Stile Liberty architecture in Cit Turin
In the early 1900s when Art Nouveau was born in France, several Turinese architects appropriated the style and referred to it as Stile Liberty. You can spot the curved lines, floral motifs, stained glass windows and illustrated plasterwork on buildings throughout the city but in some neighbourhoods, it is more prominent. The area defined as ‘Cit Turin’ in the north west of the city centre has a concentration of exemplary Art Nouveau architecture. Using metro stop Principi d’Acaja as a starting point, explore the network of small streets north and south of the large road Corso Francia. Look for Via Pietro Bagetti, Via Duchessa Jolanda and Via Abate Vassalli.
Breakfast or coffee pitstop:
A Brutalist icon and San Salverio
From Cit Turin head southeast towards the San Salverio neighbourhood and Parco Valentino (circa 45 minutes). En route you can walk past the iconic Brutalist building of the Civica Galleria d’Arte Modern, on Via Magenta. In 1951, the city of Turin issued a nationwide competition to design a new site for the gallery. The commission was awarded to architects Carlo Bassi and Goffredo Boschetti, who were not yet 30 years old. The brief called for an innovative, futuristic museum space, and the result is a concrete Brutalist wonder. Founded between 1891 and 1895, GAM was the first civic museum of modern art in Italy. As you wander through the diverse and lively San Salverio, you’re likely to come across musicians playing in the street or a pop-up market.
Light lunch stop:
Teapot: Tisaneria Con Cucina
Al Gatto Nero
Parco Valentino and the Po River
San Salvario backs onto the French style park, Parco Valentino, on the west bank of the River Po. Amble through the park and look out for the Botanical Gardens, the UNESCO world heritage site and former Savoy residence, Castello Valentino, and Borgo Medievale, an odd mock-medieval settlement built for the 1844 international exhibition. Exit to the north of the park in the direction of Quadrilatero Romana (circa 40 minutes). En route you will pass through the historic centre and all of its familiar squares and buildings.
Quadrilatero Romana is one of central Turin’s liveliest neighbourhoods. This area is located between Porte Palatine, via Garibaldi and Corso Siccardi, where an ancient Roman settlement once stood. The area is characterised by beautiful historic buildings that are home to unique shops, bars and restaurants, as well as remnants of former Roman structures. It is largely pedestrianised so always has a buzzy atmosphere, but particularly in the evening, so it’s the perfect place to end your day of walking. If you happen to arrive before 2pm, on the north side of this area you can find the famous Mercato Porta Palazzo in Piazza Della Repubblica, allegedly the largest open market in Europe. Here you can find everything from fish to footwear.
La Deutsche Vita
A German restaurant, run by two Germans, in the centre of Turin: the brilliantly titled La Deutsche Vita is a refreshing change from the Italian menus everywhere else. It serves traditional German dishes, celebrating different regional specialities and also promoting the lighter side of German cuisine. Of course, you will find the classic würst with sauerkraut and potatoes on the menu, but also fish and vegetarian options. You can also just come for the great selection of German beers. Long wooden benches and tables characteristic of German beer halls are set up outside.