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Turin is ideally located at the foot of the Alps, which you will have the chance to admire from anywhere in the city. The city has its roots in the 20th century industrialisation and in the struggle for democracy and progress of that period. But today, in particular after the Olympic Games of 2006, Turin has turned into a lively and coloured place awash of students and young workers, also thanks to the University and the Polytechnic of Turin - the best in Italy. The struggle to unify Italy started in Piedmont, which is why Turin became the country’s first capital city, but before that it was the centre of the Savoy Reign. Thanks to this noble family, Turin is rich in history and art of every sort. In addition, having been the centre of Italian automation during the 20th century, the city is also an important hub for contemporary arts, in particular for design and movie making.
Turin's vivid history still colours the atmosphere of the entire city. Walking in the streets of Turin, its past as capital of the richest reign of Southern Europe is plain to see: stunning palaces, squares and arches cover the entire city centre, giving to it a magic aura. In Turin are also settled some of the most important museums in Italy, as the Egyptian Museum (second only to the one in Cairo), and the Museum of Cinema located in the building-symbol of the city - Mole Antonelliana. Besides art and history, in Turin you can also enjoy open air activities both in the city centre - in its huge park Valentino - and in the vicinity, where dozens of Savoy's estates are located with their amazing gardens and parks. Last but not least, if you are a sport enthusiast don't miss to visit Piedmont's ski runs, among the best in the Alps!
Piedmont region is a very important Italian gastronomic centre. Some of the creations invented here are now known all over the world, such as Grissini breadsticks or Gianduia (a typical hazelnut chocolate), a mix of chocolate and nuts which gave the start to Nutella (which is also produced here in Piedmont). If you are an adventurous eater this region certainly won't disappoint you, offering a wide range of pasta, rice, game meat, freshwater fish and delicious desserts made with the best chocolate in the country. All this is normally accompanied by some of the finest wines in Italy: Barbera, Dolcetto, Barolo, Moscato and more. Last but not least, to finish your meal with a high note, enjoy some delicious local grappas.
Italy knows coffee, and Turin is no exception. In the city centre, you can find plenty of ancient cafes mirroring the splendour and elegance of days of old. Turin cafes are all about chocolate and gianduja cream (a mix of chocolate and nuts). Speaking of which, do not miss the chance to try Bicerin, a very tasty and beloved liquor. Last but not least, don't leave Italy before tasting a real Italian ice cream. A very typical Turin tradition is the apericena (halfway between aperitif and dinner) served in almost all bars and cafes of the city, for which normally one pays for the drink and gets various dishes with it. It is the ideal meal to start your night in this amazing city.
Turin's nightlife is impressively varied. No matter what your tastes are, you will certainly find something for you. From the elegant bars located on Piazza Vittorio, to the alternative pubs and clubs in Santa Giulia and Quadrilatero, to the real heart of Turin nightlife in San Salvario, each neighbourhood has its own style. It's up to you decide which one suits you best. During spring and summer, local revelers enjoy their drinks outdoors, in the large terraces of bars or simply in Valentino Park sitting on the banks of the Po. Normally clubs open at around 11pm, but they only start to get crowded at around 1am. Furthermore, if you are a real party-enthusiast, you can even enjoy some after parties from 6am until 12am.
Much like dining and nightlife, your shopping experience can also vary according to the neighbourhood. In the Quadrilatero Romano area, you will find various ethnic, second-hand and artists' shops. But if you are looking for something more sophisticated, you can walk under the arcades of Via Roma and along Via Lagrange, where all the major designer brands have their boutiques. On Via Garibaldi and Via Po, the two main roads to Piazza Vittorio, there are plenty of little stores selling clothes, accessories and local products. Last but not least, if you want to experience a genuine Italian market, you cannot miss Porta Palazzo Market: the biggest in Europe, merging into one farmers, fish and second-hand markets. This last is particularly famous - it is called Balon, and walking among its stalls bargaining with sellers is certainly a unique experience.
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