10 INCREDIBLE Places you MUST See in TURIN

Turin is the capital city of Piedmont, and its history can be traced back through 2000 years – it even was the first Italian capital from 1861 to 1865. It has many names, such as “la città dei quattro fiumi” (“the city of four rivers“, because it’s localized in a plain surrounded by Stura, Sangone and Po rivers with also the Dora Riparia flowing close to its historical center) and as “la città magica” (“the city of magic“, for being part of a triangle that involves the cities of Lyon and Prague). Among other events, it was the host city for The Universal Exposition (1911), the Winter Olympic Games (2006) and the 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest (2022). In terms of economic strength, it is ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome. So, as you can tell, Turin is an Italian city steeped in history and in art – it’s a city that you cannot not know, especially if you study the local language and culture! If you would like to visit it, or you simply want to know something more about it, stay with us to find out what the top 10 places to visit in this city are!

PLACES TO VISIT IN TURIN

In this article you will find a list of ten places to visit in Turin – they’re all characterized by ancient history and breathtaking views– that will make you want to book the first flight (or train) to this wonderful city!

1 – THE MOLE ANTONELLIANA

The Mole Antonelliana -a symbol of the city- is located in via Montebello, right in the historic center of Turin. It’s named after the architect who designed it, Alessandro Antonelli, and its height: the Italian term ‘mole‘ refers to a building of monumental proportions. It is precisely its height one of the reasons why it’s so loved by tourists and locals alike: thanks to a panoramic lift, you will be able to reach the terrace and because of its impressive height (167 meters / 547 feet) you will admire a wonderful panorama of the city and the surrounding Alps.

2 – THE MUSEO EGIZIO

The Egyptian Museum in Turin is the most important Egyptian museum in the world, second only to the one in Cairo (which speaks for itself!), and it’s the most ancient museum in the world. Here, you will find around 6.500 finds that constitute an immense treasure – there are statues, sarcophagi and grave goods, papyri, amulets, and jewels. You definitely don’t want to miss this museum, if you’re interested in the history and mysteries of this ancient civilization. The museum is located inside the Palazzo dell’Accademia delle Scienze (“the Palace of the Academy of Sciences“), and the entry price is around 15€, but there are many discounts for kids, university students and many other categories.

3 – CAFFÈ “AL BICERIN”

When you visit Turin, you cannot miss the occasion to taste the typical local delicacies in a location that will bring you back to the elegance of XIX century intellectual cafes. At Caffè Al Bicerin, first opened in 1763, you can find the original recipe of the famous hot beverage, typical of Turin: it’s a coffee-based drink with chocolate and heavy cream, served in small handle-less glasses. These small glasses (which in Italian are called “biccheri“, or “bicchierini” if they’re small) are the meaning behind the name of the cafe – in fact, in Turin they’re called “bicerin“.

If you’re interested in history, music, or Italian literature, you might want to know that many important people have visited this caffè, such as Alexandre Dumas senior, Friedrich Nietzsche, Giacomo Puccini, and (according to the legend) Camillo Benso di Cavour too!

4 – THE BASILICA OF SUPERGA

This majestic Basilica was designed and built by the famous architect Filippo Juvarra between 1717 and 1731; it is situated on top of Superga hill, and it replaced a small church that had been there since 1461, a parish for the faithful of the place. The history of this Basilica is intertwined with that of the Royal family: according to the tradition, it was built by order of king Vittorio Amedeo II as a token of gratitude to the Virgin Mary for having won the French (1706); it also holds the tombs of the House of Savoy. The glorious battle for the liberation of Turin is also commemorated in the high altar, where a frame designed by Juvarra surrounds a marble bas-relief by Bernardino Cametti that recalls the important historical event.

Its particular beauty catches the eyes of anyone who sees it – its Baroque majesty and its spectacular dome are a feast for the eyes.

5 – VILLA DELLA REGINA

Baroque beauty on the hills that surround Turin, this Villa was named “della regina” ( lit. “of the Queen“) because it has been the abode for many Savoy queens for several centuries: the vineyard and gardens complex was built on the Hill of Turin on the model of the Roman villas for the Prince-Cardinal Maurice of Savoy, son of the Duke Charles Emmanuel I at the beginning of the XVII century. It was only in 1657 that his wife Luisa Ludovica of Savoy decided to get the buildings and gardens expanded and the decorations and furniture updated – because it was her personal residence, the first name of the Villa was “Villa Ludovica“. At her death, in 1962, it was passed to Anne Marie d’Orleans, wife of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy. In 1868 king Victor Emmanuel II donated it to the Institute of the Army’s Daughters; unfortunately, it was severely damaged during the bombings of World War II, and it fell into a state of neglect. In 1994 it became property of the State, and so the long project of recovery and restoration began.

Nowadays, this Villa is a majestic building that will blow your mind – its XVII century interiors and its marvelous exteriors (which include an Italian-style garden shaped like an amphitheater, and the Pavilion of the Solinghi) will probably astound you.

6 – THE COVERED GALLERIES: Galleria Umberto I, Galleria Subalpina and Galleria San Federico

Walking though these fascinating galleries almost feels like being in Paris. Also called passages, they are “passageways” between buildings. These three galleries were built between the XIX and the XX century and they are an architectural curiosity that is part of the history of the capital city of the region; they are characterized by skylight ceilings that let the sunlight get through and illuminate the beautiful interiors. In these passages you can relax, soak up the Parisian atmosphere and even stop in a cafè for a break or snack.

Another thing that these three marvelous galleries have in common is… the movie camera! In fact, all three galleries have been film sets: you can see Galleria Umberto I in some important movies such as “Trevico-Turin: Voyage in Fiatnam” (1973 Italian drama film directed by Ettore Scola) and “The Way We Laughed” (1998 film directed by Gianni Amelio); the Galleria Subalpina was used as a film set for some scenes for the movie “Four Flies on Grey Velvet” (1971) directed by Dario Argento. He later brought his movie camera to Galleria San Federico where he shot some scenes of “Deep Red” in 1974.

7 – PALACE OF VENARIA

With just a half hour drive from the center of Turin, you can visit the Palace of Venaria – a landmark that cannot be forgotten when visiting the city. The Reggia di Venaria Reale is a former royal residence and gardens, and it is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, included in the UNESCO Heritage List in 1997. It was commissioned by Duke Charles Emmanuel II, who needed a base for his hunting expeditions.

In 2019 it was chosen as Italy’s most beautiful parks, so you cannot miss the chance to see it in person and visit its charming gardens and royal interiors!

8 – VALENTINO PARK

If you’re in Turin and need to take a break to breath some fresh air, or to talk a walk through nature, the Valentino Park (known as Parco del Valentino in Italian) suits you needs! It’s located along the west bank of the Po River and near the historical center and it’s suitable for any outdoor activity: there are cycle lanes and, paths to take a walk around the park to escape the city stress.
It was inaugurated at the end of the XVII century and since then, it has been the perfect place to relax and have fun, as well as the place where many public events are held – here, you can attend manifestations, events and entertainment shows.

9 – THE CHAPEL OF THE HOLY SHROUD

The chapel, built in Turin at the end of the XVII century, was commissioned to Carlo di
Castellamonte
by the duke Charles Emmanuel I of Savoy in 1611, in order to store the precious Holy Shroud – the Shroud had been safeguarded by the Royal Family of Savoy since 1453, and it was moved to Turin in 1578. The construction site was closed permanently in 1694, when the remains of the Holy Shroud was transferred to the Guarini Chapel to be placed on the central altar, designed by Antonio Bertola.

In the first half of the XIX century, the Chapel was adorned with four sculptural groups – commissioned by king Charles Albert of Sardinia, they represented the great figures of the House of Savoy (Count Thomas I, duke Amadeus VIII, duke Emmanuel Philibert and duke Charles II of Savoy). During the night between 11 and 12 April 1997, the chapel was severely damaged by a massive fire, the cause of which is still a mystery; the Shroud was rescued but the chapel was closed to the public for a long time. In fact, because of the damages, it was necessary to begin an architectural and structural renovation, which was long and binding.

More than thirty years later, the Chapel was opened to the public in September 2018 and these days it’s a real gem of Baroque architecture – its defining elements are the grey-veined black marble, the arches and pillars of different dimensions, the plays of light, the statues, and the bronze capitals decorated by carvings of the symbols of the Passion.

10 – MADAMA PALACE

Located in Piazza Castello, the main square of the city, Palazzo Madama (“Madama Palace”) boasts a secular and glorious history. It’s one of the most representative buildings of the region, if not the whole country. The architectural site is now UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Museo Civico di Arte Antica of Turin.

Within the walls of the Palace, you can admire numerous works of art that testify to ten centuries of history of the Italian and European artistic production. The itinerary of the visit is covers four floors: in the basement there is the Lapidario Medievale (Medieval Lapidary) with stone sculptures and gold jewelry; the ground floor is mainly devoted to the Arts of the XVII and XVIII century, with paintings and precious items; lastly, on the second floor, you will be able to see the decorative Arts of all ages.

Turin is undoubtedly the kind of city you must visit at least once in your lifetime, but Italy has many other cities that are wonderful – such as Bologna, Milan, Rome, Naples, Bari, Florence… so, check out the videos we have shot in all these Italian cities!

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