Torino is an extraordinary city combining Italian beauty, Alpine proximity and easy access to the Mediterranean. The home of FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo, it seems every one rides in style. It’s also the the hometown of Campari, Aperol, Martini Rosso & Bianco – so cocktail hour is almost unavoidable. The capital of the Piedmont region, it’s a small town (under one million inhabitants) but unlike many other regional towns, the youth has not fled for the bright lights of Rome or the fashion and glam of Milan. Largely, that’s because Torino hosts some of Italy’s finest universities and colleges. But I think the thing I find most charming about the place is that, as the home of the House of Savoy – Italy’s royal family and one of the oldest regal lines in the world, dating back to the year 1003 – there is an indelible elegance to the architecture. Less under the thumb of the Church, the city planning is civic-minded, the streets converging in elegant piazzi, roads lined with graceful galleries and arcades.
If all of Italy is food obsessed, in Torino they take it to a whole new level. It’s the home of the Slow Food movement, founded by Carlo Petrini in the 1980s. This means the Turin is a cornucopia of organic suppliers and producers, shops, cafés and restaurants all wanting the ‘slow food’ endorsement, the way others chase after Michelin stars of chef’s Toques. And all those sexy, stylish, young Torinesi (it’s not a big tourist town) just lapping the whole lot up