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One Day in Turin

Destination(s): Turin

Turin is a great place to walk, planned by the Romans on a grid pattern, the centre of the city is easy to negotiate and you hardly need to use a map to find your way around. There are some 18 km of arcades and porticoes, built by the Royal House of Savoy in the 18th century for its family and courtiers, which are cool in summer and protect you from the rain, snow and wind in the winter.

Start your day at the Mole Antonelliana at opening time (9:00 closed Mondays). Go to the top if it is a clear day, otherwise skip the ride up and enjoy the Cinema Museum inside. Leaving the 'Mole' turn left down Via Montebello across Via Giuseppe Verdi to Via Po. Turn right and wander through the porticoes and past the many book sellers to Piazza Castello the heart of Turin. Admire the The Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emmanuele I, commissioned architect Ascanio Vitozzi to design this piazza at the end of the 16th century. At its centre is Palazzo Madama, surrounding it are the Palazzo Reale, the Armeria Reale, the Prefettura, the Teatro Regio, as well as porticoes, café's and shops. Take the chance to have a coffee or hot chocolate at one of Turin's oldest café's on the southern side of the square at either "Caffè Mulassano" (No. 15) or "Caffè Baratti & Milano" (No.29) and watch the Torinese chat and sip their beloved hot drinks.

After a short break enter the Galleria Subalpina (Baratti & Milano is at one end) and enjoy the classic shops and architecture of this unique building. Built in 1873 and visited by Mark Twain in 1878, this galleria connects Piazza Castello with Piazza Carlo Alberto where at the centre stands a monument to Carlo Alberto. Turning left out of the galleria, go around the corner to Number 6, Via Carlo Alberto. There is a plaque on the wall of the house commemorating the stay of the 19th century German philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche who rented a room on the fourth floor.

Returning to Piazza Carlo Alberto, at the centre stands a monument to Carlo Alberto and the square is flanked by the Palazzo Carignano, housing the Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano (Museum of the Risorgiment) and the Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria (the National University Library) this square leads to Via Roma, Turin's main shopping street, take either Via Cesare Battisti or Via Principe Amedeo. Turn left and stroll along Via Roma, this is Turin's most elegant street, lined with chic shops and some of the biggest names in Italian fashion. Please note that like many shops in Turin, some on Via Roma may close between 12:30 and 15:00, whilst some of the smaller ones do not open on Sundays or Monday mornings.

After a few minutes, Via Roma opens up into Piazza San Carlo, formerly named Piazza Reale where rice and wheat markets were held, today it is known as Turin's 'drawing room'. Home to the 'Caval 'd Brons', a bronze statue of Emanuele Filiberto in the centre and the churches of San Carlo and Santa Cristina on the south side. For lunch there are several options, including two more of Turin's classic café's, " Caffè Torino" (No. 204) and "Caffè San Carlo" (No. 156). After relaxing and eating, enjoy the Piazza, and don't forget to stand on the bull's most treasured possessions outside Caffè Torino, its meant to bring you luck!, before making your way slowly back towards the river and the "Murazzi".

Head out of Piazza San Carlo via the northern end, where you came in, take Via Maria Vittoria to the crossing with Via Accademia delle Scienze. Turn left and more or less immeadiately on your left is the Museo Egizio, the Egyptian Museum of Turin, second in the world after the Cairo Museum and dedicated solely to Egyptian art and culture. The museum is open at 08:30 in winter and 09:30 in summer and closes at 19:30 in winter and 20:30 in summer. It is also closed on

Mondays. Continue along Via Accademia delle Scienze, across Piazza Carignano, to Piazza Castello. Turn right and follow the square around to Via Po, walking down the other side of the street that you came up this morning! At number 8, stop for an ice cream at possibly Turin's most famous gelataria, "Caffè Fiorio", established in 1780.

Afterwards continue down Via Po to the 360 metres long and 111 metres wide Piazza Vittorio Veneto, one of Turin's largest squares. You will see the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele (bridge) and across the river the churches of Gran Madre di Dio and Santa Maria del Monte in the distance. Meander around the Piazza and have dinner at any one of the nice nearby restaurants. For meat, meat, meat and no pasta, try "Macelleria" (Via Bava, 2) or for typically Italian try "Ristorante A Tavola" (Via Eusebio Bava, 1b). There is normally quite a bit of activity around this area by the bridge, where you get a good view along the river and of the hills opposite. End your day down by the river at the "Murazzi" (Via Murazzi del Po) where once boatsheds, have morphed into an informal mix of bars, pubs and live music. Try "Alcatraz", or "Pier". On summer nights the bands perform live music here until very, very late. read more about One Day in Turin

Mole Antonelliana

Mole Antonelliana

  • Via Montebello 20
  • tel:+39 ( 0) 11 53 51 81
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10124

This iconic building is in many ways Turin's Eiffel Tower, the symbol of Turin. A 167.5 metre landmark, originally planned as a synagogue by Alessandro Antonelli, it was the highest brick building in the world at the time of its completion and remains the tallest building in Turin. Damaged by a storm in 1953, the spire was rebuilt, following its collapse, in metal with a stone overlay. Today it is home to Italy's National Cinema Museum.




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Museo del Cinema

Museo del Cinema

  • Via Montebello 20
  • tel:+39 011 813 8560
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10124
Palazzo Madama

Palazzo Madama

  • Piazza Castello
  • tel:+39 011 443 3501
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10122
Palazzo Reale e Giardini Reali

Palazzo Reale e Giardini Reali

  • Piazza Castello
  • tel: 0039 (0) 11 43 61 455
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10121
Caffè Mulassano

Caffè Mulassano

  • Piazza Castello, 15
  • tel:+39 (0) 11 54 79 90
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10123

In many ways Caffé Mulassano is the most discreet of Turin's cafés, its dark colours and hues are reminiscent of a gentlemen's club, wood, leather and purple marble are the watchwords here. White jacketed baristi somehow create their legendary drinks behind a minute counter and serve the handful of tables in this unique café. Rated among Gambero Rosso's top 18 cafés in Italy (Turin has three more), Caffé Mulassano was inaugurated in 1907 and painstakingly restored in 1978. One of many bars in Italy to claim the invention of the tramezzino (Italian sandwich), some say their espresso is the best in the city, aromatic, creamy and strong with a flavour of pepper and spices, it is in many ways the perfect place for a coffee or hot chocolate. Frequented by Royalty and the Arts, Benedetto Gigli, the opera singer, used to pop in during rehearsals at the nearby Teatro Regio, today pre-theatre cocktails are often taken here by a new generation of theatre goers, €5 for a drink taken at the bar, €7 if you sit at one of the tables.
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Caffè Baratti & Milano

Caffè Baratti & Milano

  • Piazza Castello, 29
  • tel:+39 011 561 3060
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10123

Official confectioner to the Savoy Royal Household, this grand café sits on the corner of the Galleria Subalpina and Piazza Castello opposite the Royal Palace. Opened in 1858 by Ferdinando Baratti and Edoardo Milano, the café moved to its present site in 1875 and soon became the meeting place of Turin's great and good. Today the yellow marble façade and the classically dressed windows offer an insight into what lies inside, crystal chandeliers, wooden paneling, gilted mirrors and stuccoed ceilings. Its a great place to watch elegant Torinese devour their espresso's and the delicious house pastries. The house speciality however is the hot chocolate, a creamy, dense and velvety concoction, now available as a ready made mix to drink at home, but this is not a good idea. Sip your hot chocolate here, inside Baratti & Milano, and absorb the elegance, history and aromas of this Turin Institution. On your way don't forget to grab a bag of sweets from the mouth watering selection, sugar coated almonds, hazlenut pralines and their signature Cremino and Gianduiotti Chocolates.
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Galleria Subalpina

Galleria Subalpina

  • Piazza Castello
  • Turin, 10123
Piazza San Carlo

Piazza San Carlo

  • Piazza San Carlo
  • Turin, 10121

One of Italy's most stunning and beautiful squares, known locally as Turin's drawing room. Built in the mid 17th century and designed by Carlo di Castellamonte, perfectly laid out, porticoed and elegantly proportioned. At the square's southern end lie two churches, on the left, Santa Cristina, on the right, San Carlo, whilst in the centre stands a statue of Emmanuel Filbert, sculpted by Carlo Marocchetti in 1838, known as "El Caval 'd Brons" (The Bronze Horse). The square bisects Via Roma and makes the perfect place to stop for a coffee or apertivo after all that sightseeing and shopping.






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Santa Cristina

Santa Cristina

  • Via Roma
  • Piazza San Carlo
  • tel:+39 011 53 5181 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10121
Caffè San Carlo

Caffè San Carlo

  • Piazza San Carlo, 156
  • tel:+39 (0)11 53 25 86
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10121

Caffè San Carlo is one of Turin's oldest and most famous, in many ways, it is the essence of Turin's café culture, a place where you can have an espresso or prosecco in real style. Early chroniclers called it "a palace", hardly surprising as the lavish mixture of gilded mirrors, rich plasterwork and classical art is topped with a very large helping of Murano chandelier. In 1832 it became the first café in all of Italy to use gas lighting, which enhanced the interior, a favourite of Cavour and a place where the Risorgimento patriots met. Today its the perfect place to pause, reflect and people watch, whether in the morning to see the locals 'take' their heart starting espresso and enjoy a chocolate or cream pastry, or in the evenings when they return for free stuzzichini (almost all the cafés feature these evening snacks, if you pay for a drink you can help yourself to an aladdin's cave of pizzette, frittata, roated vegetables, salads, cheese, salami, olives, bread and more!) and an aperitivo. A Torinese 'must do' since 1822. read more about Caffè San Carlo

Caffè Torino

Caffè Torino

  • Piazza San Carlo, 204
  • tel:+39 (0) 11 54 51 18
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10121

One of the city's grandest cafés and most elegant meeting places, located in the beautiful Piazza San Carlo, known locally as 'Turin's drawing room'. Caffé Torino opened in 1903 and moved to its present location in the 1930's during the rebuiding of Via Roma. A favourite haunt of actors, poets and politicians, Cesare Pavese and Alcide De Gasperi were regulars, as were Brigitte Bardot and Ava Gardener. Caffé Torino is decorated with a heady mixture of cream and pistachio, glinting mirrors and sparkling chandeliers plus a belle epoque winding staircase. Famous quotations from international literary history adorn the walls and one above the bar pays homage to coffee: "dolce come l'amore, puro come un angelo, caldo come l'inferno". The atmosphere is definitely elegant but relaxed. In fair weather sitting at one of the outdoor tables, covered by 17th century porticoes, is a must. Between 18:00 and 21:00 you can snack off a fabulous selection of dishes and platters laid out along the bar for around 7 €. Don't forget to look out for the bull embedded in the pavement just outside, standing on his balls could bring you luck! read more about Caffè Torino

The Bull in Piazza San Carlo

The Bull in Piazza San Carlo

  • Piazza San Carlo
  • tel:+39 011 535 181
  • Turin, 10121
Museo Egizio

Museo Egizio

  • Via Accademia delle Scienze 6
  • Palazzo dell'Accademia delle Scienze
  • tel:+39 011 561 7776
  • Visit website
  • Turin, 10123
Caffè Fiorio

Caffè Fiorio

Established in 1780 and known as 'the ponytail café' for its patronage by aristocrats, officials and politicians of the time. Some say it was here that Italy's political future was plotted by Cavour and Garibaldi, this may be so, for it certainly was a place where people met to discuss their thoughts and air their opinions. Today the interior still maintains an elegance from a byegone era with its sumptuous interior and Caffè Fiorio serves a varety of rich fare including traditional coffees, a delicious lunch buffet and some of Turin's best homemade gelato made to a secret recipe. Don't miss the 'Gianduiotto con crema e panna', their classic gelato. read more about Caffè Fiorio

River Po

River Po

  • Via Murazzi del Po
  • tel:+39 011 535 181
  • Turin, 10123
Jam Club

Jam Club

  • Via Murazzi del Po 17
  • tel:+39 348 515 4921
  • Turin, 10100
Pier

Pier

  • Arcades 7,9,11, Murazzi del Po
  • tel:+39 (0) 11 83 25 80
  • Turin, 10123

Down on the Murazzi embankment, bedside the river Po, the Pier was one of the first bars opened in this area. Enjoy great music, excellent canapés, cool drinks in a brilliant location. Designed on an American loft theme this place is very trendy and popular among the Torinese. This is the place to have that last drink. Join the hordes and listen to some random music at around 4 in the morning.





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