An arts and culture guide to Turin, Italy07 May 2022 at 06:00 CEST
As Official Travel Partner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, Booking.com knows a thing or two about our elegant host city.
From the perfectly preserved private apartment of an eccentric 20th-century Italian architect, to a street art tour around mural-filled neighbourhoods, we give you seven fantastic cultural experiences to be found in Turin.
Museo Casa Mollino
This engrossing museum is the former residence of renowned Italian architect and artist, Carlo Mollino. The eccentric Mollino redesigned it between 1960 and 1968 as a secret sanctuary, never telling anyone about the apartment and actually never spending a single night there. Instead, he created a kind of pharaoh’s tomb; symbols of ancient Egypt and surrealist details can be found at every turn, from zebra and leopard print to a 19th-century, boat-shaped bed. In 1999, it was lovingly restored to exactly how it looked when Mollino died by a father-son duo who still run this fascinating historic home and offer passionate guided tours (note that tours must be pre-booked via email). Stay at Opera35 Suite & Studio, just a 13-minute walk from Casa Mollino.
The Palazzo Madama stands grandly in the Piazza Castello, next to the Giardini Reali di Torino (gardens filled with fountains and 18th-century statues). It was built in the 13th century and stands on what was once a Roman gate, but also boasts a magnificent baroque facade and the odd Renaissance architectural feature. This majestic palace was named after Savoy royalty Madama Maria, who called it her home in the 17th century. But today, it is a museum with four storeys showcasing an immense collection of art and relics that date from the Middle Ages up until the Renaissance, as well as temporary contemporary exhibitions. After a cultural day out, spend the night just opposite the Palazzo Madama at highly rated aparthotel, Piazza Castello Suite.
Museo Nazionale del Cinema
Turin’s Museo Nazionale del Cinema can be found inside the Mole Antonelliana, a gracefully beautiful building with a large neoclassical dome and spire that also serves as a major monument of the city. What was designed and constructed as a synagogue in 1889, now houses a captivating permanent collection of film-related devices, props, posters and other memorabilia documenting the history of cinema. There’s also a lift to the top of the dome, offering incredible views of the city and its mountainous backdrop. And the museum hosts the annual Torino Film Festival, which is held in November and is the second-largest film festival in Italy (after the Venice Film Festival). Check in to Luxury Flat Riberi sotto la Mole, a stylish apartment located at the foot of the Mole Antonelliana with balconies looking out onto the monument.
Palazzo Reale di Torino
The 16th-century Palazzo Reale (or Royal Palace) of Turin is one of the most impressive and important residences of the House of Savoy, which ruled Turin until the late 19th century. It sits adjacent to Piazza Castello right in the city centre, and has been a museum since 1946, with visitors allowed to tour its opulent and fascinating interior. Highlights include the frescoes, throne room, 19th-century ballroom and a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Book a Royal Palace of Turin Guided Tour for a chance to explore this UNESCO World Heritage palace with skip-the-line admission. Stay at guesthouse Nel cuore del Centro Storico, just 250 metres from the palace.
The Egyptian Museum
Turin’s Egyptian Museum (or Museo Egizio) consistently ranks as one of the most popular attractions in Italy, making it a must-do while you’re in the city. It possesses the second most important Egyptian collection in the world outside Cairo, with thousands of priceless artefacts that are displayed over several floors. These floors are connected by escalators that were designed in such a way as to resemble cruising up the Nile as you follow the exhibits. To truly get the most out of the museum and its surrounding piazzas and monuments, book yourself onto a City and Egyptian Museum Guided Tour. Stay at Alloggio Fronte Egizio, a highly rated apartment less than a hundred metres from the museum.
Turin street art
To see a more contemporary side of Turin’s artistic offering, take a walking Guided Street Art Tour through the city’s vibrant street art neighbourhoods. Turin has long been a hub for street artists, with works from famous international artists dotted all around town and now several festivals celebrating the genre held here each year. Fans of street art will be impressed by the city’s many large-scale murals, including pieces by Austrian artist Nychos (known for his amazing anatomical style) and Italian artist Millo. Stay at Hotel Giulio Cesare, just a 13-minute walk from the starting point of the street art tour.
OGR (Officine Grandi Riparazioni)
The OGR (or Officine Grandi Riparazioni) is a cultural arts and music venue that often hosts concerts with musicians like Kraftwerk and Omar Souleyman. Housed in a renovated industrial complex, it’s a vast space where you’ll find tech, art, music, and all kinds of inspiring events held throughout the year. Stay at Il Gioiellino, a classic and charming hotel just eight minutes’ walk from the OGR.