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.
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.
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.