AWAYS DAYS TURIN

Turin may only be Italy’s third largest city, but the home of Juventus is a must-see for all discerning world soccer fans.

Rome may be Italy’s historic capital, and Milan the business hub, but Turin is indisputably the home of Italian football. The base of perennial champions Juventus may have changed from the famous Stadio delle Alpi, but fans have continued to flock from across Europe to watch the Bianconeri and to experience the delights of the Piedmont region.

Turin was the first capital of unified Italy, and was very much the centre of the Risorgimento movement. Tribute to this is paid in the Unification Museum, one of many attractions including the Turin Shroud, the Fiat Museum, the second largest Egyptian Museum in the world, and, most famously, the Mole Antonelliana, which houses a unique cinema museum. Visitors to the Mole can take a glass lift up to the famous spire which offers a stunning view of the panorama.

Torino in Italian means little bull and this has a significant impact on the local cuisine, of which the specialities include agnolotti (meat ravioli), carne crudo (raw beef meet), and creamy truffle tagliolini. A vast range of local bars serve apericena, a uniquely Torinese concept that involves customers paying for a drink and gaining access to a buffet stacked with delicacies. When in the wine region of Barolo and Barbaresco, this is not an opportunity to be missed.

But football is never far from the agenda in the city. For all their success, the Old Lady has recently seen their profile rise even higher with the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Bianconeri are currently undergoing a period of change following the departure of manager Max Allegri, and his replacement with Maurizio Sarri. As Serie A becomes more competitive than ever, there is no better time to visit the Juventus stadium.

However, for fans not wishing to jump on the Juve bandwagon, Turin remains a key destination thanks to the city’s second club Torino. The Granata may not have the reputation of their neighbours but boast a proud history of their own and a promising present.

‘Il Toro’ have one of the smaller grounds in Serie A, at just 28,000, but the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino is named after one of the most tragic moments in Italian football. The Grande Torino side was one of the greatest ever teams in Serie A, winning four titles during the 1940s and comprising almost the entirety of the national team. In 1949, returning from a testimonial against Benfica, the plane crashed against the hill of the Basilica di Superga, causing the death of all on-board. To this day, on the anniversary of the crash, the Torino team pay tribute at a shrine at the Superga. Fans of other teams also make the pilgrimage when visiting Turin.

The city of Turin has everything a football fan would want from a trip — fantastic food, great wine, plenty of history and culture, and the opportunity to catch a game every weekend as Juventus and Torino alternate home matches. With bars and pubs showing all Serie A matches there is no excuse not to visit the home of the champions and see it for yourself.

 

Leave a Reply