Just an hour's drive from the French border, the city of Turin boats a unique feel. Most famous for being the hometown of the former royal family – Turin still has a regal atmosphere with grand boulevards and sophisticated shops and museums. The backdrop of the Italian Alps prompted architect Le Corbusier to claim that Turin was 'the city with the most beautiful natural location in the world.' Many consider Turin to be the home and de facto capital of Baroque. Many of the main attractions are Baroque, including the Mole Antonelliana and The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist - home to the famous Turin Shroud (the blanket which is claimed to have been wrapped around the body of Jesus after his crucifixion). Along with the stunning historical sites, Turin has an abundance of cafes, restaurants and cultural delights – as well as being ideally located to explore the Alps, visit nearby Lake Maggiore and pay a visit to other nearby cities including Bra and Alba.
Bra is a small, idyllic town located close to Turin and situated in the same region of north-west Italy. The town is home to Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food movement. The movement is an alternative to fast food and encourages people to grow their own food. The city is incredibly proud of its history of cuisine and the restaurants reflect this, offering a wonderful range of authentic food. If you're interested in the architecture of buildings with a religious heritage then Chiesa di Santa Chiara and Chiesa di S. Andrea Apostolo are two churches not to be missed. There are also plenty of local museums where you can explore subjects ranging from natural history to wine production.
Verbania is the largest town surrounding Lake Maggiore and has a range of activities from water sports to lakeside dining. There are plenty of opportunities to rent a boat for the day or you can join a boat trip and relax on the waters while somebody else does all the work. There is also plenty to explore on dry land, including several museums such as the Museo del Paesaggio and a range of historical buildings like the Oratorio di San Remigio.
The region is dominated by the majestic Alps which is a wonderful destination any time of the year. Many locals have a second home in one of the many villages which pepper the stunning mountain range. There are an array of opportunities and activities to partake in – and not all of then involve the slopes. Besides skiing and snowboarding, there are also several mountain walks – even in the winter at lower levels, wildlife adventures and relaxing in the small villages which are abundant in the Alpine region.
Turin is home to several world-class museums and architecture that will take your breath away. The centre is small enough to explore on foot, making exploring the major attractions a relaxing and stress-free experience. Mole Antonelliana is the landmark building of the city and was completed in 1888. You can go to the top for a few euros and visit what is considered to be one of the best cinema museums in the world. Another one of the finest museums in the region is the Egyptian Museum. It houses a fascinating collection of artefacts spanning the whole period of the Egyptian civilisation. The former royal residence of Palazzo Madama is an eclectic mix of Baroque and medieval rooms which can be explored along with a range of informative exhibits.
Cathedral of Superga
The Cathedral of Superga is located on a hill close to the city of Turin and houses the tombs of the once powerful House of Savoy. The view from the top of the hill is stunning – you can take in the whole panorama with the backdrop of the Alps in the background.
Explore the market
If you want to sample some local food, then head to Porta Palazzo market. It's just a few moments away from Piazza Castello and is a huge and diverse market – some say one of the biggest in Europe. They sell a range of things ranging from cheap clothes to local foods – there's something for everyone here.
The Rivera Delle Palme is the closest beach resort to the city of Turin and with its stunning stretch of golden sands and blue waters there is little reason to go anywhere else. Located just along the coastline from the French Rivera – its Italian counterpart exudes just as much glamour but at a fraction of the cost. The beaches can be reached in just over an hour from Turin and well serviced with a range of amenities like bars and restaurants.
If you're feeling thirsty and it's a little too early to sample some Italian wine, then the many fountains across the city offer perfectly good drinking water. The water comes from the nearby Alps meaning that it is as delicious and fresh as you could wish for. Northern Italian food is slightly different from the rest of the country and is influenced by its European neighbours. The food here also makes full use of rich and creamy sauces and they also produce some delicious soups which are frequently eaten in the winter months.
Turin is a gem nestled amid the Alps in northern Italy and is a wonderful place to visit for a memorable holiday. Booking your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays can even save you money as well as taking the stress out of your next holiday. If you don't fancy taking a trip to Turin then take a look at our other Italy destination guides.