What’s not to like? However, when I tell people that I have always wanted to visit Turin, they look at me like I have two heads! Except for those in the know. It’s the same with the Italian lakes. People think Garda is the lake, but Italians know Como is the most beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence etc. I still love them all, but sometimes, I want to enjoy a less touristy place. A real working Italian city and that is what Turin is.
Turin is surrounded by the Italian Alps on one side and the river Po on the other.
There are beautiful old buildings and piazzas in abundance, such as the Palazzo Reale. Did you know when Italy first unified, Turin was the capital?
If you love chocolate, Turin would be your mecca. Every year there is a chocolate fair held in the city and Gianduiotto (chocolate mixed with 30% hazelnut paste) was invented here.
Then there is the famous drink bicerin. A layered concoction of coffee, chocolate and whipped cream, served in a glass. Invented 250 years ago and enjoyed by the likes of Shelley, Puccini and Alexandre Dumas. The historical cafes (Cafe Torino and Cafe Bicerin) in Piazza San Carlo still serve this drink today.
The aperitivo hour was invented here. Will and I have enjoyed this many times in Italy! This leads me to Martini (my favourite drink being a dirty martini), which was also invented here.
Finally, Fiats. Fiat 500’s are seen all over Turin. The famous Lingotto factory featured in The Italian Job is still standing, although today it houses a hotel and shops.
I could waffle on for ages on the reason Turin fascinates me. My favourite coffee, Lavazza, was also invented in Turin, there are beautiful parks, fantastic shops and restaurants and for nature-lovers you have the mountains and the river. If you love films, there is the National Museum of Cinema. I had better stop here, but I hope you understand my enthusiasm
I am beyond excited that Will, the boys and I are visiting this amazing city during our Christmas holiday in Italy this year and I cannot wait to share my trip on this overlooked Italian city with you all.