Advice from a Guy from Turin, Italy
Why should Turin be a destination for travellers and expats alike?
Turin is the 3rd biggest city in Italy. Since the Olympics in 2006, it has grown a lot as a destination both for tourists and expats. There are many international students who study at the polytechnic and at the various universities all around the city. At the same time, there are different big companies that can provide employment for expats. For tourists there is a lot to see, there are many parks, museums, medieval and roman buildings.
What are some great attractions and festivals in Turin?
A great attraction is the Museo Egizio di Torino; it is a museum about Egypt, It is like the second biggest in the world. There is also a museum about cinema, which is the Museo Nazionale del Cinema. You can enjoy both cultural and fun activities in Turin. Once a year in September, there is a big festival dedicated to food and gastronomy in Turin called Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. During this time food is celebrated from all over the world; from Africa, South America and so on. It is great because on those days, you can buy food from the streets whilst shopping or you can decide to indulge all the way.
If you speak Italian and like books, the Turin International Book Fair may interest you. It lasts a few days and you can attend discussions, events and get acquainted with new Italian books. The Jazz festival in Turin is one that I would recommend as well, there is live music and it is fun.
What is the nightlife in Turin like?
For those who fancy an active nightlife, there are some areas that have grown a lot the last years for that purpose. You can go to for example the Quadrilatero Romano. It is an old neighbourhood, however, in the last ten years, many pubs and restaurants have found a location there. I would recommend having an ‘apericena’ (Aperitif) in that neighbourhood. Apericena is when you have a buffet and a cocktail drink, it’s kind of a pre-dinner ritual. It is a typical Italian thing.
You can also choose to go to the city centre like Casa Victoria, where many pubs are located. There are many streets that connect to Casa Victoria with venues for great nightlife. If you want some place to dance then I would recommend Murazzi arcades along the river Po. There are some great clubs that can be found directly along the river banks which are also quite fun.
How are the people in Turin?
Compared to the rest of Italy the people of Turin can be seen as a little different. Perhaps because geographically Turin is located in the north-west of Italy. Compared to the rest of Italy, we are a bit less open. Particularly if you go to the south or the centre of Italy, you will find that people are warm and very welcoming. Although people in Turin are welcoming as well, they are also more reserved. For example, they may not immediately make friends with you. It just takes a little more time. I would say that that is the main difference.
Aside from that, people are usually quite polite. Not that many people speak English, so if you are an expat in Turin I would strongly recommend you to pick up some Italian. Or maybe try with a mix of English, French and Spanish and see if you can figure something out with that. There are a lot of old people in Turin, however, there is also a big university community that is still growing.
How is a normal work day in Turin?
If you work in a shop you usually start working at 9.30am and will work till 7.30 in the evening. There is a lunch break in the afternoon between 12.30pm and 14.30pm 0r till 15.30pm, yeah it is a long break. If you work in a company you start around 8.30am or 9.00am. You finish around 6.30pm and that is because there is a lunch break between 13.00pm and 14.30pm so, then you end up finishing up really late because of the length of the lunch break. For the rest, you usually work from Monday to Friday. Most people work full time. There aren’t many opportunities to work part time. It is uncommon to have contracts for 35 hours or less.
Just give it a try and you will be surprised. It is not the industrial city that it used to be. It is now a mother city and you will have fun.