Torino, Italy, Mole Antonelliana

Why you should visit Turin, Italy

If you have been following me on Instagram you already know how beautiful Turin is. I have been living here for about 3 years and though it may be small, I always find new corners to love in this city. But let’s check out the reasons you should visit Turin!

 Turin or Torino is situated in Piedmont, in Northern Italy. An ancient city, once home to the Celtic-Ligurian Tribe of the Taurini, it was founded around the 3rd century BC, then became a Roman city in the 1st century AD, Under the Romans, the city was known as Julia Augusta Taurinorum. The name Torino stemmed from this, originally coming from the Taurini tribe.

The city of Turin has so much to discover. It is filled with great museums, beautiful churches and many other amazing things to see. Without even walking into these cultural centers you can experience the beauty of the city just wandering through its center. The architecture of the city is a mix of Baroque palaces, Art deco buildings, and even fascist-style streets.

Though not too much of the ancient city is left over, it, unfortunately, was destroyed through various wars and sieges. You can still find the last Roman gate to the north of the city center, called Porta Palatina.

Turin is the center of the automotive industry, where FIAT was founded and still has its headquarters. It was the original capital of Italy, the birthplace of espresso, and the beloved gianduja (the OG Nutella). During the 1800’s Turin was a favorite among intellectuals and artists, such as Nietzsche, Alexandre Dumas, and more who all loved the city for its elegant atmosphere, literary cafés, and of course, delicious chocolate.

Here are just a few reasons why you should Visit Turin on your next trip to Italy!

The Royal Elegance

While we all associate Rome with the Ancient World and Florence with Renaissance, Turin’s key to fame is royalty. While other Italian cities did have certain small kingdoms over city-states before the country was unified, Turin was the first capital of unified Italy, when the Kingdom of Italy was officially founded in 1861. They also had a long royal history going back to 1563 when the Savoy family moved it’s capital here.

This elegance of Turin can be witnessed all over the city: through the incredible palaces of the Palazzo RealePalazzo Madama, Palazzo Carignano, the majestic piazzas, and porticoes. Not to mention the royal Hunting Palaces surrounding the city: La Venaria, Stupinigi, and Racconigi.

Coffee. And the dreamy cafes

Ok, you know this is my favorite. As I’ve mentioned, espresso was born in Turin! Plus the city is home to Lavazza, the world-famous coffee roaster.

Torino has the greatest number of cafés per capita! Many of them are beautiful historic cafès. It also has two of the oldest cafes in the country: Cafe al Bicerin and Fiorio, which both date back to the 1700s and are still in business. When you visit Turin, you cannot miss out on these spots!

If you want to learn more about the whole history of these cafes, have a look at our post about coffee in Turin or get in touch to book a Historic Cafe Tour!

Visit Turin for The Chocolate

Turin is the Italian capital of chocolate. Famous for mixing ther local hazelnuts into the chocolate and making the famous gianduja, basically the original Nutella, without all the weird additives. They also make a solid form of this delicious chocolate called gianduiotti. Why did Piedmont start mixing their nuts with the chocolate? It was the result of an English embargo on cocoa during the Napoleonic wars. To jump through sales hoops Turinese chocolate makers decided to mix these hazelnuts in changing the form of the original cacao.

Not only chocolate to eat, but Turin is also famous for its hot chocolate and the iconic bicerin, made of espresso coffee, chocolate and whipped cream.

There is a chocolate shop on nearly every street. While many are industrial level, you can still pop into some artisanal chocolate labs such as Croci Bruno Chocolate to see the whole process on a small scale.

Wine, Vermouth, Aperitivo!

Yeah, most of the reasons for visiting Turin are food-based, but if coffee and chocolate didn’t convince you, can I interest you in an aperitivo? Long before Spritz, the concept was born here!

Did you know also Campari came from Turin?. The many historic cafés are actually not just for your morning coffee fix, but in the evening the fill up with friends gathered for a drink and small bites to eat. If you want to learn more about Aperitivo have a read here.

Turin is also located in the heart of Piedmont surrounded by some of the best wine regions in the country, grab a glass of excellent wine for just a few euros and enjoy the scene in the grand Piazzas.

Not a wine fan? If you are into something more bitter, Turin also is famous for its local Vermouth style, many bars have their own personal version to try. If you are really into Vermouth check out Stratta in Piazza San Carlo or Cocchi Vermoutheria in Quadrilatero Romano.

Art

Turin has a thriving contemporary art scene as well as numerous palace museums with fine works from past epochs. If you come during the Fall you may be lucky enough to run into Artissima, a week-long Contemporary art fair that spreads through the city with events showcasing up and coming artists. You will also find galleries and antique stores on every corner.

Visit Turin for The Peaceful AMBIANCE

Unlike many bustling tourist centers, Turin still is off the usual path and has remained fairly quite. Though the main shopping street still fills up on the weekend, overall the city is quiet and offers such beautiful nearby scenery to enjoy a little leisure time. There is something so elegant and slow about Turin that rather than feel worn out after a day in the city, you’ll feel a little reenergized.

There really are plenty of reasons, I have found that everyone who has visited this city has a different reason for loving it. So I guess you will just have to come by and see it for yourself!

If you are planning on coming to Turin, send me a note on Facebook or Instagram and I hope to catch you for a coffee.

Turin Cheat Sheet, Pin for later!