Turin may not have the absolutely world-beating nightlife options of Rome or be able to match Florence for elegance and its neighbor Milan for vibrancy. But that’s not to say that the city can’t hold its own when it comes to a night out, and it’s certainly not short of a bar or two…
What’s more, because Turin doesn’t attract anything like the volume of tourists of the big Italian destinations, a night out in the city can be a more intriguingly local experience, with the obligatory smattering of party-happy international students, of course.
The Murazzi and Docks Dora are at the heart of the action. Situated on the banks of the River Po (out to the east of the city center), they’re the scene of many pavement bars and small clubs, and during the summer in particular, the embankment spills over with revelers.
As with other places in Italy, membership can be required to gain entrance into some clubs. But there are also some scruffier alternative music clubs, several good jazz clubs (with an excellent jazz festival in July) and a generally less serious approach to partying.
Moving away from the river, in the Quadrilatero (to the north and west of the Piazza San Carlo) there are plenty of atmospheric local haunts amongst the many ‘birrerias’ and ‘vinerias’ that line the streets.
For a less old-fashioned night out, the streets around Via Santa Chiara and Piazza Emanuele Filiberto are brimming with smart, Martini-peddling lounge bars. Starting with a lazy ‘aperitivo’ around 7pm, they can be full until well into the early hours.
Another thing that’s unique about Turin after dark is a reputation for black magic and supernatural goings-on. And wandering the gloomy streets of the Quadrilatero or nursing a drink in one of the city’s trademark old cafés can certainly be an eerie experience.
Nightlife in Turin for most travelers, though, is more likely to be defined by sitting on the dock of the River Po chatting and watching as the area fills up on a hot summer night. Like most things in Italy, it’s the sheer simplicity of entertainment and pleasure that really stands out.