A Guide to Exploring Turin by E-Bike
After moving to Turin a few months ago, I cannot wait to share the rich history and culture of Italy’s first capital with you. Turin is located in North West Italy just one hour west of Milano and one hour from the Langhe wine region. Turin is a vacation hot spot and it has been named the world’s best travel region in 2019 by Lonely Planet.
Turin in a Nutshell
Turin has driven the industrial development in Italy; it is said to be the “cradle of Italian liberty.” It is also home to the second-largest Egyptian museum in the world, the place where the Slow Food Movement was born, and the host of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
Turin can be easily toured, and recently, I had the opportunity to take an E-Bike tour with some friends. The local tour company, Giroola, is made up of a team of passionate explorers excited to share their local city with visiting tourists and locals alike. Giroola offers a few tour options; I recommend the Urban City Lifestyle tour with the wild nature immersion.
At the start of the tour, we met our guides in front of the DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto, which is located in the former FIAT factory redesigned by Renzo Piano. We got our e-bikes and some essential instructions on how to operate them. We were then briefed on our adventure for the day, which was a 5 hour / 50 km tour. Luckily, the e-bikes have electric engines to assist along the way!
Within only ten minutes through the Lingotto neighborhood, we reached Valentino Park. This park is a huge stretch along the Po River that opened in 1856. It is known as Italy’s first public park. From 1935 to 1955, the park hosted a FA (then F1) car racing circuit. Nowadays, it offers the perfect escape from the bustling city center with running and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, botanical gardens, and several historical sites.
We stopped at the Fountain of the Twelve Months. Our guide took us on a journey of mystery that surrounds the marble statues and the oval basin, which was unveiled during a national exposition in 1898.
On our way to the city through the park, we passed by the Medieval Castle and Village and the Baroque Valentino Castle, home to the prestigious Architecture Faculty and included in the list of UNESCO Heritage sites.
We entered the city center from Piazza Vittorio, one of the most beautiful squares in the city. The square is surrounded by the famous Turin arcades that offer 18 km of protected pathways. During hot Italian summer days, the arcades offer refreshing shade and keep your gelato from melting!
Did I say gelato? During our first break, we stopped in the central Piazza Carignano where the first Italian Parliament was settled in 1861. Now, back to gelato: definitely visit the oldest ice cream shop in Europe, the “Gelateria Pepino” established in 1929. They serve the most decadent gelato flavors that have been enjoyed for decades. We decided to have a “Pinguino,” vanilla ice cream surrounded by delicious dark chocolate.
Invigorated, we set out to conquer the peak of our tour. We rode back to the river banks after passing by the Mole Antonelliana, a majestic city symbol and home of the renowned Museum of Cinema. Next, we prepared for the uphill climb to the Basilica of Superga. Thanks to our motorized bikes, this was “as easy as pie,” even though the climb is 4.9 km long and we gained 449 meters in elevation.
Once you make it to the top, you will be awestruck with the wide views overlooking Turin and facing the Alps marking the border to France.
After enjoying the view, it was time to descend the mountain through steep, single tracks in wild trees stretching along the Turin hillside. It looked like we were in the Alps, but in just 40 minutes we were back to the city traffic.
We returned to the top of Lingotto, where we relaxed and celebrated the sunset. The roof was previously used as the FIAT test track, and it was even featured in the movie “The Italian Job.” Hotel guests have exclusive access to this piece of automotive history.
Whether you are passionate about culture or looking for an adventure, you’ll fall in love with Turin. That is a promise! It’s very easy to get around the city – especially during the summer months from May to September, riding the electric bikes is refreshing and eco-friendly. Start planning your vacation today!
Know Before You Go
- Turin is nicknamed the “Hollywood of Italy” and the “Paris of Italy” due to its rich contemporary culture.
- If you travel to the top of the National Museum of Cinema using the glass elevator, you can get a beautiful panoramic view of the entire city.
- Turin is home to one of the largest Egyptian Museums in the world.