5 Places to Visit in Turin

Turin….home to chocolate, the Salone del Gusto food fair, Grom icecream, Eataly and Fiat. We have visited Piedmont many times but somehow we had never managed to spend any time in Turin. This time, however, it fitted perfectly into our itinerary. We would take the train from Milan to Turin, stay 3 nights then pick up the car and drive to the hill top towns of Piedmont.

The Winter Olympics in 2006 proved a turning point for Turin and since then, I am told, the city has regained it’s splendour. This beautiful baroque town with it’s arcaded streets, elegant cafés and shops, offers many sites to visit.

These are my top 5 places to visit in Turin.

1. Piazza Castello

Piazza Castello or Castle Square as it is known, is the centre of the city. It is surrounded by arcades on three sides, each built in a different period. Palazzo Reale stands magestically at one end with Palazzo Madama (The Antique Art Museum) and Armeria Reale (The Royal Armoury) also overlooking the square. From here the four main streets of Turin radiate. Via Po, Via Garibaldi, Via Roma and Via Pietro Mica lead you to different corners of the city.

Palazzo Madama, Turin

Palazzo Madama

Intersection of Via Pietro Mica and Piazza Castello, Turin

Intersection of Via Pietro Mica and Piazza Castello

 

2. Palazzo Reale

The Palazzo Reale was the home of the royal family from 1660 until the Unification of Italy in 1861. The State Apartments in the Palazzo provide a glimpse of life in these times.

Piazza Reale, Turin

Piazza Reale with Palazzo Reale in the background

Palazzo Reale, Turin

Palazzo Reale

Palazzo Reale, Turin

Frescoes inside the Palazzo Reale

 

3. Museo Egizo – The Egyptian Museum

This is one of the most important museums outside of Egypt. At the time of the Naploeonic wars, the French Consul General in Egypt, Bernard Drovetti, a Piemontese, had amassed a huge collection of Egyptian relics and it was this that formed the basis of this amazing collection. Sculptures, reconstructed temples and every day objects are beautifully displayed.
The 14th century B.C tomb of Kha I, complete with food tools and ornaments is fascinating.

The Entrance to the Egyptian Museum in Turin

The Entrance to the Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum in Turin

Granite statue in the museum

 

4.The Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is found in Turin’s Cathedral dedicated to St John the Baptist. It is kept behind bullet proof glass, housed in a silver casket, inside an iron box, which is inside a marble coffer! The closest you will get to seeing the Shroud is by watching a short video that plays continuously before you see where it lies. The next public display of the shroud is in 2025.

Duomo di San Giovanni Battista, Turin

Duomo di San Giovanni Battista

The Shroud of Turin

The casket containing the Shroud of Turin

 

5. Palazzo Carignano

I love the curved brick exterior of this palazzo built in 1679 for the Carignano family. A large sign on the top states that Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s first king was born here. After Italy was unified in 1861, it was used as the home of the first parliament. It is now home to the Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento which tells the story of the Unification.  An interesting art exhibition enabled us to see the richly decorated rooms of the palazzo.

Palazzo Carignano, Turin

The exterior of Palazzo Carignano

Palazzo Carignano, Turin

Italy

Frescoes and Gilt work in Palazzo Carignano, Turin

Frescoes and gilt work in the Palazzo

Stairway in Palazzo Carignano

Stairway in Palazzo Carignano

 

If you are going to spend a few days in Turin and Piedmont, the Torino + Piedmont Card gives you free admission to more than 160 sites and discounts on some guided tours as well as the Choco pass. The card is bought for a period of 2- 7 days.
Another pass that is very popular if you are a chocolate addict is the Choc Pass which allows you 10 tastings in different cafés and chocolate shops in 2 days.
Both these passes can be bought at the tourist office in Piazza Castello.

 

Have you been to Turin? What was your favourite place to visit?

 

 

 

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9 Responses to 5 Places to Visit in Turin

  1. Johanna December 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Beautiful photos and descriptions. Makes me want to go to Turin 🙂

    • atasteoftravel December 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

      Thanks Jo. Turin is a great place and easy to get to. If you go, You also want to plan time in Piedmont as well

  2. Krista December 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Oh how lovely! Turin is at the top of my bucket list and has been for years. 🙂 Thank you for giving me a glimpse of this place I so long to visit. 🙂

    • atasteoftravel December 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

      I really loved our stay in Turin. There is so much to see and do and eat!! The cafes and the restaurants are fabulous. I’m sure you’ll get there oneday, Krista.

  3. Debra Kolkka December 7, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    Turin deserves to be visited more often. I always head for Al Bicherin for a glass of coffee, chocolate and cream – so good for you.

    • atasteoftravel December 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

      I don’t know why Turin is overlooked by visitors. It’s so easy to get to, so much to see and do and, as you mentioned, the cafes are fabulous. I’ll pop back again when we next head to Piedmont

  4. marina December 7, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    What a wonderful post! And the Palazzo – so gilded and ornate. I love seeing such elaborate work. Imagine experiencing life around such art!

    • atasteoftravel December 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      The gilding and the frescoes in the Palazzo were amazing. I think I could have been very happy living here! Wouldn’t it have been fun!

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