The city of the Shroud has more than religious antiquity in its favour
The first capital of contemporary Italy, and famous for its industrial might (notably car production) it’s where Italy goes to work hard and play hard. Lose yourself in its heaving maze of streets and you’ll shop, eat, drink and live well, without really having to try.
Via Roma and Via Garibaldi (which is one of Europe’s longest pedestrianised streets) are Turin’s main shopping streets, and are lined by glittering boutiques. The adjacent side streets are also worth exploring. Another of the city’s iconic shopping experiences is the sprawling, colourful market at Porta Palazzo, a Roman gate. It sells everything, from cheap shoes and clothes – both new and vintage – to household goods galore, and has an enormous colourful fruit, veg and food section. For more gastronomy, there’s the temple to Italian food, Eataly (Via Nizza 230), which is an enormous store selling local artisanal food produce from all over the country.
Food & Drink
You can dine splendidly in Turin, close to the heart of the Slow Food movement, which has its global headquarters in nearby Bra. Eat Piedmontese cuisine with a twist at places such as sophisticated local favourite Ristorante Consorzio (Via Monte di Pietà 23), or try simpler places such as traditional L'Acino (Via San Domenico 2). Turin is famous for its classic cafés too: sample aperitivi at places such as Caffè Mulassano (Piazza Castello) or chandelier-decorated Baratti & Milano (Piazza Castello). Turin is also home to the original Eataly (Via Nizza 230), a huge gastronomic department store with a selection of restaurants.
Turin is famous for its chocolate, and at this festival, renowned national and international chocolatiers and attendant chocolate lovers descend on the city to sell and sample chocolate. During this time, Piazza Vittorio Veneto in central Turin is filled with stands where all sorts of delicious chocolate concoctions may be tasted.
Festival Internazionale di Film con Tematiche Omosessuali di Torino
This five-day international gay and lesbian film festival shows original films, shorts and documentaries, both new releases and vintage pieces, all on a LGBT theme.
Turin International Book Fair
Europe’s most important book fair sees literary giants and over 300,000 visitors from all over the world descend on the city. It’s not just a trade fair, but a hot cultural ticket, with masses of readings and events.
Salone Internazionale del Gusto
Organised by Slow Food, this celebration of delicious foodstuffs takes place in even-numbered years and includes tastings, workshops, courses, lectures and chances to eat and shop.
Turin Film Festival
Italy’s second largest film festival (after Venice), was founded in 1982, with a fine array of international films, curated by film director Gianni Amelio (it was previously under the directorship of Nanni Moretti).
This buzzing city has some fabulous hotels. There’s the luxurious NH Lingotto (Via Nizza 262), designed by Renzo Piano in a former Fiat factory, which not only has a tropical Garden of Wonders and rooftop jogging track, but is connected to Turin's Lingotto Convention Centre. In the city centre, top-of-the-range hotels close to the Egyptian Museum include Golden Palace (Via Dell'Arcivescovado 18) and Principi di Piemonte (Via Gobetti 15). There are also plenty of inexpensive options, including the graceful, characterful Hotel Roma e Rocca Cavour (Piazza Carlo Felice 60) and the simple Le Petit Hotel (Via San Francesco D'Assisi 21).