Last Updated on March 30, 2020
Turin has just under one million inhabitants, and its location in the northwest of Italy is somehow close to everything: about 140 km to the Savona, 170 km to Genoa, 80 km to Switzerland, and 140 km to Milan.
And these distances are really not great if you know that in Italy there are trains (“Frecarosa 1000”) that run at 350 km per hour!
The city is beautifully situated along the banks of its rivers, and if something is on the water, then it is – Turin on the water.
And so, the city has been living for some 23 centuries, and during that time the Taurine tribes, as well as the Gauls, Romans, Goths, Langobards, Franks, resided, so that everything slowly began to come into place when Turin came into the hands of the Savoy family. But still in the presence of the French.
Turin was also the first capital of the first Italian Republic, true – only from 1861 to 1864, but enough to carry that crown forever.
The city had its ups and downs, and the driving force in this millennium was given to it by the 2006 Winter Olympics, which is still visible today, more than a decade later.
1. The Center
The Consolate Square was exactly the same during the first Roman settlement, where as early as the fifth century a church was erected, in which the icon of the Virgin, brought from the East, had a central place.
In the eleventh century, a new church was erected, to which builders and artists added new elements. In front of the church is a large, smooth stone pillar, topped by the figure of the Virgin Mary with Christ.
And the interior of the church is all in multicolored marble, gold and silver, with impressively decorated ceilings and walls, massive marble columns, framed religious pieces on the walls, incredibly lavish in every way possible.
The church has a silver figure of the Virgin Mary with Christ, both with gold crowns on their heads – and it is this figure that is carried through Turin, at the head of the procession that departs there, every twentieth of June.
As you enter Al Bicerin restaurant, among its marble counter tops, on which candles burn in broad daylight, and as you contemplate which of the thousands of interesting details on the walls to keep your eyes on, you must be aware that the first guest entered there in 1763. ie. over a quarter of a millennium ago!
It was last renovated in the 1800s, and by the large jars on the wall, about twenty of them are probably filled with the same type of candy (but made in this year).
Just the drink “bicerin” started in parallel with three ideas – one was today’s cappuccino, the other was coffee and chocolate and the third was a blend of all three mentioned ingredients, and finally this third variant prevailed.
The popularity of this chocolate drink can also be appreciated by the fact that the cafe was (and still is) across from the temple, and the warm chocolate was not considered food, during fasting.
In addition to bicarin, there is another specialty here – zabayonas, so these two delicious things made even the Italian aristocracy come here regularly and mix with people of lower standing and poorer wealth – who, again, could afford this treat because its price has not changed for more than a century.
in the same cafe, perhaps just at the same table, sat at the same time Alexander Dummas, then Giacomo Puccini, Friedrich Nietzsche, and even the last king of Italy – Umberto II with his queen Maria Jose.
In Turin, there is another real “Italian” thing – one giant grocery store called EATaly (a word play: it reads “Italy”), in which you can probably find all the food (and drinks) made in Italy.
In Turin itself, you have one shop in the center of Turin (via Lagrange), and one giant shop on two levels in the Lingoto district. Besides buying fresh fruits and vegetables, here you can find all kinds of chocolates, cheeses, salami and ham, and not to mention pasta and wine.
There are also Italian beers, olive oils, vinegar, all in hundreds of versions, exhibited in dozens of gondolas and shelves.
5. Arcade of Turin
it is an incredible 18 kilometers of streets lined with arches and arched ceilings, and those luxurious street canopies extend over the roadway, connecting blocks of buildings, leaving and passing through them. with cars running through.
Even the kings of Italy were far-sighted, and perhaps it was quite selfish and short-sighted, demanding that street sidewalks be covered with arcades, so that they could stroll around their royal capital even when it was raining.
6. Via Roma
As soon as you enter Via Roma, you will see all the wealth that this whole city exudes. The first part of Via Roma is all in marble poles, and mosaic floors which are made of beautiful stone slabs.
Those stone slabs only become more beautiful with decades and centuries, and receive their eternal patina and splendor, sidewalk polished with footwear and footsteps of all those who have passed this way during previous centuries.
7. A Horse in the Square in Turin
After another ten meters walk, Via Roma suddenly opens and introduces you to San Carlo Square, one of the two most famous squares in Turin. On that short, narrow part of the street, on the left and right, you can see two churches, so called twin churches – Santa Kristina and San Carlo, of which this male twin also has a high tower with a bell and a clock.
In the middle of the square is a monument to the Duke of Savoy, Emanuel Filibert, who declared the Turin capital of the territory under his rule. Now, it is difficult to enumerate here the entire Savoy lineage – from the counts, dukes, kings of Sicily and Sardinia, and all of Italy.
8. Academy of Sciences Street
Of course, when you visit this square and learn about the surrounding architecture, spaces, shops and cafes, it is only natural that you continue on to the Royal Palace.
But, just ten meters to the right, heading for another beautiful square – Karl Emanuel II, you will come to a street parallel to Via Roma, ie. to the Via Accademia Delle Scienze, which otherwise goes further than Lagrange Street, and takes you back to Porta Nuova Station.
It is noted that in 1620, Charles Emmanuel the First, Duke of Savoy, authorized the city to be expanded, but on condition that the previous Roman structure, system of parallel streets, cut at right angles, will be preserved.
Sometime in the 19th century, the city government seemed to be giving in to some playful investors, and so Turin lost its 100 percent rectangular street system.
9. Museum of Egyptian Art
Let’s go back to the Academy of Sciences Street, where the main entrance leads to the Museum of Egyptian Art. Now, when you are short in one city, it is much nicer to devote to its streets, parks and squares than to dive into museums, whatever they may be.
On the other hand, this museum is the second largest museum of Egyptian art (just after Cairo), and also one of the few that is dedicated only to Egyptian art. A $ 15 ticket price may act as a deterrent, but a visit to the museum is worth every euro (and for the sake of a Euro cent).
The exhibits for the museum were procured by the Savoy kings from the early seventeenth century, until the museum was officially founded in 1824.
Thanks to several Italians, one of whom was even a French consul, apparently with a collector’s spirit, and knew whom, when and why to pay – in today’s Turin Museum there are – look out for – 32,500 different art and history items, and 6,500 are exposed!
10. Garibaldi Street
Right here, on the left side of the square, begins Garibaldi Street, one of the liveliest and most visited streets – both for tourism, for walking, and for shopping.
Garibaldi Street ends up pouring into another impressive square – the “Piazza Statuto”, which is dominated by a tall, pyramidal monument to the people, the workers who built it. break through the 13km-long Frisis Tunnel, which connects Italy and France.
There is an angel at the top of the monument, and workers are shown symbolically climbing to the top.
11. San Giovanni Square
When you walk from the Royal Square to the palace of Chiabeze, which hosts an exhibition of works by Henri Matisse from the collection of the Georges Pompidou Gallery in Paris, you will soon come to another square – San Giovanni, where you also won’t know where to keep your gaze.
The square itself, like all the others mentioned above, is paved with stone slabs (which obviously do not lose anything of their beauty with centuries, nor bend and crack like these tiles on the sidewalks), and the tramway passing here is discreetly edged with concrete. stairs.
Wherever you go, you will probably notice something that will drag you left or right, and then it doesn’t matter where you go. You certainly won’t be able to see everything Turin has to offer (if you’re here for a short while) and there is no reason to regret choosing one street instead of another, one museum instead of another, or one square instead of another.