The Palazzo di Reale, or Royal Palace of Turin, was originally the Bishops Palace in old Turin, when the city became the capital of Savoy. It was taken over by Duke Emmanuel Philbert and became his residence until his death in 1580, at which point his son, Charles Emmanuel I moved in.
Though already large and opulent, the Palace grew in magnificence following the marriage of Charles Emmanuel's son, Victor Amadeus, to French Princess Christine Marie. She is responsible for modernizing the palace to 17th century standards, employing renowned architect Filippo Juvarra. The most famous of his additions is Scala delle Forbici, a magnificient staircase. Christine Marie eventually moved into a different palace, la Palazza Madama, also rebuilt by Juvarra. Today, the palace is a premier example of classic European aristocracy. It houses a museum dedicated to the House of Savoy, and its armory is a point of interest, as it contains a wide variety of historical arms and armor.
Dietro l'altare maggiore della cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista, nota anche come Duomo di Torino, si trova la Cappella della Sacra Sindone, che ospita una delle più conosciute e controverse reliquie religiose della storia. La Sindone di Torino, nota come la Sacra Sindone, è un lenzuolo di lino sul quale si pensa sia stato deposto il corpo di Cristo dopo la sua crocifissione.
Vi è impressa l'immagine sbiadita di un uomo dai capelli e dalla barba lunghi, con ferite consistenti, proprio come vuole la tradizione biblica. Qualunque sia l'autenticità della Sindone, certamente antica, essa ha ispirato e rinnovato la fede di innumerevoli cristiani nel corso dei secoli. Data la sua importanza, la Chiesa ha fatto di tutto per conservarla; attualmente è ospitata ed esposta in una teca con temperature controllate, con un'atmosfera speciale composta di argon e ossigeno.
Most cities have iconic buildings that serve as the symbol of the city – the Eiffel Tower, for instance, suggests Paris to even those who have never been there. The city of Turin in northern Italy has such a symbol, but both Turin and its iconic building are just enough off the tourist radar that they aren't quite world famous. This, of course, means you'll be one of the rare people “in the know” when you visit Turin and see the Mole Antonelliana.
The Mole Antonelliana looks a bit like the top of a tower that's missing most of the actual tower. The dome isn't round, but instead the four sides of the dome curve upward toward a spire that shoots up to a height of 550 feet.
Turin's low skyline makes the Mole Antonelliana stand out for its height, but the shape of the building and its tall spire would make it noticeable almost anywhere. The building was built in the late 1800s, and is named for the architect Antonelli.
Turin's iconic Mole Antonelliana building is more than just its most recognizable landmark—it's also home to one of the city's top museums. Italy's National Cinema Museum was founded in 1953 with a private collection of film memorabilia. In 2000, the museum was moved to the Mole Antonelliana tower, giving it the title of “tallest museum in the world.”
Pieces in the museum's collection include Darth Vader's mask from “The Empire Strikes Back,” the alien costume from “Aliens,” and a mask from Fellini's “Satyricon.” There are vintage movie posters, film screening rooms, and items collected from movie sets. The museum's library includes more than 12,000 movie reels, 300,000 film posters, 80,000 pictures, and 26,000 books.
The first public gardens to be opened in Turin still exist as the Parco del Valentino, one of the city's most popular parks. Opened in 1856, the Parco del Valentino covers more than 123 acres in Turin along the left bank of the Po River. The park includes the Castello del Valentino, the University of Turin's botanical garden, and a replica medieval village – complete with a castle – built for the 1884 Turin International Expo.
The park was once the setting for car races—these were held between 1935 and 1954, all known as the Gran Premo del Valentino.
Turin is home to legendary car makers Fiat and Alfa Romeo, so it's only fitting that it's also home to Italy's National Museum of the Automobile. The Museum of the Automobile (Museo dell'Automobile) was founded in 1932, making it one of the oldest automobile museums in the world. It officially opened in 1960, in the building it still occupies, which was designed specifically for the museum. It was extensively renovated and expanded in 2011. The collection contains nearly 200 cars, including some of the first cars made in Italy – an 1896 Bernardi and an 1899 Fiat – as well as racing cars made by Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. There are cars from eight different countries on display, plus an extensive library on automotive history.
Dominando Piazza Castello, a Torino, e simile a due edifici confinanti, Palazzo Madama fu in principio ideato come castello fortificato, con la facciata medievale rivolta ad est, risalente ai Savoia nel XIV secolo. La parte barocca che si affaccia ad ovest, venne progettata dal famoso architetto Filippo Juvara nei primi anni del XVIII secolo, su richiesta di Maria Giovanna di Savoia, a cui venne dedicato il Palazzo.
Juvara venne nominato architetto di corte dalla dinastia sabauda e contribuì a progettare gran parte degli eleganti portici di Torino, nel 1860. Palazzo Madama rivela delle fondamenta risalenti al periodo romano, poi torrette medievali e una serie di cortili e appartamenti costruiti durante il Rinascimento.