Elegant and shrouded in a fascinating mysterious atmosphere … Turin is an extremely interesting stop for those who want to visit Italy under all its aspects. And here are five things to see in Turin that are considered a must-see for a holiday in the Savoy city: the Egyptian Museum, the Mole Antonelliana, the Royal Palace, Piazza Castello and the Venaria Royal Palace. Want to find out why? Keep reading …
Unforgettable attractions in the Piedmontese capital
Let’s start from the Egyptian Museum. A stop where you will need to spend a little extra time if you want to know what to see in Turin, given the interest and the enormous charm of the place. It is the oldest museum in the world entirely dedicated to Egyptian civilization, and is considered the second by importance after that of Cairo.
In 1824 King Carlo Felice acquired the great Egyptian collection from Bernardino Drovetti, and enriched it with the patrimony of antiques from Casa Savoia, creating the first Egyptian museum in the world. Subsequently, the collection became bigger, over 30,000 pieces: a heritage of mummies, precious papyrus, statues and commonly used items that accompany you an exciting journey into the history and civilization of ancient Egypt.
Among the major attractions is the untouched tomb of Kha and Merit, the so-called Papyrus of Turin – which portrays an important sequence of Egyptian sovereigns – the Djoser reliefs, the papyrus of the gold mines and the statues of Isis and Sekhmet Ramesse II.
The Mole Antonelliana is the architectural symbol of Turin. Originally designed as a Synagogue, it was bought by the Turin City Council to transform it into a monument dedicated to national unity. Its construction, designed by Alessandro Antonelli, was completed in 1889, becoming at that time – with 167 meters of height – the highest masonry building in Europe. Since 1961 it has a panoramic lift, which allows you to climb up to the little temple 85 meters high, where you can enjoy an amazing view.
The Mole Antonelliana also hosts the National Cinema Museum. The exhibition structure extends over several floors, following an upward spiral. Extremely fascinating interactive gadgets with visual-tactile panels and models to touch and get to know the functioning of movie-making devices by discovering their technical features.
The Royal Palace is one of the most important historical sites of the capoluogo piemontese Piedmontese capital and is undoubtedly in the list of what to see in Turin. Built in the architectural style of Versailles, the building contains the throne room, dining and dancing rooms, and bedrooms featuring beautiful tapestries. Everything is luxurious:
• gold and precious stones
• Baroque decorations
• ostentation of power and
• tastes of a great reigning family.
The building houses, among other things, the Galleria Sabauda, which safeguards paintings of Flemish, Dutch and Italian schools, and the Royal Library. Weapons and armor from all the Savoy residences are visible in the Royal Armory. Finally, the Archaeological Museum, whose original foundation dates back to the 16th century.
A visit to Turin cannot exclude Piazza Castello. The large quadrangular square is historically the centerpiece of the city’s political and social life. Requested by the princes of Savoy, it was built after the demolition of some buildings adjacent to the castle and the walls, becoming a place of representation of the Savoy dynasty.
It was realized, at different times, by the architects Amedeo of Castellamonte and Filippo Juvarra who worked on the monumental façade. At the center of the square is Palazzo Madama, the ancient Turin castle, with its statues dedicated to the Sardinian Army Corps, the Knights of Italy and Emanuele Filiberto.
Venaria Royal Palace
The Venaria Royal Palace, registered in the Heritage List of Unesco, is one of the residences built by the Savoy Family. Designed by Amedeo of Castellamonte, it was commissioned by Carlo Emanuele II with the intention of making it the base for his hunting trails in a wooded and game-rich area. The complex includes the original core of the palace, and the later built parts, in some cases restored after partial destruction, surrounded by a large park.
The interiors of the building are full of stuccoes, statues and paintings, and frescoed walls with hunting and game scenes. The gardens, once transformed by the Napoleonic troops into parade grounds, lost their original Italian garden layout divided into three linked terraces, but they still have an attractive impact. Also, in the perimeter of the Reggia stands the Church of Sant’Umberto, rebuilt by Filippo Juvarra. The site hosts important exhibitions and temporary displays that make the visit even more interesting and appeal to thousands of tourists and visitors who are spoilt for choice on what to do in Italy.
Now that you know what to see in Turin, why not take the train to Milan?