christmas season there is a 2-week street market and on New Year's Eve an open-air conert in the main piazza. The Turin Marathon in April attracts a huge number of international participants.

Turin Attractions - What to See and Do:

Turin has many museums. Walking around the city with its arcades, Baroque buildings, and beautiful piazzas can be very enjoyable.

  • Piazza Castello and Palazzo Reale are at the center of Turin. The square is a pedestrian area with benches and small fountains, ringed by beautiful, grand buildings.
  • The Via Po is an interesting walking street with long arcades and many historic palaces and cafes. Start at Piazza Castello.
  • Mole Antonelliana, a 167 meter tall tower built between 1798 and 1888, houses an excellent cinema museum. A panoramic lift takes you to the top of the tower for some expansive views of the city. Photos and Information on Europe Travel
  • Palazzo Carignano is the birthplace of Vittorio Emanuele II in 1820. The Unification of Italy was proclaimed here in 1861. It now houses the Museo del Risorgimento and you can see the royal apartments Royal Armoury, too.
  • Museo Egizio is the third most important Egyptian museum in the world. It is housed in a huge baroque palace which also holds the Galleria Sagauda with a large collection of historic paintings.
  • Piazza San Carlo, known as the "drawing room of Turin", is a beautiful baroque square with the twin churches of San Carlo and Santa Cristina as well as the above museum.
  • Shroud of Turin, or the Holy Shroud, is housed in the Turin Cathedral but is only put on display every 10 years. The Museum of the Holy Shroud is open daily. Shroud of Turin Visiting Information
  • Il Quadrilatero is an interesting maze of backstreets with sprawling markets and splendid churches. This is another good place to wander.
  • Elegant and historic bars and cafes are everywhere in central Turin. Try a bicerin, a local layered drink made with coffee, chocolate, and cream. Cafes in Turin also serve other interesting trendy coffee drinks.

Tourist Information and Discount Cards:

Tourist offices are at the Porta Nuova Railway Station and the airport. The main office is in Piazza Castello and there is also one in Piazza Solferino.
You can find landromats and internet points in Turin with Lavasciuga

Turin discount cards: See Turin and Piedmont Card for information about discount passes and the ChocoPass for chocolate tastings.

Winter Olympics 2006

Turin was host for the 2006 Winter Olympics with events in town and in seven nearby localities. The awards ceremonies took place in Piazza Castello, integrating Italian history and piazza culture with the Olympics. Read more about the Torino Winter Olympics

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