Turin is a city in Northern Italy, and from 1861-1865 it was the Italian capital. In those days, it was a major European Political Center. During the last 100 years, it has become a major area for commerce and industry along with Milan.
When we are planning a magnificent trip to the city of Turin, Italy, we will find the city rich in culture and history, so it is time to do some research!
The original occupants, in around 28 BC, were Alpine people who occupied the valley of the river Po. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the area endured many changes and by the 10th century the family of the Counts of Savoy occupied the area, and the title was held by the Bishop almost until the 15th century. In the 15th century, the city was remodeled, and the University of Turin was founded.
By this time, there were over 20,000 inhabitants. In 1706, the French tried to gain control of Turin, and occupied the city, but did not conquer it.
However, it was annexed by the French in 1802 until the fall of Napoleon when it was restored to Italy in 1814, then it became the capital until 1865 when Florence became the capital. Because of close proximity to the French border, it remains a center for communication between France and Italy.
During the 19th century, the industrial revolution took hold and the area developed rapidly. In 1902, it hosted the Universal Exposition, which is still known for its amazing Art Nouveau design and was so successful that it was hosted again in 1911.
Following World War I, there was great unrest due to the harsh conditions, and it only ended when the Fascist regime banned trade unions, and Benito Mussolini subsidized the automotive industry (Fiat) to make army vehicles. During World War II the city was heavily bombed and following the war, Turin was rapidly rebuilt. The population is now growing again, and in 2006 the City hosted the Winter Olympic Games.
Located at the foot of the Alps, it is a city that experiences four seasons with low annual rainfall. Cold winters and mild summers make the city a great place to visit all year round. When flying in, during winter, sometimes huge banks of fog envelop the city, making visibility difficult at times.
However, if you love to ski, a visit during winter is a must, when snowfall remains consistent.
The architecture is predominantly Baroque with touches of Rococo going back to the 18th century. For people who love architecture, a visit to Turin is an amazing experience. Via Roma is the main street and was redesigned and rebuilt during the fascist era.
To the north is Piazza Castello, the heart of the city where we will find some incredible buildings including, Palazzo Madama and Palazzo Reale. The original Baroque Teatro Regio di Torino was destroyed by fire in the 1960s and rebuilt in the original style. The spacious square often hosts events held in the city, including live concerts.
At the southern end of Via Roma, we will find the Giardino Sambuy, a garden providing some well-planned green space in the city. The railway station with a passenger building was renovated as a shopping mall, making it much more attractive to tourists. This is a well-planned and interesting city, and a tourist is able to walk everywhere in the heart of Turin.
The via Po is the largest baroque square in Europe and hosts the entertainment and restaurant quarter.
No magnificent trip to the city of Turin, Italy is complete without a visit to the symbol of the city or Mole Antonelliana, named for the architect and originally constructed as a Jewish Synagogue, and now a Museum of Cinema.
Nearby is the Cathedral where you will be able to see The Shroud of Turin dating back to the time of Christ. The church was built in 1610, to replace the chapel that once stood there.
Beside the Cathedral Stand the Palatine Towers, a Roman structure once one of the original gates to the city, allowing access from the north.
South of the Tower is Via Garibaldi, a 1 km pedestrian stretch featuring the old part of the city and a Baroque square with arcades. Under the city are many old tunnels and these can be explored in a guided tour.
Crocetta is an exclusive part of the city due to the well-constructed residential buildings. We will find Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau-style Architecture. The area was built from 1903 to 1937 and is well laid out. Here we will find the Polytechnic University, a massive complex housing 30,000 students and one of Italy’s largest learning institutions.
What to Do in Turin?
- Take a 2-hour evening tour with a guide to visit an array of landmarks in the area.
- Go Truffle hunting in Alba, a unique experience to see the truffle dogs sniff out the delicacies.
- Visit the Piedmont Vineyards to experience Italian winemaking firsthand.
- Take a tour of the Turin Royal Palace to visit the Shroud Chapel and the Armoury Gardens.
- Visit the Egyptian Museum of Turin.
- Take the underground walking tour of the tunnels beneath the city.
- Visit a private walking tour to customize your experience.
- Take a hot air balloon flight over Italy’s Alpine landscape.
- The city has some of Europe’s best chocolate, take a walking tour and discover the chocolate with a guide.
- Go for a bike ride around the neighborhood and visit Valentino Park.
- Take a tiramisu class and master the art of desert.
To properly see Turin, we will need to spend about 5-7 nights, as there is so much to do. The best way to see the city is to book some tours before traveling, and this way none of the main attractions will be missed. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, and the Po River Tour makes a restful change, taking a hot air balloon over the Alps should not be missed.
Also read the article: Fascinating Sights Of The City Of Florence, Italy