Lonely Planet Writer

Just back from: Turin

Lonely Planet Pathfinder and blogger Chloe Gunning in Turin, Italy Chloe poses with the Turin backdrop she'd been so keen to see © Chloe Gunning

Lonely Planet Trailblazer Chloe Gunning (of Wanderlust Chloe fame) is just back from Turin in Piedmont, Italy – the no.1 region in our Best in Travel list for 2019.

Tell us more...

I spent a few days exploring this stunning part of Italy. Tucked away in the northwestern edge of the country, Turin sits at the base of the snowy Alps. It’s an orange-roofed city with charming skinny streets that emerge on piazzas filled with historic buildings.

In a nutshell...

Turin is a great city for those who like history, art and great food. Museo Egezio is home to the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts outside of Cairo. There’s 16th-century Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama, where you’ll find Turin City Museum of Ancient Art. In general though, my favourite moments in the city revolved around the cuisine. It really is a city of exceptional food.

Agnolotti with black truffle in Turin, Italy Agnolotti with black truffle... divine! © Chloe Gunning

So there’s good grub?

100% yes. This is a place to indulge, so I really went for it (all in the name of research). Bicerin is the famous drink of Turin; it’s a deliciously heady mix of espresso, chocolate and cream. I needed a lie down after trying it!

Gianduja (hazelnut chocolates), Barolo wine and white truffles are all from the Piedmont region, plus there are plenty of regional pastas too. Agnolotti is one of the most common; it’s a type of ravioli filled with roasted meat and served in a gravy-like sauce called sugo d’arrosto. One evening I enjoyed it with black truffle on top… well, when in Turin!

Fave activity?

Before visiting Turin I’d seen beautiful photos of the city with the snowy Alps as the backdrop. I was dying to see that view for myself. I headed out early one morning, crossed the River Po and climbed up Mont Des Capucins. Hello blue skies, epic mountains and a city of orange roofs and towers. The steep climb was definitely worth it.

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2019 book alongside a cup of coffee Read up on the region in our latest edition of Best in Travel © Chloe Gunning

You’d be a muppet to miss...

Mole Antonelliana. The impressive landmark is the icon of Turin – in fact, you’ll find fridge magnets, liqueurs and all sorts of souvenirs in its shape. The building started as a synagogue and now showcases a range of architectural styles. At 165m it’s also the tallest building in the city. For a small fee you take the lift up to the 85m platform, where you’ll be met with some of the best panoramic views of Turin.

A bicerin - a traditional drink made of espresso, hot chocolate and milk Get your hit of sugar and caffeine with a bicerin © Chloe Gunning

Quintessential experience?

Aperitivo time! Along with Milan, Turin takes its aperitivos seriously. It’s more than a ‘happy hour’ – it’s a chance to eat and drink for a set price while catching up with friends. One of my favourite aperitivo experiences was at Caffe Lobelix, a buzzy bar where €12 will get you a cocktail and unlimited access to an enormous, constantly-replenishing buffet of Italian dishes.

If you do one thing...

…spend a morning at Porta Palazzo market, the largest open-air market in Europe. I loved perusing the colourful food stalls, which had everything from shiny red tomatoes, fennel and bunches of fragrant herbs, to shiny aubergines and citrus fruits straight from Sicily. I was sidetracked by the cheese stall, but decided I didn’t have enough room in my suitcase to bring back a whole wheel of Parmesan. Maybe next time!

Want more behind-the-scenes adventures? Find out what staffer Megan got up to on her recent trip to Kyrgyzstan.

This annual bestseller ranks the hottest, must-visit countries, regions, cities and best-value destinations for 2019. Drawing on the knowledge and passion of Lonely Planet’s staff, authors and online community, we present a year’s worth of inspiration to take you out of the ordinary and into the unforgettable.