This gem is not as well-known as Rome, Florence or Venice. We are right to wonder why. Turin, the capital of the Piemont region is where all chocolate lovers should be! If you are planning to visit Torino, but don’t know what to do? Here is a list of top things to do in Torino Italy. This list includes some of Turin’s most iconic landmarks, as well as museums and parks. Because many of its buildings were Savoy residences, Torino is a special place.
15 Things You Should Do in Torino Italy
Turin was for a long period owned by the House of Savoy. They are to be credited for many of the incredible landmarks and castles that can be found in and around Turin. Turin was also the capital of unified Italy in 1861. It grew into one of Italy’s most important and powerful industrial cities. You can see some of the most well-known Italian car brands made here, such as the Fiat.
Torino’s stunning architecture is not only beautiful in baroque and rococo styles but also in neoclassical and art nouveau. There are many attractions for those who love religion and history. The stunning view from the top of Mole Antonelliana will take you to the Alps, and the city. There are 15 top things to do in Turin. What better reason to visit Turin?
1. Mole Antonelliana
Torino’s stunning architecture is one of the reasons to visit it. Mole Antonelliana, a landmark in the city, is named after Alessandro Antonelli, the architect. The Italian word for “mole” means that the building has monumental proportions in Italian. Although the construction of this impressive-looking building began in 1863, it was completed in 1889. Mole Antonelliana was originally built as a synagogue. However, the Municipality of Turin later made it a monument to national unity.
This is why it’s one of the most popular things to do in Torino Italy. You can see Torino at its best if you climb up to the tower. It is 167.5m high and was once the highest brick building in Europe. You can see the Alps from the panoramic terrace, which is 85m high. You have two options: climb the stairs or use a lift. The building is closed Tuesdays so make sure to check the hours of operation before you visit.
2. Coffee Houses from the past
You must enjoy delicious Italian coffee when you visit Italy. You could combine this with some fun things to do in Turin Italy like visiting historical coffee houses. There are many of them all over the city, and they all look amazing. Cafe Al Bicerin is the first and most recommended cafe in Torino. You shouldn’t miss it! It has been open since 1763. You can also enjoy coffee and pastries while you wait.
Guido Gobino is another gem, also known for his mastery of regional chocolate art. You should also try the Gobino chocolate from Italy! Enjoy hot chocolate and browse the confectionaries. Caffe San Carlo is a great place to end your day. The interior is beautiful, with antique furniture and ceilings decorated with gold accents. The sculptures and wall art are just a few of the many highlights. It is a gathering place for politicians, poets, and even adventurers.
3. Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama
Palazzo Reale or Palazzo Madama are must-sees for anyone who loves architecture and walks in stunning palaces. This should be on your list of top 10 things you do in Turin Italy. The Palazzo Reale, a historical palace of the House of Savoy, is the first. Although the Palace was originally built in 16th century, Christine Marie of France renovated it. It is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s now a museum that houses the Royal Palace collection, which you can visit and admire.
Palazzo Madama is located right next to Royal Palace. Along with 13 other Savoy residences, this is also listed on UNESCO. It is the oldest building in Torino’s city center. Palazzo Madama dates back to the first century BC. Two of its towers still exist today. The museum of ancient art is located here. It houses a collection that includes paintings, sculptures, and church ornaments. This museum is a must-see for history lovers.
4. Parco del Valentino
You want to escape the city center of Torino. You can now with the beautiful Parco del Valentino. It was one of the 15 most popular things to do in Turin. We also included it in our list because it was nominated for “best Italian park” out of 15 other parks in Italy. It’s huge. It covers a staggering 500,000m2. The best park in Turin is also the second largest.
Parco del Valentino opened in 1856. It is a place where history is abounds. Many people have walked it for hundreds of year. What are you likely to see in the park’s gardens? The Botanical Gardens are the first. Here is also the Baroque Castle of Torino. It is more than a park. There are many wonderful things to be seen.
5. Castello di Rivoli
As you can see, Torino is filled with historical buildings that are rich in architecture. Castle of Rivoli was a former residence of Royal House of Savoy, and is now a UNESCO Heritage Site. It is believed that it was built sometime between the 9th and 10th centuries. According to historians, it was first mentioned by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1159. It was eventually acquired by the House of Savoy in the 11th Century.
So today, the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea takes place inside. It was founded in 1984. As the name implies, it is the first museum to be dedicated to contemporary art in Italy. There are many new and interesting exhibitions that are worth seeing. The museum can also be used for film, video, and theatre performances. You can check the exhibitions in Torino and book your tickets in advance.
6. Quadrilatero Romano
Look no further if you are looking for the best 10 things to do while in Turin Italy. If you are a history enthusiast, it is essential to visit the Quadrilatero Romano. It will take you back to Roman times and show you the origins of the city that you are now walking through. You can walk to it from Palazzo Madama after you’ve visited the museum. Despite the fact that the building has been demolished, the Roman gates can still be seen in their half glory.
It’s amazing to see how these buildings have survived for so many centuries. Porta Palatina Gate is the last one that remains. It was used to lead you into the city in Roman times. The two towers of the polygonal form can be seen in the photo. They have been well preserved over the years. The gate is located near some other ruins. I have always been fascinated by this period and these buildings make me wonder what it was like to live during that time.
7. Cortile del Maglio
Although it might seem unusual to visit this place, the history of Torino is just as rich as those at other tourist attractions. Cortile del Maglio, an architectural complex that has a large mallet at its center, is a beautiful example of Italian architecture. It was originally a Military Arsenal, and was built between 1775-1778. After it became the property of the Savoy families, Colonel Antonio Quaglia rebuilt the entire structure. The building almost fell victim to an explosion in 1852. They were able to rebuild the building in 1867 after the explosion.
At the end of 19th century, the Cortile del Maglio’s main function was to make and repair artillery carriages. It was named Arsenal of the Artillery Constructions of Turin because of this. It was rebuilt in 1867 by engineers in a neomedieval style, with a portico in the center and a turret in the southeastern corner. It is used primarily for performances, dance essays and exhibitions. Let’s move on to our 15 top things to do in Turin.
8. Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile
Turin Italy’s National Automobile Museum is a great place to visit. This museum is for everyone who loves cars and enjoys seeing classic beauty. The first exhibition of the museum was held by Roberto Biscaretti di Ruffia and Cesare GoriaGatti in 1933. The National Automobile Museum was only open to the public in 1960. Its design was by Amedeo Albini.
The museum was then closed for four years, and then it was reopened in 2011. It was voted one of the top 50 most beautiful museums worldwide in 2013. The exhibition has around 150 cars on permanent loan and some that are on display. Additional 60 cars can be viewed only by reservation. It is huge and welcomes more than 200k visitors every year.
9. Museo Egizio
I don’t know if you like museums but I do love museums about Egypt. It’s fascinating to see the times of the famous pharaohs, so it’s a must-see in Turin. It is actually the second-largest and most important museum in all of the world. It contains important artifacts not only from Egypt, but also Roman, prehistoric, and pre-Roman finds.
There is an Egyptian museum in Torino, as well as in many other European cities. This is due to the fact that Egyptian antiquities were collected in Europe in the 1800s. Piemontese Bernadino Droveti, who collected more than 8000 pieces, was one of the most important collectors. These collections can all be viewed at the Egyptian Museum of Torino.
10. Basilica di Superga
The Basilica of Superga, a must-see for anyone who loves cathedrals and churches, is one of the top 10 things to do in Turin. It was built by Duke Vittorio amedeo II in 1706 to honor Madonna delle Grazie. Filippo Juvarra, the architect of this beautiful church, is also a must-see. Filippo Juvarra was born in Messina, and he was working for the Savoy families. The basilica was built in baroque and renaissance styles.
Let’s take a look at its interior and structure. It measures approximately 75 meters high and 51 meters in length. According to its official website, it is located at 672 meters above the sea level. It contains six chapels, four altars, and the Main Altar. You will also find sculptures and monuments made of Carrara marble. There are many beautiful paintings at the altars. Let’s not forget Madonna delle Grzie, a wooden sculpture. We would love to hear from you if the Basilica of Superga has been to your delight!
11. Piazza San Carlo
Every city in Italy will have important piazzas. Piazzas, also known as public squares or markets, are common in Italian towns and cities. You must visit the Piazza San Carlo in Torino. It is the city’s main square. It is located right next to both the Egyptian Museum, and the Chiesa di San Carlo Borromeo. It was built in Baroque style between 16 and 17 centuries. The monument in the middle is an Equestrian monument to Emmanuel Philibert, which Carlo Marochetti completed in 1838.
You’ll find one of the churches, San Carlo Borromeo, and the twin church Santa Cristina on the opposite side. Apart from being a lovely piazza you can also find social events and even sporting events. You can also just relax on one of the benches while you enjoy the Italian sun on the face. Let’s not stop there!
12. Chiesa di Santa Maria del Monte dei Cappuccini
The Chiesa di Santa Maria is one of the top 10 things to do in Turin. It is situated on a hill so the views are breathtaking. You can see Torino and the alps from the panoramic view. Built in late renaissance style, the church is also beautiful. It overlooks the River Po. It took quite a while to build, starting in 1583 and ending in 1656. It was a huge undertaking to build a church with such intricate details and size. Ascanio Vitozzi designed the design, while Giacomo Soldati completed it.
The church’s interior is equally impressive from the outside. If anyone is interested in religion, Saint Ignatius (or Santhia) lies beneath the altar of left chapel. He was an Italian Roman Catholic priest. The view from the top is breathtaking, and it can be tiring to climb the hills. It is a wonderful place to see what was constructed hundreds of years ago, and it still stands today.
13. Villa della Regina
Villa della Regina, a part the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a residence for the Savoy family. It was built around 1615 in the 17th century. It was designed and built by Ascanio Vitozzi, and passed on to Carlo und Amedeo di Castellamonte. Who was it designed for? Villa della Regina was built originally as a private residence for Prince-Cardinal Maurice de Savoy. Its stunning vineyards and gardens are the reason you should visit this villa.
The villa’s interior is just as stunning as the rest of Savoy residences. The King and Queen can each have their own apartment. There were also rooms that they used in the daytime with views of the garden, while at night they could enjoy the views over the city. To visit the entire estate, you can buy tickets or take a walking tour. Even if time is limited, it is worth visiting the gardens and vineyard.
14. Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista
Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista – Photo from
This is the last church/cathedral we include on our list for top things to do in Torino Italy. The Turin cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral, is dedicated to Saint John. It also serves as the home of the Archbishops from Turin. It is an older building that was constructed between 1491 and 1488. The bell tower was added in 1470. It is in baroque and renaissance styles.
You’ll find the renaissance decorations for Jesus and St. John The Baptist inside. A fascinating fact is the Holy Shroud of Turin, also known as Sacra Sindone. This is one of the most controversial religious relics in the world. This linen cloth is said to have been placed over Jesus’s body following his crucifixion. This will require you to book a flight!
15. Burgo Medieval
We have reached the end our list of top things to do in Torino Italy. This museum is open to all and it’s a must-see while visiting Turin. It’s located in the Parco del Valentino, which we mentioned previously. It’s almost like you are entering a medieval village when you visit Borgo Medieval. It’s quite amazing! It is free to walk around the castle, but you will need to pay for the tour if you want to see the inside.
It’s an excellent way to spend time, and take a walk along the riverside back into town. It’s a short detour from the main attraction, Valentino Park. It was constructed in 1884 as an Italian general exhibition. This castle is not a medieval fortress that was used by Romans. This castle was purposefully constructed to replicate medieval life. It’s a fascinating place to visit for anyone who is interested in this time period.
The Best Things To Do in Torino Italy – Conclusion
Are you sure there is something on this list of top things to do in Torino Italy you won’t miss? We hope so! Turin’s versatility means that there is something for everyone. You can also enjoy delicious Italian food at every stop. Torino will be a delight to visit, no matter if you are there for architecture and/or history. Tell us which activity was your favorite!