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.
Behind the high altar in the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, also known as the Duomo di Torino is the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, containing one of most famous and controversial religious relics in world history.
The Shroud of Turin, as the Holy Shroud is popularly known, or Sacra Sindone, is a piece of linen cloth said to have been laid over the body of Jesus Christ following his crucifixion. It bears the faded image of a bearded, longhaired man who appears to have wounds consistent with Bibilical traditions of those suffered by Christ at his execution.
Whatever the shroud's authenticity, it is certainly old, and its existence has inspired and renewed the faith of innumerable Christians throughout history. Given its importance, the Church has gone to great lengths to preserve it; currently, it is housed in a climate-controlled case filled with a special atmosphere comprised of argon and a little bit of oxygen, and it is rarely displayed.
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.
De Ligurische plaats Portofino is populair bij bezoekers vanwege de pastelgekleurde gebouwen, maar huisvest ook een belangrijk beschermd maritiem gebied, het Area Marina Protetta. Dit gebied omvat bijna 350 hectare aan zee voor de kust van de hele regio (dus niet alleen de plaats zelf) en werd gesticht in 1999. Het staat bekend om het diverse zeeleven en de beschermde status zorgt ervoor dat deze populaties blijven bestaan. Verschillende onderdelen van dit beschermde terrein zijn Zone A, waar geen boten, vissers en duikers toegestaan zijn, en Zone C, waar minder beperkingen gelden voor activiteiten. Op sommige plekken zijn bezoekers meer dan welkom om te zwemmen en zelfs gebruik te maken van een kajak, stand-up-paddleboard of om te duiken.
De kust van Portofino is een parel aan de Italiaanse Rivièra. Hier ziet u niet alleen pastelgekleurde gebouwen, maar ook de omliggende heuvelen zijn de moeite waard. De felgele kerk Chiesa di San Giorgio geeft uitzicht op de haven van Portofino. De originele kerk op deze plek werd gebouwd in de 12de eeuw. Deze werd daarna uitgebreid en uiteindelijk in de Tweede Wereldoorlog verwoest. De huidige kerk stamt uit 1950, hoewel sommige elementen van eerdere bouw afkomstig zijn. De kerk dankt zijn naam aan de beschermheilige van Portofino, waarvan de relieken na de kruistochten naar de stad zijn gebracht en in een heiligdom in de kerk bewaard worden. Het kleine plein voor de kerk biedt prachtige uitzichten over Portofino.
Genoa is most famous as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, so it's appropriate to set sail from here. The second largest port in Europe (Marseille is bigger), Genoa is a mix of the old and the new, with pretty old style pink, ochre, and red buildings sitting alongside skyscrapers and church domes, all of it climbing the hills up from the sea via gritty, narrow twisting streets.
Despite the city's size, it is easy to explore the old center on foot. The Cathedral San Lorenzo is the heart of the area you'll want to explore. The cathedral itself is Romanesque dating from the 12th century and houses the ashes of John the Baptist, Genoa's patron saint. A couple of blocks away is the Piazza de Ferrari which has the 13th-century Palace of Doges and the opera house. The main shopping street, Via XX Settembre, leads off from here.
Genoa is a large Italian city with several individual neighborhoods that each have their own history and identity. One of those neighborhoods is the Boccadasse, located on the waterfront to the east of the Genoa city center.
The Boccadasse neighborhood is at one end of the promenade called the Corso Italia, which makes it easy to visit from central Genoa – particularly on a nice day when you can walk all the way along the seafront. This neighborhood used to be its own small town, and was once primarily the home of working fishermen.
There are various stories regarding the origin of the name Boccadasse. In the local dialect, the word is Bocadâze. Because the neighborhood sits on a small bay, one theory is that the name means “donkey's mouth.” Another stems from the name of a river that used to run through Boccadasse, called the Asse. In any case, the Italian word “bocca” means mouth, so either of those theories could be right.
Who could turn down the opportunity for a long stroll along a beautiful seafront on a gorgeous Italian day? If you're headed to Genoa, then that means you're headed for a stroll on the Corso Italia.
There are a few roads that can be called promenades in Genoa, a city very much tied to its waterfront, but the Corso Italia is the main promenade. It runs roughly 1.5 miles just to the east of the city center, from the neighborhood of Foce to the neighborhood of Boccadasse. There's a wide sidewalk along the Corso Italia with ample space for walking, cycling, and jogging, and along much of the route there are also beaches worth checking out. Even if the weather isn't conducive to long outdoor walks, there are great restaurants along the Corso Italia that boast excellent sea views all year long.
You can certainly walk the entire length of the Corso Italia without stopping, but there are some sights to see along the way if you're taking a more leisurely approach.