Turin doesn’t rank among Italy’s top tourist destinations, but as Italy’s fourth largest city, Turin’s claims to fame are plentiful. Home to the Shroud of Turin, former home of the Fiat auto factory, and 2006 host of the 20th Winter Olympic Games. Turin, which is located in the Piedmont region in Northern Italy, 90 miles to the east of Milan, also produces world-class wines and is home to Italy’s oldest and arguably most popular football (soccer) team, Juventus.
Italian sports and cultural identity tied to Juventus date back to 1897 when the team was formed by a group of friends with a shared passion for football. At the time, football was a new sport in Italy, recently introduced by Great Britain. The three high school friends who attended Liceo D’ Azeglio decided to start a football club and voted on the name Juventus, the Latin word for youth. Often, you’ll hear Italians refer to Juventus by two popular nicknames, “la Vecchia Signora” (in Italian: “the Old Lady”) and “Juve.”
Today, Juventus is one of the most popular and successful football clubs, with legions of fans around the globe. The team trains and plays home games at Allianz Stadium, the first Italian football stadium with an open design that doubles as an events venue.
The UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Elite status stadium opened on Sept 8, 2011. When the stadium isn’t hosting games, it offers guided tours, which I highly recommend because the architecture and the technology are fascinating to see up close. An LED system with approximately 400 projectors focused on the pitch gives the stadium a concert-like vibe with music and light shows throughout the game.
Stadium seats double as art installations. When viewed from a distance, action images of the players come into focus.
The stadium’s 41 507 seats range from basic and functional to leather-clad seating with embedded TV screens and premium seats in The Legends Club with dining and drink service. Although amenities vary based on the ticket price point, all seats offer clear views of the field with no barrier dividing the fans from the pitch.
Juventus is Italy’s most decorated team and the first European club to win all three major UEFA competitions.
To learn about the club’s history, I visited the Juventus Museum which opened in 2012. Multimedia exhibits tell the story of the Agnelli family, owner of Juventus, with the distinction of having the longest-lasting ownership of any professional sporting franchise in the world.
That evening, before I head to the Juventus game, I stop in the club’s megastore to shop for a Juventus sweatshirt.
Here, you can purchase everything you need to be kitted out as a Juventus fan, from socks to scarves, hats to hoodies.
Attending a Juventus game feels like a mashup of celebrity red carpet, rock concert, and sporting event. Juventus players arrive to cheering fans and flashing cameras as they make their way into the stadium. For the uninitiated, Juventus is one of the most popular and successful football clubs on the planet, winning a host of domestic, European, and international honors.
Also part of the complex, the club headquarters, which resides in the former Cascina Continassa, along with the Juventus Training Center (which hosts the First Team) the WINS international school (which also houses the J|College for the youth players), and the J|Hotel where the players stay for games.
Turin’s location at the foot of the Alps provides the perfect terroir for producing big, bold Barolos and Barbarescos. Vermouth originated in Turin, as did Eataly, a popular restaurant, bar, deli, bakery, and store, with locations around the world.
The city’s industrial roots belie its baroque architectural character on view along Turin’s boulevards and grand squares including Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo. The domed Mole Antonelliana, with its conical spire, is one of the city’s architectural jewels.
The 19th-century tower houses the interactive National Cinema Museum and invites visitors to take the glass elevator to the observation deck for a bird’s eye view of the city. Learn about Turin’s ties to auto production at Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile.
What to know if you go:
Here are travel planning resources that I recommend: