Turin

Turin (Italian: Torino, Piedmontese: Turin), a large city of about one million inhabitants, is set in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, a one-hour drive from the French border and slightly more than that from the Mediterranean sea. It's famous for being the home of Italy's royal family. Today, Turin, with its fine, aristocratic atmosphere, old world sophisticated shops, grand boulevards and palaces, leafy parks, and several art galleries, is an increasingly popular tourist resort. The 2006 Winter Olympics, and its status recently as World Book Capital, have prompted tourists to visit this beautiful and underestimated Italian city, which has a longstanding cultural and artistic history.

Piazza Savoia's obelisk and Mole Antonelliana

Understand

Turin was the first capital of modern Italy, and was the host of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. While it's not a famous tourist destination like Florence or Rome, the setting is pleasant, with the Po River flowing through the city, the genteel hills overlooking the city and scattered with pleasant villas and surrounded by the Italian Alps off in the distance. This is why the famous architect Le Corbusier defined Turin as "the city with the most beautiful natural location in the world".

Turin is an important city of technology and industry, and the FIAT automobile company is based here. (The 'T' in the name stands for Torino; F I A T = Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which translates as: Italian Automobile (manu)Factory Turin.) It was also the birthplace to many important cultural and political movements in Italy.

Turin inhabitants are well known across Italy for their understatement and composure and the city reflects this attitude.

Many people consider Torino the European capital of Baroque: many palaces and churches were built in this style during the kingdom of the Savoia. It isn't the typical Italian city, with red and yellow buildings: is a bit more French, so much that is also called "the little Paris"; wide boulevards with white buildings make the city center more similar to Paris. Around the city, a crown of churches and castles, some up on a hilltop, some lost in a park, provide plenty of interesting views. Turin also has an aristocratic atmosphere - the centre is filled with posh 19th century cafes, regal-like arcaded mansions, debonair glittering restaurants, and grand churches.

Turin is home to the famous Shroud of Turin. More recently, it has become the home of the Slow Food Movement.

Get in

By plane

  Turin's international airport (IATA: TRN – ICAO: LIMF) is placed 15 km north of the city and is named after Italy's former President Sandro Pertini. It is located in the town of Caselle, connected to Turin city by a convenient motorway. The main carriers to reach Torino from abroad are Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways and Alitalia if flying from Rome or Naples, Italy's flagship airline, which operates flight from some European and Italian cities. Caselle is also a destination for some low fares airlines, for example Ryanair and Easyjet. The airport is connected to the city by train (to the station of Dora GTT, which is useless; arriving at the Dora GTT really is like arriving in the middle of nowhere.), bus (with a regional bus service, which is long) and taxi (€30 one way to city centre at December 2010). Private cars are in the €75 range.

The SADEM bus service runs every 30-40 minutes from the airport to Torino's Porta Susa and Porta Nuova train stations. If you buy a ticket at a ticket kiosk inside the airport terminal, it will cost €6.50. If you buy it on the bus, it's €7. If you bought the Turin + Piemonte Card, the ride is only €5. The voyage from the airport to the center of the city takes approximately 40 minutes.

The TERRAVISION bus service started in August 2013, there are stops in the city as Lingotto station and Torino Esposizioni, the one-way ticket costs 5,50 €, instead the return 9,50 €.

Turin is also reached from Malpensa airport, which may be cheaper to fly to. There is a bus service running ten times daily between the city and the airport, managed by SADEM. The ride lasts 2 hours and costs €22 (as of April 21, 2015). Tickets to/from Malpensa airport can be purchased in advance on SADEM website (English instructions available) or at several kiosks in the Malpensa arrival hall.

By train

Turin has three main railway stations,   Porta Nuova,   Porta Susa and   Lingotto FS.

Generally speaking, Porta Nuova and Porta Susa are stations dedicated to mid-range and long-range trains. Porta Susa (under renovation) serves trains to all northern regions of Italy (Milan, Venice, Aosta, and also Paris), while Porta Nuova serves especially trains to the south (Genoa, Florence, Rome, Bologna). You'd better check in advance where you need to go. Many trains also stops in both stations. All trains coming from/going to the south of Turin, depart from Porta Nuova via Lingotto FS.

All stations are managed by Trenitalia, the Italian state railways.

By car

By bus

There are many buses from Milan, milan airports, Lyon, Genoa. Check the internet

Get around

Turin Metro (Metropolitana di Torino), Limited destinations but gets you in and out of the center to a number of hotels.

By public transportation

Turin has an efficient system of city connections with buses and trams managed by GTT. Currently, the first driverless, ultra-modern underground line was opened for the Olympics in 2006. Both urban and suburban areas are served by an efficient network. Buses and trams cross the city from morning to late at night.

The hard part of bus travel is remembering you must buy your ticket before you get on the bus. All tabaccherie (tobacconists) sell bus tickets as do some bars and various ticket offices at stations.

There's possibly a bewildering array of tickets from singles to annual season tickets. Generally the longer the ticket the greater the saving but for many season tickets of one week or more you'll need a separate card with photo ID which costs very little and can usually be issued on the spot by the ticket issuer. It's not necessary for single tickets or, in Turin, weekly town tickets.

You may run into ticket inspectors any time, everywhere, even on night buses, but they are most of the time easily recognizable. Most of them do not speak English and some of them may behave rude. Be sure take your ticket/pass on you and validate it before the first stop after you get on the bus. If you are caught, you may pay a certain amount of fee about €25 right on the bus. If you pay later, this amount may increase to €36. If you forgot to take your pass/valid ticket with you, you may tell the inspectors your situation and get a fine ticket of €10. Then you go the GTT office with your fine ticket and your pass/valid ticket and pay. Some says if you are not Italian, the fee will not reach you.

But which bus?

That's a good question. Network map is available at the GTT website. The map shows all the bus and tram lines and the metro line. On 5T website it's also possible to check real-time transits for every stops of GTT network and plan your routes using public transportation.

You're pretty safe in Turin with every bus or tram. The stops are clearly marked with yellow signs and maps of the city and public lines. If it seems a very long list your stop will be highlighted in grey and buses go from the bottom to top direction. If it seems a rather short list with just the highlights you probably see an arrow pointing down on the left of the sign, showing stops go from top to bottom. It takes a bit of getting used to! Some of the more modern and popular trams and buses have onboard indicators and announcements of the forthcoming stops. But don't bank on it.

All buses are divided into urban and suburban. In Turin the urban tickets allow you to hop on and off of as many town buses as you like within 90 minutes of validating your ticket (fare at 1,50 € in 2012). Suburban tickets cost a little more and can get you anywhere up to 20km on some routes (1,70 € in 2012). They are also valid for trains within the same area. There's a bit of confusing overlap with some areas appearing to be both urban and suburban. If in doubt buy the suburban ticket, it's a lot cheaper than a fine.

You can also buy your tickets in a 'blocchetto' of 5 or 15, which works out a reasonable amount cheaper. There are daily (or 2-day or 3-day) tickets for town travel as well as various weekly and monthly combinations.If you plan to stay thee days and explore the city a 3 day pass is recommended and costs €10 valid in all the urban network and all means of transport.

Night Bus

Standard bus services run from around 06:00-00:30. From 00:30 (first departure from suburbs) to 05:00 (last departure from city centre), on Friday and Saturday night, starts night bus service managed by GTT (called GTT Nightbuster) with 10 bus lines connecting piazza Vittorio Veneto, in the city centre, to various Turin's suburbs and vice-versa. All night buses run at 1 hour frequency.

Blue is the color

Things get a little more complicated when you need to go further afield on the bus. Each town, district or region seems to have its own bus service. Generally in Turin there is a healthy selection of blue buses run by SADEM and other companies which tend to go further afield.

If possible still try to buy your ticket before you get on the bus, although vendors are not as numerous. Generally look around for the nearest tobacconist, cafe or news stand.

It should also be possible to buy your ticket on the bus, but this will cost up to 60 cents more and you may get a certain amount of abuse from driver who plainly is not on a percentage.

This also applies to the blue buses between Porta Nuova and Turin airport. There's a kiosk and two vending machines (usually out of action) at the airport and cafes near the terminal in Turin where you can buy tickets for €5. In theory the bus driver should be able to sell you a ticket but don't bank on it.

Torino and Piemonde Card is certainly worth its money if you plan to visit most places on the "See" section above. Using the three day (72 hours) option and paying €29 you have free access to all the museums and other attractions of the city listed above. You also can use free the Venaria Reale bus service, which is operated by GTT, to travel to Venaria and see the restorated Palace. Of course the entry to the Palace is also covered by the pass(2 days €25, 5 days €34, 7 days €37). Also don't miss the opportunity to use the Navebus service and take a boat tour in the river Po. This service is also operated by GGT and is included in your pass. As of July 2012 the Torino and Piemonte Card does not included free travel in the public transport.The best option is to buy a separate pass for that.However the Card entitles you with free travel from Dora Station to Torino International Airport, service operated by GTT.As mentioned the Card is very attractive and cost effective if you plan to visit the top attractions of the city. Trip with chain train to Superga is also included with the small fee to reach the top of the church and a guided visit to the tombs of the Savoy Royal family.

By bicycle

The City of Turin has recently completed a network of bicycle paths throughout the city. However, a lot still has to be done, and cycling outside the paths (and sometimes even on them) can be quite tricky. From 2010, a bike-sharing service provided by a company named ToBike is all across the city center. It's very difficult to find a ticket if you are not resident. It is possible to buy a ticket at the Tobike shop located in Via Santa Chiara 26/F.

By car

Driving around the town is fun but not for the faint hearted, although not as challenges as other Italian cities. Note that some drivers regard red lights as advisory and speed lints tend also to be a guideline.

A good parking garage in the centre under the Piazza Vittorio Veneto is   Parcheggio Vittorio Park

Car Rentals If you would like to rent a car, you can find all the main car hire companies at Turin Airport. Car rentals companies are grouped together immediately in front of the Domestic Arrivals, Ground Floor-Level Zero.

By taxi

Taxis in Torino start the meter the moment your call is received. It is not customary to hail a taxi on the street.

On the streets there are taxi parking. You can get one there.

See

Mole Antonelliana

Turin's main attractions include important baroque palaces and churches, a regular and attractive street grid, an extensive network of arcades, famous coffee shops and a number of world-renowned museums. Five palaces in Turin itself and nine more in the region served as residences for the Savoy royalty and are now inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Borgo Medievale

Do

Learn

The   University of Turin (Università degli Studi di Torino) main campus is located just off Via Po, . Founded in the 16th Century and located in Turin, it is a public university with all the major faculties. Also well known is the Politecnico di Torino, the Polytechnic of Engineering and Architecture. This last has multiple campuses, including one in the 'Castello del Valentino' (in the Valentino Park) and two outside the city center, one on Corso Francia while another, dedicated to Automotive Engineering, is located within the 'Lingotto' Complex which used to be the principal Fiat factory.

Buy

Turin is not the best Italian city for shopping fashion brand, although there are plenty of small and expensive brand shops. It's a great spot for buying food and wines.

Eat

Turin is probably the most free-water town in the world. You can find public fountains really EVERYWHERE, from the center to the suburbs, that provides you free public water. And thanks to the near mountains, Turin public water is really good.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Where before there were boatsheds, you will find many modern bars and nightclubs by the river Po at the Murazzi close to the bridge Ponte Vittorio Emanuele. Closer to the historical center, there are many charming old-world cafes.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Generally Turin can be considered a safe city. Be aware that the first three blocks of Via Nizza, on the eastern side of Porta Nuova train station, can be dangerous in the wee hours. San Salvario neighborhood, which lies between Via Nizza and Parco del Valentino today is full of nightclubs, cafes and restaurants aimed to college students who attract small-scale drug dealers. Watch out for pickpockets in the crowd, especially while walking with your luggage and backpacks. Those who are looking for a quite neighborhood where to stay should avoid San Salvario, especially in summer.

Also the areas between Porta Palazzo square and the Dora River can be dangerous during the night, especially in the smaller streets.

Turin is home to two football clubs, Juventus and Torino, playing both in Serie A. Juventus are the most successful club side in Italian domestic football and have won the UEFA Champions League twice in their history, while Torino also have a proud history. Juventus play at the Juventus Stadium in the north of the city while Torino play at the Olympic Stadium renovated for the 2006 Winter Games. The rivalry between the two clubs is intense, so one would exercise caution when wearing their colours (Juventus wear black and white, Torino a brownish red) when the other side is playing. Wearing the colours of other Italian sides (AC Milan, Internazionale, Lazio, Roma, Fiorentina and Napoli in particular) when they are playing Juventus should also be avoided, especially the colours of the two Milan sides and Fiorentina.

Go next

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