Turin is Italy's fourth largest
city and capital of the Piedmont region. It's famous for a number
of things including being the industrial city of Fiat and of course
for the Turin Shroud. It's situated in the far north-west of
the country and is a good launch pad for skiing holiday in the Alps.
Turin has a very attractive Baroque town
centre. At first glance, looking from the gates of the royal palace
down the Via Roma it seems that Turin has only one street lined
with colonnades shading smart shops and cafés. But leading
off from the castle, another colonnaded street, Via Po, heads down
to the pretty Piazza Vittorio Veneto and the River Po. In the opposite
direction, heading towards the older part of town, is the pedestrianised
The Grand Palace, Palazzo Reale, is to be found
in the heart of Turin in Piazza Castello. It was built in 1660 and
used by the Savoy dukes, kings of Sardinia and of Italy until 1865.
The Duomo di San Giovanni is a small but elegantly designed Renaissance
building. At the back of the Cathedral is an outstanding Baroque
octagonal cupola built in 1694. The remains of the Roman city are
evident from the cathedral steps. You can see fragments of the wall,
theatre and Porto Palatina, the main gates to the Po Valley.
Turin is well known for it's appalling parking
of cars and for its café lifestyle. Drivers make a habit
of abandoning cars in the middle of the streets and at junctions!
A Turino card, available from the tourist office, is valid for 48
hours and gives free travel on public transport and access to over
80 museums in and around Turin. You may want to see Juventus and
Torino play at the Stadio delle Alpi on the edge of town.