- An insider's guide to Turin from our Mole on the scene! (not the Mole Antonelliana - the student version!)
Why should I choose Turin for my year abroad?
Although it clearly boasts the typically fine Italian food and wine, Turin also offers the visitor many other activities that don't just revolve around the staples pasta and grappa. The city's shopping is, by any standards, quite spectacular; try Via Roma for designer goods and Via Po for some alternative goodies as well as old-school records. Pedestrianised streets make it walker friendly, giving locals and visitors alike the chance to admire the Baroque architecture erected across the city at a tranquil pace.
Should admiring buildings and visiting museums be top priority, Turin offers a sturdy array of things to do. The city's landmark building, Mole Antonelliana, originally served as a synagogue, but now houses one of Europe's finest and most fun cinema museums. Spread across 5 floors, cinema buffs and curious cats can make the most of the silver screen's history, evolution, and there's even a cinema showing retro Italian films at the top. A stylised image of the building was used as the logo when Turin hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006 and was the largest city ever to do so.
Turin's universities, Università degli Studi di Torino and the Politecnico di Torino, give the city its student charm; they are renown for their excellent faculties for sciences. For motorheads and car aficionados, you will be please to hear the latter was home to the Fiat factory! You should plan a visit to the much famed Museo dell'Automobile for some retro glamour and vintage motors.
Foodie fans will have no complaints about Turin, as scores of restaurants and fine Italian eateries have popped up all over the city; the coffee, ice cream and pastries here are really something to write home about. Do try the local speciality, giandiuotto (a unique sauce made of chocolate and hazelnut), whilst out there. All in all, slim-line thighs and small-eaters beware: you won't be able to resist Turin's proper pasta and pretty pastries, and nor should you want to.
Turin truly has a magical, regal streak that has fascinated its visitors and continues to do so, in a discreet manner. A must for those who like the idea of fine food, gorgeous buildings and a beautiful landscape to lose themselves in — you'll soon succumb to the charm and fantasy of this Northern city.