Turin: italian prime mover
Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region and is known as ‘the cradle of Italy’. It has just over two million inhabitants and lies on the banks of the Po River surrounded by the Alps. It’s also famous around the world for its automobile industry (home to the FIAT company).
This trade and industrial city par excellence enjoys the privilege of having been the first capital of Italy (back in 1861). Although it has Celtic roots, nowadays its centre is reminiscent of its Roman ancestors as seen by the many intersecting perpendicular roads with three or four horizontal axes. It boasts of being the driving force behind Italian unity in the nineteenth century and of the early struggles of the working class in the twentieth century.
The city centre is bounded by the ‘Corona delle Delizie’, a set of 14 World Heritage Site palatial residences that emerged from the splendour of the seventeenth century.
Turin has a continental climate. Temperatures in January dip to about 1ºC and reach 22ºC in summer.
The best way to get around in Turin is to use its extensive network of buses and trams.
Places to visit:
Mole Antonelliana: this building rises 167 metres high and symbolises the city. Nowadays, it houses the National Museum of Cinema –the most important one in the world.
Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum): Champollion, the first person to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics, wrote of this museum, ‘The road to Memphis and Thebes passes through Turin’. All of its magnificent artefacts come from Italian archaeological campaigns at the start of the twentieth century.
Piazza San Carlo: this plaza has the most elegant and trendy cafés and is watched over by two twin churches.
Piazza Castello: this precious plaza is home to the Royal Palace, the royal gardens and the Palazzo Madonna.
Santuario della Consolata has a very ancient origin. The bell tower and chapel are from Medieval times and the facade is neoclassic in style and dates to 1860. Inside you’ll see two majestic white-marble angels reposing on the main altar.
Piazza de Venetto: the largest plaza in Europe. This is Turin’s stateliest area where you’ll find all kinds of cafés, pubs and restaurants where you can enjoy local cuisine.
Monte dei Capuccini: just by crossing the Po and following a short route, you can take in unforgettable panoramic views.
Sassi-Superga tram: only 15 minutes away from the Superga station. You’ll enjoy a splendid view of the city, presided over by the Alps, during your ride in these vintage tram cars. In addition, this is where you’ll find the Basilica of Superga that holds the Royal Crypt where the Dukes of Savoy lie. There is also the possibility of staying here at certain times of the year.