[UPDATED 12 MAY 2022 — scroll below for on-the-ground updates]
For the third time ever, Italy is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest and for Eurovision 2022 it’s the first-time turn of Turin, the capital of the region of Piedmont (and unified Italy’s first-ever capital city). Two of Italy’s biggest cities have hosted before (Rome in 1991, Naples in 1965) but it’s the country’s “fourth” city – rather than the larger neighbouring city of Milan – which won the right to host this time around and we’ve taken an early trip to the city and the PalaOlimpico Arena to show you where the city will host and give you all the information you need.
Where is Eurovision 2022 being hosted?
The city of Turin (Torino) will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in the Pala Olimpico Arena, also known as the Pala Alpitour (NOTE: reverting to the original name before Alpitour, a tourism company, began sponsoring the arena, so for Eurovision it will be known as PalaOlimpico) between May 10th, 12th and 14th 2022. This will be the 66th edition of the contest.
The PalaOlimpico is located towards the south of Turin city centre and is the largest indoor arena in Italy (and newest of its kind, too). Built in 2005 in advance of hosting the Winter Olympics 2006 (to accommodate ice hockey), right beside is the Torino FC stadium, which is the former Olympic stadium.
What we know so far is that the arena holds just shy of 15,500 people standing but as Eurovision has a lot more areas needed for operations and zones it’s more likely to be between 10,000 and 12,000 with a mixture of seating and standing. At the time of writing, Italy has enforced a cap of 65% capacity at arena shows and sporting events, but broadcaster Rai hopes it will be reverted to 100% by the time Eurovision rolls into town.
When we visited in late February the arena was not exactly how Eurovision will dictate it to be, a large part of the ground floor footprint will be taken up by the stage, and some of the side panels of seating will also be taken away to make way for the stage and expansive backstage areas. In the image below the stage will come out beyond the yellow lines and possibly up to the blue line.
The commentary boxes housing each competing country’s commentators will be located at the back upper seating area, opposite the main stage, rather than running along either side of the stalls. From what we hear there will be a two-tier system to accommodate all the boxes. There are already a number of hospitality suites and VIP boxes to one side of the stalls.
The entrance hall to the arena is an expansive 3,600 square metres and will have a “commercial” area with the usual merchandise and sponsor stands as well as food and beverage operators. In recent years the arena has added on a pair of raised, two floor commercial areas on either side of the entrance which will likely also be either occupied by media broadcasts or commercial operators.
Now, see below the arena in-use during a semi final rehearsal!
Where will the Eurovision 2022 Press Centre be located?
The press centre will be held outside the arena, in a purpose-built structure located within the grounds of Parco Cavilieri di Vittorio Veneto. A covered bridge will connect the press area and the artists’ backstage areas over the ticket entrance, meaning that the artists can make their way easily to the press centre –– but the press will not be allowed to move between the press centre and the contestants’ area, it will work one way but not both ways.
The staff areas and accreditation offices will be to the left-hand side of the arena, occupying what is currently a theatre and a swimming pool.
Will alcohol be served/permitted at Eurovision 2022?
Alcohol is served in the general areas of the arena and is able to be taken in to the stalls and seating areas. There is one central bar in the main foyer which serves a number of different food and drink options, including Tuborg beer on draft.
There are other, smaller aerial bars closer to the stands where you can pop down to to buy additional drinks or snacks. The bars all take card payments.
There are also staff members walking around the seating areas whom you can purchase some soft drinks, water and bottled beer from, however they accept only cash.
How early should I get into PalaOlimpico in advance of the show?
It’s probably preferable to get to the arena one hour or 90 minutes before each show starts. The security queue is slow and your ticket will be checked against both the name and the ID added to your order, so ensure you have the corresponding ID card with you as this will be checked.
How do I get to PalaOlimpico Arena from Turin?
The PalaOlimpico is best accessed by tram, sitting on the lines 4 and 10 and getting off at both at stop ‘Sebastopoli’ then a five minute walk to the arena. To offer an example of timings, from Porta Susa by the 10 tram (getting on at Questura, as it’s the closest tram stop to the station) it takes 15 minutes to Sebastopoli. The 4 tram between Porta Nuova and Sebastopoli is exactly the same journey time: 15 minutes.
The nearest Metro station to PalaOlimpico is Carducci Molinette, but it’s a 20-25 minute walk from there, so Turin’s single-line metro is probably not the best option to use here. The main stations in Torino are Porta Nuova and Porta Susa.
Walking from the main stations of Turin will take approximately 40 minutes from Porta Nuova and 50 minutes from Porta Susa. Taxis from both of these hub stations take 10-12 minutes.
Via bus, the arena is served by lines 11, 14, 17 and 91. The 1510 and 1511 also serve nearby. Another option may be e-scooters, many different brands all operate in the city of Turin but we find LIME the best (click through for our referral offer!). These were particularly useful in the likes of Tel Aviv and Rotterdam when we visited.
Where is the Eurovision Village 2022?
Set in the stunning Parco del Valentino, Turin’s second-largest park and right in the city centre by the River Po, Eurovision Village will run for one entire week, from Saturday 7th May to Saturday 14th May. From 5pm (local time) daily, the stage will feature acts and artists –– though we believe the park will be open earlier and throughout the day. In recent years, like in Kyiv and Lisbon, the Eurovision Village had a roster of entertainment throughout the day but we believe the live performances will be in the evening time-only in Torino. Each day will have a daily ‘theme’ for its schedule, which will be revealed closer to the time of opening.
Where can I watch Eurovision in Turin? Are there Big Screens?
Large screens WILL broadcast the Semi-Finals and Grand Final within the Eurovision Village in Parco del Valentino, so if you haven’t managed to get a ticket this will be the next best thing.
How can I get tickets for Eurovision 2022?
Tickets went on sale for the Eurovision 2022 shows in early April and early May via TicketOne. Though Live Nation is the main shareholder of the arena the tickets are not going through Ticketmaster but both platforms are the main ticketing operators used in Italy and both are used regularly for different Pala Alpitour events and shows.
Organisers advised fans and media to create TicketOne accounts in advance of ticket sales to speed up the process. Tickets were restricted to four per order, per individual show.
Eurovision 2022 tickets: How much do they cost?
Tickets for the nine live shows (including family shows and jury shows) will cost as little as €10 for ‘Audio Seats’ right up to €350 for the highest priced individual tickets to the Grand Final.
Eurovision 2022: Stage Design ‘The Sun Within’
In mid-February, Rai – the Italian broadcaster – revealed the stage design for ESC 2022, as reported on Eurovision.tv. Designed by multimedia artist and stage designer Francesca Montinaro (herself behind many iconic recent stages for San Remo Festival, the Italian national song contest held annually which pre-dates Eurovision and was an early inspiration for the beginnings of Eurovision and now currently offers the winner the invitation to represent Italy at Eurovision) the concept revolves around the sun.
The movements of the sun’s light and rays, the energy the sun gives and the sun’s ruling power, the stage is also reflective of the Italian nature and attitude. Similarly, a waterfall feature surrounding the stage represents Italy as a maritime nation with the central stage reflecting Italy’s peninsula formation and welcoming performers onto its ‘shores’ from all different walks in equality and with hospitality.
The delegation ‘bubbles’ will be set within a lush green room lounge ‘garden’, surrounded by Italian vegetation. The designer has called the green room “playful” and “architectural”.
Who are the hosts of Eurovision 2022?
The trio of presenters for Eurovision 2022 in Turin, Italy, will be singer-songwriter and TV star Mika, mezzo-soprano and TV talent show judge Laura Pausini and TV presenter, host, voice actor and radio broadcaster Alessandro Cattelan.
Both Mika and Alessandro have worked together on several seasons of X Factor Italia, whereas Laura was a judge on the Spanish equivalent, Factor X in 2018. None of the three hail from Turin itself. It is unclear which of them will host the Green Room coverage, or whether another personality will be announced to broadcast from the contestants’ area.