Turin is one of our favourite Italian cities but for some reason it’s not particularly high on the list of popular Italian tourist destinations in general. Turin has a huge amount to offer though, and we will go back one day soon. It’s only a two hour flight from London, so it’s super convenient too. Here are a few things you should try if you ever find yourself in Turin.
Visit the world’s most important Egyptian museum outside Egypt
It may surprise you to know that Turin boasts the world’s second most important Egyptian museum in the world, after Cairo Museum, due to the outstanding quality of it’s artefacts. In fact, the Museo Egizio is the only museum other than Cairo Museum that is dedicated solely to Egyptian art and culture.
The collections that make up today’s museum were enlarged by excavations conducted in Egypt by the Museum’s archaeological mission between 1900 and 1935 and today over six and a half thousand objects are on display.
We spent a few hours there one morning and it really is a great place to learn about Egyptian history. There are many rooms, but they’re not too expansive and points of interest are clearly labelled so you can follow the audio tour easily. At 15 Euros per person, it’s a bargain and a really enjoyable way to spend half a day in Turin.
The Museo Egizio is open from 09:00-14:00 on Mondays and from 09:00-18:30 every other day of the week.
Eat big sandwiches
Master Sandwich really is the ‘master’ of sandwiches and is the place to go in Turin if you’re looking for a good lunch, early dinner – actually any time you are really hungry! There are over 40 different types of sandwiches on offer, some already prepared if you’re in a rush. If you have a bit more time, take a look at the lists of fresh ingredients and design your own creation! There are lots of different delicious fresh breads to choose from too. Master Sandwich also serves desserts, sides and beer if you fancy something with your sandwich. Prices here are cheap, with a sandwich and a beer setting you back about 6 Euros. Popular with locals and tourists alike, Master Sandwich also has a nice buzz about it, with people coming and going to eat in or take away.
Master Sandwich is on Via Palazzo di Citta’ 6, 10122. Keep an eye out though – it’s a tiny little sandwich deli and you might walk right past it. Some of the sandwiches are seriously big, so you might be okay to share!
Visit the home of Juventus at the Allianz Stadium
I’m not a massive football fan, but I found this tour and museum really quite interesting and I enjoyed the couple of hours we spent there.
The tour was really informative and was hosted in both Italian and English. We visited the pitch, dug outs, hospitality areas, press conference rooms, changing rooms and more, ending up in the museum to take a look around.
If I’m honest, the museum was my favourite part as it was great to learn about the football club and realize what a huge part it is has played in the history of Turin.
For football fans this is a must, but even those who don’t consider themselves particularly knowledgeable about football will still learn lots of things about Turin, Italy and the country’s obsession with football.
A full stadium tour and access to the museum will cost you 22 Euros per person. Both are closed to the public on Tuesdays. Tours run at 11:00, 12:30, 14:45 and 16:15 on weekdays but run much more regularly at the weekends. Check the Juventus website for more details!
Try Sciamadda’s cheap and delicious street food
We discovered Sciamadda by accident one evening and are seriously pleased we did! A tiny little restaurant that looks more like a deli than somewhere you might go for dinner. There is no fuss and fanciness at Sciamadda. In fact, wine is served in plastic cups, food is eaten off paper plates and everyone sits together nestled on the bar stools around the edge of this tiny shop front.
Quick history lesson! The word ‘Sciamadda’ is used by the people of Genoa to mean ‘flame’. When fisherman used to make their return to harbours after a long day at sea, they looked for a good, simple restaurant they knew. When they entered the restaurant, they’d beg the owner to light the flame, or the ‘sciamadda’ so they could eat something warm. As time moved on, sciamadda became the generic way local people would refer to genuine places where they could be sure to fine cheap but delicious food.
A great little story that Sciamadda is proud to re-tell in its menus so all its customers know about it. The chef Mauro has aimed to bring this piece of history to the centre of Turin and carry on the traditions of cheap and delicious food of the highest quality.
Specials are listed on the boards, or you can take a look behind the glass counter and choose one of the newly prepared dishes ready for eating. We had a bottle of red wine that we drank from a couple of plastic cups, plates of roasted rabbit and vegetables with fresh bread, and a huge selection of freshly fried seafood served on brown paper and paper plates – and it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had! Cheap, simple and authentic. Experience a bit of Ligurian history at Sciamadda and you won’t regret it!
Take in panoramic views at the Mole Antonelliana
Mole Antonelliana is an architectural landmark of Turin that dominates the skyline, and is now a monument of national unity. It’s 167.5 metres high and when built, was the tallest brick building in Europe. The building contains a panoramic lift which allows visitors to go up to the panoramic terrace to take in the amazing views of the city and the surrounding Alps. If you fancy a bit of cardio, you can also climb on foot along the cavity of the dome stairs, up to the panoramic terrace.
The National Cinema Museum has an exhibition hosted by the Mole Antonelliana, displaying its extraordinary collections of the history of cinema from its origins to the present day – well worth a look too.
It’s only 10 Euros to visit the National Cinema Museum, and 7 Euros for a trip to the panoramic terrace – but you can buy a ticket for both for 14 Euros.
Mole Antonelliana and the National Cinema Museum are both closed on Tuesdays, and open 09:00-20:00 Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 09:00-23:00 on Saturdays.
Take a chance on Turin, next time you fancy a city break only a couple of hours from London.
For other Italian destination ideas, check out our other posts: Monti: a break from the tourist crowds in Rome, What you need to know before visiting Venice and Minardi Frascati Winery: The best day trip from Rome.