Turin hadn’t been on my radar much before I actually planned to go there; unlike Rome, Venice or Florence, it’s rather inconspicuous. I was going to spend a month there and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now I know it’s one of my new favourite places.
Turin is said to be one of the cultural centres of the country. It has some incredible museums on offer and I got to see them all – from the Cinema Museum to the Egyptian Museum to – my personal favourite – the Car Museum. Being the cradle of Fiat, Turin is the best place to learn more about the history behind the car, even though due to the crisis, the factory is almost entirely out of use now.
Not to say the Cinema Museum is something to skip. Located in Turin’s landmark – Mole Antonelliana – it’s an amazing place. First, head up to the top of the tower – the views are truly stunning.
Then, explore the museum and check out the restaurant downstairs – pretty amazing place for a coffee and cake.
The central part of the city is beautiful, but not in a shouting, overloaded way. Rather, it has an elegant, graceful feel to it, even when it’s busy. Gorgeous architecture, green spaces of the Valentino Park, the river; it’s all flowing.
There are buzzy squares, cobblestone streets, monuments…
Most of the locals go away for a holiday in July and August, and many shops are temporarily shut at the time. The weather in Piedmont is much better than what we call summer in Britain, yet the northerners like to head to the south for a week or two to get even more sunshine.
For a little getaway, I went up instead. Piedmont is surrounded by the Alps, with lovely skiing resorts and picturesque villages, all reachable within two hours by car. The Alps are gorgeous and for non-skiers like myself, the summer is the perfect season to visit. The landscapes are truly breath-taking and a crepe shop is never too far away.
Living in Turin I got to see it not only as a tourist, but also from the point of view of the locals, temporarily living the life of the most amazing Italian family I stayed with. And that made my experience that much more interesting and true.
Especially when I got to fly over the fields of Piedmont…
Turin might not have the grande beauty of Rome or the sun of Sicily, but it definitely has its own unique character, friendly people and delicious food.