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Enjoying the view of Turin, Italy, from Mont Des Capucins 

From tucking into incredible food and drink (including truffles and Barolo), to enjoying stunning orange-roofed cityscapes, and exploring historic palaces and museums, there are plenty of things to do in Turin, Italy in 2019.

Fanfare please! Lonely Planet has just announced Italy’s Piedmont region as its No.1 Best In Travel region for 2019! Just before the big announcement was made, I headed off on a top-secret trip to the principal city of Turin to find out what makes this part of Italy so special. 

Best In Travel Region on phone with Turin backdrop

Where Is Turin, Italy?

Turin, or Torino to the natives, is in a unique location, at the base of the Alps in the northwestern corner of Italy. The Swiss and French borders are close by, and it’s a few hours from the coast at Genoa. Being so close to the borders, Turin has experienced some interesting relationships with its neighbours, as well as its southern Italian counterparts. On this map I’ve marked all the spots I’d recommend visiting, so save this link and treat me as your personal tour guide once you arrive in the city.

Enjoy The Best View Of Turin At Mont Des Capucins 

Before visiting Turin I’d seen beautiful photos of the city with the snowy Alps in the background. While many travel guides will suggest you take the lift up Mole Antonelliana, I’d recommend heading to Mont Des Capucins. Just the other side of the River Po, this is THE spot to get the view of the entire city (Mole Antonelliana included) with that stunning mountain backdrop.

things to do in Turin - take in the views

One of the top things to do in Turin – take in the views

Tuck Into The Local Pasta ITurin, Italy

There are plenty of Piedmontese delicacies to sample, but you absolutely HAVE to try the city’s fresh pasta. On my first night I enjoyed a delicious bowl of agnolotti – a Piedmontese style of ravioli filled with roasted meat and served in a sauce called sugo d’arrosto (similar to a tasty gravy).

You’ll also see ‘plin’ on menus across Turin, which is a smaller type of ravioli, in a pinched shape. Plus there’s tajarin – delicate ribbons of fresh egg pasta, similar to tagliatelle. 

Agnolotti in sugo d’arrosto, Casa Broglia, Turin

Agnolotti in sugo d’arrosto, Casa Broglia, Turin, Italy

Sample Black And White Truffles In Truffle Season In Turin, Italy

The Piedmont region is famous for this delicacy! Not far away is Alba, a town synonymous with truffles. In fact there’s a whole festival dedicated to the indulgent delicacy every October and November. 

Truffle pasta in Turin

Truffle pasta in Turin

Learn About Egyptian History At Museo Egezio (Egyptian Museum Turin)

This museum is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Turin, and showcases the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts outside of Cairo. With 24 human mummies, an important statue of Ramses II and the intact tomb of Kha and Merit, it’s a fascinating place to learn about ancient civilisations.

Learn about Egyptian history at Museo Egezio - one of the top things to do in Turin

Learn about Egyptian history at Museo Egezio – one of the top things to do in Turin

Try Bicerin – Turin’s Most Famous Drink

Looking for a sweet pick me up after a busy day of exploring? Then head to Turin’s oldest cafe, Caffe Al Bicerin, and order the drink of the same name. Bicerin is a combination of espresso, chocolate and cream or whole milk. While you’ll find the drink on menus across Turin, they’ve been serving them here since the 18th Century. Stepping foot in the historic café is just like going back in time, with flicking candles on the tables and wood panelling adorning the walls. One glass will set you back over 6 EUR but you have to try it so you know what the fuss is about!

Caffe Al Bicerin, Turin's oldest cafe, Italy

Caffe Al Bicerin, Turin’s oldest cafe.

Bicerin, Turin's most famous drink, at Caffe Al Bicerin

Bicerin, Turin’s most famous drink, at Caffe Al Bicerin

Admire The Baroque Architecture Of Palazzo Real And Palazzo Madama ITurin, Italy

I loved wandering through Turin’s beautiful skinny streets, getting lost in the maze of archways, tiny restaurants and boutiques. Every now and then I emerged at a beautiful piazza like Piazza San Carlo. One of the most striking was Piazza Castello, home to some of the city’s most impressive and important historic buildings. Palazzo Reale is the former royal palace, constructed in the 16th Century, and now preserved as a museum and gallery of ancient art. Meanwhile, moments away is Palazzo Madama, a design of Italian architect Filippo Juvarra, and where you’ll now find the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art.

Palazzo Reale, Turin

Palazzo Reale, Turin

Explore Italy’s Liberty Architecture  

As a total contrast, around twenty minutes away from Piazza Castello you’ll reach a part of the city with some incredible Art Nouveau architecture (known as The Liberty Style in Italy). I discovered this part of the city on a free Turin walking tour with local Daniele, who was full of interesting information.

Examples of Italy’s Liberty architecture in Turin

Examples of Italy’s Liberty architecture in Turin

Eat Like A King For Under 10 Euros

What to do in Turin on a budget? Well it turns out this is a city that LOVES a set lunch! Most restaurants offer a set menu for 10 EUR, or single courses for 5-6 EUR. It was amazing value, and a great opportunity to try items I might not have thought of ordering otherwise. So what does 10 EUR get you? A pasta dish, a main course plus bread, water and a coffee.

Luce At Porta Palazzo Market

Turin’s main market happens to also be the biggest open-air market in the whole of Europe. I LOVED it! It was so much fun weaving in and out of the stalls and looking at the local produce, which included everything from fennel and colourful tomatoes, to herbs, green veg and citrus fruits straight from Sicily. There was also cheese, ham, raw meat, clothes, flowers, and a whole heap of random things too! It was a really fun place to spend the morning, and it’s definitely one of my top free things to do in Turin. It’s also a short walk from Porta Palatina – Turin’s famous city gates. 

Porta Palazzo Market, Turin- one of my favourite things to do in Turin, Italy

Porta Palazzo Market, Turin – one of my favourite things to do in Turin, Italy

Fresh produce in Porta Palazzo Market, Turin

Fresh produce in Porta Palazzo Market, Turin

Marvel At Mole Antonelliana

What an incredible building! The tower of Mole Antonelliana is visible all over Turin, and has become the landmark of the city. It was initially designed as a synagogue, but was later updated as a monument to national unity. For a small fee you can take the lift up to the 85m platform for views of the city. Just next to it, you’ll find the National Cinema Museum.   

Mole Antonelliana, Turin

Mole Antonelliana, Turin

Enjoy Turin’s Modern Art Scene 

Turin is a really arty, cultural city, so I’d definitely add a gallery or two to your list if you have time. GAM is the modern and contemporary art gallery in the city. There were a few exhibitions on when we visited, one showing Turin’s artists over the decades, while another highlighted artists throughout the last few hundred years, with some of the most fun pieces by Andy Warhol and Lichtenstein. 

Enjoying some modern at Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin

Enjoying some modern at Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin

Experience Turin’s Aperitivo Scene 

In Turin, an aperitivo isn’t just a drink, it’s a social occasion! As with Milan, ‘appy hour’ is big in Turin, with many bars offering a drink plus buffet access for a set price. Some are better than others, so it’s definitely worth having a look around until you find one serving things you fancy. One of the best we found was at Caffe Lobelix where we paid 12 EUR for a cocktail and unlimited access to an enormous constantly-replenishing buffet, that included tasty meatballs, broccoli, roast aubergine, cod with peppers, fried potatoes, mozzarella and tomato salad and plenty more. If you fill up somewhere like this, you can save your Euros to spend on chocolate to take home! If you only have one night in Turin – this is an experience you just have to have! 

Aperitivos in Turin

Aperitivos in Turin

Visit Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile

Cars and Turin go hand in hand – in fact the T in FIAT is for Turin! So if you’re a petrol head, definitely find time to visit Turin’s famous automobile museum. It has a collection of around 200 cars from 80 different car brands, so there’s plenty to look at! 

Enjoy Turin’s Shopping Scene 

In terms of shopping in Turin, the city has a mix of everything. Wander along pedestrianised Via Garibaldi (the city’s most famous shopping street) and you’ll find brands you know and love. Then there are the picturesque gallerias – elegant covered shopping streets, generally housing high-end brands. 

Muta jewellery, Turin - perfect for anyone who wants to go shopping in Turin

Muta jewellery, Turin – perfect for anyone who wants to go shopping in Turin

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Chocolate and Turin go way back! Along with bicerin, the city has made a name for itself with its delicious hazelnut chocolates called gianduja. You’ll see the chocolates for sale across the city, but THE place to go is Guido Gobino.

That choc-hazelnut combo might sound more familiar in its form as the spread, Nutella, and interestingly the history of Nutella also starts nearby. Invented in nearby Alba by Pietro Ferrero, it started off with the name Giandujot, before being renamed Nutella by the mid-1960s. I’ve heard you can still visit the original factory, and some of the surrounding area smells like Nutella too – sounds like a reason to take a day trip from Turin!

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, add GROM to your list too. It’s where you’ll find the best gelato in the city, and with several branches across Turin, you’re never far away from your next ice cream.

GROM Gelato, Turin - best gelato in Turin

GROM Gelato, Turin – best gelato in Turin

Enjoy Pizza In Turin Where The Locals Eat

Well, you can’t come to Italy and not have a pizza! I booked a lovely little apartment in the city centre and asked the owner where to eat in Turin. The owner recommended Ristorante Sicomoro, saying it’s where she goes every Sunday for a big family lunch.

Pizza at Sicomoro, Turin - some of the best pizza in Turin

    Author: Chloe Gunning

    Original blog:

    Suite Bellezia, Turin