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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
Italy is home to some of the most scenic, icon cities in the world yet the nation’s first capital, Turin, is often overlooked. Admittedly, I had never been there before this month, nor was it top of my list but having moved for Turin for my studies I have fallen in love with the city and its people, making it top on my list!
Central Turin follows a relatively modern grid like system whilst paying omage to its rich cultural heritage. Despite being home to some million citizens, Turin boasts beautiful squares which are reminiscent of old Italian villages rather than the large cities.
Turin truly does have everything: it is well connected to other major cities in Italy whilst being in close proximity to the snowy Alps and the infamous hills of Turin. Here is a list of just some things that make Turin such a magical place to visit!
Like many Italian cities, Turin has kept a strong link to its renaissance years through the restoration of the city’s iconic buildings. Following the age of Enlightenment in the 1700s, many European nations posed importance on the pursuit for knowledge and true science. In the 1800s Turin became a cultural and literary hub and played host to important philosophers of its time, such as Nietzsche. The famous cafes which flowed throughout the city became places for philosophical meetings and literary debate. Today, many of these cafes have been preserved and are known as ‘historical cafes’. Two of the most famous can be found in Piazza Vittorio Veneto and are ‘Elena’ and ‘Café Piazza Vittorio Veneto’ dating back to the early 19th Century. The cafes are decorated with red walls and images of the city of Turin during the Enlightenment. The food served is also reminiscent of the times, with tradition French style croissants, flamboyant tarts and the original tasty Italian coffee which can never go amiss.
The age of knowledge also paved way to a century of archaeological discovery which persists today. At the beginning of the 19th Century, Italy was not yet a unified nation but rather divided into principalities. After the unification of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 the monarch actively encouraged archaeologists to uncover some of the greatest historical secrets. The first King of Italy was born in Turin, which was also the newly formed nation’s capital, so it only seemed natural to invest in the transfer of key artefacts and relicts to the city. The Royal Palace is the historic place of the House of Savoy and is situated in northern Turin. Amongst its amazing rooms are the Salone dei Swizzeri (salon of the swiss), the iconic coffee room and the grand ballroom.
Other interesting palaces, which even predate the unification of Italy, include the Palazzo degli Stupingi which was designed as a living place for hunters. In 1805 Napolean resided at the palace before being crowned Emperor. The Fontanafredda vineyard can be found just outside Turin by the hills of Langhe. Story has it that the King of Sardinia, Emanuele 2, fell in love with a commoner and gifted her with this grand residence. The newly made countess’ son, Emanuele Guerrieri devoted himself to the cultivation and commerce of wine. These are just some of the many palaces and fortresses from which you can explore the royalty and history of Turin.