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Italy has almost too many beautiful, important cities, and Turin has been tarred with a bit of the 'grim-up-the-industrial-north' brush, and thus overlooked by many visitors. But this is totally undeserved! Turin was Italy's first capital, just 150 years ago when its city states and dukedoms were finally united. And its historic centre has the requisite Baroque palaces and Art Nouveau mansions - many of which are now hotels, and some of the best places to stay in Turin.
It's not all about the past though, Turin is also a great place for fashion and Piedmontese cuisine. And there's a lively vibe to be found amongst the shady arcades.
Turin's green boulevards, lined with beautiful Art Nouveau cafes, are graceful and generously proportioned when you consider that this is the home of the Fiat. 'The Italian Job' didn't get it too wrong when they showed zippy little numbers shooting across the rooftops - the famous Fiat factory, one of Turin's great architectural landmarks, actually had its testing track on the roof. And that's the kind of place Turin is - forward thinking and productive.
You probably know about Turin's winter games, and its questionable Holy Shroud; and the Fiats and 'The Italian Job' have been mentioned, but this is also a great destination for art lovers.
And the daily market, held by the Porta Palatina, the old city gates, is foodie heaven - the cheese, the salami and proscuitto, the porcini, the truffles, the bread, the hard chocolate (Turin was the first place to produce saleable hard chocolate!).
As well as a number of beautiful churches, the brilliant Automobile Museum, and the Mole Antonelliana - the tower in the centre of town - Turin also has an excellent Egyptian Museum, the National Museum of Cinema, a Museum of Contemporary Art and numerous beautiful gardens. Where you can rest and recuperate with an espresso or gelato.
- The Grand Hotel Sitea is a Turin institution. One of those grand, elegant hotels famed for its afternoon tea and cocktail bar. Right in the heart of Turin, this is a smart, stylish place to stay favoured by distinguished guests and celebrities alike.
Turin's Wonderful B&Bs
- With just two handsome rooms, Foresteria degli Artisti is a cosy, yet exclusive B&B. One apartment sleeps four, the other three. Both are decorated with antiques, row upon row of books and views over Turin's rooftops. This is easily one of the best places to stay in Turin if you want to imagine you're one of the players from 'The Italian Job'.
- Converted from an attractive 19th Century farm estate, Le Serre Suites & Apartments is just ten minutes from Turin, but feels like it's in the middle of nowhere it's so quiet. As the name suggests these are self catering suites and apartments, so a great choice for groups or families.
Modern Boutique-y Arty Affairs
- If you appreciate Warhole, Aldo Mondio and Lichenstien, then Art Hotel Boston is for you. Loads of wonderful original contemporary art works crowd its walls, and they have some great pieces of retro furniture. And the design of the bedrooms is equally fresh and interesting.
- Townhouse 70's classical facade conceals this latest cool offering in this chic franchise. Right in the heart of Turin, near the Piazza Castello, this one of the best places to stay in Turin for city break-ers.
Best Hotels in Turin
Foresteria degli Artisti 2 rooms from $84Turin
A cosy boutique bed and breakfast with two pretty apartments in a handsome 1825 house. Lofty rooms, thoughtfully furnished with antiques, books galore and views over the city. Delicious breakfasts with home baked cakes. Centrally and quietly situated, an ideal spot for families, couples or groups.City - Guides, local maps and information, calendars of special events and history books on Turin are providedB+B - Warm fresh bread, homemade cakes, delicious jams, fruit and spumante for special occasionsSelf catering to rent - One apartment sleeps four and the other three, both well equipped with small kitchenttesFamilies
Art Hotel Boston 87 rooms from $104Turin (Porta Nuova Station)
The facade of this 1911 building belies the interior - an ecletic explosion of modern and contemporary art. The public areas are filled with original works by Warhol, Aldo Mondino and Lichtenstien, amongst others. Bedrooms are equally original. Garden and good food complete the picture.Designer - On going museum and gallery, packed with art works from rare vinyl LPs, art books to classic and retro furnitureRestaurant - Creative and regional menu in the restuarant La Linea Continua, minimal design, art by Emillo ScanavinoSuites - Rooms are themed or named after artistsWifi
Le Serre Suites & Apartments 15 rooms from $89Turin
Attractive 19th century converted farm estate turned hotel offering comfortable apartments and suites. Peacefully located in rolling countryside, just ten minutes from Turin. Breakfast, spa, wine tasting, wine cellar, swimming pool. A flexible service for families or business travellers.B+B - A delicious breakfast is delivered to your suite or apartment each morningSpa - Guests can use the nearby partner spa for therapies and massgeBar - Honesty bar and wine cellarSights nearby - Just 10 mins from TurinRecommended by - Tablet
Hotel Victoria 105 rooms from $115Turin
A fabulous mansion in a quiet residential area of Turin. Traditional romantic bedrooms have fireplaces, four poster beds, and attractive furnishings. Excellent restaurant, spa and beautiful gardens. A great choice for a romantic break.Romantic BreakSpaSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Townhouse 70 48 rooms from $187Turin
The latest hotel in a chic franchise of urban bolt holes, in the centre of Turin, near the Piazza Castello. Effortlessly cool; a classical facade conceals the minimalist interior. Most rooms are junior suites, breakfast is served at the signature communal table. Pretty courtyard garden for drinks.Room service - For those who don't wish to eat breakfast at the communal long table there is room serviceSit-out Terrace - Pretty internal courtyard terrace for cocktails, coffee and light snacksSights nearby - Walking distance from the Piazza Castello, Duomo and Turin shroudLively - Hip and happening.Recommended by - Tablet, CN Traveller
Grand Hotel Sitea 120 rooms from $209Turin
A household name, opened in 1925, many distinguished guests have stayed in this smart hotel from Nobel Prize winners to Louis Armstrong. Ideally suited for either business or pleasure. Centrally positioned behind Piazza San Carlo. The elegant Bar offers exquisite afternoon tea. A Turin institution.Bar - The American bar and the pretty garden not only serve cocktails but afternoon tea with delectable pattiserieRestaurant - Carignano Restaurant offers tyipcal Piedmont dishes and a tasting menuSuites - Standard rooms to elegant, spacious classic suitesBusiness CentreRecommended by - CN Traveller