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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Translated by Antonio D’Alfonso)