Turin – the pride of northern Italy and the capital of the Piedmont region. Turin is absolutely exquisite: is has a rich culture, miscellaneous architecture (rococo, baroque, gothic, art nouveau…), sports (who doesn’t know one of the most successful football clubs in Italy; Juventus?), food (the capital of Italian chocolate!), economy (home of Fiat) and ending (continuing?) with warm and welcoming locals that are always ready to help you. Or just simply to have a nice chitchat with you. Turin has it all.
Today our local Spotters will take you on a 48-hour trip around Turin and will show you some great spots that are highly appreciated among locals. Enjoy your journey!
Day 1: 09:00 – 13:00
We won’t let you go anywhere without some mouth-watering breakfast and we definitely know the right spot! You will have to head to Via Guastalla 13 where you will find Stramonio. Although the cafe opened its doors pretty recently, it has already gained great appreciation amongst the locals. Our spotter Emanuel assures you that you can get the best croissants in the neighbourhood here (are you intrigued already?) together with a jam that you can pick from the menu. Stramonio will offer you a great mixture of rock music and an eco-friendly environment. Sounds great, right? It’s a perfect place for vegetarians and vegans since the menu is all about organic food.
If you feel that croissants and jam aren’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, then we have another great option – Pasticceria Primavera. It’s an authentic cafe/shop where you can get a proper sugar rush. Sweets, cakes, croissants… Everything that you might need! Our local Emanuel says that the place is not a fancy one, but it has its own uniqueness and charm. You can buy some sweets as take-away, you know, just in case…
We hope that all your sugary wishes were fulfilled at Stramonio and Pasticceria Primavera, and now let’s have some fun in Turin! Our local Emanuel strongly recommends you visit The Elevator Mole Antonelliana. Are you afraid of heights, well this might just be the perfect opportunity to face your fears! Emanuel explains that “The elevator Mole Antonelliana” is made entirely out of glass. It brings you up to a viewing balcony at about 80m above ground, through the center of a 60m high hall.” Once at the top, you will be able to see the entire city. Oh, fun fact, this building was supposed to be a synagogue, but it was never finished…
Now, let’s check out some unusual architecture in Turin. Have you ever heard of Fetta di Polenta? You can find it at Via Giulia di Barolo 9 and you will definitely notice it, thanks to its yellow color and flatness. Fetta di Polenta (which actually means ‘slice of polenta’) was built by the same architect who designed the Mole Antonelliana. Our Spotter Emanuel says that since the locals didn’t trust the safety of the building, the architect had to live in it for a year, just to prove them wrong. Insane!
Before hitting the road to your lunch stop, you can drop by Oroboro. It’s a small and colourful shop (close to Piazza Vittorio and the river Po!), full of hidden treasures… Here you will find more or less useful stuff, from coffee cups to jewellery. The items keep changing, so every time you visit the shop, it will surprise you. It’s a perfect spot if you want to buy something unusual for your family, friends or even yourself, you deserve some Italian treats as well!
Day 1: 13:00 – 19:00
Lunchtime! Our Spotter Dario will take you to Poormanger, the so-called Potato paradise (yes, you heard us right)! Dario perfectly explains the potato-concept of this fantastic restaurant: “The colors of Poormanger change like the seasons, in June you can find their reinvented jacket potato, red as a tomato; in October instead they are going to be orange like an orange pumpkin sauce.” Poormanger doesn’t have a set menu, but one that changes according to the seasons. All dishes usually include cheese, red onions, cabbage, pumpkin, bacon and so much more!
Oh, and potatoes, of course. Dario recommends you try some nice appetizers like the salsiccia of Bra. Enjoy!
Do you want to feel the genuine cosiness and authenticity of Turin? Then let’s head to CLN Square, which is local Eleonora’s favorite spot. It is a tiny square behind Piazza San Carlo, with an impressive statue and two beautiful fountains that represent the main rivers of the city: Po and Dora. The square was built by Umberto Baglioni in 1937 and got its present name in 1945. CLN refers to the National Liberation Committee that fought against the German occupation of Italy.
Really close to CLN Square you can find MiaGola. Cat lovers, pay attention! It’s an actual cat cafe where you can grab a cup of coffee with some meowtastic company – cats! Those oh-so-lovely pets were taken from animals’ shelter and MiaGola became their new home, sweet home. So, if you are missing your beloved cat that you left at home, just drop by this cafe, here you will receive some proper consolation!
Want to get a unique and different shopping experience in Turin? Then Turineyes is the place to be. It is a concept store and atelier where your facial features are really appreciated. Why, because this atelier designs the most suitable, custom-made glasses and sunglasses. As Turineyes says on their official website: “Faces have their own traits, traits have their own measurements.” When you enter this store, you will suddenly feel this special atmosphere created by jazz music, wooden furniture, colors and shapes. If you aren’t planning to purchase anything, you still have to visit Turineyes in order to understand and feel the whole hand-made concept!
Not very far away from Turineyes you can find a super nice, old-fashioned bakery called Ordine domenica. Our local Dario absolutely loves this place! He writes that “A mother and daughter run this little bread shop where you can find sublime oven specialties: by walking down the street it is impossible not to be captured by the mouth-watering scent.” So, we are pretty sure that you will find your way to this flavorful spot on your own! All goodies are made with organic flour and natural yeast, which make all the products taste amazing!
Day 1: 19:00 – 23:00
Dinnertime! And yes, our locals don’t want to hear a word about you not being hungry. Especially when it comes to this dinner spot, Focacceria Tipica Ligure, “where you won’t be able to resist the amazing pizza smells coming from inside”, says local Antonio…
Pizza with prosciutto, pizza with stracchino and sausage, pizza with rucola and salami…. We’re telling you, it’s a match made in heaven! Focacceria Tipica Ligure makes finger lickin’ pizzas that won’t leave you apathetic, so just go and grab one! Or two…or maybe three. Like Antonio says: “Well, be aware, really: “just one” never existed. And soon you will be more than full…but really satisfied, of course.”
If you’re already full or if you were strong enough and stuck to having only one slice of pizza (impossible!), let’s head further to Baladin or the so-called house of beers. It seems a kind of rebellious spot since Italy is well known for its perfectly good wine and this house of beers is all about craft beer (of course). Baladin has quite an ambitious goal – to transform Turin into the capital of craft beer in northern Italy. Our local Dario says that “Here you can find all the products developed, from more normal pale ales and stouts, to more sophisticated ones flavored with pumpkin or caramel.” This pub also has a wide food menu, which includes pork shanks or burgers. So, a perfect opportunity to try and enjoy some real Italian beer!
Day 1: 23:00 – …
For your late night spree, our local Dario will take you to The Mad Dog. It may be a bit complicated to find this spot, because it’s hidden in via Maria Vittoria 31/E, right across from the restaurant Poormanger (remember, that potato spot you had lunch at). You should look for a black wooden door with a diamond drawing on it. When you find it, just ring the bell on the left. If you can tell the staff the password (that you can obtain weekly by answering a question on their internet site), they will let you in. The atmosphere at The Mad Dog is elegant and relaxing, so you will definitely be able to chill and enjoy the night at its best. The bartenders will make some unique drinks/cocktails that will make your night even more pleasant. Enjoy!
Day 2: 09:00 – 13:00
Morning! Let’s grab some high-quality espresso and stodgy breakfast at Pasticceria Dezzuto. This beautiful cafe was established in 1958 and is located in a cozy residential area. Since our local Marco loves this place, we will let him share his knowledge about it: “Besides fresh pastries, this beautiful bar offers a wide offer of” paste secche”, amazing “tramezzinis” (small white-bread sandwiches) and if you come around Christmas time, richly stuffed Panettones (typical sweet bread loaf).” Well, that sounds like a really, REALLY fulfilling breakfast. By the way, if you are an early bird, Pasticceria Dezzuto is perfect as it opens at 07:00 every day!
If you want to burn some calories, you can take a walk around the neighbourhood, which has some perfect art-nouveau architecture.
Not far away from Pasticceria Dezzuto, in Corso Francia 23, you can spot the House of dragons. It is a neo-gothic house that was built by architect Gottardo Gussoni in 1920. You’ll definitely notice this impressive house, decorated with dragons, obviously. It is located in Corso Francia, which happens to be the main gothic style street in the city.
Observing this beautiful piece of art (or street) probably won’t take a lot of time, so let’s head a bit further, to Museo del Carcere “Le Nuove”. It is a museum, which was established in a former prison. Built in the second half of the XIXth century, it operated as a prison for the whole century. Nowadays, Le Nuove is a museum where you can explore the cells of a former prison and hear the stories about then people who were incarcerated. It’s an unusual, but super interesting spot in Turin, worth a visit!
Day 2: 13:00 – 19:00
Hope you are ready for this special lunch treat that our Spotter Dario will take you to. The restaurant is called E’ cucina and Dario goes there every time he wants a simple, but delicious and homey meal. The main idea of this restaurant is simple and healthy dishes that are prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients. There is a special offer during lunchtime: for entree of the day, the main dish, dessert and coffee you will have to pay only € 10! How great is that? A reasonable price, super lively staff and delicious food, seems like a perfect place for your Italian lunch!
By the way, before your lunch at E’ cucina, you should definitely visit probably the best (and the biggest) market in Turin – Porta Palazzo. You will find it in the heart of the city, just a hundred metres from Piazza Castello. Here you can mostly purchase fresh food, starting with meat and fish and ending with nice bread. Even if you don’t need anything from there, it’s a spot that you MUST visit in order to feel the real spirit of the city. Pay your attention: the market closes at 2 p.m.!
You should visit this next spot right after your lunch at E’ cucina, since it’s really close to the restaurant. The spot is called Waves of wanting. It’s a piece of street art created in 2001 by the American artist Dwyer Nancy. On the wall of the building, as you can see in the picture above, there are five metallic waves with the word ‘more’ written in 5 different languages. Our local Mirko said that during the sunny days you can see the shadows of these words, falling on the wall of the building. Pure art and pure beauty!
While visiting Turin, you should also drop by Latteria Bera Bruna – the local cheese shop! If you are a huge fan of cheese then this place is absolutely a must. Local Mirko writes, “Just in the heart of the city, you will spot this tiny store, literally over-packed with any kind of cheese and delicacies: you will feel like Alice in Wonderland or the little guy walking with Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory.” If you want to taste some cheese, just ask the owners: they will gladly give you a sample!
Day 2: 19:00 – 23:00
Who says that while staying in Turin you have to enjoy only Italian food? Let’s try some Spanish! Our local Mirko suggest a nice dinner at La Revoltosa. It’s a cozy and welcoming spot where you get to try some delicious dishes inspired by Spain. Here are some of Mirko’s favorites: “don’t miss the croquetas de bacalao, superb cod fried balls, choose between plenty of Spanish cheese and hams, traditional tortillas, beers, wines (you can have Italian wines too), spirits and gins.” It seems that he knows what he is talking about! The dinner usually costs about € 15, so it’s a reasonable price to pay for fulfilling meal.
Let’s catch up for a few drinks at Arancia di Mezzanotte! It’s an elegant bar where you can have Italian style aperitivo or a few glasses of wine while sitting on the terrace and enjoying the great spirit of Turin. Usually you can hear local street musicians playing somewhere in the street and that gives the place that extra vibe… The architecture, the music, friendly staff and a few proper drinks will make your evening memorable and super relaxing. No need to rush, you have the whole night here in Turin!
Day 2: 23:00 – …
You have probably already noticed that the devil is a recurring theme in the architecture and history of Turin. You can find it as a small detail of a building, for instance, as a doorknocker, mural or statue. But there is a bar with a super devilish interior. It is called La casa del demone, which actually means ‘The house of the Devil”. Our Spotter Marko writes “I really enjoy the interior spaces, which are carefully decorated as a set that reminds of an Argento horror movie, full of paraphernalia such as skull-shaped glasses, open black sarcophagi as tables and creepy paintings.” There is almost nothing more to say! Oh, only that the variety of cocktails is extremely large! Enjoy your time at the house of the Devil!