Discover beautiful places to visit at least once
Feel like getting away from the city, even if only for a day? Know that you won’t have to travel far from Turin to find truly enchanting places. Turin’s enviable location allows you to reach mountains, lakes, castles, forests and hillsides full of vineyards as well as beautiful beaches. For day trips full of relaxation and fun, check out some of our favourite destinations from the ESCP Turin Campus.
Sacra di San Michele
The Sacra di San Michele in Val di Susa is a majestic abbey built on top of Mount Pirchiriano. Suspended between earth and sky, surrounded by forests and high mountains, it is part of the scenery that has enchanted visitors and pilgrims for more than a thousand years. Its charm even inspired Umberto Eco in his bestseller ‘The Name of the Rose’, a novel set in a gloomy and imposing abbey.
Linked to the Sacra di San Michele is the mystery of the so-called magic line of San Michele. In fact, it seems that an energy line unites three basilicas/abbeys dedicated to the Archangel Michael. The three points on this line are: Mont Saint Michel, the Sacra di San Michele and Monte Sant’Angelo in Apulia. To reach the Sacra di San Michele on foot, you can choose amongst four different treks paths.
Distance from Turin: 40 km
A Unesco World Heritage Site, the Langhe is an evocative area that is well worth visiting, and not only for its renowned and prized wines. Hills, vineyards, woods and valleys alternate with castles and historical villages surrounded by breathtaking views. Alba, capital of the Langhe, is definitely a place to start discovering this area. A delightful town with a lively centre, Alba is famous for its Truffle Fair and Ferrero Chocolate factory: in fact, Alba is the hometown of Nutella!
The village of Barolo is the heart of the Langhe, world-famous for its wine of the same name. Among the things to see in the Langhe are the ‘Big Benches’, the artist Chris Bangle’s colourful giant benches installed in various locations.
Distance from Turin: about 70 km
Turin is surrounded by the Alps and the mountains are the city’s main protagonists in both winter and summer. Near Turin there are many enchanting and easily accessible mountain destinations. In fact, Turin is connected to the Via Lattea, the Italian and French ski area, home to many famous winter resorts.
- Bardonecchia is one of the most famous ski resorts on the peninsula. It can easily be reached in one and a half hours by direct train from Turin. Bardonecchia is located in the centre of a basin where four valleys converge, offering a breathtaking panorama and over 100 km of slopes.
Distance from Turin: 92 km
- Pragelato, due to its location at the bottom of the valley, is perfect for cross-country skiing or if you like walking – with or without snowshoes. A beautiful route is the Val Troncea along the Ghisone stream.
Distance from Turin: 90 km
- Sestrière is the highest municipality in Italy, at 2035 metres above sea level. A resort of the Via Lattea par excellence, and the scene of numerous international competitions, Sestriere offers snow enthusiasts slopes of the highest technical level immersed in a panorama of evocative beauty.
Distance from Turin: 103 km
- Courmayeur is located in Valle d’Aosta and is a little further than the previous villages. It is close to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps.
Distance from Turin: 150 km
Although Turin is not quite a coastal location, it is nevertheless easy to reach some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Liguria is famous for its seaside villages, its small churches and monasteries overlooking the sea, its nature trails among olive groves and Mediterranean woodlands, its picturesque terraces and enchanting sunsets. Here, then, are our top 3 of the most beautiful beaches that you can reach in a couple of hours by train or car from Turin:
- La Baia dei Saraceni & Punta Crena at Varigotti: not far from the town of Finale Ligure is this beautiful beach set in the mountains, surrounded by rocky cliffs; a crystal clear sea and fine white sand. From the Baia dei Saraceni you can reach the small, secluded beach of Punta Crena, which can be reached by swimming, pedalo or boat.
Distance from Turin: 146 km
- La Baia delle Sirene at Bergeggi is a beach in the Bergeggi Regional Nature Park. Don’t miss this clear blue sea, the nearly black pebble beach and the coast that is covered in greenery.
Distance from Turin: 148 km
- San Fruttuoso beach at Camogli is located between Portofino and Camogli, nestled between the green vegetation of the Mount Portofino Park and the crystal blue sea.
Distance from Turin: about 200 km
If you fancy a swim but don’t want to go all the way to Liguria, Piedmont offers plenty of lakes where you can cool off. The lakes of Piedmont are in fact, in the summer period, an excellent alternative for those who have already finished their holidays and cannot travel too far. Here are some that are ideal for spending a relaxing weekend away from the stress and sultry heat of the city:
- Laghi di Avigliana: The Avigliana Lakes Natural Park is a wonderful place dominated by the Sacra di San Michele. The Avigliana Lakes – Lago Grande and Lago Piccolo – not only offer a great variety of fauna, but also a splendid panorama of magnificent colours that change at different times of the day. Lago Grande is perfect for a swim.
Distance from Turin: 30 km
- Lago Sirio is part of the Five Lakes of the Serra di Ivrea, all of glacial origin. The lake is surrounded by a road that makes it ideal for walking: in 40 minutes you can go all the way around. In addition to the various hiking and sports activities that can be practised here, at Lake Sirio you can also find a free beach where you can find shelter from the hot days of the summer months.
Distance from Turin: 58 km
Lago d’Orta offers evocative landscapes and a unique territory, where culture, gastronomy, nature and history coexist. The lake, which has beautiful beaches and deep blue waters, is surrounded by mountains that slope steeply down to the shores. In the middle is a small island, the Island of San Giulio, which is extraordinarily beautiful.
Distance from Turin: 120 km
- Lago Maggiore is a pre-alpine lake nestled between Piedmont, Lombardy and Switzerland. It is Italy’s second largest lake. Along its shores can be found small villages, lakeside promenades, noble villas and ancient hermitages. Lago Maggiore and its Borromean Islands are not to be missed.
Distance from Turin: 160 km
Castles and Fortresses
Piedmont is a region rich in castles, fortresses and ancient historical residences that are well worth discovering. Among the must-see fairytale mansions, ideal for a pleasant out-of-town excursion in the pursuit of culture and beauty, we would like to highlight the following:
- Reggia di Venaria: one of the most majestic Savoy residences, is located just outside Turin in the village of Venaria Reale. Its design was used for the construction of the Palace of Versailles. The pride of the Reggia are its beautiful gardens.
Distance from Turin: 15 km
- Racconigi Castle was a royal and aristocratic residence owned by the Savoys who, in 1800, transformed it from a typically medieval fortress into an elegant and refined estate, a holiday resort for the nobility.
Distance from Turin: 40 km
- Castello della Manta is an ancient medieval residence that seems to have come straight out of a chivalric poem (poetry about knights and their code of honour), with paintings from the 16th century. The gardens surrounding the fortress are also noteworthy.
Distance from Turin: 68 km
- Fenestrelle Fort: with a surface area of 1,300,000 m², it is the biggest alpine fortification in Europe and the largest walled construction after the Great Wall of China. It is a fortified complex, consisting of eight defensive works connected by both internal and external routes. The ‘covered staircase’ is made up of 4,000 steps, protected by two-metre thick walls, that climb up the mountainside for more than two kilometres.
Distance from Turin: 75 km
In less than an hour, by high-speed train you can reach Milan, home of the Italian stock exchange and Italy’s main financial centre. When one thinks of Milan, the first thing that springs to mind is the capital of fashion and shopping.
But Milan is much more than that!
There are many places of historical and cultural interest, starting with the most emblematic tourist attraction, the Gothic-style Duomo di Milano.
Other places not to be missed are the Castello Sforzesco, the Palazzo Reale, La Scala (the famous Milan Opera House), and Santa Maria delle Grazie church known for housing one of the most beautiful masterpieces ever created: Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper.
At dusk, don’t forget to stroll around the Navigli, the beating heart of Milanese nightlife, for an aperitivo, a fancy dinner and much more.
Distance from Turin: 140 km
Piedmont and its surroundings offer so many possibilities for a wonderful, inspiring, and relaxing day trip.