Turin is a city of around a million inhabitants in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy. It was Italy's first capital and is home to the country's former royal family. Today, it is a city of handsome boulevards, parks, and galleries.
Completed in 1888, the Mole Antonelliana was first a synagogue and is now an important museum of film. It is the tallest masonry building in Europe.
Turin is famous as the home of Fiat and the automobile is an important part of the city's history. You can learn all about it at the Museo dell'Automobile.
The Cathedral is home to the famous Shroud of Turin and although it is seldom displayed, it attracts many pilgrims.
Turin's Egyptian Museum is renowned for having the most important collection of Egyptian exhibits outside of Cairo.
Take a stroll down the Via Roma to the Piazza San Carlo to enjoy some of the most elegant architecture in the city.
The imposing Palazzo Reale di Torino (Royal Palace of Turin) was built in the 16th century as one of the seats of the House of Savoy and, later, the Kings of Sardinia. It includes the Palazzo Chiablese -- once a royal residence and now home to a museum of the history of Piedmont. The Palazzo Reale di Torino is also adjacent to the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, which was built to house the Turin Shroud. This UNESCO World Heritage Site takes you on a journey into the fabulous and complicated area of the region while providing an awe-inspiring setting.
The present Palazzo Madama was built in the 15th century, although parts of the building date back to Roman times. It housed the first Senate of the Kingdom of Italy and today is home to the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art. Enter and you are taken on a voyage through history, with four floors moving through Medieval collections in the basement to artworks from the 19th century on the second floor. There is a focus on the Piedmont region and artisan crafts from the area, which give you a real insight into the history of this fascinating part of Italy.
The Mole Antonelliana was built in 1889 and was originally conceived as a synagogue. It is still the tallest self-supporting brick building in the world and if you take the panoramic lift to the top you will enjoy some splendid views of the city. Today the building houses the Museo Nazionale del Cinema and it is also reputed to be the tallest museum in the world. The building has become the symbol of Turin and offers a great combination of magnificent views, stunning architecture and a fascinating history of cinema.
The Palazzo Carignano is an architectural gem designed by Guarino Guarini for Prince Emmanuel Philibert in 1679. It has a uniquely undulating concave/convex facade and a breathtaking double dome in the main salon, which once housed the first Italian parliament. Today it is home to the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento, the most important museum in the country dedicated to Italian unification. It is an unbeatable place to go to gain an understanding of the birth of modern Italy while enjoying some of its very best architecture.
The Duomo di Torino, or Turin Cathedral, was completed in 1498 and is the seat of the Archbishops of Turin. Dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, the cathedral is perhaps best known as the resting place of the Turin Shroud, which is kept in the adjacent Chapel of the Holy Shroud, built by the famous architect Guarino Guarini in 1668. It is also the burial place of many members of the royal family of Savoy. Do remember that the Shroud of Turin is only displayed infrequently but the cathedral is undoubtedly dominated by the atmosphere of its resting place.
Turin has a humid subtropical/continental climate with hot summers and cold, dry winters. Most visitors come in July and August.
Turin Airport (TRN) lies 10 miles northwest of the city. It has good connections across Europe and from other Italian cities. The bus takes you to Porta Nuova train station and costs EUR6.50. A taxi will cost EUR35.
Turin has three train stations offering local, regional, and international travel. The fare from Rome is around EUR60.
Turin is well served by the A4 from Milan and Venice, the A21 from Genoa, and the A32 from France. All are toll roads.
Many operators offer bus services to Turin. A typical fare from Rome will cost from EUR25.
Ostello Torino is located on Corso Giambone to the south of the city center in the former Winter Olympics athlete's village, with good public transport links to downtown. The Grand Hotel Sitea on Via Carlo Alberto has luxury rooms close to Piazza San Carlo.
Il Quadrilatero - this area to the northwest of Piazza Castello is one of the city's oldest and is packed full of cafes and restaurants.
La Collina - this district occupies a hillside and is known for its fine residences, green spaces, monuments, and museums.
Centro Citta - this neighborhood was the center of the ancient kingdom of Savoy and today has some of the best shopping in the city.
The city bus and tram network is modern and efficient. You must buy your ticket from kiosks before boarding the bus. They cost from EUR1.50.
Taxis are common but it is customary to call them rather than hail a cab on the street. Meter drop is EUR4 and then the fare is EUR2.50 per mile.
Driving in Turin, as elsewhere in Italy, can be a little frantic. Car rental costs from EUR40 per day.
Via Roma is the place for upscale fashion and also chain store brands. Via Po is more alternative, with music stores and independent fashion outlets.
A quart of milk in Turin will cost around EUR1.10, and a dozen eggs is EUR2.09.
Fratelli Pummaro on Via Principe Tommaso has some of the best pizzas in the city from EUR5. For a more upscale dining experience, Ristorante Del Cambio on Piazza Carignano offers traditional Piemontese dishes with set menus costing EUR100.