My personal itinerary for Turin and surroundings, includes top things to visit, restaurant and food specialties mentions ,as well as, accommodations reviews and tips for an unforgettable visit.
I have always wanted to visit Piedmont region, especially its Capital city – Turin. My trip to Turin took place in November, which I loved because autumn is the perfect month to experience this part of northern Italy, enjoying its beautiful colors and vibrant atmophere.
This itinerary includes a 1 day excursion to Langhe region, a hilly paradise for wine & food lovers at just 1 hour driving from Turin.
This part of Piedmont really deserves a visit or, even better, a complete multi-days trip because of its reach landscape and for the several great experience you can enjoy in it. However, if you only have a weekend at your disposal and prefer to focus more on the city of Turin, then you could switch the day at Langhe with a day visit to Venaria Reale sabaudian Reggia or, alternatively, to Superga hill and its beautiful Basilica.
Turin is very popular during the weekend, that is why I strongly suggest you to book your accommodation, museums tickets and restaurants well in advance!
DAY 1 : Climb Mole Antonelliana’s Dome and eat Vitello Tonnato
My first day starts with an energetic breakfast at our lovely B&B located in a very elegant borough of the town, owned by a nice lady that will certainly welcome and help you during your visit to Turin.
Mole Antonelliana is the top must see in Turin and it hosts the “Museo Nazionale del Cinema”, a very exciting journey through the evolution of the seventh art from its origins to nowadays.
You are strongly invited to pre-book your entrance tickets well in advance via the museum website where you can buy tickets for the museum guided visit, the panoramic elevator or for a guided tour on foot up to the Dome (only during weekends)!
We decided to explore this massive monument joining the guided climb along the dome’s cavity up to the panoramic terrace, from which you can really see the whole town and beyond!
It’s a very exciting way to know more about Mole Antonelliana, it is so much fun even if the climb itself sometimes can be slightly challenging due to the oblique corridors and stairs you have to walk in, which is why I do not recommend this tour to those of you suffering for vertigo or claustrophobia!
Afterwards, you can visit the Museo del Cinema which is a very impressive and a well thought out attraction, definitely a great experience also for families with children.
After lunch (we had a quick focaccia in one of the bakeries next to Mole Antonelliana), you could spend the afternoon walking in the city centre, discovering the elegant avenues and squares of this city which used to be the the First Italian Capital!
As you can see in the itinerary map above, after visiting Mole Antonelliana, you can walk along Via Po and reach Piazza Vittorio Veneto, which is the biggest arcaded Square of Europe! Enjoy a cafè in one of the many tables outside, it is a very relaxing moment as long as the sun is out!
Walking along the streets of Turin, you will suddenly notice that the city is characterized by a very regular urban structure: straight roads, squared boroughs, wide rectangular squares, which makes Turin as one of the most elegant cities in Italy as well as reminding its royal origins.
Head downhill towards the River Po, enjoy the view and cross the bridge to Chiesa Gran Madre di Dio, just opposite Piazza Vittorio. If you don’t feel too tired, climb up Monte dei Cappuccini, where you can find Chiesa di Santa Maria al Monte: this is one of the top must see places of Turin because of the breathtaking panorama of the town.
The centre of Turin is also famous for its fascinating many arcades – apparently there are entire itineraries you can follow under the arcades which had been planned for the royal family to be able to walk in the city during rainy days without getting wet! Between streets and arcades, there are several elegant galleries which are part of the city highlights you should not miss, such us Galleria Subalpina or Galleria San Federico.
After all the sightseeying, by then you will be quite hungry, so let’s taste some great food specialties of Turin! We ate at Fassoneria Torino San Massimo, very close from Mole Antonelliana and Museo Egizio, where you can try the famous Fassona meat, which is only produced in Piedmont.
Some of the best typical meals you can have in Piedmont are “Vitello Tonnato” (veal with tuna sauce), “insalata russa” (“Olivier Salad”), and for dessert, you should not miss the “Bonet”, a chocolate pudding with Amaretti biscuits…delicious!
DAY 2: Drive to Langhe, enjoy the season’s colours over the wineyards, drink a glass of Barolo
The Area of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero, is considered as the green lung of Piedmont, for its stunning landscape, top quality food, wine excellence and for the historical beauty of its little villages.
Given that you would need to spend at least a whole weekend in this region to really get close the magic atmosphere enclosed; even a day trip from Turin is a lovely way to take a break from the city’s frenetic pace and enjoy nature and relax.
There are so many tiny hamlets scattered among the wineyards hills of this UNESCO region! Each of them offers great landscapes, amazing gourmet restaurants and popular wineries which organize daily visits and tastings of their worldwide famous wines, such us Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco etc…
At no more than 1 hour driving from Turin there is a lovely village on top of a hill, called Neive, surrounded by vineyards and huzelnuts. By the way, we were lucky enough to visit Langhe during autumn and see the marvellous yellow and red colours of the foliage…a stunning view!
This tiny hamlet will fascinate you for its narrow streets, fortified houses, cozy wine and local products shops, beautiful villas with garderns…
Don’t you miss a visit to the renewed Clock Tower to enjoy an amazing view over Langhe! The tourist point arranges guided visits of Neive every hour (price 5€).
There are many gourmet restaurants in Langhe where you can experience fine food and the region’s excellences. We had lunch in La Morra at Osteria More e Macine, where we could try the tipical “agnolotti del plin” (fresh stuffed pasta), “tajarin” (small egg noodles similar to “tagliatelle”) and great Nebbiolo d’Alba red wine…
DAY 3: Visit Museo Egizio and sip a Bicerin at one of Turin’s historic cafes
Today’s itinerary starts with a very relaxing and pleasant walk at Parco del Valentino, the most famous park of Turin where many locals go for jogging, practise outdoor sports or just walk their dogs. This park lays along the river Po and houses a very peculiar Medieval borough, actually called Borgo Medievale. This little borough inside the park was built in 1884 during the General Italian Exhibition for the purpose of showing how a medieval village was back in the 15th century. The Borgo had so much success that it remained there even after the end of the event.
Enjoy walking inside its streets and arcades, snoop among the various shops of antique prints and souvenirs of all kinds and breath the medieval atmophere around.
Next to the park you can visit Castello del Valentino, then walking along Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, reach Via Roma, the n. 1 shopping street in Turin, enjoying the most famous brands windows under its elengat arcades. You will end up in the beautiful Piazza San Carlo, next to the worldwide famous Museo Egizio.
This massive museum housed in a baroque building is the oldest museum of Egyptian antiquities in the world, since 1824. Bear in mind that the visit takes roughly 3 hours and my recommendation is to buy your tickets online well in advance (13€ price).
This visit will burn your energies a lot, that’s why this could be the perfect moment to buy some Gianduiotto or Cremino chocolate, one of the food masterpieces of this town. You can easily find them at each cafè or Patisserie in Turin, however watch out for the prices, sometimes they can get ridiculously high!
Continue your walk within Turin’s highlights, by reaching Piazza Castello, the heart of the city centre, hosting precious buildings such us Palazzo Madama, the Royal Palace (with the beautiful Royal Gardens) and Regio Theatre. Turning left into a tunnel you will find yourself in the Cathedral, Duomo di S.Giovanni Battista where the Holy Shroud is kept (no visit possible).
If you like street food or food fairs, there is an alternative place to try in Turin for your lunch stop: this is Mercato di Porta Palazzo, Turin’s central Market. Located in Piazza della Repubblica where the open air market take place, the Mercato Centrale is a covered area inside the market building where several food shops of different taste (fried food, ramen, steakhouse, express pasta, fish meals, ice creams etc) are available for you to order a take away or have your meal in the tables around. A youthful and easygoing atmophere which definitely impressed me!
Before reaching the market you will be passing by the Porta Palatina, part of the ancient Roman Gates which are still visible in their majesty!
If you feel like having a coffee after lunch, you’d be better to change your mind and head to Piazza della Consolata, not far from the market where you would be able to drink the popular Bicerin (literally “small glass”), which apparently used to be the King’s breakfast because of its energizing formula: coffe, hot chocolate and milk cream which you must not stir! The homonymous historic cafè in the square is a very well preserved small room with very few marble tables, boiseries and mirrors, where you will feel like living back in the nineteenth century Turin, when even Cavour used come here.
If you are planning a visit to Turin and Piedmont, feel free to ask me in the comments below or get in contact for a complete trip proposal, personally tailored to your needs!