Turin was the 101st unique city that I visited in my lifetime and I guess it can be said as the start of the new century! I do not have much memories of the 1st city that I visited, which was Shenzhen, China. Rest assured, Turin is bookmarked, saved and secured both in my heart and this upcoming post. This is one of the major city that have been lacking from my list of places I have visited in Italy. Turin or Torino has a rich culture and history. It is being known for its public squares, castles, gardens and elegant palazzi. Many of these were built between the 16th and 18th centuries. This capital city of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. It also have a strong automobile heritage where it is the birthplace of FIAT. Another huge draw would be the football club Juventus. It is fated that I visited Turin this time around since it is right on the way between my journey from Paris to Milan. Check out my stay in Turin.
I got in via the TGV Lyria train from Paris, arriving at Porta Susa, the newer highspeed train station at the west of the city. From there it is a short metro ride to my hotel in the Lingotto area. The metro which is super efficient and fast connect to both main train stations in the city, Porta Susa and Porta Nuova. Built fairly recent after the 2006 winter olympics,the metro is super useful for tourists and there is only one line so that is simple enough. It covers most of the city centre and main areas that a tourists will probably visit. Tickets cost 1.70 euros each way and you can purchase them at all stations. There are some day passes and longer passes available but single tickets are still most cost friendly for me given that I only take 2 journeys each day. The metro is clean and efficient, journeys are quick and it takes less than 10 mins for me to travel from Lingotto to Porta Nuova.
I GOT MY FIRST EVER SNOW EXPERIENCE IN TURIN! Woohoo! Yes! After countless trips and 100th cities later, I finally got my first every snow! It is as magical and as unbelievable as it is, no one will believe I have never seen snow before this day. I was super excited when I woke up to this view on that day and everything was white outside!
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Here is me having some fun in the snow and it certainly isn’t easy to do so travelling out given how underequipped I am. I can’t even remember how many times I have come close to slipping down.
While very troublesome to travel and in fact head out on a snowy day where it is dirty, slippery and wet, I am happy to relish in the experience. Pity those shoes and socks of mine though. It is an amazing time. Check out these steps! Seeing The World In Steps huh! HAHA.
One of the main thing that you have to do when you are in the city centre is to check out the portici. These are sheltered walkways that extends from the sides of the buildings. They are very classical and pretty. The best way to do so is to arrive at Porta Nuova, then walk towards the city centre by Via Roma. This is also the main shopping district area in the city and you can find all sorts of shops here. The boutiques stretches all the way to Piazza San Carlo.
Piazza San Carlo is a must see in Turin. This is the city main plaza and it is packed with all sorts of 17th century baroque statues and buildings. It is very impressive and in the middle you can find the 1838 Equestrian monument of Emmanuel Philibert by Carlo Marochetti. During certain festive season or events, you can also find this place being the venue for concerts and live screening.
The area around the Royal Palace and Madama Palace is a great place to check out as well. It was grand and a major intersection in the city. Great place for some pictures.
You can never miss out a stroll by River Po. On my second full day in Turin, I was blessed with awesome weather and the sun was out. Check out how lovely and blue the sky is. It is the perfect weather. With the sun out, cooling weather and you can even see the leftover snow from yesterday. I had a lovely, aimlessly stroll by the river and snap countless amount of pictures. It is so funny to see the cars with a snow top leftover from yesterday.
As shared previously in my hotel review, you should check out the Lingotto Complex and Pinacoteca Agnelli Gallery in the south of the city center. It is extremely interesting. This place can be said as the birthplace of FIAT and have a huge history on it’s automobile. the Lingotto shopping centre is converted from the old FIAT factory and you even have a chance to check out the test track on the rooftop from the Pinacoteca Agnelli Gallery.
It is a rather interesting place and they have a good collections. For the non-artistic souls like me, the highlight will be at level 4. You can find the historical rooftop test track and the views from this area are superb. Awesome views of the alps nearby and a good tip would be coming here during sunset.
I had the best food and went all out when I was in Turin! I am a huge fan of Italian Cuisine and the gastronomy scene in Turin certainly doesn’t disappoints. I have never had a bad meal while in town and everything was fantastic and well priced. A full multi-course meal and wine is all I am looking forward to every lunch and dinner. Squisito! Any fan of Italian cuisine will be delighted with Eataly! This refreshing concept is like a kids playground but only for adults and come stock with all sorts of Italian good that you want, pasta, salami, wine. Everything is authentic and brought from each and every local producer throughout the country. It is like a farmers market but for the entire Italy! Check out how amazing this place is. I wish that I have a kitchen here and could buy everything home. Eataly concept is my kind of thing. You can find them in the Lingotto district. This is also the first every Eataly store in the entire world. They are like fancy indoors Italian markets with restaurant stalls serving up authentic Italian cuisine using the best local produce.
I first check out the Pizza & Cucina store which is the more famous one there. It gets absolutely packed. Menus are available in both Italian and English. You can check them out.
Upon the staff recommendation, I started the meal with fried polenta with gorgonzola cheese. It was really tasty and I love the texture of the polenta and the creamy cheese. All washed down with a glass of Barolo wine from the Piemonte region.
Then again I got the Diavola Pizza upon his recommendation. I have been craving for some Italian sausages and although they didn’t have my favourite calabrese, the salty and spicy salami was exactly all I need after a day of travelling. It is so good that I wipe off the entire pizza. It is as good as the one I had in Naples, perfect crust and a super thin center.
What’s a true Italian meal without some desserts and what’s more classic than a tiramisu. This is so good and I am still craving for it while writing. The creamy combination of the eggs and the marscapone cheese. Yums. As you can see from the menu, the prices is really fair!
The food was so good that I returned on my last night in Turin to try out another of their stall, the Le Cucine Del Mercato, this place have a greater focus on meat and fish dishes. Besides what is on the menu, you can also get any fresh produce from the market itself and they can prep it for you for a slight upcharge.
I had a side of the La Patata Croccante which was heavenly. Those fried potatoes with rosemary and lemon salt. Yummy!
I ordered the roasted chicken breast and had it with a glass of Aperol Spritz, one of my favourite all time Italian drink. The chicken was super tender and juicy. The portion was huge as well and I could barely finish it. No desserts this time around as I was stuffed.
Piola da Cianci is another highly recommended Piedmontese Restaurant and trattoria in the heart of the city. It is absolutely crowded and despite having to wait in the cold and rainy snowy weather, the locals seems to be up for it. It is located just off the royal palace area. Most of the seating is in the terrace and outdoor area but thankfully it is sheltered. I am glad that I waited for a table because the food is really good here and affordable. They have a simple menu with first courses (Pasta), second courses and desserts. As you can see from the menu the prices are absolutely affordable. Dishes cost around 5 – 6 Euros! I got the pasta with ragu which was very good. It came piping hot and full of ingredients. The pasta is really fresh and delicious.
I then got a meat dish which was served with some potatoes. It was a good dish and I love the creamy peppers sauce but it seems to be lacking a little in comparison to the pasta. The whole meal cost less than 20 euros with half a liter of wine.
Another great recommendation I would like to share would be Poormanger! This is absolutely the bomb! I have never heard of this place or found it in any travel guide but simply chance upon it being packed with crowd and a snacking queue while walking around the city. I had at first wanted to give it a skip but went back on the next day while feeling peckish. I got no idea why it is called the Poormanger but this stall actually started in Turin and have a focus on baked potatoes. They use jacket potatoes and flavour it with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. I love their amazing creations! I ordered the carbonara one. It is a play on the pasta dish and what you get is a amazing fluffy potatoes that is packed with egg, pecorino, guanciale and black pepper.
When in Italy, you also certainly cannot miss out on a local espresso bar or cafe and Ghigo is one of the best one in town. It is super local and authentic. Grab one of the cannoli and a cappuccino and savour your day away under the sun.
Turin marks Seeing The World In Steps 101st unique city in the world. I am sure as you can see from my trip report there is an extra focus on food this time around. In fact, I had the best meals out of my entire trip in Turin and especially Italy. Spain was a close second. I really enjoyed the city and would definitely recommend everyone to head here. It is often overlooked as tourists flock over to Milan but in fact, this is only 1hr away via train. So do head to Torino, either for a day trip or you can in fact easily do a 2 – 3 days stay over here. Seeing The World In Steps marks his virgin snow experience in Turin on 8 December 2021.