Turin, the capital of Piedmont, is a beautiful city in Northern Italy that is situated on the banks of the River Po. As the first capital of modern unified Italy, and the former home of the influential Royal House of Savoy family, Turin, or ‘Torino’ as it’s known locally, has an important cultural heritage and a whole range of astounding attractions to see.
With impressive museums, churches, royal palaces, galleries, top-quality hotels, restaurants and bars, Turin is one of Italy’s top winter destinations, despite not always getting the press it deserves.
How Cold Does It Get In Turin, Italy?
During the winter months, the average temperatures in Turin range from around 0-2 Degrees Celsius up to 3-10 Degrees Celsius. The days tend to be cold but sunny with a fresh, clear blue sky although sometimes it rains and occasionally snows. Temperatures at night regularly dip below 0 Degrees Celsius so it’s worth bringing a warm jacket when you visit.
Does It Snow In Turin?
Yes, usually it snows at least once during the winter in Turin. However, the snowfall is rarely very heavy and the city only gets about 25-30cm of snow per year. Even so, the light dusting of snow looks beautiful on the rooftops and can help to make a great photograph that much better.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Turin?
The ideal time to visit Turin is between September and January. The weather is still pleasantly mild and the clear skies give the city a bright atmosphere. This is also during the low tourist season so you won’t have to wait in long lines to get into the galleries and museums and the hotel rates are lower than in the busy summer months.
During the late autumn and winter, there are festivals, concerts and special exhibitions for culture vultures to enjoy while for food buffs the annual truffle festival, in nearby Alba, is absolutely unmissable.
Get The Torino+Piemonte Card.
When you visit Turin it’s a great idea to buy a ‘Torino+Piemonte Card’. You can get a 1, 2, 3 or 5 day card which gives you free entrance to numerous museums, exhibitions and other attractions which can save you as much as 10 to 15 Euros per person on each entrance fee! On top of that, the Torino-Piemonte Card gives you additional discounts on public transport and other services in the city.
Prices for a Torino-Piemonte Card start from about 30 Euros per person and so provided you visit a few attractions each day the card will quickly pay for itself. To find out more about obtaining your Torino+Piemonte Card and the benefits you can get, see here.
Best Things To Do In Turin During The Winter.
Turin is a fashionable, elegant and stylish city that is steeped in history and boasts more than 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the region.
Visit The Museo Nazionale Del Cinema.
There’s no better way to spend a cold winter’s morning in Turin than to visit the National Cinema Museum or the ‘Museo Nazionale del Cinema’ in Italian. This museum is one of the world’s most important monuments to the silver screen and offers a fascinating insight into the history of cinema and the culture that surrounds it.
The museum itself is situated within the Mole Antonelliana which has become an iconic symbol of the city and has interactive exhibits, antique collector’s items and galleries to explore within the multi-floored complex. An essential stop in Turin for all film lovers and a great way to combine a fun experience with educational opportunities for children, the National Cinema Museum is one of the city’s cultural gems.
Guided Tour Of The Royal Palace And The Egyptian Museum.
Two of Turin’s top cultural highlights are the Royal Palace and the Egyptian Museum. If you’d like to find out all about the history of the palace and be shown around the Egyptian Museum by a local expert then joining a tour is the best way to do so! The tour includes skip-the-line tickets to both attractions and will take you through the spectacular Baroque halls of the palace before you head over to the nearby Egyptian museum.
You’ll also be guided to the Chapel of the Holy Shroud where you can see the actual burial shroud that was placed over Jesus of Nazareth as he lay in his tomb before being resurrected 3 days later. This shroud, known as the ‘Turin Shroud’, is one of Christianity’s most important relics and is a must-see while you’re in the city.
Discover The Hidden Gems Of Turin On A Guided Bike Tour.
If you’d like to see Turin’s top attractions, including those that are off the beaten track, then why not join a bike tour with an informative local guide? Although the weather might be a bit chilly in winter, if you wrap up warm and wear a waterproof jacket you’ll be absolutely fine! During the 3.5-hour tour, you’ll see magnificent attractions such as Valentino Park, the Mole Antonelliana and the castle, among other city highlights.
Your guide will explain all about the history and significance of the sights you see and since the groups are limited to 13 people you’ll have a really personalized experience. Don’t worry if you haven’t brought a bicycle helmet with you because the tour provides you with a bike and all the safety equipment that you’ll need. You also can opt for a morning or an afternoon tour, depending on which suits your itinerary better.
Turin Gourmet Food Tour.
Turin is famous for its exquisite local specialties, including chocolates, truffles, wines and cheeses. So if you’re a food buff in Turin during the winter and want to savor the unique flavors of the region’s culinary specialties then this 3-hour tour is the perfect option for you.
Led by an experienced local guide, you’ll be taken on a deep dive through the culinary traditions of the city. Stopping off at restaurants to try local specialties and have your lunch, you’ll be able to experience the whole waterfront of flavors and dishes. Some of the foods that you’ll sample along the way include, but are not limited to, grissini, agnolotti and tajarin pasta, steak tartare, Vitello tonne, chocolates and a bicerin to finish off the feast.
Immerse Yourself In The Christmas Season.
If you’re in Turin during the Christmas season then you’ll be in for a real treat! The city transforms into a winter wonderland and sometimes even has a light dusting of snow to complete the magic! At this time of year, Turin hosts numerous markets throughout the city where you can buy hot food, sweets, local specialties, hot, cold and alcoholic beverages as well as toys, souvenirs and gifts.
The two main Christmas markets are located at Piazza Solferino and Piazza Castello. Both markets sell a vast range of delightful Christmas ornaments, gifts, toys, regional produce, food, drinks and much more besides. As well as the market, if you visit the Piazza Solferino you’ll also find a small ice skating rink where you can rent skates and take a turn on the ice.
If you’re looking for something a bit more eclectic then the Bunker Big Market, on Via Niccolo Paganini 25, is housed in a large cultural center that is built in a former World War 2 air raid shelter. The market sells an amazing selection of vintage and handmade arts and crafts that make excellent gifts for friends and family. There’s also plenty of street food and live music which gives the occasion a lovely festive atmosphere. The Bunker Big Market, Christmas Edition, usually begins around the 10th or 11th of December, but you should check the dates before you arrive.
Lastly, the city puts up a number of Christmas trees throughout the city. The biggest, and most impressive, Christmas tree is situated at Piazza Vittorio Veneto where you can also see a gigantic advent calendar.
The Best Day Trips From Turin During Winter.
Even though Turin has a huge amount to offer, the surrounding region has a few cultural highlights that are well worth taking a day trip to see! Turin is perfectly situated to explore North Western Italy and with great transport links, it’s easy to get to where you’re going.
Visit Via Lattea To Hike Or Ski.
The Via Lattea area is a popular winter sports and hiking destination that is just 70 km West of Turin and home to some of the finest ski resorts in Italy. Right on the border between the French and Italian Alps, the Via Lattea is perfect for a day trip of skiing or hiking in the pristine mountains; although to really get the most out of your trip it might be worth spending a couple of days in the area.
As well as skiing, snowboarding and hiking, you can also enjoy a more tranquil experience in Via Lattea. You can explore some of the Alpine villages, appreciate the stunning views and natural beauty of the area and then have lunch in a small, family-run restaurant.
To get to the Via Lattea, you can either rent a car and drive or take public transport into the mountains. The best way to get to Via Lattea by public transport is by train. Trains depart frequently from the Torino Porta Nuova station and take you up to Bardonecchia in Via Lattea. The trip only takes around 90 minutes and tickets start from less than 20 Euros per person for a round trip.
It’s worth leaving early in the morning if you’re planning a day trip to the Via Lattea so you can spend the whole day in the mountains.
Birthplace Of The International Slow Food Movement.
The Slow Food Movement swept the world in the 1980s, and it all began in the humble town of Bra, in Piedmont. This delightful town is situated 50 km Southeast of Turin and has a gorgeous historic center that is bursting with family-run food stores, restaurants and cafes. The town is especially famous for its high quality meats and cheeses as well as its veal sausages, known as Salsiccia di Bra.
However, no day trip to Bra would be complete without stopping at the Osteria del Boccondivino, a regional hub of the slow food philosophy. This tavern serves outstanding food and has a menu that is packed full of Piedmontese wines and dishes.
To get to Bra you can catch a train from Torino Porta Susa station which takes about 45 minutes and costs less than 20 Euros for a return ticket.
Take A Trip To The Reggia Di Venaria Reale.
This UNESCO-listed 17th Century hunting lodge was a splendid residence of the wealthy Savoy royal family of Turin and is set on 150 acres of beautiful grounds. You can explore this Baroque-styled palace on a day trip from Turin and marvel at the astounding royal apartments, salons, dining rooms and exhibits. You can also wander through the grounds and see the largest kitchen garden in the whole of Italy!
When it comes time to have your lunch you can eat at the on-site Michelin-starred restaurant, the Dolce Stil Novo. With amazing views across the palace’s gardens, the restaurant is open from 1.30 pm until 9.30 pm each day. With an incredible menu, including the special ‘Blanche Carte’ option, where the chef will prepare you a surprise meal, it’s an experience in itself to eat in the Dolce Stil Novo.
To get to the Reggia di Venaria Reale you can catch the Venaria Express shuttle bus from the Piazza Vittorio Veneto or the Piazza Castello in central Turin. The bus costs around 5 Euros per head and gets you to the Reggia Di Venaria Reale in about 30 minutes.
Winter In Turin Is A Magical Time Of The Year.
Turin is one of the best cities in Italy to visit during the winter. With wonderful markets, superb historical attractions and easy access to the Italian Alps, the city is undoubtedly one of the country’s best kept secrets.