A foodie wonderland fit for kings

Pack your elasticated-waist trousers – this foodie’s paradise makes it impossible to resist just… one... more... bite. The original home of the slow-food movement, on Turin holidays you’ll find elegant, upscale restaurants, some of which have been serving since the 18th century.

Piedmontese cuisine is the order of the day – expect multiple courses of roast meats, polenta, risotto, cheese and truffles – and, of course, pasta. Then there’s the Porta Palazzo, Europe’s largest open-air market, and the numerous cafés serving the famous Turinese chocolatey ‘bicerin’ drink. Chocoholics will be in heaven – the city is said to be the birthplace of the chocolate bar, and chocolatiers have whipped up their sweet creations here for centuries.

Historical and opulent, holidays to Turin are always romantic. There are still ruins and an amphitheatre from the time of its Roman origins, but the ancient city is overlaid by Baroque architecture and ornate flourishes, due to Turin’s former position as the Savoy Kings’ home. In wet and snowy weather, the miles of covered porticos and arcades mean you can shop and stroll in relative comfort, just as the historic royals did. Turin is an excellent shopping, or browsing, city – walk the wide, cobbled avenues to huge piazzas decorated with statues. Around the Roman Quarter, raid cheese, meat and wine shops for souvenirs – and take a bit of the city home with you.

All resorts in Turin

Three tips for a top trip

Stay on track

Don’t take a taxi from the airport – the train is the best way into the city centre, taking a mere 19 minutes and costing just a few euros.

Enter chocolate heaven

Turin’s delicious traditional drink, ‘bicerin’, will power you through sightseeing. Made of rich hot chocolate, espresso and whipped cream, you’ll be looking up the recipe when you get home.

Eat for free

On a budget? Head into a bar around ‘aperitivo’ time, and your drink price will include unlimited food – usually a buffet of meat, cheese, pizza and salad, sometimes epic risottos and roasts.

Best attractions to see in Turin

The Turin Shroud

The Shroud, which some claim is an imprint of Christ’s face, is rarely on public display, but the Museum of the Shroud has an excellent copy on show.

Gran Madre steps

Film fans will recognise Turin as the location for 1969’s ‘The Italian Job’. The gang drove their Minis down the steps in front of the Gran Madre di Dio church.

Porta Palatina

Probably the world’s best-preserved Roman gate, this impressive structure, built in the first century, marks the edge of the old town, and reveals Turin’s grand and ancient origins.

Your Turin questions, answered

Turin has become veggie-friendly, and boasts vegan restaurants, vegan gelato and plenty of veggie menu items. You’ll be eating lots of pasta and pizza – this is Italy, after all.
Northern Italians take their clubbing seriously. There’s a big dance-music scene, with a variety of clubs. In November, the Club to Club festival sees electro acts playing across the city.
The months of March, April, and May are often recommended for holidays in Turin. You can enjoy mild, pleasant weather and lots of cultural events without the tourist crowds. During the summer months, the city can be busy so you should aim to book hotels and attraction tickets in advance. Turin doesn’t get as hot as some Mediterranean areas and there is little rainfall, so you can still comfortably explore the city. Winters are very cold, usually bringing snowfall once a year.
Catch the tram to the Basilica di Superga to marvel at a panoramic cityscape, or ascend the tower at the National Cinema Museum for far-reaching views.
Turin is famous for its architecture. There are numerous ornate renaissance and baroque buildings. It also has a cultural scene that’s the envy of major European cities, with festivals, operas, and live music shows throughout the year. Turin is also a popular destination for football fans, with Juventus FC and Torino FC playing at home here. This is also where chocolate was first made into bars. The city is the source of Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and many other famous chocolate products.
If you’re visiting Turin for a short city break, then Centro Storico, the historic centre, is a good choice. It’s a very walkable neighbourhood with many of the biggest tourist attractions nearby. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants, so you can fit as much as possible into a short stay. If you want to experience an alternative side of Turin, you could try the San Salvario area next to the River Po. Popular with students, it is full of hip coffee shops and wine bars and has an excellent live music scene.
Turin produces a lot of delicious foods that are exported around the world including chocolate, cheese, and truffles. The city is full of chocolate shops that serve bicerin, a rich chocolate drink, and create gianduiotto, chocolate with hazelnuts. Piedmont region cheeses like gorgonzola and toma are often made around Turin and, in the mountains, truffle hunters search for white truffles, which can be used to flavour oil or butter, or shaved over pasta.
Italians tend to be very welcoming to children and Turin is a good destination to visit with kids. There are parks and large outdoor squares where they can get some exercise, and they’ll love the huge historic buildings and museums. If your kids are football fans, take them on a tour of Juventus Stadium or see if you can get tickets for a match. While Turin has lots of upmarket restaurants that are more suitable for adults, there are also plenty of relaxed, family-friendly eateries where children can fill up on pasta and gelato.
Turin has several world-class ski resorts close by, and the city was host to the Winter Olympics in 2006. The high altitude means there’s usually pretty reliable snow throughout the season, which runs from around November to as late as May. The long season combined with the wide choice of resorts means that the Italian Alps are often much less crowded than most European ski areas, and most ability levels are well catered for.