7 Sights Not to Miss in Torino

Italiano p. 2

2016/01/07 - Written by Paolo Patrito
The Baroque-style Royal Church of San Lorenzo, adjacent to the Royal Palace of Turin - Photography Luigi Bertello
The Baroque-style Royal Church of San Lorenzo, adjacent to the Royal Palace of Turin - Photography Luigi Bertello
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
If there was a time not too far back when crossing paths with a tourist in the streets of Torino was comparable to unearthing some treasure chest, nowadays it’s become routine for Torinesi to act as tourist guides. You can see men and women pointing to various beautiful landmarks of their city for relatives and friends coming from Italy and abroad. Parallel to the city’s growing tourism appeal, there has been a recent surge of cultural activity. So much so that it is not always simple to choose which sights to visit, especially when one has a day or two on his hands. To compile a list of things to do and places to see in Torino, we asked professional guides Francesca Stagni (of the Bogianen Guide www.guidebogianen.com) and Fransceca Camporeal (of Visit Torino www.visittorino.it) to provide us with their wisdom.

Museo Egizio (The Egyptian Museum)

This museum, founded in 1824, is a common inclusion on all the traditional tours of the city. The museum’s exhibits are considered second in importance only to those shown in the Museum of Cairo. Renowned set designer, Oscar Dante Ferretti, curated the great new expo and delivered to the city an amazingly remodelled space that is double the size and worthy of the finest museums in the world.

 

Sacred and Secular Baroque Architecture

 Palazzo Madama, Turin

On the must-do list is appreciating Torino for its straight-line roads, its tree-covered streets and its Baroque buildings, built between the 17th and 18th century and designed by exceptional architects of the time such as Guarino Guarini and Filippo Juvarra. There are palaces, gardens and splendid aristocratic courtyards to visit, such as Palazzo Cisterna, Palazzo Biraga di Borgaro, Palazzo Graneri della Roccia,  Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Madama. A must see are the churches of Sanctuary of the Consolata and the Church of San Lorenzo with its vertiginous cupola. Not to be missed are the public squares of Piazza San Carlo and the Piazza Carignano, where the history of a united Italy began.

RELATED ARTICLE: LE STRADE NUOVE AND THE SYSTEM OF THE PALAZZI DEI ROLLI IN THE CITY OF GENOA, LIGURIA

RELATED ARTICLE: LATE BAROQUE TOWNS OF THE VAL DI NOTO, SOUTH-EASTERN SICILY

RELATED ARTICLE: THE GARDENS OF STONES FROM THE VAL DI NOTO

 

The National Museum of Cinema and the Mole Antonelliana 

The National Museum of Cinema is a magical place for lovers of films. Encased in the marvellous Mole Antonelliana, the museum encompasses a wealth of props used in Italian and international films, from the origins to the present-day, showcased in unique settings. Part of the fascination of this multi-storied museum is the Mole’s unprecedented architecture devised during the second half of the 19th century by the eclectic architect Alessandro Antonelli. With its spire, the building reaches 167.50 metres high. A landmark in Torino, it was for many decades the tallest masonry structure in Europe. After visiting the museum (and if you’re not too frightened of heights) you are invited to take the crystal elevator all the way up to its cupola (85 metres in altitude), and enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the cityscape.

RELATED ARTICLE: IL CINEMA ITALIANO: A CENTURY OF MASTERPIECES AND PROTAGONISTS

RELATED ARTICLE: LE CINÉMA ITALIEN BRILLE DANS LA DÉTRESSE

RELATED ARTICLE: ANNA MAGNANI, ATTRICE SIMBOLO DEL CINEMA ITALIANO

 

The Reggia of Venaria

Abandoned for centuries, this remarkable castle, built by Charles Emanuele II during the second half of the 17th century, was originally used as a hunting lodge. Between 1998 and 2009, the castle received a complete makeover, one of the most important renovation projects undertaken in Europe. The revamping of the surroundings of the palazzo began with the famous Galleria Grande of Diana, the Church of Sant’Uberto, and the historical village of Venaria Reale. The magnificent gardens were restored according to the original drawings and adorned with fountains. At the present time, the Venaria’s stables are home to the Conservation and Restoration Centre, one of the most important in Italy. The Palazzo is a site for travelling exhibitions of great art works, such as the current one featuring paintings by Raffaello.

RELATED ARTICLE: THE ROYAL PALACE AT CASERTA

 

The Lingotto Complex

The history of contemporary Torino is intrinsically linked to the history of Italy’s car industry. Check out the Lingotto building, a former industrial complex built in 1915 by architect Giacomo Mattè-Trucco, inspired by the American Ford automobile compound. Shut down in 1982, the establishment was renovated in the 1990s, under the guidance of architect Renzo Piano. The edifice houses a commercial mall, a theatre, a sports complex, hotels, restaurants, and the Italian administrative headquarters of the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) as well as various university faculties. You can also stroll along the famous rooftop practice racetrack and stop by the Agnelli Art Gallery.

RELATED ARTICLE: TORINO “CITY OF THE FIAT”       

 

The National Automobile Museum

A few hundred metres from the Lingotto stands the National Automobile Museum, the only one of its kind in Italy, which showcases the history of the automobile and its converging path with the city, society and customs. How has the car changed our history and lifestyles? You will relive the futuristic research on velocity and how the car sparked a major metamorphosis in technology, trends, design and mechanical expertise. This is the place for techies interested in motor engineering presented with dynamism and authority.

 

Traditional Market squares of Porta Palazzo and Balon

Steps from the centre of Torino is the Piazza della Repubblica. Since the end of the 19th century, it has been home to the Porta Palazzo market square, the largest and most vibrant of Torino. In the early hours of the day, the market comes alive and is filled with colours, scents and people. One can find a bounty of local fruits and vegetables as well as fish and other products from all across Italy. Once tempted by these foods, you can wander off to the market square of Balon. Every Saturday, the streets of the Borgo Dora district host the local flee market, while the Gran Balon market, dedicated to antique shops, takes place every second Sunday of the month. 

RELATED ARTICLE: THE ITALIAN FRUTTIVENDOLO          

(Translated by Antonio D’Alfonso)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

 

See all Travel Articles >>

 

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Receive weekly giveaways and updates from
our blogs and premium online content.