When people think of Italy, the first places that come to mind are always Rome, Venice, or Florence. One major city that often is overlooked is Torino, Italy. Located in Northern Italy close to Switzerland and France, this off-the-beaten-path city has numerous hidden gems to explore. From amazing museums, historic castles, and amazing Alps skiing, there is something for everyone! In my Torino Italy Travel Guide you will find where to stay, what to pack, & what to do in the city …
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Torino Italy Travel Guide
Torino Italy is located along the Po River and bordered by the Alps. It has a great history with the Savoy family reigning over the area throughout the 16th to 19th centuries. Because of this, throughout the city and surrounding area there are numerous palaces to explore that are pure lavish luxury! Throughout the city, you can also find amazing restaurants, museums, & public squares. This Torino Italy Travel Guide outlines where to stay, what to pack, & what to do in the city …
Where to Stay
Similar to other city guides, we choose to stay in the heart of the city at the A.C. Marriot Torino. This hotel was a converted pasta factory with modern, clean rooms. This hotel was also right next to Eatly for amazing dinners and the metro station making it super easy to get around the city!
What to Pack
Since our visit was in the winter time, I came prepared with layers, sweaters, and jackets. I brought with me sweater outfits, my Ted Baker Wool Wrap jacket (to wear around the city), a North Face Thermoball packable ski jacket (because we planned to ski during our trip!), these comfortable Cole Haan booties and walking shoes (I wear these Cole Haan’s everywhere!) and a couple dresses for dinners out. These were absolutely perfect for touring around and I had extra room in my suitcase to bring back some souvenirs!
What to Do
1 | Visit the Egypt Museum
The first must-visit while in Torino is the Museo Egizio or Egypt Museum. It is the second largest museum in the world dedicated to ancient Egypt history, artifacts and culture (admission ~15 Euros for adults + free audio guide). You can easily spend a full day exploring the museum and listening to the audio guide of all the exhibits. Ranging from mummies, papyrus scrolls, statues, & burial tombs, the collections of artifacts is extensive.
2 | Tour the Royal Palace of Turin
Located downtown, the Royal Palace of Turin or Palazzo Reale di Torino was the head of the Savoy family (admission ~15 Euros). Walking through the lavish halls, admiring the artwork and antiquities in the rooms, and exploring the gardens is a great way to spend an afternoon learning about the history of the city.
3 | Rest in a Public Square
The Piazza’s in Torino are some of the largest in Europe. Stop at either Piazza Castello (near the Royal Palace of Turin) or Piazza San Carlo (near the Egypt Museum) to grab a bite to eat and relax in the square. On weekend’s the squares throughout Torino sometimes have festivals where you can browse local artisan goods and food specialties.
4 |Explore the Venaria Reale Palace
One of the primary resident palaces for the Savory family, Venaria Reale Palace is one of the largest palaces in the world (admission ~25 Euros for adults)! It is beautifully restored with meticulously maintained gardens outside and sparkling Baroque rooms. Unlike the crowded castles in France or even the UK, you can take your time exploring Venaria Reale without the crowds of tourists and really admire the beauty of the palace.
5 | Visit the Superga Church
Overlooking Torino on top of a hillside is the Superga Church (admission ~5 Euros for adults). This church was built in the 18th century by the Savoy family. The historic church has stunning architecture and the amazing city views are spectacular.
6 | Admire the Mole Antonelliana
Located in the heart of Torino, Mole Antonelliana has become a symbol of Torino. The building itself houses the National Cinema Museum and you can also tour the dome for amazing views of Torino (admission ~ 15 Euros for adults). Throughout the city, the Mole Antonelliana can be seen and admired.
7 | Eat Local Specialties
The Piedmont region that Torino is located in has so many amazing local specialties to eat. From truffles, steak tartare, or hazelnut spreads, the meals are hearty & decadent in Torino. Our favorite restaurant to visit was La Cantinella where we got a salt seared steak, steak tartare and then a hazelnut desert to top off an amazing meal. All were exquisite and one of the best meals we had in all of Italy!
8 | Experience Eatly
You may be familiar if you’ve been to Boston or New York and ran across an amazing restaurant/grocery store called Eatly. For those that are not, Eatly was born in Torino, Italy. It is an amazing (and affordable) grocery store/restaurant experience. It offers local Italian specialties and traditional favorites. Enjoy homemade gelato, fresh pizza, fish, or steak dishes. Then pick up some edible souvenirs to take home (fresh hazelnut spread or olive oil anyone?!).
9 | Visit Savoy Castles
There are over 7 Savoy castles throughout Torino and the surrounding suburbs. This includes Palazzo Reale di Torino and Venaria Reale Palace mentioned above. Depending on how much time you have, visiting more of these splendid palaces is a great way to learn more about the history of the city and the Savoy family. Each castle has its own unique architecture and history about it.
10 | Ski the Alps
Host to the 2006 Winter Olympics, Torino has some of the best skiing in the world! Located less than an hour away, the Alps are a great day trip (or multiple days) from downtown Torino!