The elegant city of Turin: surprisingly more vibrant than imagined
It’s said that the elegant city of Turin is the refined “cafe culture of Trieste by day and the vibrant aperitivo scene of Milan by night. All while being nestled in Piedmont”. It is Italy’s 4th largest city and was once the country’s manufacturing powerhouse. The land of Fiat. Today though, it’s a cultural hub. I read that Turin is a grid. An “inheritance from its origins as a Roman military camp”. I am looking forward to getting lost in wanderlust here. Feeling the vibes of the former aristocracy. And above all drinking tons of hot chocolate.
12h30pm, I am on Turin soil. It’s the bluest sky i have seen in weeks. It’s also like walking into an oven as the heat grabs my whole body. Face facing the sun there i stand outside Torino Porta Suza train station. Strolling gently towards my airbnb, my first impression of the city is that of preserved aristocracy. An air of elegance. I opted for an airbnb in the chic area of Crocetta. An airbnb where the host actually lives in. I arrive with ample time to explore the city after lunch. The soft glow of midday light sifting through the curtains illuminate the interior of my airbnb. In my room, an ajar large double window from which I can begin to make out the balconied 18th century facades stretching down the street. The quality of life in Turin is great, says my host.
The elegant city of Turin: a diamond in the rough
I slip out of the door. There are no clouds. No wind. Just the hustle and bustle of lunch time at cafés that line the street. It’s a clear day. The light is incredibly beautiful. I take shelter of the glaring sun in the long and porticoed cafe-filled arched walkways. 18km of those line the heart of the city. Criss-crossed by elegant Paris-style boulevards.
Turin is a walking city I find. Best appreciated from the ground up. A city best embraced at a slow and sustainable speed to experience more. As the sun disappears the warm air lingers, creeping a bit more into my bones. As dusk takes centre stage, I step into a bar, ecstatic for the next day’s adventures.
I feel Turin calls for “kos,” the Norwegian term for peace, harmony and gratitude. It’s cultivated “when one takes their time traveling, soaking in the simple joys of culture and natural beauty”. This city certainly is an explosion of food, arts and architecture. A stroll through timeless treasures takes me towards grand Piazza San Carlo. Right in the heart of the city. A fun meeting place for locals and tourists alike. Over here People are enjoying the sun. And over there others are sipping their brews. My highlight though is a chocolate experience at Caffé Torino. Not only do i feel it certainly is the perfect place to sit and people watch; I also feel it’s the right place to experience the heartbeat of the city.
Beauty, food and everything in between
Further down the city historical balconies adorn the buildings. Gourmet grocery stores line the streets; Antique stores and art galleries bring home the bacon as well. In addition, there seems to be a church on every street as it is the case everywhere in Italy. The Quadrilatero Romano is bursting with quaintness and cool vibes. San Salvario is an intimate hotspot full of bars. The city though doesn’t feel crowded. Life in Turin feels calm but not boring.
Over the course of my stay, i walked the large parisian-like boulevards. Breathed in the crisp air from the mountains in the early hours of the morning running in Parco del Valentino. I Made my way into the not so bitesize Mont dei Cappucini for the panoramic view of the city and the River Po. From there I marvelled at the sight of the dramatic mountain range of the Alps looming large over the city. I visited not knowing much what to expect but i am blown away by what Turin has to offer. In short it feels like i have stepped into a diamond in the rough.
You can read the other chapters of this sustainable road trip here and here.
xoxo M. Let’s share our travel inspiration