Piazza Castello, Turin
In the middle of the Piazza Castello in Turin stands the massive Palazzo Madama. The core of the structure is a 13th century castle built on the remains of the Roman east gate which was enlarged in the 15th century and embellished by Filippo Juvarra in 1718 with the handsome west front, a fine example of Piedmontese Baroque architecture, and the magnificent double staircase.
Museum of Ancient Art
The Palazzo Madama in Torino now houses the Museo Civico d'Arte Antica (ground floor and second floor), with a valuable collection of sculpture in stone and wood, stained glass; pictures and applied art (Duc de Berry's Book of Hours, with Dutch miniatures of c. 1400). On the first floor are the state apartments, richly appointed in 18th century style.
San Lorenzo and Palazzo Reale
On the north side of the Piazza Castello in Turin is the courtyard of the Royal Palace, to the left of which can be seen the Baroque church of San Lorenzo (1668-80) by Guarini, with an unusual and boldly designed dome. The former Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale) is a plain brick building (1646-58), with the Appartamento di Madama Felicità and 26 sumptuously decorated state apartments (Reali Appartamenti). In the right wing is the Prefecture, with the entrance (first door on left) to the former Royal Armory, containing one of the largest collections of arms and armor in Europe; there are many complete suits of armor and other items dating from the 15th-19th centuries, including the field armor of Prince Eugene of Savoy.
Museo di Antichità
Beyond the Palazzo Reale in Torino are the Royal Gardens (Giardini Reali) at the corner of which (entrance on Corso Regina Margherita) is the Museo di Antichità. The museum contains archeological finds - prehistoric material up to finds of the late Roman period.
Adjoining the Palazzo Reale on the northwest is the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista (1492-98; tower completed 1720). Behind the high altar is the Chapel of the Holy Shroud (Cappella della Santa Sindone), a circular structure by Guarini (1668-94).
An urn above the altar in the Turin Cathedral contains the Santa Sindone or Santo Sudario, the linen cloth in which according to legend the body of Christ was wrapped after his descent from the Cross; however, scientific research has proved that the linen cloth dates from the Middle Ages. The original is rarely displayed; however, there is a full-size replica in the north aisle of the cathedral. Beside the cathedral are the remains of a Roman theater (first century A.D.).
National Film Museum
The Porta Palatina (first century A.D.), northwest of the cathedral in Turin, the north gate of the Roman town, has two brick towers.
Museum of the Risorgimento
Just south of Piazza Castello is the Palazzo Carignano (by Guarini, 1679-85), meeting place of the Sardinian parliament from 1848 to 1859 and of the Italian parliament from 1861 to 1864. The establishment of the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed here on March 14th 1861. The building now houses, in 30 rooms on the first floor, the Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento Italiano, the largest museum of its kind, with mementos and relics of the campaign for Italian unity and of the two world wars.
Address: Via Accademia delle Scienze 5, I-10100 Turin, Italy
Opening hours: 9am-7pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €5.00, Concession or reduced rate €3.50, Child 18 & under €1.50, Child 14 & under €1.00
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Transit: Buses: 61, 55, 72, 72, Trams: 13, 15, 18
Citadel (Artillery Museum)
Via P. Micca runs from the Piazza Castello (southwest) to Piazza Solferino, where stands a 14-story building. From the square Via Cernaia leads to the Artillery Museum, which is housed in the old gatehouse of the Citadel, demolished in 1857, and in which can be seen weapons of many different periods. At the northwest of Via Cernaia stands the 18-story tower block (1967) of RAI, the Italian radio and television corporation (studios also in Via Rossini), and also the Porta Susa Station.
To the north of the Piazza Solferino in Turin is the church of Santi Martiri, a splendid Baroque building by Pellegrini (1577).
Palazzo di Città
North of Santi Martiri is the narrow Via Garibaldi, part of the old Roman main street (decumanus). The Palazzo di Città (Town Hall), on the right-hand side, was built by Francesco Lanfranchi in 1658-65.
Santuario della Consolata
500m/550yd northwest of Santuario della Consolata, in Via della Consolata, is the Santuario della Consolata, a church in which the Madonna was honored ever since the fourth century. The present Baroque pilgrimage church (1679-1705) by Guarini was sumptuously rebuilt in 1903-04. Inside there are marble statues, including one of Queen Maria Theresia. Beside the Santuario is a beautiful Romanesque 11th century campanile.
From Piazza Castello the arcaded Via Po runs southeast, passing close to the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti (collection of pictures), to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto, a square in Neo- Classical style on the banks of the Po (1830). A short distance north of Via Po, in the Via Montebello, rises the huge Mole Antonelliana, begun by Alessandro Antonelli in 1863 as a synagogue, with a tall spire added in 1878-80 (167m/551ft high, with a lift to 85m/281ft; fine views from the top). To the east is the massive building of the University (1968).Inside the Mole Antonelliana is the National Museum of Cinema, with collections related to the history of photography and cinema.
Address: Via Montebello 20, I-10100 Turin, Italy
Opening hours: 9am-8pm; Sat: 9am-11pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: Epiphany (3 Kings' Day ) - Christian (Jan 6), New Year's Day (Jan 1), Liberation Day - Italy (Apr 25), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Easter - Christian, Easter Monday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €6.50, Concession or reduced rate €5.00, Child 10 & under FREE
Map of Turin Attractions