Things to do in Turin: A Little Bull with a Big Heart
Few cities remain “undiscovered” on Italy’s well-trodden path, but one gem nestled in its resplendent crown truly offers something special.
Literally translating to “little bull,” Torino provides visitors with many things to do and many reminders of Turin’s symbol wherever they go. The bull is part of the city’s identity as the nation’s first capital when Italy unified in 1867. Any visitor to Turin must walk over to the Caffè Torino in Piazza San Carlo to see the bronze bull set into the marble pavement said to bring good luck. There are other reminders of this status throughout town, too, from the palaces in Piazza Castello to the porticoed streets (column entrances) running down to the River Po.
Visitors should check out one of Turin’s many museums. My favorites include:
- Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (The Automobile Museum) near the Fiat factory
- Museo Nazionale del Cinema (The National Cinema Museum)
- Museo Egizio (The Egyptian Museum)
The Best Views of Turin
The best view of Turin arguably comes from the “Colline” on the opposite side of the River Po. Up past the church of Gran Madre di Dio runs a path to Monte dei Cappuccini. The stunning skyline with the Alps in the background is truly a view like no other.
The Piemonte region (Piedmont) is famed for its unique cuisine! The most renowned exports are Asti and Barbera wines, and of course, Nutella.
To get a real taste of what Turin has to offer, head to Porta Palazzo market during the week to pick up a bargain. I recommend purchasing either sweet Gianduiotti or cured meats; use your haggling skills to get the best rates!
With Turin closer to in proximity to Europe than to most of Italy, Turin is also a culinary gateway to the rest of the world. Where much of Italy enjoys traditional trattorias and pizzerias, Turin boasts “Burgherias,” (locally specialized “ slow fast food” burgers and fries). The menus are written in the locale dialect Piedmontese rather than Italian. Turin also plays host to the vegan fast food outlet, Coox.
The place to be on warm weekend evenings is Piazza Vittorio Veneto: choose any one of the fantastic bars who offer a great selection of cocktails and snacks to keep you going throughout the evening.
Lastly and undoubtedly a favourite dining style among locals and tourists alike is the Apericena – just invest in a cocktail, and a snack buffet of appetizers is on the house!
Turin is a small city with a lot to give; So why not stay off the tourist trail, and give it a try?