Travel Agony Aunt received the following question from a traveler planning a family trip to Turin, Italy:
Dear Travel Agony Aunt,
I’m travelling to Turin with my 18 year old daughter and 16 year old son and 18 year old nephew. My daughter and I love sight seeing and shopping. The boys just want to find a beach. I know rail travel is excellent. Can you recommend a day trip to the coast that will please all of us. Also my nephew who is 18 wants to find a gym to work out in. We are staying at the Hotel President and wondered if you knew of a gym nearby. Many many thanks.
Ann, age 40, from Bristol, UK
This elegant town in Northern Italy has a rich cultural and historical heritage. Turin city sights and museums as, for example, the Museo Egizio (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities), the Museo Nazionale del Cinema (the National Museum of Film housed in the Mole Antonelliana), Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama (both set on the magnificent Piazza Castello) or the Duomo di San Giovanni hosting the Shroud of Turin, are really worth a visit. In addition, Via Roma, Via Po and Via Garibaldi shopping streets are packed with shoes and clothes shops, jewelries, ethnic boutiques, chocolate shops and antique cafés. Your 18-year old daughter will certainly love shopping in Turin and exploring local fashion shops such as Frav and Docks Dora Torino. And if do you like antiquities and second hand items you will also enjoy browsing the popular ‘Balon’ (Turin’s flea market).
While shopping and sightseeing in Turin I recommend taking short ‘gourmet breaks’ to grab a yummy ice cream at Caffè Fiorio – coffee, hazelnut and gianduia chocolate are my favorite flavors – or sample a bicerin (a traditional hot drink made of espresso coffee, melted chocolate and cream) at the tiny Al Bicerin café on the lovely Piazza della Consolata. And after a day of shopping and sightseeing, why not do like the locals do? Enjoy an aperitivo in one of the trendy bars located in the lively Quadrilatero Romano area, such as the Zonk, Tre Galline or KM 5.
Well, though the city has a lot to offer, it seems you are worried about your teenage son and nephew not having fun, and need some tips on how and where to go to the beach from Turin.
The Ligurian coastline (Italian Riviera) is famous for its exclusive beach resorts such as Portofino and San Remo, as well as the colorful fishing villages of Cinque Terre. Unfortunately, those places are more than 200 kilometers from Turin and, except if you are traveling by car, they are a bit too far for a day out. Actually, the nearest seaside to Turin is the Riviera delle Palme, and its beaches are the easiest to reach by train. At Torino Porta Nuova or Lingotto railway station, take a direct train to Savona, then catch a connecting train to a nearby beach resort: Celle Ligure, Albissola Marina, Noli, Spotorno or Bergeggi.
Direct trains from Turin to Savona are frequent (departure every hour). The trouble is that the train ride between the two cities is about 2 hours and 20 minutes, so the whole journey to the beach won’t take you less than 3 hours. If you don’t want to wake up early in the morning and get back to Turin in the evening, you may opt for a day out by the lake. Located only 30 kilometers from Turin, the Natural Park of the Lakes of Avigliana has two lakes (Lago Grande and Lago Piccolo) and different hiking paths. Obviously the Lakes of Avigliana don’t offer the same kind of entertainment as the Italian Riviera do, but if the boys like sport and nature they will love that place. To reach the park, take the Turin-Modena train line and get off at Avigliana train station – the journey is about 25 minutes -, then take the bus in direction of Giaveno.
To answer your last question, the Hotel President is centrally located in Turin, so it shouldn’t be difficult for your nephew to find a gym nearby, except in August due to summer closing. The nearest sport & fitness center is Sportforma, at Corso Principe Oddone, 92/bis. If Sportforma is not open, ask the hotel staff to help you find another gym.
Have a nice stay in Turin!
Photo of Bergeggi Bagni beach, Italian Riviera originally posted by joebrent