When drawing up your itinerary for Italy, Turin’s place is often taken by cities like Florence, Venice, and Milan. I agree of course that you have to visit these cities. They are the heart of Italy. But Turin is a diamond in the rough that few think is worth visiting. They are so wrong! Turin has a lot of culture, piazzas, and architecture. The city center was even inscribed on the World Heritage List. In the following, I show you six reasons why Turin should be on your itinerary for Italy. I also want to tell you why I fell in love with this city already the first time when I visited.
If you wonder what to pack for your trip to Italy, check out this blogpost that tells you what you will definitely need.
The Mole Antonelliana
Milan has a dome, Florence has a dome, and even Venice has St. Marco. Turin has the Mole Antonelliana. It is not a church! For the ones who get tired of visiting churches on vacation! Once it was a synagogue, but now it houses the National Museum of Cinema. The building is easily recognizable by its unique form, which you can also find on the Italian 2-cent coin. It’s clearly visible from afar and a truly unique landmark.
The Egyptian Museum
I admit this is not the first thing that comes to my mind when visiting Italy. But Turin is also not on your itinerary yet, so be in for something different. The Egyptian Museum exhibits the second largest collection of Egyptian artefacts. It is second after Cairo! It shows everything you expect of a good Egyptian museum like sarcophagi, mummies, papyrus scrolls, vases, and the temple of Tuthmosi III. This should definitely be among the reasons why Turin is the place to be.
The Museum opens on Monday from 9am to 2 pm and from Tuesday till Sunday from 9am to 6:30pm. Take care to not bring any large bags, as they don’t allow them within the museum. The full entrance fee is €15, but some discounts are available. Check out their website here.
Turin has several large piazzas. They are often surrounded by colonnades. The huge areas fit into the city that has once been the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. You can find the remains all over Turin, such as the Palazzo Reale on the Piazza Castello, which is also the most extensive piazza in Turin. This place also marks the center of the city. But there is also the Piazza San Carlo with the statue Caval ‘d Brons (Bronze Horse in Piedmontese language). Also, the Piazza Vittorio Veneto is extensive and leads down to the River Po.
This is one of the reasons why Turin is my favorite Italian city! There is so much space in between the buildings. I could spend all day walking from on piazza to the next and none looks the same.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it, but most of the major cities have no trees in their center. There is nothing green around the Dome in Florence as well as in Milan. You always have to go outside the city to enjoy some nature. In Turin, there are a lot of avenues and parks, such as the vast Parco del Valentino. Here you can find extensive flower beds and even a medieval castle. Okay, it is not from the medieval, but for the Expo 1884. Also, the Royal Gardens invite for a relaxing afternoon stroll.
These things are hard to find in other Italian cities and one of the reasons why Turin should be on your itinerary.
Because tourists are more drawn to the coast, or to cities like Milan, Venice, and Florence, there are no masses of people. You are able to stroll around without pushing your way through. You can enjoy the beauty of Italy without masses of people in your way.
Of course, Italian food is delicious and we all love Spaghetti. Yet, sometimes I crave a different taste. In this point Turin is different from other Italian cities. The food is much more diverse and good. There are Thai food restaurants, sushi places, restaurants that serve ligurian dishes and also a high amount of French restaurants, cafés, or patisseries. Just walk through the streets and keep your eyes open.
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