An ageless Madama, Turin is much more than the sum of its monuments: an urban cosmos teeming with ideas and culture, a large part of its appeal lies in its enchanting geographic position at the foot of the western Alpine arch, watched over by the snow-capped peaks.
Italy’s first capital offers incomparable vistas in the town centre streets and the long colonnaded boulevards, balanced between the measured sumptuousness of Piedmont Baroque and the rational Roman town planning.
It allures by welcoming visitors to the aristocratic and imposing spaces of Piazza Castello, the historic centre of the city, while its historical cafés and restaurants prove that it is queen of taste and conviviality: so it is impossible to not be tempted by the lively pace of its citizens, particularly the aperitif time and the ritual of drinking chocolate, the legacy of that famous charm whose chief exponent are the Royal Residences, listed World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1997.
The best way for discovering the many facets of Turin is to go on a tour of the city’s historical centre taking in the museums and foundations that reconstruct its history and reveal its artistic and cultural treasures. This includes Europe’s largest collection of archaeological finds at the Egyptian Museum, or the more recent history of the ‘seventh art’ brilliantly presented at the National Museum of Cinema, the exceptional treasure of ancient art held in Palazzo Madama, and then of course, Palazzo Reale, the powerhouse behind Italy’s very first capital.
Turin is also a vital point of reference for contemporary art: works and installations produced over the last thirty years by internationally famous artists are placed for all to see in the open air or on display at the country’s most important Museum of Contemporary Art within the 17th century Castle of Rivoli.
The mainly baroque art of the many places of worship in the town’s centre blends with the spirituality to be found therein: the Sanctuary of the Consolata and the Sanctuary of Maria Ausiliatrice are a couple of Turin’s best loved churches. Other places that are a must are the Duomo where there will be held the Ostension of the Holy Shroud, the twin churches in Piazza San Carlo, and the Church of San Lorenzo with its famous dome by Guarini or the Basilica of Superga which, as well as holding the tombs of the Savoy family, also offers a breathtaking view of the city and mountains.
Lastly, just a stone’s throw from the city centre, palaces, castles and fortresses dominate the hills, plains and mountains of the province of Turin. These are of inestimable value and some of the most outstanding are the Royal Residences, a legacy of exceptional cultural and environmental interest.
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