Turin… a city to discover

There is a city in Italy that is simply wonderful, but most of the time tourists coming to Italy ignore it because they’re too occupied with the classical tourist destinations Rome, Florence and Venice. People have many prejudices about this city, because in the past it has been the main site of italian industrialization so they look at it as a grey and cold city in the sad North. The city am talking about is Turin and is nothing but fantastic. It offers so many things to do, to see, to experience in any field you can think of, culture, entertainment, environment, city life…

Let’s start from the cultural point of view… Are you interested in Egyptian history and art? There is something for you, the 2nd Egyptian Museum in the world after the one in Cairo, three floors of history, art, culture of a great civilization..

If your passion is cinema there is the National Museum of the Cinema and it’s really fun, believe me.. You will get lost the first time you go in because it’s kind of divided in two different visits so to say, and the two are not clearly divided, but at the end you’ll have a great experience through movie posters, old cameras, quotes, pictures of the backstage of the greatest movie and much more… And the Mole Antonelliana, the building hosting the museum is a masterpiece of architecture, born to be a synagogue but then never been because of the long process of construction… In the middle of the building you can get on a panoramic lift that makes you cross all the museum and brings you on top, where you can see all the city and try to guess what the other buildings are…

And there are many other museums… the Asian Art Museum, the Museum of Risorgimento just to quote few of them…

If you like parks and enjoy fresh air there is the beautiful and colourful Valentine Park, who lies along the Po (the longest river in Italy) and who contains the Medieval Village, with houses and small shops in the medieval style with even a drawbridge at the entrance!! I was so excited when I went there the first time 🙂

Carrying on inside the park you can find the Valentine Castle which now hosts the faculty of architecture of the University of Turin… Close to the castle there is a garden with some rare species of plants and a lovely rose garden…

One of the main characteristics of Turin are the arcades all around the city and the huge squares surrounded by these elegant ancient palaces… Piazza Vittorio Veneto, one of the biggest squares in Europe, Piazza Castello, heart of the historic centre of the city hosting the Palazzo Reale, residence of the Savoy family, but also Palazzo Madama, the Royal Armoury, the Teatro Regio (Royal Theatre)…

Just above the city, or rather just above a hill looking at the city, there is the Basilica of Superga, built during the 18th century by the architect Filippo Juvarra.  The church is a great piece of architecture and the particular thing is that to get on top of the hill you can go either by car or with the Superga Rack Railway, a railway dating back to 1884…

If you’re not interested only in cultural stuff don’t worry, Turin will be the perfect destination anyway.

I mean, of course I loved these masterpieces of architecture, and is always interesting to live in a city rich of history and art, but what about the entertainment? Well… Turin is simply amazing!! If you like happy hours the perfect place is certainly Piazza Vittorio, with dozens of pubs and bars under the arcades where you can enjoy some music and cocktails always accompanied by delicious appetizers… But my favourite place for this kind of even is definitely another, the pub called Lobelix, in Piazza Savoia where for ten euros you can get a fruity cocktail (alcoholic or not) and a lot, really a lot of food.. The food there is supposed to be just an appetizer, but is not, it’s a real dinner, because they have everything from meat to fish, from pasta to pizza, cheese, bread, vegetables… whatever you like you will find it there… but yeah you should get there a bit early because is always crowded!! But is really worth to try it…

IIf you’re party animals 🙂 there is an area called Murazzi, and even though it hasn’t a great reputation, is a great place. Along the river Po, you can find dozens of clubs (mainly open in summer) with every kind of music and very good prices for shot drinks and cocktails….

But entertainment is not only about partying right? So what about some shopping? The best and cheapest street to do shopping is Via Garibaldi starting from Piazza Castello and ending in Piazza Statuto and there you can find all the main chains: H&M, Promode, Pimkie, Bershka, Zara and much more… But if your wallet allows you to spend more you can also give a look to Via Roma, where you can find the biggest brands and boutiques of Calvin Klein, Armani, etc…

If your genre is more open market, you can go every single morning from Monday to Saturday (don’t go there on Sunday though, it’s quite scary) to Porta Palazzo, with its Piazza della Repubblica, where there is the biggest open market of Europe. And it’s really great… if you love fruits and vegetables you can’t miss it! It’s the cheapest place in all the city where you can buy every kind of fruit and vegetable… and despite the low price, the quality of the food there is very good!

The thing I appreciate the most in a city is to have the opportunity to do whatever you feel like, and in Turin you certainly can. I enjoyed it so much that when I left after 8 months I was quite depressed… and if I should choose an italian city where to live, it would definitely be Turin.. so it’s ok to visit Rome, Florence and Venice, but make sure to visit Turin as well… I assure you that you won’t regret it!

PS: I know it seems kind of advertising but is not.. I had the chance to discover this pearl and my mission here is just to discredit all the prejudices about it…

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8 responses to “Turin… a city to discover

  1. Pingback: Travel Theme: Parks | Autumn in Bruges·

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