Turin Travel Guide
We sent one of our favorite Yodelers Davina Tan to the amazing DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto hotel to create a Turin, Italy Travel Guide. Set in the historic former FIAT factory, next to Lingotto Conference Centre and Metro station, this city landmark features its original unique architecture, high ceilings and large windows showcased in natural light as well as its famous rooftop test track, featured in the film The Italian Job. While DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto hotel is an attraction within itself, it is also near a variety of amazing shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries – all within walking distance. Davina created an incredible travel guide full of beautiful photographs and travel tips just for you.
Name? Davina Tan
Occupation? Graphic Designer, Content Creator
Preoccupation? Couch potato, coffee addict, dog lover, handbag lady
Place you live? Brooklyn, New York
Can you sum up Turin in a paragraph? Unlike other famous Italian cities like Milan, Rome or Venice, Turin is relatively off the radar for most people when they think of traveling to Italy for a vacation. Turin is a celebrated city that takes pride in its rich culture and elegant history. Centuries ago, Turin was a royal city and the capital of the European kingdom, while also regarded as a major European political center. However, while much of its political significance and importance was lost by World War II, it later became a powerhouse in industry, commerce, and trade. Turin is now famous for being the birth home of FIAT, Eataly, Italian cinema, Gianduiotto chocolate, Bicerin (traditional hot drink native to the city), as well as the espresso machine, just to name a few.
What is the best thing about Turin? Because it is not (yet) as popular as the other famous Italian cities, Turin doesn’t have a crazy tourist crowd that you have to fight off when you’re there. So, no lines at cafes or restaurants, no mobs at art galleries, history museums or tourist attractions and no difficulty getting taxis! But it is still a very lively, inspiring and laid-back city, with an almost perfect mix of classic and modern flare. Since it’s a walking city, it was very easy to get around, which is great, because there is so much to see, do and eat in Turin!
What is a perfect day in Turin? For me, the perfect day in Turin would start with a hearty breakfast, then a visit to the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli Gallery to see some Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Edouard Manet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Then lunch across the road at Eataly before taking a quick taxi or metro ride to the city center for some sightseeing, museum visits, and the famed Turin walking chocolate tour. In between, find some time for coffee at some of the ancient cafes like Caffe Torino and Caffe San Carlo, pizza at Ristorante Da Michele and gelato at Gelateria La Romana. A walk down Via Roma for some retail therapy would be a nice break from all the history lessons, then end the day with an amazing dinner at Ristorante Consorzio and don’t forget to order the pannacotta!
What are the people like in Turin? The people in Turin are very passionate and they have a sense of pride and purpose in telling you stories of Turin. I learned a lot about the city just from spending some time with the locals. They are very friendly and welcoming and always ready to share anything and everything about their beautiful city.
If Turin was a person or character who would it be? Prince Harry because Turin has such a royal and elegant background, but the city and its people are very friendly, welcoming and approachable.
Tell us about your experience at DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto: I was greeted by the biggest smiles from the welcoming team members and a nice warm chocolate chip cookie at reception, and that told me that my stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto was going to be a great one. The all-glass elevator was a nice ride up to my room and I was completely wowed by the high ceilings and massive windows in my room, which gave the room such an airy atmosphere and spacious feel that made the room very relaxing. The next morning, I overslept because the bed was incredibly comfortable, so I ordered room service for breakfast and that was one of the best room service breakfasts I’ve ever had. The portions were large and the food was so good! I had a quick walk around the hotel the next day and the building is very impressive. Did I mention that this hotel (and the shopping center next to it) was the former historic FIAT factory and the rooftop was the FIAT test-track where all the cars were tested, which was also in the movie ‘The Italian Job’ – pretty cool! As a guest of the hotel, you can walk the racetrack and the welcoming team members on property can help curate a one-of-a-kind driving experience on the roof.
What did you love about the DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto? There are three things that I absolutely love about the hotel and I’ll start with the service. The team members at the DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto are some of the friendliest staff members I have ever met. They are always wearing their biggest smiles and prepared to do anything to make your stay comfortable. I also asked for their famous, delicious chocolate chip cookies at least three times, and they were always so kind to oblige. The other things that I love about the hotel are the high ceilings and its floor-to-ceiling windows which flood the room with so much natural light. Too often, hotel rooms can feel so small and claustrophobic, but this is not the case for DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto. Last but not least, their breakfast room service is amazing! I don’t think there’s a better way to start the day, than starting with their room service breakfast, in a comfortable bed, in a robe, while staring out the huge windows and planning your day in Turin.
If a friend was visiting Turin what would you suggest they do? Start the morning with breakfast at the DoubleTree by Hilton Turin Lingotto hotel. I love the room service here because the portions are huge and the food is great! Then head up to the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli gallery on the roof of the mall, directly attached to the hotel. The gallery houses the permanent and private art collection of Giovanni and Marella Agnelli which includes masterpieces from Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Edouard Manet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Then walk right across the road to Eataly Torino Lingotto for lunch. Set in a vast converted factory, this is the first one of the Eataly global phenomenon and it houses a staggering array of food options, groceries and other home goodies like kitchenware and cookbooks. You will spend quite a bit of time here, so don’t feel bad if you find yourself picking a few (or more than a few) things from their store and market.
Spend the afternoon walking around the city, I would start with Piazza Castello, which is located in the heart of the city with classic tourist attractions like the Palazzo Reale (the former Royal Palace of Turin), The Cathedral and the Holy Shroud of Turin.
Take a walk down the popular upscale shopping street of Turin, Via Roma, so you can stop by a couple of the most historic cafes in Turin, such as Caffe Torino and Caffe San Carlo, or Ristorante Da Michele for their amazing signature pan pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. Don’t miss Gelateria La Romana, for what the locals consider to be the best gelato in all of Turin. Try the chocolate and white tiramisu.
The Risorgimento Museum and The Egyptian Museum are both very popular, with the first being the oldest and most important museum in Italy and the latter housing over 30,000 artifacts and boasting the largest Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt. The Turin Walking Chocolate Tour is also a great way to see the city, as you get to enjoy a variety of sweet treats, including the Bicerin (at the shop that it was originally created) while exploring the sites of Turin.
Finally, end the long day with an incredible dinner at the Ristorante Consorzio, known for its creative use of ingredients and careful selection of meats, herbs, vegetables, and wine. Don’t forget to order their pannacotta for dessert, which is the best I’ve ever had in my life!