To stroll through Turin’s Piazza Castello is to walk through the city’s history, as this vast square is home to sumptuous buildings like the Savoy Royal Palace and Palazzo Madama, the first seat of the Italian parliament. Lined with elegant porticoes, shops, and cafés, the square is a highlight of this vibrant city.
Turin’s main square, Piazza Castello, marks the heart of the Castello district, one of the oldest quarters of the city. Long the political and social focal point of Turin, the piazza takes its name from the medieval Acaja Castle, though the space reached the height of its glory in the 17th and 18th centuries with the construction and expansion of the Savoy palaces lining the square.
Piazza Castello is generally included in private or small-group Turin walking tours or hop-on hop-off bus tours that touch on the most important sights and monuments in the city, including the Duomo, the Royal Palace, and Mole Antonelliana.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The square is an excellent spot to sightsee, or simply to settle in at a sidewalk café to people-watch.
- Lively street performers set up in the square day and night, making Piazza Castello a fun stop for kids.
- Most tours of the historic center of Turin and Piazza Castello are on foot, so wear comfortable shoes and sun protection.
- The wide and flat public square and its porticoed walkways are easy to navigate with a wheelchair or stroller.
How to Get There
Piazza Castello is set in the very heart of historic Turin, a short walk from the Porta Nuova train station and many of the city’s main attractions. Turin is a popular day trip destination from nearby Milan, via the direct train that connects these two capital cities.
When to Get There
The square is a lively spot to visit year-round, but during the winter holidays abundant fairy lights decorate many of the shops and businesses, making it especially magical at night. In the summer, a street-level public fountain that sprays jets of water directly out of the pavement is a popular place for kids (and adults) to cool off.
Palaces and Porticoes of Piazza Castello
Highlights include the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale), with its museums, armory, and grounds; the magnificent Palazzo Madama; the Duomo and Holy Shroud (connected to the square via the Royal Palace); and the historic porticoes that surround the square, covering dozens of bustling shops and cafés.