What a difference a day makes: 24 hours in Turin

While one can stay in Turin for weeks, a short trip to this underestimated city is always worthwhile. Don’t have the time to plan a trip? Don’t worry, our guide for a day in Turin has you covered. From great food to history and museums, be sure to check out what Turin has to offer.

Why not listen to famous Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi from Torino while reading our article…

Morning: Treat yourself to some ice cream, or “gelato” as the locals call it

The question is: where do you find best gelato? In Turin the answer is Caffè Fiorio. Text by Eveliina Aarnos

Primavera gelato and bicerin (Photo: Eveliina Aarnos)

Visit to the historic Caffè Fiorio proves to be worth the time and money. The secret to Fiorio’s gelato is that they use fresh milk mixed with condensed milk. This gives it a creamy texture and unique flavor. On a list of flavours there’s something for everyone. Fruit for those who enjoy fresh flavours, a range of liqueur gelatos for a more adult taste and everything in between.

Fiorio has something for everyone: pastries, coffee and gelato (Photos: Gina Clarke)

A local coffee specialty ‘Bicerin’ goes nicely with gelato or pastries from the cafe. Bicerin is a mix of coffee, chocolate and cream. There is no one formula for it, but every Chef makes it a bit different. The warm and thick drink has a perfectly balanced flavor, with neither coffee or chocolate overpowering each other.

Caffe Fiorio (Photo: Gina Clarke)

Fiorio is the perfect place to stop for a morning treat. The cafe was founded in 1780 and is full of history. Behind the entrance counter you can find lots of seating in beautiful parlours. The cafe is quiet and calm. You can see and feel the history in the rooms. If you’re really quiet and listen carefully, you can almost hear the whispers of the past clients from the times when Fiorio was the place of political and cultural conversation.

Noon: Explore the secrets of Mole Antonelliana, the symbol of Turin

Text and photos by Gina Clarke

The Mole Antonelliana

Head to the centre of Turin and the spire of the Mole Antonelliana will constantly draw your eye. Her domed roof and temple steeple wink at you between the buildings on the sky line. Catch her dancing behind the home of the Turin Shroud, the Dome of San Giovanni, or walk through Piazzo Castello, beside the famous Palazzo Madama, where she offers a flirtatious glimpse amongst the Roman history. At night here you can find street sellers giving you the opportunity to take home your very own Mole Antonelliana keyring or snowglobe, for Torino loves her as much as it loves Fiat cars and Bulls.

Built between 1863 and 1889 by Alessandro Antonelli, from whom this symbol of Turin takes her name, Antonelli designed her structure as a fusion of neoclassical culture and Baroque tradition without using a metal frame. Ultimately completed by his Son Costanzo, a year after Antonelli`s death in 1888, the 167 metre high structure needed a complete restoration in the 1930s encasing it in concrete. Why did this experienced architect design such an unstable structure? Some say it was due to austerity after a disagreement with the Jewish community cut off his funding, others prefer to think that this new way of building would entice the occult, either way the building commands an air of mystery it retains still, despite its restorations.

These days she is the home for the National Museum of Cinema and offers one of the most unique views of the City, as you can take the lift to 88 floors above street level for an impressive 360 degree panorama. In terms of a museum experience the offering you will find here in the Mole Antonelliana is like no other. Set designer Francois Confino who organised the original set in 2000 and the re-design in 2006 said,

One can’t imagine a cinema museum as just a museum of objects and films because the essence of Cinema is film.

For curators of history there is an in-depth display including the archaeological beginnings of cinematography but for movie lovers there is no better place than to watch Scarface laid down on a plush velvet bed, to crash through a door like Roadrunner, or visit a Storm Trooper’s helmet from a collection of Star Wars memorabilia.

Road Runner and Star Wars

Still there is lots to learn here, and when you grasp the origins of cinema it is easier to cultivate an understanding of the creation of cinematic genres such as 3D or horror. The museum offers a history class like no other, experience this in real time by taking part in special exhibitions that will lead you back in time. Here you can see ghosts come towards you, hear the whoosh of a candle as it is blown out and your imagination will fill in the rest.

For those wanting a more relaxing experience, lie back in the comfortable chaise-longues which fill the floor underneath the Dome of the Mole Antonelliana. Once you look upwards you will find yourself delighted by the projections which dance around the ceiling in an incredible display that will keep you mesmirised for hours.

Inside the Dome at the Mole Antonelliana

To take advantage of all the National Museum of Cinema has to offer it is recommended you allow two hours for your visit, though you could easily lose yourself for longer.

If you want to see even more historic places, check out our highlight video below

Click here for more information on the Museum of Cinema

Tel.: +39 011 8138511 Address: 20 Montebello Street, Turin

For lunch try these Italian specialties:

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Afternoon: Visit the best Automobile Museum in Europe

Italy overtakes Germany in the historical race of cars. Photos and text by Sofia Brontvein

Walking across the gorgeous river Po, watching fascinating landscapes, Chiesa di Santa Maria del Monte, lovely couples and canoeing athletes, you can enjoy Turin on your way to the MAUTO. This strange abbreviation stands for The National Automobile Museum founded in 1932 in Turin.

Main entrance of the MAUTO

First of all, I want to stress out that it is one of the most interactive and educational museums in the World. In 2013 the Times included the MAUTO in the list of the 50 best museums in the world. And it definitely deserves it.

The exhibition is enormous. It is more than 3500 square meters and has three floors. You can spend about two hours on careful examination of the exhibits, among which there are old cars, sport and concept cars, engines, vehicles’ details, installations connected with mechanics and racing, movies, multi-projection displays and so on.

Steering wheels of the cars in 1900s
«The history of mobility is the history of creativity applied to function and should teach us to reflect on what future the Earth will have if we do not start to look after it» — the MAUTO positions itself this way.

You should start the overview of the exhibition from the highest floor and you will end at the bottom. The navigation in the MAUTO is performed brilliantly. The journey through the museum is very logical, it is impossible to get lost or miss something. One hall simply follows from another, each exhibit continues the previous one and develops the theme of the hall. Among themes there are ‘Cars in the 1900s’, ‘The great garage of the future’, 20th-century mechanical zeal’, ‘The crazy Twenties and Thirties’, ‘Good bye Lenin’, ‘Mechanical symphony’ and a lot more.

Jaguar in the first half of the 20th-century
Car industry is born

The museum’s collection includes some incredibly rare and unique vehicles. You can see more than 200 original automobiles of 80 various brands: Fiat, Ferrari, Lancia, BMW, Mercedes, Bernardi, Peugeot, Itala, Rolls-Royce, Cadillac, Buick, Jaguar and etc.

«The history of the motor cars is not just the history of a means of transport: it takes in all the events that marked the Twentieth century and the vicissitudes of entire peoples and nations,» — tells the Museum booklet.
The crazy Twenties and Thirties

The exhibition starts with, for instance, Peugeot constructed in 1892, Benz made in 1893 in Germany and Bernardi invented in 1896 in Italy and at the end of your visit you can explore Fiat Downtown (concept ecological car, 1993), IDRA 08 (unique machine constructed by the polytechnic students), modern Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Jaguar.

The MAUTO also provides its visitors with a wealth of multimedia data, which interacts you and makes you part of the exhibition. The interviews with racers, engineers and mechanics displayed on to the windshield of cars, there are tablets or touch screen support in every hall which can provide you with additional information about this concrete car or period in automobile engineering.

Concept cars and installations

It totally does not matter whether you like cars or not. This Museum is for everyone. True motorists will be able to examine all the vehicles in details and to learn the history of automobile production. Children and representatives of the new generation, digital natives, will enjoy the multimedia and interactive features, girls can take selfies with gorgeous stylish cars and there is always a possibility to laugh at the amusing video threads from the movies.

Fiat Turbina
Modern sport cars

The National Automobile Museum is one of the best choices for the day in Turin. Don’t miss the chance to become a part of the technological history and progress!

For information, visit the website of the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile

Corso Unità d’Italia 40
10126 Torino
Tel. +39 011 677666011

Hit the shops at Via Giuseppe Garibaldi:

Via Garibaldi on map

Practical information

Text by Michael Jochimsen

  • When to go: Turin has a continental climate, although it has something to offer every time of year. Unlike most of Italy, the winters can get quite cold while the summers are usually warm. But even then, you can visit the nearby Alps that offer a refreshingly cool weather in the summer.
  • How to get around: Turin has two main train stations, Porta Nuova and Porta Susa. While Porta Nuova is the third most used train station in Italy, buses are the main form of public transport. You cannot buy the tickets on the bus, however. Tickets are sold on small news stands and shops around almost every bus stop. Metro tickets are also valid for buses. However, most of the city can be explored by foot, as most of the attractions are located in the city centre.
  • Speaking helpful phrases:

More information:

This project for FEJS Online journalism workshop was created by Sofia Brontvein, Gina Clarke, Eveliina Aarnos and Michael Jochimsen.

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