Mini Travel Guide: Turin, Italy

Looking for a travel guide to Turin, Italy? Click through for Turin travel tips from a local - what to do, where to go, and how to do it all cheaply, safely, and respectfully!
Looking for a travel guide to Turin? Ready to eat your weight in Italian chocolate? If your answer to both of those questions is yes, you’ll enjoy these Turin travel tips from local Chelsea. She’s telling us what to do and where to go in Turin – and how to do it cheaply, safely, and respectfully.

Turin is a large city that is perfectly situated in the north of Italy only one hour from the ski resorts, one hour from the Italian Riviera, and two hours from Milan. It was built by the Romans and has been growing and thriving ever since. I’ve lived here since 2007 and have made it my mission to explore every inch of this city.

Looking for a travel guide to Turin, Italy? Click through for Turin travel tips from a local - what to do, where to go, and how to do it all cheaply, safely, and respectfully!

Must Do in Turin

Savoy Turin Residencies

Visit any of the UNESCO established residences of the Savoy dynasty. The Savoy family ruled over Turin much like the Medici’s ruled over Florence. They built dozens of royal residences with several in the heart of the city and most are open to the public.
My favorite is Palazzo Madama in Piazza Castello. It has a roman base, a medieval middle, and a baroque facade. Inside are ornate rooms filled with the royal art collection, but the impressively overstated staircase alone is worth the visit.

The Egyptian Museum

I hear you, why am I recommending you visit an Egyptian museum in Italy? Because Turin doesn’t just have an Egyptian museum, they have the largest and most comprehensive collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo.
One of the many highlights is the exhibit of Kha and Merit. Everything in his room was taken from a complete tomb of a husband and wife who had been mummified with all they could ever want in the afterlife including food, a complete cosmetic kit, styled and beaded wigs, and perfectly preserved shoes!

The Mole

Take the elevator to the top of the Mole Antonelliana. The Mole is the tallest building in Turin and can be seen from just about anywhere.
It now houses the Museum of Cinema which is worth a visit but make sure you use your ticket to board the glass elevator that goes to the top where you will get a stunning view of the city including the two rivers that cross through Turin and the surrounding Alps.
Looking for a travel guide to Turin, Italy? Click through for Turin travel tips from a local - what to do, where to go, and how to do it all cheaply, safely, and respectfully!

Must Go in Turin

Porto Palazzo Market

This market claims to be the largest outdoor market in Europe. Food stalls arranged in an intricate labyrinth seem to go on for miles. You’ll find fresh produce, wines, cheeses, olives, bread, fish and meats.
I recommend getting lost inside the maze and putting together your own personalized lunch to be eaten later, perhaps in the nearby Porta Palatina Park, which holds the ruins of the original Roman city gate .

Take a passeggiata in the Roman Quarter

The Roman Quarter is the oldest part of Turin and can make you feel lost in time when strolling along it’s thin stone streets. I must say that Via Mercanti and Via San Tomaso are the most quaint and romantic of the streets in this quarter.
It is full of cafes, antique shops, and bakeries.
Looking for a travel guide to Turin, Italy? Click through for Turin travel tips from a local - what to do, where to go, and how to do it all cheaply, safely, and respectfully!

Must Eat in Turin

Chocolate

Chocolate is serious business here. There are more chocolatiers in Turin than in all of France and Belgium combined. In the spring the city holds the Cioccola-To Festival where many of these chocolatiers converge in Piazza Vittorio to sell and show-off their greatest sweets.
I recommend trying Gianduja (jan-do-ya). It’s mix of sweet chocolate blended with local hazelnuts and is the preferred flavor of Turin. You might also want to try it as a gelato flavor or the most common way kids grow up eating it, as Nutella.

Bicerin

The Bicerin consists of warm and thick dark chocolate on the bottom of a glass topped with a shot of espresso and then topped with a dollop of thick and heavy cream.
The drink itself is not sweet until you add the sugar but, and this is important, make sure you do not stir your Bicerin! This is the one and only rule of drinking it. It can be found in any cafe or you can try it at it’s 1763 birthplace, Il Bicerin Cafe in Piazza della Consolata.

Looking for a travel guide to Turin, Italy? Click through for Turin travel tips from a local - what to do, where to go, and how to do it all cheaply, safely, and respectfully!

Cultural Tips for Travel in Turin

If you are in Turin in June, keep an eye out for the Marathon of Gelato (Maratona del Gelato). Each year many of the city’s gelaterie (ice cream shops) participate on marathon day by giving out samples of their best flavors for free. The marathon is; if you can make it to every gelaterie in one day. I have done it, twice!
In August most Italians go on vacation, usually to the sea. The city is empty and many shops and travel hotspots are closed. It’s quiet but there might not be as much to do as you would like.

Looking for a travel guide to Turin, Italy? Click through for Turin travel tips from a local - what to do, where to go, and how to do it all cheaply, safely, and respectfully!

Travel on the Cheap in Turin

Parco del Valentino is the city’s largest park and on it’s grounds you will find Borgo Medievale. The Borgo is an extremely detailed life-sized replica of an authentic medieval village which was built for an exhibition in 1880. It’s picture perfect and entrance is free!

Airbnb is almost always cheaper than a hotel and more pleasant than a hostel. Here’s a private room for $26 or an entire apartment for $38! If you’ve never used Airbnb before, here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking.

Any Turin (or Italian) travel tips to share?  Any questions for Chelsea?

P.S. 7 travel tools I will not shut up about!

photos by Jace Grandinetti // davide ragusa // antonio filigno // wikipedia // jane mary smith // cc

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