Written by Julia in Puglia,
Last Modified: 5th May 2022

Easy to reach, wealthy and liveable, Turin is a city it’s easy to fall in love with. So with nearly 200 million viewers from around the world likely to watch Italy host The Eurovision Song Contest from the city next week, we went to have look.

Hosting the Eurovision Song contest is a great opportunity for a city to show the world what their area has to offer. As well as the millions of TV viewers, over 12,000 people are expected to travel to the city to see the shows and stay in local accommodation. Not to mention the thousands of tourists and property buyers that will be inspired to come after seeing it on TV. The fact that the event has been partnered by online portals for property sales and holiday rentals, demonstrates the faith they have in the TV programme drawing in even more people.

Where and when is Eurovision being held?

The 66th Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted by the city of Turin (Torino) in the Piedmont region of north west Italy. During the Eurovision week there will be three televised shows, from the Pala Olimpico arena. The semi-finals are on 10 and 12 May and the final is on Saturday 14 May 2022.

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Why in Turin?

Thanks to Italian band Måneskin winning last year, Italy gets the honour of hosting it this year. Other Italian cities did put their names forward, but ultimately Turin was chosen as providing the best venue.

Turin will be the third Italian city to host the event after Naples (1965) and Rome (1991). To qualify to host the event Turin had to meet strict criteria. The venue must be able to accommodate at least 10,000 spectators and a press centre for 1,500 journalists. It must be within easy reach of an international airport and have hotel accommodation available for at least 2,000 delegates and journalists.

Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl said, “As we saw during the 2006 Winter Olympics, Pala Olimpico exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale and we have been very impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment from the City of Turin who will welcome thousands of fans.”

Rental potential

Despite ticket prices costing from €30 to €150 for the semi-finals, and from €200 to €350 euros for the final, they sold out in just 10 minutes. Fans have been rushing to secure accommodation, and many are planning to stay for the week, to soak up the atmosphere in the Eurovillage and Euro cafes, and explore the area. Anyone with accommodation to rent out near Pala Olimpico should do well. For Eurovision week people are charging from €135 to €335 per night for an apartment. A modern 1 bedroom apartment in the area costs from €129,000 to buy.

The Eurovision venue

The Pala Olimpico (also known as Pala Alpitour) is a multipurpose indoor arena. Considered the largest indoor sporting arena in Italy, it also serves as a venue for exhibitions, trade fairs, conferences, and various sports, such as basketball, ice hockey, curling and volleyball. In November 2022 it will host the ATP men’s tennis tournament.

Over the years, many famous artists have performed here, including Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ennio Morricone, Depeche Mode, Shakira, Green Day, and Cirque du Soleil. It has a 15,657 capacity for centre-stage concerts and 13,347 for end-stage. It is also right next door to the Olympic stadium, which is home to Torino FC. The famous Juventus football team have their Allianz stadium on the opposite side of the city.

Where is the Eurovillage?

In addition to the shows at Pala Olympico, Eurovision fans will have free access to entertainment at Parco del Valentino from Saturday 7th May. If you haven’t been able to get show tickets, you can come to the Eurovillage to watch them on live video screens. On the other evenings there are also themed nights, with music live on stage.

Parco del Valentino

Parco del Valentino (Rostislav Glinsky / Shutterstock.com)

This large park is located alongside the river Po, and is full of trees, birds and open spaces. It has hosted public events for almost two centuries, and is a lovely place to take a stroll. As well as the natural surroundings there are statues, fountains, and cafes where you to enjoy the famous Turin aperitif.

Il borgo medieval di Torino

While you are at Parco del Valentino, you should also visit “Il borgo medieval di Torino”. Although it has the appearance of a medieval village with a fortress, it was actually built around 1883 for a great exhibition called “dell’Esposizione Generale Italiana.” There were plans to demolish it after the exhibition, however it was so successful that in 1942 it became a civic museum with craft workshops.

What are the Euroclub venues?

During the two weeks that Eurovision is in town, Turin has selected ten cafes, bars and clubs to be official euroclubs for delegations, press and fans to meet up. The venues can host special events, concerts and Eurovision-themed parties.

Venues include the historic nightclub “Pick-Up”, and Osteria Lanterna. If you want to combine a bit of shopping with lunch, Mercato Centrale Torino is located in Porta Palazzo, the largest outdoor market in Europe. It offers 4,500 square metres across three floors and 28 artisans’ shops, a restaurant, a beer house, a café and a space dedicated to events.

Italian cities

Italy has so many beautiful cities, yet visitors and property buyers tend to be guided towards those promoted by holiday companies and estate agents. Florence, Rome, Venice and Milan always attract a lot of people and can get very busy. However, there are numerous Italian cities that have a charm of their own.

Why visit Turin?

Turin is certainly one city that shouldn’t be overlooked. It is both elegant and buzzing with life. There is plenty to entertain visitors and locals, with art galleries, restaurants, theatres and museums. The most recognisable monument is the Mole Antonelliana, which towers above the city. You can take a panoramic lift up to a viewing terrace to see amazing views of the city.

Turin is very proud of its historic monuments, baroque buildings and grand piazzas. Piazza San Carlo can be seen in the promo advertisements for Eurovision. Over five hundred musicians mostly on drums and electric guitars perform a rock version of the Eurovision theme tune.

Turin was the first

1861 to 1865, the first capital of Italy was Turin; 1899, the Italian automotive industry began in Turin; 1924, Italian television was born in Turin; 1994, telecommunications brought Italians together from Turin. It is even said that a Turin baker invented the Grissini breadsticks at the end of the 17th century for Duke Amedeo di Savoia. Turin is also among the first places to make solid chocolate. Needless to say, a trip to a chocolate shop should be your first stop in Turin.

Turin for business

Innovation continues in Turin with the testing of self-drive cars, the implementation of the 5G network, and the largest drone show in Europe. It is reported that the drones will be making a special appearance at the first semi-final. Turin is a very important business and cultural city that is part of the “industrial triangle” along with Milan and Genoa. Ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome, for economic strength, it is a great place to set up a business. The headquarters of FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo are all based here.

Royal Palaces

Visitors are amazed by the number of beautiful palaces in Turin. The Dukes of Savoy made these buildings the most complete and prestigious examples of European Baroque. Many also offer interiors of richly painted and carved décor, and exceptional courtyards and gardens. They can be found all around the city, but also in the surrounding hills. You will also see buildings in the Renaissance, Roccoco, Neo-classical and Art Nouveau styles of architecture.

Palazzo Reale

In the city, the Royal Palace of Turin, or Palazzo Reale di Torino, is arguably the most famous. Built in the 16th century, it was the centre of the Savoy Dynasty for over 200 years. After World War II, the palace became the property of the state, and is partly used as a museum. Today it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Green spaces

Turin is the fourth largest city in Italy, yet the urban population of around 1.7 million are never far from some greenery. There are over 300 km of tree-lined avenues and many lovely parks and gardens. The Po river, rolling hills and The western Alps are also close by. The Turin administration have made sustainability and environment a core value of the city.

The region of Piedmont

The Piedmont region, known as Piemonte in Italian, is a wonderful combination of picturesque valleys, vineyards and rice fields, with the Alps as a stunning backdrop. The countryside is dotted with ancient farmhouses, many of which would make a great renovation project. Val Grande National Park, Gran Paradiso National Park, and Lake Maggiore are just some of the many attractions in Piedmont. In addition, there are ski resorts and enormous green spaces that are ideal for sports. Your “Guide to living in Piedmont” is right here.

The foothills and mountains of Piedmont

Piedmont food and wine

Lovers of good food and wine will adore the Piedmont region. If you are thinking of buying one of the large farmhouses and offering holiday accommodation, your guests will be delighted with what’s on offer locally. There are wine and truffle hunting tours, and numerous food festivals across the year. From cherry and strawberry festivals in May; Hazelnuts in August, to wine and truffles in October.

This is the home of the precious white alba truffle, hazelnuts, Nutella, Barolo and Barbaresco wine and vermouth. The local pasta is “Plin” which is usually veal or pork pinched between pasta and topped with a butter sauce. Risotto and Gnocchi are very popular and the local cheeses, such as castelmagno and rocchetta.

Property prices in Piedmont

While Piedmont (Piemonte) has the food, landscape and accessibility to compete with other popular regions, property prices are generally cheaper. The average price per metre square in Piedmont is currently 1,204€/m2, compared to 1,732€/m2 in Lombardy and 2,276€/m2 in Tuscany. In Turin province it is 1,391€/m2, however around Alessandria it is only 786€/m2 and Asti 849€/m2.  A detached property in the countryside can cost as little as €160,000.

Where to buy property

You could buy a city apartment or head out into the countryside. The scenery is so varied, there is something for everyone. You can choose to be close to the mountain ski resorts or head towards Genoa, to the areas around Alessandria, Asti and Alba. Another option is to head up to Lake Maggiore to look for a lakeside property. All perfect locations for fun and relaxing holidays. On Italy Property Guides we have a lovely selection of properties for sale in Piedmont. 

Types of property

There are some large farmhouses available that offer a lot of potential, if you are looking to set up a B&B or holiday rental. Piedmont’s rolling hills attract tourists who love to be outdoors, where they can enjoy hiking, horse riding, cycling, or simply lazing by a pool with a view! There are chalets in the mountains and lakeside properties with stunning views.

How to get to Torino

Eurovision fans from thirty-nine nations will be coming to Torino to see the Eurovision Song Contest. The highest numbers of bookings registered in hotels and on AirBnbs so far are coming from Spain, France, and the UK. One of the reasons Torino is such a great location is that it is easy to get to from all around Europe, and indeed the world. There are several travel options.

By plane: Torino has its own international airport called Torino-Caselle. It is also known as Sandro Pertini International Airport. Located 16km north of the city it falls within the municipalities of Caselle Torinese, San Francesco al Campo and San Maurizio Canavese. A flight from London to Turin takes just 1 hour 50 minutes. From the airport, you can reach the city centre either by train, bus or hire car. Milan Malpensa airport is also less than an hour and a half drive away.

By train: Turin is a major railway hub, connected to most Italian cities as well as part of Europe through the Lyon-Paris route. There are two international stations in the city, Porta Nuova and Porta Susa, both quite close to the city centre. You can reach Turin from Paris in just five and a half hours.

By car: It’s very easy to reach Turin by car, since it’s connected to five major motorways. You can drive down from Dover, England in 12 hours. It takes about 30 minutes to drive from Turin airport.

By bus: There are buses connecting Turin to other major cities and from the airport. Once in Turin,  buses and trams are the easiest means of getting around. A regular ‘city ticket’ of €1.70 grants you 100 minutes for buses and trams or 1 subway ride. The subway is the fastest.

Italy’s history in Eurovision

It all began with the Italian Song Festival, known as the Sanremo Festival, which began in 1951. The coastal town of Sanremo, in the region of Liguria hosts this event each year at the Ariston Theatre. It was the success of this Song Festival that inspired the idea for the Eurovision Song Contest, which started in 1956 with just seven participating countries, including Italy.

Each year it is the winner of Sanremo that is invited to represent Italy at Eurovision. Italy has participated 46 times and has been ranked among the top three thirteen times. However, Italy has actually only won three times, in 1964, 1990 and in 2021.

Thanks to the Italian rock band, Måneskin and their song “Zitti e Buoni”, the Eurovision returns to an Italian stage once more. This band have proven how famous you can become after appearing on Eurovision. They became the first Italian rock band to reach the top 10 on the UK Singles Chart, with their songs “Zitti e buoni”, “I Wanna Be Your Slave” and their cover of The Four Seasons’ “Beggin” reaching the top 10 on the Billboard Global U.S. chart.

Who is representing Italy in Turin?

Fans of Eurovision will recognise Mahmood, as he came second in Eurovision 2019 with the song “Soldi”. His song became the most-streamed Eurovision song of all time on Spotify. Mahmood will be joined this year by BLANCO, who has had great success in Italy. His single spent eight weeks at the top of the Italian charts and his debut album, Blu Celeste, also shot to number one. Their song is called “Brividi”, which a month before the contest was ranked 2nd after Ukraine in the betting odds. Great Britain also has a strong entry this year, so British expats in Italy will have to decide who they are cheering for.

Will I recognise the Eurovision presenters?

The presenters of Eurovision 2022 are Mika, Laura Pausini and Alessandro Cattelan. Laura Pausini is an Italian recording artist, famous around the world. In 2021, she won four Latin Grammys, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe. Alessandro Cattelan is a very recognisable face on Italian TV, celebrating 20 years of being a presenter.

Mika is a Lebanese-British singer-songwriter that has enjoyed a career without artistic barriers. Mika topped the UK Singles Chart in January 2007 with “Grace Kelly” and has released several studio albums. He has also served as a judge on both the French version of The Voice and the Italian version of X Factor. Mika has even starred in his own television variety show in Italy, which won an award in 2017.

Wherever we live in the world we can all appreciate the talent of musicians, song writers and singers. Music gets us through the tough times and helps us celebrate the great times. In Italy, cultural events always have food and music at their heart. It is what brings people together, and everyone is always welcome. With Italy as it’s host, Eurovision 2022 is sure to be a party to remember.

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