Even though you will undoubtedly love your university and will like spending some time in your student accommodation in Turin, you’ll surely want to learn more about the city. During your time studying abroad, you’ll need to find things to do and ways to explore your temporary “home.”
Located in Via Montebello, Mole Antonelliana is a symbol of the city of Turin. It was originally built in 1863 to be a synagogue, but it was sold to the city in 1878 to make it a monument for the current king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II. It is 167 meters nigh, and you can reach the top via a lift made of glass. The building also houses the National Museum of Cinema.
The Turin Museum of Ancient Art at the Piazza Castello was also once a fortress castle, as well as the residence of two royal madams. Filippo Juvarra, the architect of the Savoy house, designed and constructed the great Baroque staircase, which is worthy of a visit in itself.
Museo Egizio only exhibits art and other cultural artifacts from ancient Egypt, made up of over 30,000 pieces. The foundation that runs the museum dates back to 1826 when the King of Sardinia bought an Egyptian collection from a French consul.
Taking up a large area of the Piazza Castello in the city center, this former 17th-century Royal Palace offers tours of the ornate interior and the beautiful exterior gardens. You can view the Appartamento di Madama Felicità, along with 26 elegant state apartments. Additionally, the former Royal Armory has one of the largest collections in all of Europe, boasting complete suits of armor.
When you want to spend a relaxing day in Corso Massimo d'Azeglio, visit the green Parco Valentino, which is also home to an entire medieval village, the Borgo Medievale, that was built for an exhibition in 1884. It’s also right on the river and close to both the historic and business areas of Turin. The 1729 Botanic Gardens and the Savoys' 15th-century Renaissance Castello del Valentino are also popular with locals and visitors alike.
Turin has the largest number of cafés per capita, and many are housed in historic buildings. Along Turin’s well-known promenade, every third or fourth business is a café, a candy shop or a pasticceria. Piazza San Carlo, especially, is home to several historic cafés.
If you have a taste for chocolate, then you’re in the right Italian city. The hazelnut and chocolate paste that eventually became Nutella also originated here. Bicerin is also another chocolatey icon of Turin, as a popular drink of aristocracy, comprised of chocolate, espresso and plenty of whipped cream.
In a park near Piazza Borgo Dora area, the Turin Eye, a large tethered balloon, rises 150 meters into the air for some of the best views in all of Turin. It’s also a great idea to see the entire city and get your bearings when you first arrive.
This Savoy hunting lodge was created by architect Juvarra, who was once a stage designer. You can quietly browse through the intricately furnished rooms, viewing paintings, expertly crafted furniture and more.
Turin has a deep history that reaches back thousands of years to when the Romans first colonized the city, which was originally called Julia Augusta Taurinorum. Be sure to see the ancient Palatine Gate with its twin towers — the original entrance to Turin. You can also see the Palazzo di Città and Casa del Senato nearby.
Turin is home to an entire week full of live performances and events in September, where you can see more than a thousand street artists. You can also attend workshops and meetings, and all of the shows are free.
Every year in May, the Turin International Book Fair draws in book lovers from all across the planet. Attendees can experience five days of meetings, debates and books sales. You can also attend workshops on classic paper books, furniture for bookshops, multimedia and much more.
Salone del Gusto, or the Showroom of Taste, is a unique event organized by Regione Piemonte and Slow Food, delving into the culture of over 121,000 farmings, forest and zoo technical businesses. This gastronomy exhibition that allows people from all over the world to explore anything and everything about food is one of Turin’s best.
This historical Carnival takes place in Ivrea every year beginning in January and ending in February or March. You can expect countless activities, with plenty of parades and special events, attracting revelers from all over Italy and beyond.
In late November, Turin commemorates its title of “the chocolate capital of Italy” with a huge celebration, featuring over 120 chocolate makers. You can indulge in free samples or buy tasty treats by the kilo, as well as enjoy workshops and participate in competitions.
Café des Arts is located just behind Via Po and Piazza Vittorio, and it is full of vibrant artwork and brightly colored walls. There’s a small stage for local artists, and there’s always free admission. They also host a happy hour for beer, as well aperitif.
Caffè Rossini is a 5-minute walk from the city center near the Vanchiglia neighborhood. Locals love the aperitif, where the food is just delicious and only 5 euros with a pint of beer — ideal for a student budget. It’s also a very popular place to watch the football games.
Dating back to the 18th century, this old café goes back to the unification of Italy and the Prime Minister’s love for bicerin still made with the same ingredients. The eclectic decor includes antique furnishings and a cozy atmosphere.
Situated in San Salvario, Turin’s Bohemian neighborhood, this bar is aptly named after the 200-year-old wine, but offering a contemporary feel. Dinner is also served, along with the aperitif, often with a vermouth-based dish or two.
Overlooking the Po river, this rather sophisticated bar with its glass partitions serves wonderfully mixed cocktails and dinner with a view of the city’s lights. In the summer months, the aperitif is also served outside, making this a popular spot for students who have stayed through summer break.