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Turin isn't just home to the Italian royal family, it's also the home of Fiat, Italy's iconic car manufacturer. So it should be no surprise that, unlike some other Italian cities, Turin is a dream to get around by car, and to rent a car in Turin makes things a lot easier than trying to get around the city otherwise. It also makes it much easier to explore the stunning countryside and snow-capped Piedmontese mountains surrounding the city.

It's your choice: Where to go in Turin

Turin Airport is only 15km from the city centre and connected by a modern motorway, so it's a quick, easy 20-minute trip into the city if you organise car hire at Turin Airport in advance. There are regular cheap flights to Turin from around the UK, including direct flights to Turin from Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh and elsewhere. In terms of getting around Turin, the beautiful baroque city centre emanates in well-gridded, easy-to-navigate streets from Piazza del Castello and Piazza Maggiore. This historic area is chock full of gaudy Gothic buildings and gorgeous architectural gems like the Royal Armoury and Madama Palace. The areas around Turin's Porta Susa Station and nearby Porta Nuova subway station are always busy, but with plenty of off- and on-street parking available it's surprisingly easy to find a park right in the heart of the city

Things to do in Turin

With so many options for cultural things to do in Turin, it's difficult to choose. Shouldered by the River Po on one side and a wide, multi-lane boulevard on the other, the expansive grounds of Valentino Park boast a grand castle and medieval village, as well as a number of shady tree-lined walking paths ideal for a mid-afternoon stroll. You can visit the acclaimed Egyptian Museum of Turin, which holds the world's most significant collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts outside of Cairo. The mysterious Shroud of Turin lives at Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, which is a must-see for visitors. If you rent a car in Turin, don't miss venturing south to Lingotto, home to the old Fiat factory and National Automobile Museum, a Mecca for Italian car enthusiasts but also worth a visit for its historical importance alone.

Important info about Turin

Turin is the capital of the northern Italian region of Piedmont, wedged between the French border and the Mediterranean along the Po River Valley, a region of lush farming plains overlooked by the impressive Italian Alps (which provide a staggering backdrop to the city's baroque buildings). Turin was the home of the Italian royal family and it was the first capital of a unified Italy in the late 19th century, giving it more than its fair share of grandiose turn-of-the-century architecture. It also sits at the heart of one of Italy's most productive farming regions, so naturally it has long boasted one of the country's proudest local food cultures. Countless Piedmontese dishes reflect the rich heritage of the city, although the best illustration of the city's multi-cultural heritage is the vibrant smells and sounds surrounding Porta Palazzo Market, Europe's largest open-air market.

Weather in Turin
Facts
Country Italy
Language Italian
Currency Euro
Time-Zones CET
Country Code +39

Good to know

Compared with other parts of Italy, Turin is a dream to drive around. Roads are well-marked with traffic directions, and Turin's wide boulevards make it easy to navigate the city, while traffic congestion is comparatively rare. Its modern motorways (a mixture of private toll roads and free public highways) also mean you can easily get out of Turin and explore the surrounding area. Turin is handily placed to world-class ski resorts like Via Lattea, as well as thousands of small villages dotted around the Italian Alps, all an easy drive away. Some huge royal parks and old hunting estates also surround Turin, easy to reach if you rent a car in Turin then feel like escaping the city for a bit of nature. There are several airports near Turin, too, such as Milan Malpensa, easily reached by car within a few hours.

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What to taste in Turin

Piedmont is home to the Italian slow food movement, a set of principles that has spread all around the world. Still, the best place to taste what difference properly produced food makes is in Turin where shops around Via Roma and Porta Palazzo are stocked with cured meats, hearty wines, and rich alpine cheeses from local Piedmontese artisan producers. Simply stroll by the delis and sample a few. Alternatively, enjoy the famous aperitivo atmosphere of San Salvario district, or settle into one of the cafes and restaurants stretched along the River Po to try a prized local dish such as the unique (and ubiquitous in Turin!) tuna and veal carpaccio. If you're lucky enough to be visiting in September, the famous Turin food festival dedicated to slow food takes place every two years with the region's best producers on display.

What to bring to your friends from Turin

Turin benefits from falling behind Milan in global reputation for fashion and high-end shopping, which makes it a well-kept shopping secret for locals and visitors. Multiple big-brand flagships and boutique stores spread around the city provide world-class shopping at uninflated prices, meaning you'll have no trouble finding something special to take back home to your friends. If you're after something more gimmicky, the usual visitor-targeted souvenir stalls are concentrated around the historic city centre offering Shroud of Turin, Juventus football club, and Italian royal family paraphernalia along with other items. If it's a culinary type you're shopping for, you'll be spoilt for choice between the delicious hams, salamis, cheeses, fresh and dried pastas, artisan arborio rice, Moroccan spice mixes, delicious baked sweets, and every other kind of tasty delicacy you can imagine around Turin's many delis, markets, and speciality shops.