Sports activities and facilities
The first Italian rowing, tennis, horse riding and gymnastics clubs were established in Turin whilst Italian skiing was born in Bardonecchia, which hosted many events during the Winter Olympics in 2006. Today you can watch and enjoy sport activities the new arenas and Olympic venues. Turin is also the birthplace of two of the most important Italian football teams: Juventus Football Club and Torino F.C.. The Turin Marathon, first held in 1991, has become a key date in the international sporting calendar.
Historical cafés and restaurants
– Al Bicherin. Piazza della Consolata, 5. Alexandre Dumas’ favourite café, it’s famous for the typical chocolate beverage mixed with coffee, hot bitter chocolate and milk cream, the “bicherin”
– Caffè San Carlo. Piazza San Carlo, 156. The first Italian café to use gaslight. At the time, it was called “a palace” because Risorgimento patriots and statesmen used to meet here. You can taste 28 different type of coffee.
– Pepino. Piazza Carignano, 8. The café is located in front of Palazzo Carignano, the seat of the first Italian parliament. It was the preferred café of the House of Savoy
– Restaurant del Cambio. Piazza Carignano, 2. Once patronized by Count Cavour, it first opened its doors in 1757. The classic Piedmont cuisine still dominates the menu
Best Convenient Addresses
– Sfashion Café. Via Cesare Battisti, 13. Turinese comic TV presenter Piero Chiambretti’s latest culinary offer. Traditional Italian menu in a colourful and happy set-up
– Pizzeria Stars & Roses. Piazza Paleocapa, 2. A new stylish place with a list of pizzas that varies from the classic to the more bizarre.. Each room is themed according to colour (red, white, silver, pink, blue and black)
– Oh!mio Bio. Via Cesare Balbo, 22a. It has a vegetarian food and drink offer completed with a small organic products shop and a relax area
– Mare Nostrum. Via Matteo Pescatore, 16. Turin’s top fish restaurant is an upmarket choice. The menu varies every day, depending on the fresh ingredients they find on the market
– Combal.Zero. Piazza Mafalda di Savoia, Rivoli. An outstanding Michelin-starred restaurant which offers a new way to think about food oriented to planning design tendency
– Carignano del Grand Hotel Sitea. Via Carlo Alberto, 35. Excellent traditional food in an elegant and historic atmosphere
The temple of opera, concerts and ballets is the Regio Theatre located in Piazza Castello. There are several theatres devoted to drama like the Carignano Theatre an 18th century structure. Other, more modern and sometimes unusual venues are: the Cavallerizza Reale, the Fonderie Limone, the Vittoria Theatre, the Astra Theatre and Lumiq Studios.
The cabaret genre finds its place at the Colosseo Theatre and the Nuovo Theatre, where the Festival Nazionale del Cabaret (National Cabaret Festival) takes place. One of the most interesting new venues is the Casa Teatro Ragazzi e Giovani (Theatre House for Children and Young People), a modern structure with a full programme of events.
Many musical seasons as well as temporary events, concerts, shows and festivals take place in Turin. MITO Settembre Musica, the Lingotto Musica concerts and those by the Unione Musicale and the RAI Symphonic Orchestra have all become regular events.
The most important concert venues include:
Lingotto Auditorium: the extremely modern structure designed by Renzo Piano offers the maximum in sound quality
the new RAI Auditorium: it hosts the season of concerts by the RAI Symphony Orchestra the Giuseppe Verdi
Conservatory: ideal setting for chamber music. The range of events and structures dedicated to pop, rock and electronic music is increasing thanks to the auditoriums and the PalaOlimpico, ideal for concerts and shows. Torino is famous for its summer events which host major Italian and international artists: Traffic Torino Free Festival
Some of the history of Italian cinema was born in Turin with the first Italian production companies, movie stars and the first colossal movies. Today the city celebrates its history with: Torino Film Festival: since 1982 it takes place in November. The 2009 edition will have the new artistic direction of Gianni Amelio.
– Museo Nazionale del Cinema: in Italy’s tallest brick building (167.50 m), the Mole Antonelliana, visitors travel through the history of the cinema with film projections, photographs, posters, film costumes and interactive film-set arrangements. In the middle of the building, the glass lift runs upward through the dome giving an exciting viewpoint of the museum and the whole city. Some interesting venues, which offer a quality schedule are:
– Cinema Massimo: remarkable programming of significant films that have shaped the history of cinema. Retrospectives, special events, debates and first screenings of original versions with subtitles or simultaneous translation.
– Studio Ritz: art house cinema down the Turinese hill, it offers films that are difficult to find somewhere else.
The heart of Turin nightlife for young people is the Murazzi (the river Po embankment beneath Piazza Vittorio) with: pubs, clubs and restaurants, dj-sets and live concerts.
– At the Valentino Park: the piers on the banks of the Po have been transformed into cafés, wine bars and fashionable clubs.
– The so-called Quadrilatero Romano (Roman Quarter): located in the heart of the old city centre, with charming old streets and piazzas it offers wineries, Moroccan cafés, tapas bars, restaurants and clubs.
– The Docks Dora: a former industrial complex built at the beginning of the 1900s today it gives shelter to artists, photographers and architects as well as shops and night spots.
In November, Turin is transformed into a dance floor thanks to the Club to Club International Festival of Electronic Music and Art, with leading djs, musicians and performers from Italy and abroad.
Museums and galleries
Some of Turin museums are unique among the Italian and international survey:
– Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum): the second Egyptian museum in the world after Cairo’s exhibits a huge heritage from the origins of Egyptian civilization to the 6th century AD.
– Castello di Rivoli – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (Rivoli Castle – Contemporary Art Museum): its permanent collection contains works by artists ranging from Long, Merz, Paolini, Pistoletto, Sol Lewitt, Vedova to the more recent trends of Airò, Cattelan and Toderi. The third floor of the building hosts important temporary exhibitions.
– GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery): founded in 1863, it was the first in Italy to promote a public collection of modern art. It is still important for the permanent exhibits as well as for temporary shows, spaces for didactic activity, the library and the photographic archives.
– Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli: thaks to this art gallery, the Avvocato’s intention was to offer “pleasure, beauty and joy” to his fellow citizens, creating a magnificent building that means something in the history of the Agnelli family and of twentieth-century architecture. The ‘casket’ designed by Renzo Piano hosts works by Tiepolo, Canaletto, Bellotto, Canova, Manet, Renoir, Matisse, Balla, Modigliani and Severini.
– MAO – Museo d’Arte Orientale (Asian Art Museum): it’s a brand new museum dedicated to the main Asian artistic and cultural traditions, divided into five sections: Southern Asia, Himalaya, Islamic World in Near and Middle East, Far East (China and Japan).
– Fondazione Merz: the Merz Foundation safeguards the collection of works by Mario Merz and gives support to study and research in contemporary art.
– Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo: it opened its Turin gallery in 2002 with the intention of introducing the latest trends in art to the great public. The space is furnished with a large exhibition area for temporary exhibits and a facilities area: bookshop, auditorium, didactic area, café and restaurant.
Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino: it’s the most important show about publishing in Italy. (May)
– Portici di carta: the longest outdoor bookstore ever made: two kilometers of book, readings, encounters with authors and publishers. (September)
– Artissima: it’s the fair that exhibits the best of international research in the field of visual arts. (November) www.artissima.it
– Luci d’Artista: evocative installations which light up the streets of Turin, creating unusual arrays of light. (From November to January)
– Salone Internazionale del Gusto: a new appointment at Lingotto with a flavour dedicated exhibition-market. (October)
– Cioccola-tò: two weeks of fun, events, tastings, shows and performing arts all about the chocolate. (March)
– Museo Sera: the usual summer appointment with the cinema and theater hosted in the beautiful courtyard of the Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin.
The baroque walk starts in the central piazza Castello (Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama) and wanders outside the city where the royal family built their country residences and hunting lodges (the Castle of Rivoli, which houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi and the renewed Reggia di Venaria). Not far away there are Palazzo Carignano and churches like San Lorenzo, the Santuario della Consolata, and the Church of San Filippo Neri. Among the Royal Residences, the highlights are the Castle of Valentino and Villa della Regina.
The Alps near Turin (Sestrière, San Sicario, Sauze d’Oulx, Clavière, Cesana, Bardonecchia and Pragelato) hosted the Olympic Winter Games 2006. Not far from Turin, you will find ski location such as Limone Piemonte (Cuneo) and Valsesia. In the Piedmontese Alps you can find unique natural oases: Gran Paradiso National Park, parks of Orsiera – Rocciavrè, Val Troncea and Gran Bosco di Salbertrand. In one hour you can also reach Valle d’Aosta and its mountains.
Turin is surrounded by different landscapes and there are many protected areas, destination of very pleasant excursions. There are various botanical gardens where to deepen one’s knowledge of the flora, both alpine and not. Among these, are the botanic garden Bruno Peyronel in Bobbio Pellice and Rea Botanic Gardens in Trana. The Piedmontese lakes: together with the Isole Borromee, Lago Maggiore is one of the most precious pearl appreciated for its residences and botanic gardens. Another natural Piedmont treasure is Lago d’Orta, with Isola di S. Giulio. You will have the opportunity to do many sports such as sailing, windsurf, riding, playing golf, trekking, mountain bike, hang-gliding and paragliding from the surrounding mountains.
Food and wine
All the squares, hills and farmhouses in Piedmont are full of unique enogastronomic tradition. The areas of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato are the home of Piedmontese cuisine and wines, where the ‘Slow Food’ itineraries have been created.
– Cherasco, Bra, Barolo, Pollenzo, Asti e Alba boast the finest wines.
– Alba is famous for its white truffles. Piedmont is famous for its cheese (Castelmagno of Cuneo valleys, Val di Lanzo cheese and Robiola of valleys near Mondovì and Saluzzo). Sweet tooth people can enjoy chocolate in all its forms: from famous Turin Gianduiotti, to Baci of Cherasco or famous Cunesi made of chocolate and rhum.
With a two hours journey from Turin you reach Liguria and its Riviera where you can enjoy the sea (there are two protected Marine Reservations: Portofino and Cinque Terre) and many water sports such as sailing, windsurf, kitesurf and diving.