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Since I was a child, I used to travel a lot, especially with my parents and when I decided to move to Dublin seemed nice to have a kind of the last trip together. Here started our tradition, every Easter we spend our holiday somewhere together. This time we decided to stay in our nation, and we chose Torino (Turin). We reached Torino by train from Venice, it takes around 3h and 30 minutes, I booked a hotel in the city centre but also close to the train station, and we started to visit this fantastic city.
When I arrived for the first time in the city I was astonished, the huge tree-lined streets, the large historic and imposing buildings, the long arcades with elegant shops, fantastic restaurants and nice coffees house. Everything was excellent at my eyes; I thought that it was a wonderful city full of character and history. I enjoyed the mini-holiday not only because the town is beautiful or because I was in good company but also because the food and wine were sublime and delicious.
Turin Must see
Guarino Guarini built The Chapel of the Holy Shroud in 1683, and from 1964 the Chapel houses the Holy Shroud. In 1997 a big fire destroyed most of the Chapel and a lot of famous paintings, fortunately, in 1993 the Holy Shroud was moved to the Cathedral of Turin, and the fire did not touch it. Today the Holy Shroud is still in the Turin Cathedral, and it is possible to see it only in a specific period; the last time that was possible to see it was the 2015 and usually it is visible for 45 days.
Piazza San Carlo is one of the most important squares in Torino. The square during the history changed many names based on the utility of it, was inaugurated as Piazza Reale on 1638; after 12 years became the Piazza d’Armi for the numerous assemble military and became the actual Piazza San Carlo in 1764 like the nearest church. The vast square is very nice and elegant with at the end two twin church, in the middle the Equestrian monument wanted for Emanuele Filiberto, leader of the Savoy dynasty, and all-around beautiful arcades with a historical and chic cafe. Curiosity?? On the floor under the portico, there is a gold bull, and the legend says that tread on the bull’s testicles brings fortune.
If you want to spend half a day outside the city centre, visit the Basilica of Superga is the right thing to do. At the top of a hill is situated the Basilica and you can reach it by car, by walk or with a historic tram; I recommend to climb the hill even only for the fantastic breathtaking view of all the city and the alps. In 1706 while the French army invaded the town of Torino Duke Vittorio Amedeo decided to climb the hill to see better what was happening. At the top, he found a small church and decided to make a vow: If Torino had survived the invasion, he would have built a bigger church in the same spot; In 1717 the construction began. Unfortunately, the Basilica di Superga is also famous for dark history, in 1949 an aeroplane with the all Torino football club, called the Grande Torino, crashed into the hill and no one was found alive.
I am not a big fan of museums, but the Egyptian Museum was incredible; it is the house of the biggest collections of Egyptian antiquities. The museum was founded in 1894 from king Carlo Felice di Savoia and grew more and more during the years thanks to archaeological expeditions. In the museum, we can find statues, amulets, mummies, sarcophagi, papyrus and jewels. I went on a raining day and, if you do the same, prepare for a long queue of people, it is trendy.
Top Things to do in Turin
On a merely small street in the heart of Torino between palaces and shops, you can find the most famous attraction the Mole Antoneliana. The Mole, in my opinion, for its elegance and fantastic architecture is one of the best monument in the city; It was designed by Alessandro Antonelli, that also gives the name, who was commissioned to develop a new temple for the Israelites a synagogue. The project was not appreciated by the Jewish community because too high and also very expensive so, they sold it to the city of Turin. The Mole Antonelliana inaugurated in 1888 became the tallest construction in Italy, in Europe and the world until 1953 with 113 meters. The Mole, today, hosts the Museum of the Cinema where you can find the history from the beginning of the cinema until now going through some special items, jewellery and curiosity about the big screen, a fantastic place for the cinema lovers. If like me you are not a museum lovers what to do? Well, an elevator in glass from the bottom of the Mole will bring you to the top. The transparent elevator allows you to see the museum while you are going up and the terrace at the top permit to have a gorgeous view of all the roofs of the city, all the streets full of tree and the entire impressive city.
View from the top of the Mole Antoneliana.
One of the day I was in Torino we decided to took a bus from the city centre, and in almost 40 minutes we arrived at the Venaria Reale a lovely old village famous for the Reggia di Venaria. The Reggia born by the will of Duke Carlo Emanuele II as the residence for the Royal House of Savona; the project was great, a massive garden with fountains, a palace for hunting with the annexe forest to practise and beautiful, elegant rooms. During the 700 the Palace was enlarged and became even more beautiful, graceful with gorgeous rooms and garden, and it became a real symbol of the Baroque. With the decline of savoy and the arrival of Napoleon the Reggia was turned into a military barracks, first, and then abandoned to itself until 1999 when became UNESCO heritage and began the restoration works.
The restoration ended in 2007 and the Venaria re-opened the door to the public with an enormous success because it is spectacular and full of history. We spent an entire day here, after a couple of pictures from outside we decided to visit the Palace at its inside between paint gallery of Savoia’s members, luxury Royal apartments with impressively decorated ceilings and the highlight, the Galleria Grande. My favourite place has been the garden. They are built on two levels, and it is lovely to walk among alleys, trees, colourful flowers and of course fountains and lakes, we spent a lot of time in here because it was also Spring, so all the panorama was incredible.
Our last stop in this short but very productive trip has been at the Juventus Stadium, both my dad and I are Juventus supporter, so it was a must-visit where our team play, even if my mum (Inter support) wasn’t pleased about this. We took the bus from the train station, and in around 40-50 minutes we arrived in Corso Gaetano Scirea. If you are a fan of football, I recommend to visit it because it is not only a place to play football, but there is also an interesting museum with all the history of the team during all the years. It was inaugurated only in 2011, so it is very interactive and well done. Our tour consisted of the museum, field and changing room and at the end the rooftop/spacious terrace with all the star of famous players. Attention: it is always a very crowd, and I recommend to go in the morning so you can go inside.
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Looking for activities and tours in Turin? I suggest you check out Get Your Guide. To find out more follow the link below and be inspired :)