Last fall we spent a week in Turin (Torino), Italy. It is in NW Italy, west of Milan, at the foot of the Alps. We rented an apartment with friends. It was a great neighborhood, just a few blocks from Via Po, one of the main streets of Turin.
Nice views from our apartment
Around the corner from our apartment was the Mole Antonelliana.
The Mole Antonelliana is a major landmark in Turin. A mole, in Italian, is a building of monumental proportions. Designed by architect Antonelli in 1863, it was built to be a synagogue. Because of cost overruns and a falling out between the architect and the Jewish community, the city of Turin took it over in 1876, trading another piece of land for the synagogue. It was eventually finished in 1889. At 550 feet, the Mole Antonelliana is the tallest unreinforced brick building in the world (built without a steel girder skeleton). It is now home to the Museo del Cinema.
Our first morning in Turin we took a city walking tour.
We started near the Porta Nuova train station.
City water fountains feature a bull, the emblem of Turin.
Piazza San Carlo
On the corner of one of the buildings in this plaza is a “picture” of the Shroud of Turin.
Many streets in Turin are lined with arcades and there are also lots of shopping arcades.
The district of Aurora has very narrow streets and is one of the most ancient areas of the city.
Porta Palatina is from the 1st century BC. It was the northern gateway when Turin was a Roman walled city.
The Duomo di San Giovanni Battista, built between 1491-98, is home to the Shroud of Turin. The shroud is stored away but you can visit a museum dedicated to it.
The Cathedral Bell Tower was built in 1469.
Next to the Cathedral are ruins of a Roman amphitheater.
Piazza Castello is Turin’s huge central square. At one end is the Royal Palace, Palazzo Reale. Built around 1646, it was an historic palace of the House of Savoy. In 1946, it became the property of the state and was turned into a decorative arts museum.
At the other end of the piazza is Palazzo Madama. It was built in the 13th century on the site of another one of the city’s Roman gates. It was the original seat of of the Italian parliament and is now a museum.
Sidewalk sand art
Piazza Carlo Alberto
We finished our tour at another large piazza, the Piazza Vittorio Veneto, next to the Po River.
Across the river is the picturesque Gran Madre di Dio.
We could always spot the Mole to find our way home.
A cute shop in our neighborhood.
Next up will be our side trip to a truffle festival…