5 Fantastic Reasons To Visit Torino

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Here are my 5 fantastic reasons to visit Torino and it will wrap up our recent Italian trip. Torino was the first stop but since l did the recap of our mangiapalooza trip backward, here we are. There is a direct flight from Valencia to Torino which made things easy. In quite a few ways, Torino reminded me of my favorite Spanish city.

5 fantastic reasons to visit torino
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5 Fantastic Reasons to Visit Torino:

Both cities have roughly the same population and stunning architecture, not to mention fantastic food. l could live there too, l liked it that much. The weather in winter makes it a no-no though. It’s just too cold.

Where to stay in Torino:

5 fantastic reasons to visit Torino
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Our hotel sits right behind the building on the right. Awesome area, quiet but close to everything. The main train station is to the left of the park here, and the bus dropped us right at the spot from where l took this first photo of Torino.

We stayed in the city center, at the Loger Confort Residence, it was fabulous and made it easy to get around. You’ll find yourself walking everywhere and would be able to see most of the sites, thanks to the easy grid pattern, another thing it has in common with Valencia. You can find a hotel in Torino here.

Torino is often overlooked by tourists in favor of better-known cities such as Bologna, Florence, and Rome which is a pity because it is an awesome place. Here are our observations about Torino, which by the way used to be the capital of Italy from 1861-1865.

Museums, Art, and Palaces:

Yes, l know l lumped three in one. There are amazing museums in Torino including a huge Museo Nazionale dell’Automobiles, one of the largest in the world. The Galleria Sabauda with the art collection of the House of Savoy family, the Fiat museum, and the National Museum of Cinema are among the forty-plus ones. Here are just a few to visit.

5 fantastic reasons to visit Torino - background view of the Egyptian museum
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Palazzo Carignano on the left and some other palaces are close to the Egyptian Museum. Your head spins from how much beauty is packed into a compact space.

Egyptian Museum:

Outside of Egypt, this museum has the largest collection of artifacts, numbering over 30,000 including the mummified Ramses II. Having been to the original museum, we didn’t bother visiting, but it looks very impressive from the outside. It was founded in 1824 by ruler King Charles Felix of Sardinia and includes a school and library.

Museum of the Risorgimento:

Anyone interested in Italian history would surely love this museum that’s dedicated to Italian unification and is in a former royal palace of the House of Savoy.

Palazzo Madama:

The 13th-century icon of Torino which houses the Municipal Museum of Ancient Art displayed over four floors. artwork and was the former home of many of Italy’s historical people including the royal House of Savoy. Boy, those people knew how to live 🙂 and is also part of a World Heritage Site.

We forgot to take a picture of the palazzo because we were so focussed on finding a small porchetta place that we’d heard of. It was so, so good.

Man holding sandwich at Mollica in Torino - 5 fantastic reasons to visit torino
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The sandwiches were gigantic and l could only eat half of mine, with sun-dried tomatoes and other goodies. He soldiered on and finished his :-).

DON’T FORGET TRAVEL INSURANCE.

Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace):

 This was the residence of the old kings of Sardinia and one of several palaces scattered around the city.

Churches:

Being Italy, there are, of course, loads of churches. Some of the more famous churches include the:

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist:

Baroque architecture at its best. Supposedly, the burial cloth (shroud) of Jesus of Nazareth is located here in the Duomo but it’s rarely viewable to the public because of its fragility.

Gran Madre di Dio (Church of the Great Mother of God):

A pilgrimage must-visit for the believers is dedicated to Mary, in a beautiful setting along the Pho River.

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The basilica was gorgeous and has stunning views of the city below as well as the mountains.

The Basilica di Superga:

A church on the outskirts of Turin, Italy. It is an important landmark and you can see it pretty much from everywhere in the city below. The basilica was built in the 18th century and is done in Baroque architecture. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and has been a site of pilgrimage for centuries. It fits up to 10,000 people so quite grand.

the memorial for fallen Torino soccer team
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It seemed to me there were visitors here than the church itself, both men and women. It’s far to get to from the city but worth the trip. Thank goodness, Fede struck up a football conversation with another avid fan and she gave us a ride back down into the city, saving us an hour’s wait.


Behind the basilica is a dedication to the football team namely Torino F.C. whose plane crashed in the mountains killing the whole team. It happened on May 3rd, 1949. This is also a popular pilgrimage for football fans.

Shopping in Torino:

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Via Roma. You can shop to your heart’s content, here, and on the back streets.

If shopping is more your thing, you’ll certainly appreciate the fancy stores on Via Roma that have not just designer stores, but chain stores and more. 

Porta Palazzo Market:

An open-air market that runs daily. It’s a great place to see how the locals live. We brought back porcini mushrooms purchased from one of the vendors. You can find everything from food to clothes, even furniture.

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The building is the central market that has loads of places to eat.

Quadrilatero Romano:

Pedestrian-only shopping area. Lots of designer stores there, and rivals the ones on Via Montenapoleon in Milan.

Architecture:

It’s impossible to mention Torino and skip the architecture of the city. It’s simply breathtaking to walk around. Everything from statues to royal residences to Roman Ruins. The huge boulevards and open-air plazas are lively and we couldn’t get enough. Baroque, Neo-classical, Rococo, and Art Noveau all coexist marvelously.

5 fantastic reasons to visit Torino
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Food in Torino:

Our real reason for visiting. Torino is known for its hearty, rustic cuisine. The most common components include beef, lamb, and truffles. The local specialties include tagliatelle al ragu and polenta concia. Here are some things that Torino is famous for.


Bicerin:

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Bicerin in Torino. Delicious

A chocolate and coffee drink that originated in Turin is made with chocolate, coffee, and milk, and is served in a small cup. The drink has a thick, creamy texture and a strong coffee flavor. You can mix it all together, or sip a layer at a time, and we had plenty of chances to do it both ways.

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Porcini Mushrooms:

These mushrooms are a type of mushroom that is native to Italy. The real name is Boletus Edulis mushrooms in case you’re interested. Porcini mushrooms have a strong flavor and are meaty in texture. A lot of dishes have this and we bought some back because they were cheaper than here.

truffle oil and black sauce truffle bottle and jar in torino
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We’ve barely made a dent in what we brought back.


Truffles:

Truffles are also popular in Torino and can be found in a lot of dishes at restaurants. The Piedmont region grows an abundance of them and they are believed to be the best of the best. The fact that they package them in 100ml sizes too meant we were able to bring some back home with us to savor at will.


Giandutti (Giandujotto):

Another famous Torino must-try. Giandujotti is a chocolate that originated in Turin. It’s made with Piedmont-grown hazelnuts and dark chocolate. It was created at the beginning of the 1800s by a local chocolatier.

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An old fashion art deco coffee and tea house. You can see the giandutti in the window.

Small batches are still produced using the original recipe of the chocolatier named Michele Prochet. You can find them all over the city, and you know we brought some back too. They are delicious, but beware that there are also knock-offs. Even though they still taste great, my tastebuds could detect the difference.

Pasta:

How could l forget? We had as much as we could.

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I can tell you nothing is better than lard and wine :-). We were only pissed that we discovered this particular place on our last night. We shall return!

So, there you have it, just 5 reasons to visit Torino. What a beautiful place. We enjoyed our five days there and look forward to a revisit. It also makes a perfect place to get to other cities thanks to the wonderful rail line. We went from there to Parma with ease, and then on to Modena and Bologna to round out our mangiapallooza tour.

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Orecchiette with cime di rapa
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Everything was good. Butter and sage ravioli. Sea urchin and bottarga bruschetta.
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Spaghetti with clams and bottarga (fish eggs dried and grated.)
margarita pizza
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You know he has to have his plain pizza no matter where we visit.

Have you been to Torino? Did you enjoy it? If not, is it on your list, or will you stick to the usual suspects like Venice?

6 thoughts on “5 Fantastic Reasons To Visit Torino”

    • Hi Kris, hope you’re well! Ooh, I think a side trip to Torino is definitely called for. It is so worth it. I dare say l liked it better than Milan🥴

      Reply
  1. Torino is definitely a nice place. It’s clear that it has a lot to offer visitors, and your post highlighted some unique features that I wasn’t aware of before (not that I knew much about it, if I am to be honest ha!).

    And, of course… there’s also the food, which is something I always look forward too in your updates. That sandwich looked really good and I’m sure I would’ve gone though all the “suffering” of finishing it too 🙂

    Reply
    • Haha! I always think of you when l upload pictures of food! Yep! I can picture you suffering right alongside Fede in finishing that humongous sandwich. You know for me to fold it and put it in my handmade leather bag, it had to be good! 🙂

      Torino is absolutely special and l look forward to spending more time there. We only scratched the surface of that whole region. Yep… must go back!

      Reply
  2. When I get back to Italy – and more time in the northern parts – I’m going to Torino just for the Bicerin! Coffee always wins with us… Lovely write up!

    Reply
    • Haha! It’s definitely worth a trip for the Bicerin if you love coffee that much. For me, it was the Lard Foccacia :-). Best I’ve ever had. We really want to revisit this city. Thanks for reading.

      Reply

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