There’s more to Italy than just the big cities. Don’t me wrong, I love the modern side of Milan and the bohemian picturesque streets of Rome but I think if travelers are missing on a lot if they are not visiting Turin. My suggestion would be to go with the unconventional choice and add Turin to your Italy itinerary (it is only an hour from Milan! There are so many reasons on why you should travel to Turin, but I’d go with these 10!
My top 10 reasons to add Turin to your Italian Bucket List:
NOT AS CROWDED AS THE BIG 3:
Would you like a holiday away from the crowds and for a change not be pushed and shoved at?? Turin is your choice then! It is less crowded and quieter compared to the big 3 (Rome, Venice and Florence). I was in Turin in the peak season and could eat, drink and walk around without being shoved at. Exactly how a vacation should be! So visit Turin before the city gets run down by mass tourism and consider this post as one of the many posts on “what to do in Turin”.
BICERIN BICERIN BICERIN:
I cannot stress this fact enough….Turin=Bicerin and Bicerin=Turin. I refuse to have it anywhere else even if I am offered money! Until you haven’t had this heavenly drink, you won’t know what I’m saying… So go to Turin to try Bicerin -a sinful combination of chocolate, espresso and milk with a touch of Turin magic! This should be added to your things to do in Turin.
CINEMA MUSEUM, EYGPTIAN MUSEUM AND …A FIAT MUSEUM:
Museum and history lovers rejoice! Turin is a haven for all of you. There is so much to see and do in Turin, that you might find time to be short. Apart from the amazing Cinema and Fiat museums, there are also stunning palaces of the Savoy Kings and Queens to be visited.
If you ever curious about an Italian food museum, Turin helps you. In my humble opinion, it’s called Eataly! You will find everything “Italian” under one roof. Yes, it promotes consumerism but on a holiday I like that! Imagine those tasty holiday treats that your Italian friends share or those vintage looking candy bars that you always wanted… Hunt no more… Consider going to Eataly with an empty stomach and a full credit limit! Don’t say I didn’t tell you 😉
MAGICAL RIVER PO:
Before visiting Turin, I thought the only thing missing in the city was the water…. I was wrong. The river Po flows through the city and makes everything look scenic and magestic as it divides the city in two.
In the evening when the city lights are up, the river gives a misty element and makes Turin seem like a lovely painting.
Now wouldn’t you add Turin to your Italy list??
“Senza l’Italia, Torino sarebbe più o meno la stessa. Ma senza Torino, l’Italia sarebbe molto diversa”- Umberto Eco
“Without Italy, Torino would be more or less the same, but without Torino, Italy would be very different”- Umberto Eco
HISTORIC SHOPS AND APERITIVO:
Vienna and Rome have been my top choices for cities with historic coffee shops. But now there’s one more to the list! Turin not only has excellent historic shops but also has the old fashioned vibe that you see in movies. Imagine furniture from the retro era and waiters serving your coffee in old bow ties…..
In Turin time really stands still.
The city is also the birthplace of Aperitivo. I’m not complaining. Are you??!
GETAWAY TO THE COUNTRYSIDE:
In about 30 minutes you can cross Turin’s elegant city life and head to the nearest vineyard or the prettiest side of the country! In about an hour’s drive you can reach the lakes of Maggiore and Orta that make for two stunning day trips. There’s a long list of historic towns such as Alba and Bra famous for truffles, wine and cheese. Mamma mia! Traveling to Turin is such an advantage.
PIAZZE AND PORTICOES:
The piazze (public squares) in Turin don’t call for attention…They are elegant, chic and effortless. The art nouveau and baroque style makes Turin what it is today. The city happens to be very spacious and you can possibly be the only one at a piazza even at 8-9 in the morning.
There is literature surrounding the whole city of Turin. You know why?? Writers such as Umberto Eco, Mark Twain, Primo Levi, Italo Calvino, Friedrich Nietzsche have admired the city. Turin is a celebration of Italian literature and it was my pleasure to walk the same streets as the writers of the bygone eras. Turin also has some amazing bookshops so if you are an avid reader, visit the second hand book stalls on Via Po.
There’s also an annual book fair called the Salone del Libro that happens in May every year!
OLD WORLD TRAMS:
If historic stores and old world cafés aren’t enough, the city is also full of vintage trams. There is a healthy mix of old and new here. So while a metro line connects the newer parts of the city, I, born an old soul, avoided the metro and loved hopping in trams….Sometimes even without a reason!!
So are you sold to visit Turin??
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Header Picture credits to my friend Adriana Oberto
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