MINI GUIDE: WHAT TO VISIT IN TURIN
Italo Train takes you to visit Turin, the Savoy capital and the cradle of the Risorgimento: take a journey through art, culture and innovation in one of the cities that has given rise to numerous examples of “Made in Italy”, famous all over the world.
Internationally celebrated as one of the cities with one of the most beautiful natural locations in the world, Turin is located in the Po Valley and is bordered by the rivers of the Po, Sanzone, Stura di Lanzo and Dora Riparia, which laps against the streets close to the historic centre. For this reason, it’s also referred to as the city of the four rivers. Its proximity to the Alps enhances its natural scenery, especially in winter, when you can see their snowy peaks.
Another name that defines Turin, and faithfully describes its essence, is the “City of Art Nouveau”, thanks to its historical cafés, born in the period of the Belle Epoque: there are those who say that, for this reason, it’s comparable to a small Italian Paris, for its apparently austere atmosphere, but behind which lies a lively social and cultural life.
The monument that undoubtedly identifies Turin and characterizes its skyline is the Mole Antonelliana, the monument of 1863 dedicated to the then King of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, and which now houses the National Cinema Museum, the largest one in Europe. Another distinction of Turin is the Egyptian Museum, second in the world after that of Cairo, which offers its visitors a jump into the past.
To get to know the pulsating centre of Turin, go to Piazza Castello: you’ll recognize it because it’s surrounded on three sides by ancient porticos. Here you’ll find some of the most emblematic buildings in the city, such as the Royal Palace, the Royal Theater or the Government Palace. The name of the square takes its name from Palazzo Madama, which was the ancient castle of the city. The four main streets of the city open from Piazza Castello, via Garibaldi, via Pietro Micca, via Roma and via Po.
One of the reasons that Turin famous, and why it has also converted into a pilgrimage destination, is the Holy Shroud, kept in the cathedral of the city, dedicated to the patron saint of Turin, San Giovanni Battista. You can see the Shroud going underneath the royal tribune of the Duomo, where it lies inside its waterproof case.
If you want to get away from the city centre and appreciate an attraction much loved by the people of Turin, you can head to the Valentino River Park, which dates back to the 19th century. In the heart of the park stands one of the buildings of Turin that boasts the title of UNESCO World Heritage, together with other residences of the Savoy era: the Valentino Castle. It was Maria Cristina of France who chose this palace as her favorite residence. Today it houses the faculty of architecture. Another curiosity of the park is the Borgo Medievale, built in 1884, which emulates a medieval village of the '400. Speaking of royal residences, don’t miss the wonderful Reggia di Venaria, reopened only in 2007 and also part of the Unesco Heritage.
Even the sweet tooth will find Turin a delicious destination that satisfies gastronomic curiosity. Start with a first course of meat agnolotti, seasoned with braised meat or order tajarin (a long fresh pasta) seasoned with white truffle. Then move on to the second course, with beef braised in Barolo wine or with the famous bagna caôda: anchovy, garlic and oil sauce ... but only if you have no romantic engagements after lunch! As for dessert, Turin is the mecca: amaretti, hazelnut cake and Gianduja chocolate are some of the most famous trademarks of Turin pastry. Accompany everything with a Barolo, a moscato or a vermouth.
Take the opportunity to relax in Piazza Castello and sip a bicerín, the famous traditional Piedmontese drink made with coffee, chocolate and cream: buy your train ticket for Turin with Italo now!