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Things to Do in Turin

A hidden Piedmont gem in Italy’s northwest, Turin has many identities—the country's former capital, and the royal family's continued home. The sophisticated Baroque atmosphere of “The Little Paris” has the added charm of Alpine views and the river Po. Turin’s many attractions include the Holy Shroud (Cappella della Sacra Sindone) at the Turin Cathedral (Cathedral Church of San Giovanni Battista), where a replica of a cloth believed to have been laid over the body of Jesus is usually on display. To dig into another era, the Egyptian Museum holds one of the most precious ancient collections in the world, with 30,000 artifacts telling the tale of the civilization over time; guided or skip-the-line tours offer an insider view. To appreciate Turin's architecture, head to the striking Mole Antonelliana and its imposing tower—an old synagogue now functioning as an exceptional cinema museum; Palazzo Madama, which houses the Civic Museum of Ancient Art; and Palazzo Carignano, which is home to the Museum of the Risorgimento—both are old Savoy residences full of opulent rooms and art worthy of a royal palace. Walking, biking, or hop-on hop-off bus tours of Turin take visitors around the epicenter of Piazza Castello to Piazza San Carlo and along the river, all the while admiring the grandeur of wide boulevards and regal mansions. A half- or full-day trip to the adjacent Piedmont wine region gives travelers the chance to visit wine cellars and vineyards, and the opportunity to taste Barolo and other regional wines.
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Piazza Castello
46 Tours and Activities
To stroll through Turin’s Piazza Castello is to walk through the city’s history, as this vast square is home to sumptuous buildings like the Savoy Royal Palace and Palazzo Madama, the first seat of the Italian parliament. Lined with elegant porticoes, shops, and cafés, the square is a highlight of this vibrant city.
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Royal Palace of Turin (Palazzo Reale di Torino)
39 Tours and Activities

The Palazzo di Reale, or Royal Palace of Turin, was originally the Bishops Palace in old Turin, when the city became the capital of Savoy. It was taken over by Duke Emmanuel Philbert and became his residence until his death in 1580, at which point his son, Charles Emmanuel I moved in.

Though already large and opulent, the Palace grew in magnificence following the marriage of Charles Emmanuel's son, Victor Amadeus, to French Princess Christine Marie. She is responsible for modernizing the palace to 17th century standards, employing renowned architect Filippo Juvarra. The most famous of his additions is Scala delle Forbici, a magnificient staircase. Christine Marie eventually moved into a different palace, la Palazza Madama, also rebuilt by Juvarra. Today, the palace is a premier example of classic European aristocracy. It houses a museum dedicated to the House of Savoy, and its armory is a point of interest, as it contains a wide variety of historical arms and armor.

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Piazza San Carlo
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Of Turin’s many baroque squares, Piazza San Carlo is a standout. Lined with porticoed palaces housing historic cafés, and the twin churches of Santa Cristina and San Carlo Borromeo, this square on Via Roma between Piazza Castello and Piazza Carlo Felice is one of the liveliest in the city.
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Egyptian Museum (Museo Egizio)
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26 Tours and Activities
With over 26,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts gathered between the 18th and 20th century, Turin's Egyptian Museum (Museo Egizio) houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities in the world. The galleries were extensively enlarged, renovated, and reorganized, reopening in 2015, and the result is both spectacular and engaging.
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Holy Shroud of Turin (Sacra Sindone)
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Behind the high altar in the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, also known as the Duomo di Torino is the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, containing one of most famous and controversial religious relics in world history.

The Shroud of Turin, as the Holy Shroud is popularly known, or Sacra Sindone, is a piece of linen cloth said to have been laid over the body of Jesus Christ following his crucifixion. It bears the faded image of a bearded, longhaired man who appears to have wounds consistent with Bibilical traditions of those suffered by Christ at his execution.

Whatever the shroud's authenticity, it is certainly old, and its existence has inspired and renewed the faith of innumerable Christians throughout history. Given its importance, the Church has gone to great lengths to preserve it; currently, it is housed in a climate-controlled case filled with a special atmosphere comprised of argon and a little bit of oxygen, and it is rarely displayed.

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Mole Antonelliana
25 Tours and Activities

Most cities have iconic buildings that serve as the symbol of the city – the Eiffel Tower, for instance, suggests Paris to even those who have never been there. The city of Turin in northern Italy has such a symbol, but both Turin and its iconic building are just enough off the tourist radar that they aren't quite world famous. This, of course, means you'll be one of the rare people “in the know” when you visit Turin and see the Mole Antonelliana.

The Mole Antonelliana looks a bit like the top of a tower that's missing most of the actual tower. The dome isn't round, but instead the four sides of the dome curve upward toward a spire that shoots up to a height of 550 feet.

Turin's low skyline makes the Mole Antonelliana stand out for its height, but the shape of the building and its tall spire would make it noticeable almost anywhere. The building was built in the late 1800s, and is named for the architect Antonelli.

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Via Po
13 Tours and Activities
Via Po is one of the most important and stately thoroughfares in the center of Turin, running in a wide, straight line from Piazza Castello to Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Its soaring pedestrian porticoes along both sides adorn some of the city’s most elegant boutiques, prestigious book shops, and historic cafés.
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National Cinema Museum (Museo Nazionale del Cinema)
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Turin's iconic Mole Antonelliana building is more than just its most recognizable landmark—it's also home to one of the city's top museums. Italy's National Cinema Museum was founded in 1953 with a private collection of film memorabilia. In 2000, the museum was moved to the Mole Antonelliana tower, giving it the title of “tallest museum in the world.”

Pieces in the museum's collection include Darth Vader's mask from “The Empire Strikes Back,” the alien costume from “Aliens,” and a mask from Fellini's “Satyricon.” There are vintage movie posters, film screening rooms, and items collected from movie sets. The museum's library includes more than 12,000 movie reels, 300,000 film posters, 80,000 pictures, and 26,000 books.

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More Things to Do in Turin

Valentine Park (Parco del Valentino)

Valentine Park (Parco del Valentino)

5 Tours and Activities

The first public gardens to be opened in Turin still exist as the Parco del Valentino, one of the city's most popular parks. Opened in 1856, the Parco del Valentino covers more than 123 acres in Turin along the left bank of the Po River. The park includes the Castello del Valentino, the University of Turin's botanical garden, and a replica medieval village – complete with a castle – built for the 1884 Turin International Expo.

The park was once the setting for car races—these were held between 1935 and 1954, all known as the Gran Premo del Valentino.

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Civic Museum of Ancient Art (Museo Civico di Arte Antica)

Civic Museum of Ancient Art (Museo Civico di Arte Antica)

3 Tours and Activities

Dominating Turin’s Piazza Castello and with the appearance of two buildings uneasily glued together, Palazzo Madama began life as a fortified castle and has a medieval façade looking eastwards that was built by ruling house of Savoy in the 14th century. The later, ornate Baroque addition faces west and was added by the famous architect Filippo Juvarra in the early 18th century at the request of Marie Jeanne of Savoy, who gave her nickname to the palace. Juvarra was appointed court architect by the Savoy dynasty and went on to design much of Turin’s glamorous arcaded face lift in the 1860s. Palazzo Madama also reveals a Roman gate and foundations, medieval towers and a series of courtyards and apartments constructed in Renaissance times.

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National Museum of the Automobile (Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile)

National Museum of the Automobile (Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile)

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Turin is home to legendary car makers Fiat and Alfa Romeo, so it's only fitting that it's also home to Italy's National Museum of the Automobile. The Museum of the Automobile (Museo dell'Automobile) was founded in 1932, making it one of the oldest automobile museums in the world. It officially opened in 1960, in the building it still occupies, which was designed specifically for the museum. It was extensively renovated and expanded in 2011. The collection contains nearly 200 cars, including some of the first cars made in Italy – an 1896 Bernardi and an 1899 Fiat – as well as racing cars made by Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. There are cars from eight different countries on display, plus an extensive library on automotive history.

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Carignano Palace (Palazzo Carignano)

Carignano Palace (Palazzo Carignano)

7 Tours and Activities

The Piazza Carignano is one of Turin’s most majestic squares and is overlooked by the equally handsome, redbrick and white alabaster palace of the same name. Built between 1679 and 1685 by Baroque maestro Guarino Guarini as one of the royal homes of the ruling Savoy dukes, the Palazzo Carignano gained huge national significance when in 1861 it became the occasional home of Italy’s first king, Vittorio Emanuele II, following the Unification struggles that began in 1848. The palazzo now houses the Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento as well as the elaborate, circular meeting rooms that were briefly the location of Italy’s first united government, which was formed in 1861 and lasted four years.

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Juventus Stadium

Juventus Stadium

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Piazza Statuto

Piazza Statuto

3 Tours and Activities
Ringed by neoclassical buildings, flanked by busy roads, and crowned with a statue that commemorates the workers who built the trans-Alpine Fréjus Rail Tunnel, the Piazza Statuto is one of Turin’s most prominent public squares. Completed in 1865, it was built while Turin was the newly formed Kingdom of Italy’s first capital city.
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QC Termetorino

QC Termetorino

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Po River (Fiume Po)

Po River (Fiume Po)

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Pietro Micca Museum (Museo Pietro Micca)

Pietro Micca Museum (Museo Pietro Micca)

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In a country as storied as Italy, it comes as no surprise that there are important historic sites buried beneath its modern metropolises. Almost every major Italian city has hidden underground attractions; Turin’s is the Pietro Micca Museum (Museo Pietro Micca), with a network of tunnels that ultimately saved the city from the French in 1706.
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Grinzane Cavour Castle

Grinzane Cavour Castle

8 Tours and Activities
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