A Traveling Writer’s Guide To Turin

Traveling Writer's Guide To Turin
6 Min Read
This Traveling Writer’s Guide To Turin was created specifically with the needs of a writer in mind. A traveling writer needs to know the history, where to find inspiration, a great place to write, and a great place to lay their head. That way all your energy can funnel into creating!


Turin is located in the north of Italy, and is the capital of the Piedmont region which is home to some of the best wine and truffle in the world. Turin, or Turino as the Italians call it is a major industrial city along the Po River. While Turin itself is industrial, the surrounding regions are full of rolling green hills that are typical to the Italian countryside.

The name is derived from the Celtic word tau which means mountain. It was founded 2400 years ago by the Celtic tribe Taurini. Before heading to Italy, the tribe conquered much of France and Spain. In Italian, torino is translated to little bull.

Much of Turin was destroyed by Hannibal however in the first century AD it was rebuilt. The square plan of the city with right angled streets were a trademark of the Romans and still exist in Turin to this day. 

At the fall of the Roman Empire, Turin was conquered by the Goths, Lombards and Franks in the 8th century AD.

It was then conquered by the Savoy family in 1280 where it began to flourish. The Duke Emanuele Filiberto made Turin the capital of his region in 1560. The Savoy are credited with bringing art, architecture, and culture to the city. They attempted to bring Italian influence into Turin however it resembles Paris more than any of the other Italian cities. 

The House of Savoia eventually ruled over Italy by 1861, and Turin became the capital of Italy. However in 1864, the capital moved to Florence and eventually to Rome in 1871 where it now remains. 


1. Egyptian Museum

This spectacular museum holds the largest amount of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt itself. The collections began in 1824 when King Carlo Felice acquired 5,268 artifacts excavated in Egypt. What is so incredible about this museum is the time that the artifacts date back. Many museums we see date back maybe hundreds of years, however in this museum you will have a glimpse of what life was like 4000 years ago. Here you will see not only artifacts like clothing, coffins, tools, but actual centuries old mummies.

2. Museo Nazionale del Cinema

The museum is best described by its designer, François Confino: “A full-immersion plunge into the world of images in motion and fiction.” This is a perfect way to inspire your next set of characters.

3. Piedmont

Rent a car, or if you decide to indulge in the native wine, hire a driver, and explore the beautiful hillside towns that surround Turin. Although there are many attractions within the city, it is a perfect starting point for exploring. Alba, Barolo, Asti, Neive are all home to quaint and quiet towns with incredible restaurants and wineries. Check out this article from theculturetrip.com to explore more on these adorable areas.

4. The National Automobile Museum

This automobile museum displays beautiful antique cars as well as displaying the social and cultural context of the automobiles. Use this museum as a way to delve into the past and inspire a story that dates back to a simpler time.

5. Royal Palace of Turin

Although this 17th century building is plain on the outside, the state apartments are spectacular. The Royal Armory contains the largest collection of arms in Europe with items dating back from the 15th century. It also contains one of Italy’s most impressive libraries. Past the Palazzo Reale you will find the Royal Gardens, as well as the Museo d’Antichita where you will find archaeological finds from the prehistoric times and the late Roman era.

6. Borgo Medievale and Parco del Valentino

Unlike the grand architecture in Turin, here you will find a medieval village at the Parco Valentino along the river. This is an imaginative idea of what life might have looked like in this time period. The village has a castle, as well as caftspeople who demonstrate period skills.

7. The Cathedral and the Holy Shroud

This beautiful cathedral build in 1492 is home to the Santa Sidone, Holy Shroud. It is kept in a bulletproof, fireproof, and climate controlled vault behind the altar. This highly studied artifact shroud of the crucified Christ is steeped in controversy over its authenticity.

8. Palazzo Madama

Inside this 13th century castle you will find the Museo Civico d’Arte Antica where you will find Turin’s cultural history. The museum houses a collection of medieval stone work, sculptures, jewelry and art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

9. Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano

This museum is the largest of its kind. This was the meeting place of the Italian parliament in the 1800’s, and it was here that the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy was formed. The museum commemorates this movement within 30 different rooms. 

Writing Places

Being that Turin is a city, the best places to write are indoor work cafe’s and bars. Surprisingly, for a nearly ancient European city, Turin has more places for remote work than many modern day cities.

Turin’s Top 10 Cafe’s For Writers

  1. Orso Laboratorio del Caffè
  2. Café Al Bicerin
  3. EDIT Torino
  4. EDIT Torino
  5. I MagazziniOz
  6. Caffè Mulassano
  7. Caffè Torino
  8. Baratti & Milano
  9. Bar Zucca
  10. Caffetteria Pino

Travel Tips

Where To Stay

Principi Di Piedmont is one of the most beautiful hotels in Turin, and is located just one block from a street filled with luxury stores. The street is lined with magnificent columns and will lead you to many tourist destinations in either direction, including the Egyptian Museum. The hotel has all the necessary amenities, including a work desk, lounge area, gym, spa, restaurant, bar, and reception desk with local gourmet chocolates for the taking. The concierge can arrange a private tour, wine tasting, and truffle hunting in the Piemonte area and the restaurant chef hotel will even use your freshly found truffles in a custom meal for you.

Getting Around

Turin is like any other metropolitan city in that you can rely on the public transit system with trains or buses. Luckily, Turin also has taxis and Uber which makes travel much more convenient- especially in a foreign country,

When To Go

It would be best to avoid Turin in the very hot months like July and August, as Italian cities become very hot. The best time would be in the fall, September and October when the weather has cooled and the foliage begins to change. You can also visit in the late spring, just before the summer heat begins.

If you loved this Traveling Writer’s Guide To Turin then be sure to share it with your friends, and check out the rest of LivingWriter‘s Traveling Writer’s Guides!

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