Turin, located in North West Italy in Piedmont region, is one of the most elegant cities of Italy, with its history as the former capital of Italian Kingdom and its remarkable artistic heritage.
The city boasts a wide variety of attractions and things to do: from art and culture to food & wine passing through football (many of you probably knowns that Juventus is Turin’s football club) and cars. Plus, it is surrounded by extraordinary landscapes, especially in the Langhe area, known for the excellent wine production and typical regional cuisine.
That is why at ItalyXP.com we definitely suggest you to include Turin in your trip to Italy, especially if you are travelling in the North: it is not far from Milan (a couple of hours by car) and reachable also from Liguria and Cinque Terre area.
So, let’s check together the must-see in Turin!
If you are passionate about ancient art and feel the fascination of the Egyptian history, Turin is probably the place to be for you. In fact, Turin is home to one of the oldest Egyptian Museums in the world, which hosts the world’s second largest collection of Egyptian artefacts, second only to the Cairo Egyptian Museum.
The Museum has over 6,500 antiquities on display including bronzes, jewellery, statues, sarcophagi, mummies, and two Books of the Dead and the world’s greatest collection of papyri, including the “Royal Papyrus”, where all the Pharaons’names are listed.
The 3,500 B. C. eye-catching tomb is the center showpiece of the museum. The grandness of the tomb contains the sarcophagi, statues, sundries, furniture and also remains of food.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Museum with skip the line tickets included with our small group tour of the Egyptian Museum: in a hour and half our professional guide will explain you everything about this precious and unique collection. If you prefer a more intimate experience, book a private tour of the Egyptian Museum, combined with a walking tour of the centre of Turin.
Walking through the streets of the city centre of Turin will make you feel the echoes of the Royal times in Italy, during the Savoy Kingdom: elegant buildings dating back to 1700, baroque cafes and architecture, along with the typical walking streets with sequences of arcades and porticoes like the posh Via Po.
The heart of the city centre is in Piazza Castello, a pedestrian area ringed by beautiful buildings, which is home to the majestic Royal Palace of Turin. It used to be the residence of the king of Italy until 1865, since Turin was the capital of the Kingdom.
In 1946, with the end of the Monarchy in Italy, the palace was turned into a museum and later on declared part of the UNESCO Heritage. The Palace is remarkable for its magnificent interiors: decorations, furnishings, precious oriental porcelains and unique attractions such as the Scala delle Forbici, a staircase designed by the architect Juvarra.
The Palace hosts also the Royal Armory, which contains one of the widest collections of medieval weapons and armors in the world.
Visit the Royal Palace with our tour for small groups: in one hour and half the guide will explain you the history and the details of the artworks, accessing with skip the line tickets.
The symbol of the city of Turin is certainly the “Mole Antonelliana”: it derives its name from the architect Antonelli, who designed this extraordinary building in 1889, which nowadays stands like the most important landmark of the city.
It was initially conceived as a synagogue, but then was made into a monument to national unity. At the time, with the height of 167 meters was the tallest building in Europe. Later on, in 1961, a panoramic lift was built inside, to let people visit the cupola of the Mole, enjoying a stunning view over the city of Turin, surrounded by the Alps.
The majestic space of the Mole Antonelliana was totally redesigned in 2000 to create a sort of “temple of the cinema”, which is today the National Cinema Museum, where visitors can completely immerse themselves in the magic world of movies. The exhibition structure allows visitors to experience a wide range of movie and film history, from technical vintage equipment to photography and objects form famous movie sets.
As many of you probably know, Turin has been historically the heart of automotive industry of Italy, mainly with the foundation of “FIAT” company at the beginning of 1900.
That is why the city is the natural home of the only “Car museum” in Italy: the museum area hosts over 200 vehicles of over 80 historical brands. You will discover various generations of cars from every era, from the pioneering experiments of the world, such as the first prototype of three-wheel car to many models of the iconic FIAT 500 and much more. The exhibition is distributed through 3 floors, in a virtual path built out on vintage atmospheres and music from the 60’s, that will make you feel to travel through time, until nowadays!
Visit the National Museum of Automobile with our small group tour: you will have the chance to learn everything about the collection and learn the ever-evolving technologies behind the masterminds.
Just few kilometers outside Turin, there is the biggest residence of Savoy Royal family: the Venaria Royal house. Legend says that the magnificence of this building inspired the architects who built the Royal palace in Versailles in France!
Everything in this location will make you feel as in ancient time or on a movie set. The Royal apartments, with stunning frescoes, baroque details and still rich in original objects belonged to the King and the Queen. Just after the King’s apartment, the highlight of the visit will certainly be the Galleria Grande: a corridor connecting the King’s apartment with the other block of the Palace. It stands out for its imposing size and impressive and symmetric decorations, particularly on the valuts.
Furthermore, the Venaria Royal Palace boasts also a precious chapel with baroque decorations and a unmissable gardens, where you can find a wide variety of flowers and plants, along with sumptuous fountains and marble statues.
If you are interested to visit this wonderful spot we suggest you to join our small group tour of the Venaria Palace, which includes a visit with an expert guide and the skip the line tickets at the entrance.
As part of Italy, Piedmont region and Turin boast of course also an excellent culinary tradition! So, you cannot leave Turin without tasting the typical local dishes, such as “agnolotti”, a fresh homemade pasta filled with meat, or the vitel tonnè, slices of aromatic veal served in a rich fish sauce made from tuna, capers and anchovy.
Also, you have not really been to Turin if you do not try some of the excellent red wines produced in the green hills of Langhe area: the famous Barbera d’Asti or the Barolo, better if paired with a selection of local cheeses and ham!
Last, but not least, the desserts! For centuries, Turin was home to several prestigious communities of chocolatiers, and we will never be grateful enough to them for creating the giandujotto: creamy praline composed by a mixture of hazelnuts and cocoa shaped like a ingot. So, it is mandatory to try it (or also the cremini and tartufi).
You can discover the best of local cuisine with our food and wine tour in Turin or the visit of Porta palazzo market in the city centre with food tasting.
If after reading this blog post you wish to explore Turin and Piedmont region, check our 4 days escorted tour departing from Milan!