Perched next to the Po River and under the gaze of the snow-capped Italian Alps, Turin, the capital of Italy's Piedmont region is crammed with baroque architecture, world-class museums and industrial history. Wander through its charming cobbled squares lined with 19th-century arcades, or visit the numerous bars and historic coffee shops, where you can sample bicerin, the local speciality of hot chocolate, coffee and cream.
Get your bearings on this sprawling city from the 167-metre-high dome of Mole Antonelliana, once the tallest brick building in Europe and now home to the National Cinema Museum. Or visit the fascinating Egyptian Museum, which houses the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts outside of Cairo.
Boasting a long industrial history, Turin is Italy's third largest economic centre after Rome and Milan. It was Italy's original capital city, and is still the seat of the House of Savoy, the royal family. Tour the Royal Palace and Galleria Sabauda, the family's extensive art collection, before nipping next door to the 15th-century Turin Cathedral and the hidden Chapel of the Holy Shroud, where Christ's alleged burial cloth is kept under lock and key.
Turin has a reliable tram, rail, bus and subway network, but it’s also an easy city to explore on foot. Take a stroll down Via Roma, the city's main artery, which is lined with designer boutiques and upmarket cafes, bars and restaurants. Continue south to Lingotto, the urban district surrounding the old Fiat factory, and visit the National Car Museum. Or head north of Centro to Aurora, where the Turin Eye – an anchored hot air balloon – takes visitors 150 metres above the city.
After a day exploring the city, relax with an aperitivo, the Turinese tradition of cocktail hour, where local bars offer a complimentary buffet of antipasti. After dark find a rustic trattoria off Piazza Castello or San Carlo, and dine on fabulous Piedmont cuisine. It’s the perfect way to end a day in this northern Italian gem.