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Go into the rooms of this palace you will hear the echoes of Cavours footsteps. The first Italian Parliament met here. Its a long-running story, but its also the extraordinary work of Guarini, who executed this masterwork of baroque style on the facade with undulating curves.
Information: +39 011 5621147
Whats it like to go into an Egyptian tomb? Try closing your eyes it sends a shiver down your spine. Maybe you can hear a Pharaoh breathing.
Therere all kinds of curiosities to discover here. After Cairo, the Egyptian Museum in Turin is the best in the world an amazing range of collections from papyrus documents to complete funeral sites, and a little temple with everything intact and extracted from a rock in 1969. They have even reconstructed an entire tomb at the centre of the exhibition.
Via Accademia delle Scienze 6
Information: +39 011 5637912
PIAZZA SAN CARLO
Its the drawing-room of Turin a vast rectangular area looked onto by two churches and lavish buildings, with tall arcades to walk through and the large equestrian statue of Emanuele Filiberto in the centre. This beautiful work by Carlo and Amedeo of Castellamonte was once named piazza Reale and then Place Napoléon to underlline the changes that have taken place in the city.
ARCADES AND SHOPS
Turin boasts 18 kilometres of shopping arcades ideal for walking when the weather is less favourable. The first porticos in Turin were built at the end of the 1500s in piazza Castello, but also there are prime examples in Via Roma along with a vast range of boutiques. All along these handsome streets there are amazing arcades, like Subalpina for example, founded in 1874 and completely covered by steel and glass with a small garden inside.
MOLE ANTONELLIANA AND MUSEO DEL CINEMA
Up, up and up in a completely see-through lift step out out and you will catch your breath Less than a minute to rise 85 metres vertically. The Mole Antonelliana is the symbol of Turin, 167 metres high (the highest brickbuilding in Europe), and stands overlooking the city. You have the best view of the city from the balcony, and can look north to the mountains and south to the hills of Asti.
The history of the Mole is a painful one. During its construction, Antonelli modified his original plans to incorporate the area (the foundations) designated for the new synagogue, and so the building (begun in 1862 and yet to be completed) was acquired by the Council (1877) and brought to completion exactly one hundred years after work started. Damaged by the storm of 1953, the Mole has been through various restorations, the last including the installation of the splendid Museo del Cinema (Museum of Cinema) with a remarkable collection of old machinery used in films. This is a great homage to the city where the Italian movie was born.
Information: + 39 011 8125658
GRAN MADRE DI DIO
Where is the statue pointing? Can you tell? Many have tried to work it out, but noone has yet been able to solve the puzzle, one of many in Turin. It is said that one of the monuments points to the burial site of the Holy Grail, the chalice Christ drank from at the Last Supper.
This, the most majestic of the citys churches, was built to celebrate the return of Vittorio Emanuele I from his exile by Napoleon. It was built in the neo-classical style after the Pantheon (the construction of the statue was supervised by the famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen), and forms the perfect backdrop to the long via Po which ends at Piazza Vittorio Veneto (the largest porticoed Piazza in Europe) with a view of the church just beyond the bridge.
IL CASTELLO DEL VALENTINO
For a faculty of architecture, you could hardly have a better place than an ancient castle. Originally meant for the University, this 18th century residence is the work of Carlo and Amedeo of Castellamonte. The interior of the Valentino is a wonderful example of elegance and style in the form of the best loved park in the city. It was designed by Pierre Barrilet-Deschamps, best known for building the gardens in Paris tree-lined avenues twist and turn on the banks of the Po and lead you to the Botanic Gardens (pride of Turin since 1729) and to the monumental Fountain of Dodici Mesi.
Botanic Gardens: tel.+ 39 011 6612447
GAM THE GALLERY OF MODERN ART
The Gallery of Modern Art (GAM) brings together a wide collection of foreign and Italian Art. To quote a few: Pellizza Da Volpedo, Giacolo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio De Chirico, Felice Casorati, Amedeo Modigliani, Otto Dix, Max Ernst and Paul Klee. It also hosts some of the most important exhibitions in Turin. In this elegant area called Crocetta, and in the surroundings of the museum, you can find fine examples of Liberty architecture.
Information: +39 011 5629911
BASILICA DI SUPERGA
If you cast your eyes up towards the hill at night-time, you will be struck by the reassuring presence of the Basilica di Superga. It seems to float in space with all its rich symbolism. Perhaps if the great tragedy of the Turin football team had never happened, its significance would have stayed with the worshippers of the Catholic Faith, with all those who wish to honour the graves of the aristocracy or those who wish to admire the wonderful work of Juvarra. The Basilica di Superga has a fixed place in the hearts of all Italians.
RIVOLI CASTLE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORAY ART
From below, it looks intimidating, this massive castle, built as a medieval stronghold, and done up by Carlo and Amedeo of Castellamonte and partly rebuilt by Filippo Juvarra. But what an elegant place to have a Museum of Contemporary Art. Its strange to stand in these massive stone rooms admiring the work of some of the greatest artists of our times such as Mario Merz, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jeff Koons, Gilbert & George, Emilio Vedova and Maurizio Cattelan. The restoration was completed in 1998 by Manica Lunga. This remarkable space, now housing temporary exhibitions, has been restored to its original function intended by the Castellamontes, given that it was meant to be the Pinacotheca to house the collection belonging to Carlo Emanuele I. Rivoli Castle is not only a museum but also a centre for the avantguard. It runs courses of Art for children and the artistic development program for infants.
Information: +39 011 9565222
There is a shuttle service to Rivoli Castle :
Green number 800 019152
PALAZZINA DI CACCIA DI STUPINIGI
(The Hunting Lodge of Stupinigi)
A dear sits on top, suspended high in a rousing landscape of the Alps. Ever alert, the antlers catch the breeze, and you can imagine what it must feel like to come eye-to-eye with one of these majestic beasts in the surrounding forest. The little Hunting Lodge of Stupinigi is the remarkable work of Juvarra and still in perfect condition. This is where the king came with his followers after hunting. The interiors and the furnishings have been so well maintained that they provide for a rich Museum of furniture.
Information: +039 011 5381220
Up until a few years ago the Royal Palace of Venaria had been a disaster in the 1800s it was used as a barracks! In 1999, when the state remembered this vast building, designed by Amedeo di Castellamonte and finished by Filippo Juvarra, it began some important restoration work. With its 480.000 square metres, it preempted the construction of the Palace of Versailles and for some was even better (for example, the bathroom in the bedroom, far ahead of its time for Piedmont, was left out in the version the other side of the Alps). The extensive and time-consuming restoration has been started which in part has restored it to its rightful owner the world!
Dont miss the enormous conservatory, the Great Stables, the church of S. Umberto annd the marvellous Galleria of Diana, completely restored from prints of the period.
And remember in Summer there are organized romantic evenings.
Information: + 39 011 4593675