24 hours!? Yes, 24 hours. We made a whistle stop here en route to Milan from Paris. And I am so glad we did. We chose Turin purely to break up what is otherwise a very long train (though very beautiful) ride to Milan. It ended up being one of the highlights of our trip.
Arriving in Porta Susa it was a short metro ride to Porto Nuova and our hotel for the night. We stayed at the incredible, and incredibly underpriced ApartHotel Turin. Conveniently located and beautifully decorated, my photographs don’t do the room justice (I try to stick to food).
Dumping our bags, we headed for Piazza San Carlo, one of Turin’s main squares for an aperitif. Italy’s finest, the Aperol Spritz made its appearance. Turin is the birth place of Nutella and hazelnut chocolates in all its guises. In the same square you’ll find Stratta one of the early adopters of this world recognised combination, well worth a visit for chocolate lovers. If you go ensure to opt for the gianduja, a hazelnut paste encased in rich milk chocolate. This square is also remarkable for two churches side by side. The story is that men built one of them and forbade women from attending it. In protest the women built their own for themselves, which in turn is of a greater build quality and more majestic than its counterpart.
From Piazza San Carlo we wandered through Turin’s high vaulted streets soaking in the city’s history and unique buzz. One of those rare places where the past and present mingle creating a hum found only in places like this. Dinner was Diecicento, follow the link for my review. Turin is a different place at night but it’s a song that builds slowly as like most places on the continent, the later it gets the more active it becomes.
The next morning, we headed out for coffee and pastries. Coffee is unbelievably cheap in Italy with a cappuccino costing no more than €1 and an espresso even less. A far cry from the prices in the UK requiring the bank’s approval and a good credit rating. There are a plethora of museums, sights and landmarks to take in across Turin. If you’re planning to view the shroud it makes an appearance only once every 5 years. There’s plenty of other things to drain your time however. Turin is home to the first Egyptian museum in Italy, and even more boastful, the first outside Egypt itself. Second to this is the National Museum of Cinema. A must if you’re a film buff and a must even if not. It’s housed in the building that dominates Turin’s sky line and there’s a glass lift you can take for spectacular views across the city. The museums undoubtedly leaving you drained there’s only one cure (or there was for us). Italian gelato. The gelaterias can be found on every corner of Turin. For a real treat head, as we did, for La Gelateria La Romana. The flavours are incredible and a milk or white chocolate filled cone doesn’t go amiss either. For 4€ you can choose a cone and an impressive four flavours, make sure to try the coffee flavour!
Satisfied head for one final stop. The Mountain Museum. It is a little out of the way, far from the bustling streets and crowds of Turin but worthy of anyone’s time. From the centre the walk is around 30 minutes to reach the base of the hill and between 5 and 10 to make the climb. At the top you’ll find the Museum but head over to the edge of the terrace. One of the few places where you can drink in all of Turin including the Cinema museum and other landmarks difficult to spot from other viewpoints.
It’s hard to squeeze everything I’ve written down into a 24-hour window and I appreciate that immensely. My one recommendation for Turin is to spend longer than 24 hours there. It is a city I miss dearly and one I know that when I say I’ll go back to it, I mean it.
Have you been to Turin? What did you like best?