Living in Turin: The Pros and Cons

From the first time I visited Turin, I knew I eventually wanted to live there. And today I am so happy I did end up here for a lot of reasons. I’ve lived about two years in the city, and another two years just outside. Living outside of the main city really changed the way I dealt with day-to-day life. For one I found that living in a smaller town the bureaucracy was much easier to deal with, along with getting around and getting errands done. But more on that another time. For now, let’s look at the pros and cons of living in Turin.

Pros of Living in Turin

The incredible food & wine

One major highlight of living in Turin is the food and wine. I guess you could say for anywhere in Italy really, but it’s definitely something I love about living in Piedmont. Piedmontese cuisine is quite different than other areas of Italy. Here there is a big emphasis on tagliere style aperitivo and antipasti. Everywhere we go it’s necessary to order a mixed taste, always.

But more than just taste, Piedmont focuses a lot on quality. Focusing mainly on seasonal cuisine and gathering ingredients from local producers, the result is always amazing.

You can even enjoy the incredible produce right at home, by shopping at the local markets. Porta Palazzo is a real winner, but shop in the back market where the locals are!

Then of course there is the wine – Piedmont is prized for its great wine, and living here you are surrounded by it. Every afternoon or aperitivo is an opportunity to enjoy a new type of wine or new producer. Weekends can be filled with visits to the nearby Monferrato or Langhe.

What else is great is that Turin offers amazing places to eat for every budget, from Michelin star to a student income, there’s something great! So really the food and wine scene in Turin is a real winner.

Being surrounded by green space and nature

Another reason I fell in love with living in Turin was how green it was. Within the city there are plenty of parks, and just across the Po the Colline Torinese sprawl out engulfing the gorgeous palazzi. This means if you are stuck in the city, you can always find a spot for a little fresh air, a spot to run, or a spot to grab a little picnic.

The closest hikes are reachable by public transport – just take a bus to Sassi or San Mauro and hike up to Superga!

But then if you are super into the outdoors, with a car you can reach so many great places with just a short drive. Hikes, river swim spots, skiing, you name it!

This is something I haven’t experienced in another city and I love it so much.

Manageable Size City

Turin isn’t that big when you consider the main city. In reality, if you are looking at the whole municipality and residential areas it is quite a good size city. But, the area we frequent and that I enjoy for dinner, wandering, etc, is fairly small.

Yet while it is a manageable size, making it easy to hop from area to area and enjoy different aspects of Turin, it also is a really lively city. There’s always something going on, be it live music, street market, and more.

So I love Turin for both, the fact it’s so easy to get around and take in the city, and that there is so much to do!

The size also makes Turin feel much more comfortable for settling. In the sense, when I first moved to Italy as a student, the idea of Rome was great because it was huge, a whole world! But as I got older and wanted to chill a bit, Turin felt like a great place to settle with a family, but also enjoy city life.

It’s also easy to get around walking, by bike or with the transport available.

Relaxing

Together with the size, it also means Torino is a fairly chill city, yes there are events but overall, its a relaxed city. There’s not the hustle and bustle like in Rome, or Milan. It’s hard to put into words, just Turin seems like a place to go easy.

Work Opportunities

This really depends on what sector you work in, but it is true that Turin has opportunities. For example, if you have graduated or are certified, Turin has many many hospitals and clinics it is a medical center. Also for automotive, or mechanics, there are a lot of opportunities. That being said given that it is a smaller city, these opportunities are only in certain sectors.

If you are job searching here, it really helps to have Italian, English, and French as being so close to the border much business is done there as well.

Cons of Living in Turin

A little off the path

This might be just a personal perception, but Turin feels a tad disconnected from the rest of Italy, making it tougher to travel. It is on the high-speed railway lines, but the way they run you have to go over to Milan and then down. This just adds extra travel hours always.

There also is an airport just outside of Turin, but oddly enough it doesn’t have that many direct flights. So travel just always seems like it takes a little more effort from here, although it is technically is connected.

The size

Most days I love the feel of Turin, but there are other times it can be a con. On the weekend when everyone comes in, the main street can get really packed. Also, it can at times get a little boring sometimes. That’s definitely a personal consideration, lots of people live in Turin and never get bored! It just depends on you.

I see a really busy student life so it seems to be great, but personally, when I was studying it felt a little too small for me.

Torinese often seem a tad cold

Now I do know many people who have been able to make friends with locals and wiggle their way into the community. But something I noticed here was that friends seem to have been made when they were young and groups don’t change.

Unlike Rome or Florence where when we went out for drinks we would always end the night with new friend, Turin feels tougher to do so.

You’ll probably want a car

If you stay within Turin, you can easily get around with public transport, or bikes. But if you want to explore all the Piedmont has to offer, you will probably want a car. Having access to driving means you can just get up and go to the wine region, to the mountains, wherever, whenever you want. Being able to drive has really made living here so much better, and offered a whole different experience.

Evelyn Hill

1 Comment

  1. Pree on June 3, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    Reading this reminds me of the great day I spent with you in Turin! Will need to return to explore more!

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