Discover Turin, the core of the Italian culture
January 1, 1970
by Francesca Chiara Lionetti
Turin, the main city of the Piedmont region, is one of the best options you have to discover the traditions and the beauties of Italy. Indeed Turin is very characteristic and, although it isn’t too popular, has got nothing on Milan or Rome. The city offers a lot of attractions, but – don’t worry – this guide will help you choose what places suite most your tastes!
It is a square in the very center of Turin and one of the most beautiful, which hosts the Royal Palace and Palazzo Madama. The first is a historic palace of the House of Savoy and it is now on the UNESCO Heritage World Site list.The second was the first Senate of the Italian Kingdom and it is now the
Museum of Ancient Art.
It is the largest square with porticoes of Europe. It is very beautiful, especially during the night with the Gran Madre Church illuminated. It is also a very nice place to enjoy the city’s nightlife. It offers a variety of different pubs and bars. Also, next to Piazza Vittorio there is the zone called “Murazzi” by the river Po, where there are a lot of discos opened during the night.
Via Roma and Via Po
These are two very nice streets in the city center. Via Roma connects Porta Nuova (one of the main train stations) with Piazza Castello and is the street of the shopping, while Via Po connects Piazza Castello with Piazza Vittorio. They are both very characteristic also for the porticoes.
The Cinema Museum and the Mole Antonelliana
The Mole Antonelliana is the major landmark of Turin. It is a building of monumental proportions, constructed between 1863 and 1889, that takes its name after its architect Alessandro Antonelli. Today it hosts the National Museum of Cinema, which contains a great collection regarding the history of cinema. The most exciting part of this building is the panoramic elevator with transparent glass walls, which brings you to a 75 meters-high terrace, that offers you an amazing view of the city.
The Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum is the best museum about this antic population after the one at Cairo. Here you can relive the magic of this antiquity, discover this culture. If you curious and/or like antiquity, this is a must for you.
The Museum of Risorgimento
This is the most important museums in Italy about the unification and so the birth of the Italian nation. The most important part is the Subalpine Chamber of Deputies. This museum is hosted in Palazzo Carignano, a really beautiful example of the Baroque period.
Chiesa della Gran Madre e Piazza Vittorio
One of the most beautiful scenes of Turin during the night is Piazza Vittorio with its light and the enlighted Gran Madre Church. The Gran Madre Church is a Neoclassic-style church located in front of Piazza Vittorio. It reminds of the Pantheon of Rome and it was conceived to celebrate the return of the king Vittorio Emanuele I of Sardinia, after the defeat of Napoleon.
Monte dei Cappuccini
This is a place I really recommend you to visit. It is a hill overlooking the river Po that hosts the Church of Santa Maria al Monte dei Cappuccini, built for the Cappuccini order in a late-Reinassance style. From this place you can have a very evocative panorama (for me the best view) of Turin.
Il Santuario della Consolata
It is a Marian Sanctuary and a basilica. Very characteristic, it was constructed by Filippo Juvarra in a baroque style. It is located in the very center of the city.
Parco del Valentino
It is the second largest park of Turin park of Turin but probably the most beautiful. It is located on the west bank of the river Po and it offers a very beautiful promenade by the river. In this park, you can also find the Borgo Medievale. Actually, it wasn’t constructed during the Middel ages but in 1884 in occasion of the Italian General Exposition and built in order to be the most realistic possible. Here you can travel back into the Middle Ages and get carried away by the intense atmosphere.
Of course if you are in Italy you can’t miss eating pizza. There are a lot of really good places: my advice is to try the pizza made at Eataly, an italian store which food is made only with italian products
A speciality of Turin is the bicerin, a typical hot drink made of espresso, chocolate and whole milk served in a small round glass.
The “aperitivo” is a tradition of north part of Italy. It consists of a buffet of food and a alcoholic or analcoholic drink and is consumed before dinner. Sometimes it consists of only some snacks but usually it can take the place of the dinner.
Basilica di Superga
The Basilica of Superga is a church built between 1717 and 1731 by the architect Filippo Juvarra in a late Baroque style at the top of the hill of Superga. From here you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city of Turin
La Reggia di Venaria
The Palace of Venaria was one of the residences of the Royal House of Savoy located in Venaria Reale, a town near Turin, and it is now part of the UNESCO Wrld Heritage Site list. It is a huge and wonderful complex that offers an insight into the life of the royal family. It also hosts really beautiful gardens.
Turin was the first capital of Italy and the city of the royal family that created the Italian State. Visiting Turin will not only get you an insight of Western Italy but will give you the amazing opportunity to discover Italy itself, its history, traditions, and culture. I hope this guide will help you move around the city easily and discover this really beautiful country! Hurry up, pack your suitcase, next stop on the world map: Turin!