Friday 10 November 2023

The best day trips from Turin

This is a collaborative post

Located in Italy's industrial heartland, Turin is a city synonymous with great food, culture, and design. While it may not be as well-known as other Italian cities like Rome or Florence, Turin is definitely worth a visit – especially if you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Turin, Italy
Photo credit Massimiliano Morosinotto via Unsplash

Turin and the wider Piedmont region of which it is a part have long been the economic powerhouse of the Italian peninsula. And, okay, that may not exactly persuade you to visit unless you're a serious gearhead who wants to see the city where Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Lancia were born. But like most Italian cities, Turin has a wealth of historical and cultural treasures that make the city worth a visit.

And because Turin is located in the wealthier northern part of Italy, and thanks in part to its industrial heritage, the city is blessed with some of the best public transport connections in the entire country. That makes it very easy to get out of the city and see more of what Piedmont offers.

So what are you waiting for? Drop off your bags at a luggage storage in Turin and get ready to explore this sometimes underrated city.

The Royal Palace of Venaria Reale

A visit to the Royal Palace of Venaria Reale is like taking a step back in time. This massive palace was built in the 17th century for the House of Savoy, who ruled over the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia at the time. The palace is absolutely massive, and it's surrounded by beautiful gardens that are perfect for a summer stroll.
When it was built all those centuries ago, the palace was well outside the city, but nowadays, it lies in a suburb not far from the city center. A couple of buses will bring you to this stunning location that will make you feel like you've stepped back in time, but you'll still be close enough to the city to easily get back to central Turin and explore all the great food and culture it has to offer.

The Sacra di San Michele

The Sacra di San Michele is a monastery that sits atop a mountain in the Valle d'Aosta region of Italy, just a short drive from Turin. The monastery has been standing since the 10th century, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. If you want to get away from the city and enjoy some of the beautiful Italian countryside, this is definitely the place to go.
A single train line will bring you to the Monastery, but you'll be facing an almost two-mile walk from the station. Still, that just means you get more time to enjoy the tranquil nature and stunning natural surroundings of the monastery itself. And since the monastery was once on a major 1,250-mile pilgrimage route from Mont Saint Michel in the north of France, you may feel a little silly complaining about a short walk.
Guided tours are available to explain the history and significance of the monastery, including its role as the inspiration for Umberto Eco's book The Name of the Rose and the film of the same name. But whether you take a tour or not, it's an atmospheric place to visit that will give you a deeper insight into the history and culture of the region.

Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy
Photo credit Fabio Montello via Unsplash

The Lake District

The Lake District is a stunning region of Italy that is home to some of the country's most beautiful lakes. Located just a short drive from Turin, the Lake District is the perfect place to enjoy a day of hiking, swimming, or simply relaxing by the water. There are also plenty of great restaurants and cafes in the area, so you can refuel after a day of exploring.

This is how residents of Turin spend their free time, and when you see the scenic riches that Piedmont has to offer, you'll see why. The Lake District is a perfect place to get out of the city and beat the summer heat during the height of tourist season. With dozens of lakes to visit, including the majestic Lake Como, along with seemingly endless quaint villages, you won't run out of things to do here. If you're a lover of the outdoors, the Lake District is a good reason to visit Turin all by itself.

Lake Como, Italy
Photo credit Lewis J Goetz via Unsplash

The Town of Asti

Asti is a small town located in the Piedmont region of Italy, about an hour's drive from Turin. This town is best known for its wine, and it's the perfect place to go if you want to learn more about the world-famous Nebbiolo grape.

The town itself is quite small, but it's packed with character. There are plenty of great restaurants and cafes to enjoy, as well as a number of historic churches and other buildings. Asti is also home to one of the largest annual medieval festivals in all of Europe, which takes place in September. If you're visiting Turin at that time, a day trip to Asti is a must.


On a short trip, Turin has more than enough to keep you occupied all by itself. But if you're staying in the area for longer, consider getting rid of your heavy bags and exploring more of Piedmont on these day trips from Turin. The truth is, there's much more to the area than just the city itself, and the scenery of Northern Italy is every bit as spectacular as you'll find anywhere else in Europe.
Get yourself a train ticket and a map, and get ready to see what makes Piedmont so special!

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