Posted on June 20 2017
Turin might not spring to mind as your first choice weekend destination. It’s not as well known as Milan or Paris - but for shopping it has everything from haute couture to high street, quirky independents and of course glamorous cafes to muse over your purchases.
Turin’s streets are designed in a grid and linked by literally hundreds of piazzas or squares. Walking around the city centre is simple and the shopping easy to navigate. The river Po runs through the city and there are beautiful parks built around its banks. The pavements either side of the huge roads are porticoed with highly decorative high ceilings and wide arches keeping you cool in summer and protected in winter. There are a total of 11 miles of arcaded pavement providing the perfect shopping experience whatever the weather.
Via Roma is where you’ll find the big name fashion house brands like Gucci and Hermes. There are small boutiques and larger high street brands as well. The road stretches from Piazza Carlo to the main train station Porta Nuova. It links Piazza San Carlo and Piazza Castello. After you’ve coursed up and down a few times you’ll be grateful for a sit down in one of the chocolate filled cafes.
Nearby Via Garibaldi is Europe’s longest pedestrian street. Walk and relax without traffic and peruse the mid level shops full of shoes, bags and accessories. It used to be seen as the poor relation to via Roma but look hard and you will appreciate its cobbled streets, lack of traffic and independent shops mixed in with more familiar modern brands. It has the famous glelateria GROM (which started in Turin) as well as plethora of calzone, pizza and other snacks to eat on the run. Again, both sides of the road are covered so the weather is no issue.
Via Po is a long street that stretches from Piazza Castello in the city centre down to Piazza Vittorio Veneto next to the river Po. It is a wide street with arches covering the pavement both sides. Down the middle of the road, trams and cars drive fast, busy throughout the day and night. In terms of shopping it is filled with cafes and ice cream parlours in between small souvenir shops and old bookshops. As you amble down the road you can see the beautiful Gran Madre di Dio church up in the distance not he other side of the river.
If department stores are really what you crave - less walking along porticos and more intense shopping experience then fear not, they do exist! One excellent one stop shop is the Rinascente department store in via Lagrang. round the corner from via Roma it’s easy to find and full of typical department store brands on 3/4 levels.
If you like markets then the Mercato di Porto Palazzo, just off Corso Regina Margherita, cannot be missed. It’s a huge market, loud, busy and you can find everything you could possibly want! It claims to be the largest outdoor market in Europe and when you’re in the middle it certainly feels like it. Locals come to do their weekly groceries, tourist to see the regions best offerings. There is fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, fish and pastries. You can even find toys and clothes. Prices are low and the choice overwhelming!