Thursday, September 26, 2019

Turin outside downtown

Abroad, it is always easy to wander in the city center, but what about daring to explore outside where the locals live? Here are 5 places in Turin where tourists don't dare to thread 😁

Casa La Fleur in the Cit Turin hood

MAU around Via Nicola Fabrizi 

If you are staying around the Porta Nuova station, get the subway direction Fermi and get off at Bernini. If you are around the Porta Susa Station, walk to Piazza Statuto, take Corso Francia till Piazza Bernini, it's a 15-20 minute stroll. Then, take Via Giacomo Medici and turn right into Via Rosta, keep walking till Piazza Risorgimento where the urban garden is. This garden aims to bring the local community together, involving the neighborhood kindergarten too. This is also where the  6th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital cooking class was held in 2019 🙆
Cross the street and go to Via Nicola Fabrizi, the urban garden on your left, keep peeking to your right and you'll see some of the works of the Museo di Arte Urbana or the Urban Modern Art museum, this is an open air exhibit spread out around many streets in this area.

Piazza Risorgimento borders:

The Cit Turin hood 

In the local dialect 'cit' means little so this neighborhood that epitomizes Turin, a Turin in miniature! Lots of Art Nouveau buildings in town are concentrated between Corso Francia and Via Cibrario. So if you are making of Torino your new home, this area is super posh 😎: within a walking distance from Via Garibaldi, great restaurants, coffee shops, good schools and above all the subway!!

custom-made lampshade in ceramic by Stefania Mairano

While in Turin, devote some nice 7h to explore all the streets between Via Cibrario and Corso Francia; peeking through the windows of artisan workshops like Stefania Mairano our friend ceramic artist in Via Peyron 50.  Buy some grissini to go at Avetta's in Via Cibrario 31 bis or some ciabatta bread at Frumento e Caffé in Via Cibrario 45.

Avetta's in Via Cibrario, get in and buy whatever appeals your eyes 😍

Follow the inner streets, till crossing Via Principe D'Acaja. Reach Corso Francia, admire Casa La Fleur, cross at the traffic light, walk to the dragon house at n.23. Take pictures, this gothic building has a dark story and was in the original Italian Scent of a woman, the protagonist lives here!!
Turn in Via Palmieri up to Via Duchessa Jolanda and do it like our Scottish friend Amanda Jack does it when in Turin: sit down at Dezzuto's 😜 in Via Duchessa Jolanda 23B.
Have brunch, aperitif, lunch or anything they offer (great gelatos and tiny pastries 💁 too). Look around, the decor is very cool, they have a throne and a golden cupid 💘

Via Cibrario at the corner with Via Durandi

As you leave, keep walking along Via Duchessa Jolanda up to the:

Piazza Benefica market

Every neighborhood of Turin has a daily market because traditionally, Italians go groceries on a daily basis and cook every day. Italians in particular love freshly made foods and seasonal ingredients, however the Piazza Benefica market also has super chic fashion stalls from the city's boutiques. Pick a day and have a look! This market closes at 2pm so plan to be there at the latest around 12:30. As you go around, you'll see that on Via Principe D'Acaja and all the streets  there on going to Porta Susa and even on Corso Inghilterra have many trattorias, restaurants, coffee shops and gelato places. Anything in this area is very good! Just pick one! Very safe area in the evening too 😉

Valentino Park along the river Po

this is where Turin had a beach, like in Paris, on the river. Monte dei Cappuccini view

Turin is famous for her Paris-like wide avenues lined with long rows of trees, elegant architecture, mile long arches or wide porticoes and her parks. The Valentino park is the Central Park of Turin, locals go jogging and whole families love to spend their Sunday afternoons there. You can walk along the river Po, visit a fake medieval village with castle (built in the late 1800s) and peek through the gate of the Valentino castle where the School of Architecture is based.
When the weather allows it, you can also do a pic-nic, sunbathe and play on the grass. It is a nice eco-friendly break from the concrete and touristy sights of Turin.
Once you are strolling along the river you can go down in both directions and even cross the river on one of the many bridges that get lit up at night. Reaching Piazza Vittorio Emanuele - widest open square in Europe with its many coffee shops, bars and restaurants, or the Automobile Museum won't take too long!
Once you are in the Piazza Vittorio area you are basically at Mole Antonelliana - National Cinema Museum, aka the symbol building of Turin. Both Mole (Antoelliana) and the automobile museum were renovated. From the top of the 'Mole' (pron. MO-LA) tallest building in Europe, you can enjoy the view over Turin up to the surrounding Alps and hills.
As for the car museum, everyone will love it, including those people who are not into cars and driving; and once you are at the Automobile Museum, you can walk to: 

Lingotto and the very first Eataly

Photo by Xavier and Valeriia of

Lingotto gave Turin the nickname of the Italian MoTown as it was the very first automated FIAT factory,. As we are writing it is also the terminal of the subway, so you know where you'll get. As the car industry moved out of Turin, Lingotto got renovated into a shopping mall with hotel, restaurants and offices. It also hosts Pinacoteca Agnelli another interesting art museum with the Agnelli (read: FIAT founder) family's private art collection. The collection is actually hosted in a building designed by Renzo Piano and it includes works by Canaletto, Tiepolo, Renoir, Manet, Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse e Balla. 

On the left side of Lingotto, you can see a big orange squared building, that's where the very first Eataly!

As you are already in the area, and especially if you are a foodie, a culinary professional or even just curious, you must pay a visit. It is very similar to Whole Foods, there are different sections, an endless pasta aisle, a very nice book shop with many food related books and publications AND thematic restaurants according to the department they are located in, e.g.: around the fishmonger you have the fish restaurant, near the butcher counter: the meat restaurant, a pizzeria in the bakery section and so on. On top you can also buy some kitchen accessories, so go prepared or hide your credit card 😂
Seeing what the locals make, buy, eat and drink always gives you a privilege look inside the local culture, and no doubt: Turin rocks!

And from the Lingotto subway station you can easily ride back to where you are based.

Turin is waiting for you

Plan your travel to Torino with us, we customize walking tours; tastings: wine, cheese, vermouth, gelato, coffee, bread, chocolate; classes: cooking, yoga, Italian for foreigners.

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