Also known as “The Paris of Italy” Turin is one of the most fascinating cities of its country. A place of cultural greatness, where the last Royal Family of Italy resided before becoming a Republic and that still holds the title of ex-capital city. These are 15 things that will prove that you are a true Turin citizen.
1. You have visited the Mole Antonelliana at least once in your life
Built in the late 19th century, the Mole Antonelliana represents the main landmark of Turin. Inside it houses the National Cinema Museum as well as an observation deck to view the city from the top. Incredibly popular with the tourists, but also with the residents for its uniqueness.
2. You know where Piazza Carlina is even though Piazza Carlina doesn’t exist
Situated in the historical center of the city is Piazza Carlo Emanuele II, but it’s very likely that even the residents don’t know that this is its official name. It has been called Piazza Carlina since the 17th century by the citizens of Turin because it was the nickname given to Prince Carlo Emanuele II of the Savoia family because of his effeminate ways.
3. The last day of school you went to the fountains of Piazza Castello
One of the biggest traditions for Turin’s middle school and high school students is the annual jump in the fountains of Piazza Castello on the first day of summer holidays. Students will leave their classrooms as the ring of the final bell and run to the fountains to be the first ones there. In 2018 thousands of students kept the tradition going.
4. You have eaten a typical Italian gelato at the Caffè Fiorio
You cannot call yourself a Turin citizen if you have never tried the original Caffè Fiorio gelato. If you didn’t know gelato is like ice-cream just a hundred times better, as it is creamier and tastier. As it opened its doors in 1780, Caffè Fiorio soon became the place to be, a reference point in Turin’s social life. Today it still holds that feel of old-style Italian coffee house while selling one of the best gelatos in the city.
5. You have visited the Egyptian Museum at least once in your life
If you are from Turin, as a kid you will have definitely visited the Egyptian Museum with your class, sometimes even more than once. The Egyptian Museum in Turin is the second biggest museum of Egyptian artifacts in the world after El Cairo. There are around 6500 exhibits on display, including statues, sarcophagi, funeral objects, mummies, papyrus, amulets and jewelry. It’s an amazing place to learn more about the history and secrets of this antique civilization.
6. The second Sunday of every month you are at the Grand Balon
One of Turin’s best-kept secrets is the Grand Balon, one of the biggest antiques open-air markets in Europe. This is a pop-up market that only appears on the second Sunday of every month. With its 250 stalls and 50 shops, it’s a wonderful place to find antique furniture and bits and pieces for the home, but also vinyl records, old cameras and more.
7. You have had an aperitif in Piazza Vittorio on a nice summer day
Piazza Vittorio is the biggest square in all of Europe. Filled with restaurants and bars it’s the perfect place to have an aperitif on a nice summer evening. You get to sit outside, enjoy your drink and have enough food to skip dinner for as little as €10. People from Turin spend most of their summer nights here as it is the place to be and enjoy your time with friends.
8. You have personally seen the Holy Shroud at least once in your life
The Holy Shroud is a length of cloth bearing the image of a man who is believed to be Jesus of Nazareth. The cloth is believed to be the burial shroud that was wrapped around the body of Jesus for his burial after his crucifixion. And yes, it is located in the city of Turin, in its own little chapel next to the Turin Cathedral. Normally it’s closed in a metal box, however, the Pope is the one who decides when it’s only shown to the public. Schools in Turin and other cities never fail to take the students for a quick visit to this symbol of Christianity.
9. You have gone to see the fireworks of San Giovanni, patron of Turin, pretty much every summer
The fireworks of San Giovanni are one of the biggest traditions for Turin citizens. It’s a one-day holiday exclusive to Turin and filled with celebrations on the 23rd of June of every year. In 2018 instead of the typical fireworks, Turin was the first city in Europe to have a drone display, with over 200 drones, where innovation met art.
10. You have eaten a Gianduiotto
The Gianduiotti are the typical Turin chocolates. It takes its name from Gianduja, a mask in the theatrical “Commedia dell’Arte” that represents the archetypal Piedmontese. It’s a mix of hazelnut and cocoa that then gets solidified (and it’s the same recipe used to make Nutella and chocolate liquor).
11. One of the members of your family has had a FIAT car
If you didn’t know FIAT cars were born in Turin. In fact, FIAT stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Car Industry of Turin). So it’s safe to say that families from Turin have owned at least one FIAT car.
12. You have gone on a skiing holiday in the Alps
The Turin Airport is the closest airport to the Alps and a popular destination for ski lovers. Because of this, winter is the best time for Turin in times of tourism. However, Turin’s inhabitants are the luckiest when it comes to skiing because it takes little over an hour to get to the slopes. Children learn how to ski from the age of two onwards. Schools take the students on skiing trips as well, so near to impossible for people living in Turin to have never gone skiing.
13. You have tried a Bicerin
The Bicerin is a traditional Turin hot drink, made with espresso, drinking chocolate and whole milk served layered in a small rounded glass. The beverage has been known since the 18th century and is considered one of the traditional products of the region.
14. You have gone to a Juventus match
If you are a soccer fan, you will have heard of Juventus, the team Cristiano Ronaldo plays for. Also known as one of the two teams of Turin. Most of Turin’s citizens are either Juventus fans or Toro fans, with a few exceptions, but pretty much everyone has been to at least one match.
15. You have gone shopping in Via Garibaldi and Via Roma
Via Garibaldi and Via Roma are the two main shopping streets in the historical center of Turin. There is no traffic, as cars cannot pass, while there is a great number of shops, coffee shops and restaurants.