Turin is a beautiful city, that deserves to be visited in every single corner with all the time in the world. But if you don’t have much of it, I’m gonna use my vast knowledge as a born-and-bread torinese and expert receptionist to recommend you places to visit, where to eat and what to do in a single day. All of that with the hope to offer you unforgettable itineraries and to help you make your trip a unique experience.
Possible itinerary: Let’s say you start your trip from Porta Nuova, the main train station. My tip is to take via Roma right in front of the station; the street is beautiful and full of high fashion shops and crosses piazza San Carlo, one of the most breathtaking squares of the whole city, full of history and café (a bit expensive, all of them, but if you want to get a coffe there go ahead, they are worth the prize) and full of arches, as well as two twin churches.
After piazza San Carlo, you have two options: you can go to the Egyptian Museum, the second biggest in the world after the one in El Cairo (highly recommend it, its amazing) and then visit Piazza Carignano and Piazza Castello, or go directly to the second place through via Roma. Here you will find two different palaces, because go big or go home, I guess. They are Palazzo Madama, with two different facades in two different styles (baroque and romanesque) and Palazzo Reale, with the amazing Royal Gardens inside (you can visit them for free). Both the palaces are also museums (Palazzo Reale = Royal Museum with the Armoury and the Library, Palazzo Madama = Antique Arts and temporary expositions). It’s up to you to decide wether to visit them or not: they are very interesting, but if you do not have that much time I’d continue on with the tour. After Piazza Castello, while you are in the center, go visit the Dome and Porte Palatine, the Roman doors of the city.
At this point, time for lunch: you can go to Piola Ranzini, a typical restaurant from Turin that offers small portions of local foods and wines, all delicious and very fairly priced, or to Infusion, a specialty coffe bistrot that offers ingredients and recipes from all over the world with a “Turin touch”, along with different coffe blends and teas. After lunch, time to go: direction, via Po. Via Po (considered for a while as the longest square in the world), its full of small shops and stalls of books, clothes and artisanal jewels. Keep an eye out for via Montebello: at the end of it there is the Mole Antonelliana, symbol of the city and Cinema Museum (you absolutely can’t miss it!). Unless you suffer from vertigo, consider taking the panoramic elevator, it will allow you to see the city from above, an amazing experience.
After the Mole, go back to via Po until its end in piazza Vittorio, huge and straight out of a fairytale. If you have some money you absolutely feel like spending, get an aperitivo; bit expensive but definitely an experience you’ll never forget. The square faces the Po river and the Gran Madre Church (it is said the one of the statues in the front points to the place where the Graal it’s buried…) and its one of the most panoramic places of the town. At this point, take the street at the level of the river Po, called Murazzi, until the Umberto I bridge. Go back up and you’ll find yourself in front of the Valentino Park.
Inside the Valentino you can just lose yourself in the park, but if I may, I’d recommend you three places: the Castello del Valentino (another palace, now the university of architecture), the Borgo Medievale (a reconstruction of a village from the Middle Ages) and the Rock Garden.
At this moment it should be almost dinner time, so you can go back the way you arrived to the Valentino until the center or you can take Corso Vittorio Emanuele II until Porta Nuova, our hypothetical starting point. For dinner you can check Piazzetta IV Marzo (behind the Porte Palatine from before) or Piazza Emanuele Filiberto nearby: in both there are up to ten different restaurants with local cousine. Personally, I’d go to Cianci in the first square and Le Tre Galline in the second. If you want to party after dinner, go to Santa Giulia, the university neighbourhood, full of bars open until late night.
Other interesting places outside the center: Juventus Stadium, Reggia di Venaria, Basilica di Superga; all of them are a bit too far to walk to, but there is great public transport you can take. My only tip is to choose what to see: you only have limited time and you probably won’t be able to see everything.
Local dishes: bicerin (beverage made with coffe, hot chocolate and whipped cream), agnolotti di carne al sugo d’arrosto (ravioli with meat stuffing served with roast beef sauce), tomini (fresh goat cheese served with either chili or a sauce made with cilantro, garlic and oil), Bagna Cauda (cream made with garlic and anchovies served with fresh, raw vegetables), bunet (pudding made with chocolate, coffe and amaretti and served with caramel), vitello tonnato (veal with a light tuna sauce), tajarin (fresh handmade pasta) with truffle, giandujotti (chocolate and hazelnut cream shaped like a long pyramid).
Attic Hostel (my parents hostel ❤️)
Have a good trip and enjoy your stay!
PS: if you are considering staying longer, stay tuned: I’ll publish a series of posts soon about longer trips and all kinds of things you absolutely have to see in Turin!!