Turin had been on the wish list of cities to visit and we were not disappointed. It was the first capital of Italy and home to the then royal family and the elegant avenues, squares and architecture reflect this. In addition it has a back drop of the Alps, and if that is not enough then it is packed, with grand cafes, chocolate shops, museums and galleries.
There is an extensive bus and tram network throughout the city and maps are available at the tourist offices. Great value day tickets are available from news stands and tobacconists. There is also a metro but probably only useful for visiting the old Fiat factory at Lingotto, now a shopping mall and gallery.
Check out the usual booking sites such as www.booking.com or www.venere.com we chose to stay close to the station, good for transport links but also because the area of San Salvario is close by. This cool and trendy area is packed with bars and restaurants particularly at the junction of Via Sant’Anselmo and Via Guiseppe Baretti.
Scannabue, Largo Saluzzo 25H is in the San Salvario area and was highly rated in various articles about the city. We booked by email well in advance and had an excellent dinner, there is the option of a set meal or a la carte and we chose dishes from the latter and were not disappointed. We had an excellent bottle of local Barbera D’Alba Superiore which was very good value.
La Galiina Scanatta, Largo Saluzzo 25F, is a fish restaurant, something of a rarity in this meat eating city. It is owned by the same people as Scannabue and we were lucky to be able to get a table on the night we visited. There is a short menu but all the dishes were very good and the manager recommended an incredibly reasonable priced bottle of local Arneis white wine which was excellent.
Bottega Baretti, Via Sant’Anselmo 25, San Salvario, had been recommended for its pizzas and we booked one evening for later that night, so glad we did as when we returned the place was packed. The pizzas and house wine were both excellent, great value and friendly service.
E’Cucina, Via Bertola 27A, is in the centre of the city and is a very popular place with locals for lunch. There are set meals, meat, fish or vegetarian and you can choose how many courses you wish. It is excellent value and good quality, get there early to be sure of a table.
Eataly, Via Nizza 224, Lingotto, this was the first opening of Eataly a food emporium of restaurants, wine shops, beers bars, groceries and fresh food. Started on the back of the Slow Food movement by a local business man. The group has places throughout Italy, in New York, Chicago & Tokyo. A must to visit for eating and shopping.
Cafes & Bars
There are a number of classic cafes in the centre of Turin especially around Piazza San Carlo including the famous Café Torino. Try coffee and cake or one of the famous cocktails such as an Americano or Negroni in the home of Martini at apperitivi time. All the recommended bars below are in the San Salvario area.
Petit Baladin, Via Saluzzo 21/E is one of the bars owned by Baladin Beer, a local craft beer brewery which now has bars in many Italian cities. There is a wide choice of draft and bottled beers and they also serve food. They have another larger bar in the city called Open Baladin.
La Cuite, Via Guiseppe Baretti 11, one of many places for a pre dinner drink. Very popular but well worth squeezing in for a glass of wine or a cocktail.
Affini, Via Belfiore 16, very smart bar offering wine, cocktails and food. Very generous selection of nibbles offered with the drinks before dinner.
Lanicifio San Salvatore, Via San Anselmo 30, on the corner of Guiseppe Baretti, this is another popular per dinner and late night bar, service can be a bit slow but atmosphere is good.
DDR, Via Berthollet 9, is a very cool bar, again offering cocktails, wine and food.
Turin is the capital of Piedmont, famous for its Barolo wine however if the budget doesn’t stretch quite that far then there are many other options. For reds looks for Barbera, Barberesco and Dolcetto, there are also many local whites including Gavi and Arneis. There is also a booming craft beer market and Baladin, well known are a local company with many varieties of beer.
Part of the joy of Turin is wandering the lovely streets admiring the baroque architecture but there are also a number of top class museums and galleries. In addition the old Fiat factory at Lingotto which has the rooftop racetrack used in the Italian Job is now an upmarket shopping mall with a gallery overlooking the track. In addition the orginal Eataly, the famous food emporium is next door.
The highlight for us was the Mole Antonelliana, once the tallest building in the world and now the Museum of Cinema with a spectacular glass lift to the top of the building and the viewing area.