Turin: The Jewel of
With its grand boulevards and palaces, Turin has a sophisticated, aristocratic atmosphere; the city’s charming Old World shops blend beautifully with leafy parks and art galleries. Bordered by picturesque mountains, this Northern Italian gem is rich in Renaissance, baroque, rococo and neoclassical architecture. It’s also the home of Italian coffee culture, cars (it’s where Fiat is headquartered), and even football (Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C. play here). Discover some of the quintessential sights of this beautiful city.
Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista
The majestic but innovative baroque architecture aside, the cathedral is best known as the home of the Holy Shroud, more commonly called the “Shroud of Turin.” This mystical prize is believed by some to be the piece of cloth that enveloped the body of Christ for three days after the crucifixion, though various scientific tests date it to the 1300s. It is kept in a cask on the high altar of the Chapel of the Sacra Sindone. The relic came into Savoy hands in 1430 and has been conserved in this specially built chapel since 1694. While it is only shown to the public on very special occasions, a life-size photographic replica is on display for those wishing to get an idea.
In many ways the favourite church of the Turinese, Santissimi Martiri features impressive original frescoes and a stunning altar.
Nearby, on Piazza Castello, is the Palazzo Madama, which traces Turin’s history in a single building. The brick 16-cornered towers were once the Roman city gate before being incorporated into a medieval castle. Later graced with Filippo Juvara’s baroque façade and a world-renowned double staircase.
Experience Piemonte With B&R
Scheduled Group Biking Trip
As the home of Barolo, Barbaresco and Slow Food, Piemonte tastes as good as it looks. On Piemonte Biking, we’ll hunt for truffles and get a firsthand pasta-making demo from an expert chef. Delizioso.DETAILED ITINERARY
Castello del Valentino
The Castello del Valentino in the Giardino Pubblico is a French-style Renaissance castle with four pavilions, testifying to the influence of France over this region.
While not exactly what you’d expect to see in Italy, the Museo Egizio is one of the greatest collections of Egyptian relics in the world, not to mention the oldest. Its recent restyling by an Italian film designer has garnered rave reviews.
An oddity that might surprise when viewed up close is the mammoth-sized Mole Antonelliana. Originally designed as a synagogue, this trademark dome is now a stunning national cinema museum, well worth a visit.
Given Turin’s link with the automobile industry (Fiat is headquartered here), you might consider a visit to view vintage cars at the Museo dell’Automobile.
Balòn Flea Market
For a fun local experience, the Balòn flea market is held every Saturday behind the Piazza della Repubblica on Via and Piazza Borgo Dora: great vintage clothing, hats and jewelry among much else. Of course, like all Italian cities, the historical centre is wonderful to stroll through and explore. And because Turin is the coffee capital of Italy, café-hopping is a must, especially at dusk when the passeggiata (evening promenade) is underway.