Summer certainly calls for destinations other than the stuffy but always fascinating Turin. But the Piedmontese capital knows how to appreciate it even during an almost pre-summer weekend and not just for its baroque palaces and royal residences where Italian history was created, Mole Antonelliana redefining the entire urban landscape or Piazza Castello with its impressive architecture. Here’s where to go or where to go back.
A city with many souls
There is, for example, a Turin that knows how to be attractive even for places that are less traveled by tourists such as the medieval village immersed in the greenery of Valentino Park, along the Po, which takes you back in time with centuries. Or the one (for which several guided tours are available) that develops in a labyrinth of tunnels in the intestines of the underground city, which were once used for military purposes or as shelters. There is therefore a Turin that renounces culture with its many museums, from the most famous (Egyptian, Italian Risorgimento to Palazzo Carignano or car) to other less visited but suggestive such as Centro Storico Fiat, the Grande Torino Museum dedicated to the legendary football team that disappeared in Superga, the Lavazza team to enjoy the history of coffee and film. And finally, there is a Turin that finally embraces visitors and residents without limits in its historic cafes and trendy cocktail bars, offering equally unique flavors and atmospheres.
Between black, white and photojournalism
Real gems for photography lovers: a weekend in Turin can also be an opportunity to immerse yourself in this art without leaving the streets in the center. “Masterpieces of Modern Photography 1900-1940. The Thomas Walther Collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York” is the title of the exhibition (the only Italian stop and among the three in Europe) that can be admired at the Camera-Centro Italiano per la Fotografia fram to June 26. It is an extraordinary selection of over 230 original works from the first half of the 20th century by the then great masters of the lens, who accompany the visitor (advises on the guided tour) during the years of the great transformation of this art, influenced of movements such as constructivism and surrealism or the trends dictated by the Bauhaus. Among the 250 pictures are also those taken in the summer of 1959 in Turin by the American artist during a trip to Italy. Gallerie d’Italia’s headquarters in central Piazza San Carlo. Signed by Paolo Pellegrin, photojournalist at international level, “The fragile wonder: a journey into changing nature” is dedicated to the relationship between man and his natural environment and is made by presenting the images also in the form of an installation. Finally, the fourth meeting that Turin offers photography lovers is World Press Photo, the most important photojournalism competition in the world, which returns for the sixth year in the city (last year it was set up in the Palazzo Madama) in the spaces of GAM (The Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art ) until 18 September. In the 134 photos selected from over 65,000 candidates, you can admire works published in magazines such as National Geographic, New York Times, Le Monde and El Pais and rewarded for documenting natural disasters, conflicts, civil rights protests and more in every corner of the world.
A sweet journey through time
When you walk through Turin, among its boulevards and parks, you always feel the feeling of being in a city with a famous past. And there is another element that takes you back to an era of carriages and horses: it is the atmosphere that the cafes in the historic center of the late 19th century radiate where you can enjoy the typical Piedmontese delicacies, from chocolate-based cakes to gianduiotti. This season, we sit at the outdoor tables and lose a little charm and elegance in the interior of these rooms, where antique mirrors and wooden series, precious balls and satin wallpapers, sumptuous chandeliers and porcelain plates. But a stop (or even just a quick visit) is recommended more than ever. What example? Caffè Confetteria Al Bicerin in Piazza della Consolata dates back to 1763 and was the favorite of Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour: it is so called the house’s specialty, the hot drink based on coffee, chocolate and cream in syrup. Under the arcades of the stunning Via Po is the Caffè Gelateria Fiorio, which opened in 1780 and is “home” to the Savoy nobility, while in Piazza San Carlo you can stop at Caffè Torino, inaugurated in the early 20th century, where the city’s coat of arms (the lavish Caffè San Carlo, one of the meeting places for the intellectuals of Risorgimento, is still closed). One last useful address, along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, is Plattis: born in 1875, it is considered one of the most beautiful cafes in Turin and was, not surprisingly, very popular with Luigi Einaudi and Cesare Pavese.
Discover old and new cocktail bars
In the main squares, along the Po but also (if not above all) in the districts that embrace and surround the historic city center: choosing the bar to enjoy a cocktail dinner in Turin can also be a very simple operation (due to the wide range of available) and dispersive. Better to get some kind of map to go without fail. At Affini, in the popular and very lively San Salvario district (a few minutes from Porta Nuova station), an aperitif becomes a gourmet experience and can be turned into a real tapas meal. You can drink everything except the specialty of the place are the suggestions that draw from the wide selection of vermouth. Not far away we also find D.One in via Baretti, another place that combines the tapas formula with the drink list and which is characterized by the interior walls with exposed bricks and the wooden and metal furniture. Less intimate, though very refined, and especially popular on weekend evenings, the Drogheria in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, one of the most famous places in Turin’s nightlife, combines a wide range of homemade cocktails with the option of à la carte dining. Mac Dog Social Club is of a completely different kind, a place available to members (as a cultural association) who reveal their special identity only when they enter (or rather leave) this Anglo-Saxon venue where live concerts serve as a contour to a wide range of cocktails inspired by the tradition of Italian blend and objects of continuous adaptation. Barz8, in Corso Moncalieri, on the east bank of the Po, is a place that deserves a mention for a simple reason: the cocktails are tailored to the customers’ taste, in a way tailored as its owner says, fishing from a selection of over 600 labels including liqueurs and spirits.