The unified Italy’s first capital and the current capital of the Piedmont region, Turin has a long history and a beautiful heart.
From the Basilica of Superga the most incredible view of the city lies before you. The distinctive pinnacle of the Mole is clear from a distance and becomes a handy reference point as you wander the streets of the city.
Aperitivo, chocolate and coffee
Lined with baroque palaces, museums, restaurants and cafés are large squares where café society is very much in evidence. Even in winter, expect to find the Torinesi sipping their coffee or hot chocolate at tables lining the squares.
In fact, Turin is known gastronomically for three things – coffee (Lavazza), chocolate (both Nutella and handmade delights) and aperitivo (Martini, Cinzano and Gancia) – all of which mean you are in for a treat when it comes to food and drink.
For a taste of the original bars and coffee houses, try Caffe San Carlo or Caffe Torino in Piazza San Carlo.
With a castle in its centre and two palaces, Piazza Castello is the place to head to for historical culture.
The Palazzo Reale was originally constructed as residence for a returning son of Regent Christina Maria in 1645. Later it became the seat for the House of Savoy. Its simply breath-taking Baroque architecture is worthy of the UNESCO listing. It rivals the French Versailles and its southerly neighbour in Caserta, Naples.
Within the palace is the Chapel of the Holy Shroud built specificallt to house the Turin Shroud. A fire in 1997 seriously damaged the building. The shroud is now kept in the Cathedral of Turin. An amazing restoration project has taken place and the chapel reopened in 2018. Some of the devastation is still evident and shows the magnitude of the damage and restoration work.
Originally constructed as a synagogue, Turin’s landmark building, the mole is named after its architect. It is now home to the National Cinema Museum. Believed to be one of the tallest museums in the world, it is featured on the obverse of the Italian 2-euro cent coin.