Oct 17, 2010
Turin, another former capital of the Kingdom of Italy, just like Florence was, is currently the capital of only one region of this country: Piedmont. You can also call it 'the capital of the Alps'. Known for its cold climate, as opposed to most Italian cities, it's also a place full of charm and beauty, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in 1997.

"La citta di Torino", as Italians call it, is an important business and cultural centre. Its museums, art galleries, palaces, piazzas and gardens are visited by numerous tourists every year. The most famous museums of all is the Museo Egizio. Here you can visit the world's second largest collections of Egyptian antiquities. The largest collection of this kind is in Cairo, so the one in Turin can be considered the largest collection outside of Egypt.

If you're looking for important landmarks, the Mole Antonelliana is the one you're looking for in Turin. It's a huge building that took about 26 years to complete and it houses the National Cinema Museum. It's also the tallest museum in the world.

Other main sights of Turin include the "centro", or downtown as it translates. The city centre has an amazing architecture and if you ever find yourself taking a walk there, you'll definitely feel like you're in an old medieval town with all the baroque style buildings around you. The heart of the city is not the centre though, it's Piazza Castello, home of some important buildings in Turin: Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Madama and Teatro Regio, just to name a few. Let's not forget the Royal Library though, famous for being home of Leonardo da Vinci's self-portrait.

If you enjoy a relaxing walk in the park, you could visit the city's Valentino Park. The park is not only beautiful during the day, but it's a place where you can also enjoy a night out. Several bars and nightclubs have opened here. You could also visit one of the magnificent castles the park houses. Castello del Valentino and the Medieval Village are both interesting and beautiful.

Many other parks lay in the city or surround it. Many of them house playgrounds for children. Actually, Turin is the first Italian city to build structures for children. Since we're talking about fun facts, there's one interesting fact that stands out here, in Turin. It is said that if you step on the bronze bull's balls set with your heel, just outside Caffe Torino in Piazza San Carlo, it will bring you luck.

Turin is also home for the famous Shroud of Turin. The linen cloth bearing the image of Jesus is, to this day, subject of intense debate and disputes. The Shroud is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. It is one of Turin's main attractions and one of the most important religious symbols in the world.

Torino is, as you can see, quite an important tourist destination. It is filled with gardens and parks, museums and castles, churches and many other interesting buildings you can visit. The "little bull", as the city's name translates in Italian, is a very interesting city to visit and if you decide to spend a vacation here, you won't regret it.