Random tips to survive and save some money during Art week in Turin.
One of my favorite weeks in Torino is starting, it’s art week and it is stressful as rich of events as the Milan Fashion Week. But how do you survive, what is the dress code and how can you enter for free?
First of all, let’s see the event and fairs one cannot miss.
Organized by Maurizio Cattelan, Myriam Ben Salah, and Marta Papini, inside the Oval, you will find the International and renowned Art fair Artissima from 7th to 9th November. Amazing galleries from all over the world will bring their best artists.
The Others aka my favorite art fair. Hosted by the ancient prison of the city, each gallery is located in a jail cell. The atmosphere is absolutely disturbing yet fascinating. From 6th to 9th November, you will find the most alternative art galleries, live performances, and young street artists.
(photo Art Tribune)
Flashback at Palaisozaki from 6th to 9th November. It is fair on modern and ancient art. The venue is already worth the visit, with its beautiful structure made of steel and glass plunged in a park, near the Olympic Stadium.
The most democratic fair is definitively Paratissima from 5th to 9th November. Here, in one of the Exhibition centers of the city, you can find artists, in many cases, still not represented by an art gallery.
Photissima from 6th to 9th November and hosted in one of the first factories of the city, Ex Manifattura Tabacchi. It is entirely dedicated to photography and includes also workshops.
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Tip n. 1: Enter for free or get even paid!
Considering that some of these events are free, or envisage a risible entrance ticket, if you are a penniless student or artist you might know that attending these events for free is not impossible. Becoming a friend of artists, art gallerists, or someone working in this field, is certainly the best way to get invitations. Or even free passes for the fairs.
Or, you can send your resume and propose yourself for a job during the period of the exhibitions. Loving art so much, I would also volunteer to get a pass. There is always someone who needs a little extra help. If you check the art websites, you will find the complete list of exhibitors. Another way to enter, and maybe get also paid, is to come here the day before the openings. Normally there is no admission fee when exhibitors are preparing and setting up their stands. You might ask them if they need some help. Sometimes they are desperately looking for someone to hire. It is just a matter of being in the right place at the right moment.
Tip n. 2. Dress comfortably but don’t forget the bizarre.
Eccentricity is the keyword. You don’t want to feel has an alien, dressing with a pair of regular trousers, a sweater, and maybe, quelle horreur, a simple coat. Nobody will consider you or offer you something, not even a glass of wine to chit-chat in front of a piece of art whose meaning is known by everybody but the artist. No, no, no. You want to be perfectly integrated into the environment. So, wear colorful, vintage, strange, fluffy, nonmatching items and you’ll be perfectly in tune with the situation. And, don’t forget a hat. Artists wear hats. Cool people here wear hats. The stranger the better. If you need to buy one, Nina Tauro might be the woman you are looking for.
Tip n. 3. How to optimize the time without finding yourself in a corner asking to your feet: please, one thousand more steps.
Let’s consider that you arrive at Porta Nuova Station. The first thing to do is to visit the Tourist Office to get: a free map and brochures and, in case you are interested in visiting a museum, the Torino Card with the possibility to use public transportation for free and have a reduction on the Artissima admission fee (hey, look, I’ve also rhymed 🙂 ).
And then, what is the order to visit all the fairs? Depending on how much time you have I suggest you:
- Visit The Others when it is dark. In this case, the prison will show it’s enchanting and dark atmosphere at its best. Inside there are also booths where you can have something to eat. The prison is a 15-minute walk from Porta Nuova Station.
- Take the metro, go to Lingotto and visit Artissima then move to FlashBack. Consider at least three hours for each exhibition. I would visit on a first day these two fairs and then Paratissima and Photissima which are located in two different areas of the city.
- If you need a taxi, the two biggest cooperatives offering the service can be reached by calling these numbers: +39 011 5730 or 0115737. In any case, try to use the metro as much as you can. If you arrive in your car, remember that, during the week, parking places with a blue line in the city center are fee, and parking there for 3 or 4 hours, supposing that you have found a place to park, can be quite expensive. Free parking on the street (areas are limited with blue stripes and marked with blue signs) on Sunday.
Tip n. 4: do not forget the food
Put some food in the bag. Even if finding food in Italy is not difficult at all, a good solution to recharge the battery is to have a bite of fragrant focaccia. My favorite is the Focaccia Bianca by Delper , a bakery spread all around the city. You don’t need to buy water. The city is spread with Toret, the public fountains where water comes out from the head of a bull, Toro in Italian, and that can be used to refill your bottle.
This is definitively not an exhaustive article on art week, but if you have questions, leave them in the comments and I will be glad to answer. 🙂