Photo by atirme (FreeImages)
Caption: The unique Mole Antonelliana is home to Turin’s National Cinema Museum.
Five Can’t-Miss Attractions in Turin
Move over, Rome: Turin is quite the Italian city! Located in beautiful Northern Italy, Turin is known throughout the world for being a phenomenal arts and cultural center. A majority of Turin’s piazzas and structures were built during the 16th and 18th centuries, making this city a testimony for such architectural movements as the art nouveau, baroque, neoclassical, and rococo periods. Turin doesn’t stop at architecture, however. Its universities, the University of Turin and Turin Polytechnic, are considered Italy’s best. It is no wonder that many influential Italian politicians come from Turin.
You would think that this, coupled with amazing food, entertainment, and beautiful landscapes, would make Turin one of the top five Italian travel destinations, but Turin humbly sits in tenth place behind nine other most-visited cities. Don’t make the mistake and cross Turin off your list of cities to see in lieu of Rome, Florence, or even the ever-popular Venice. Sure, you need to visit those cities, too, but you also need to make sure that you head north to Turin. While you’re there, you have to visit Turin’s many amazing royal palaces, but that’s kind of a no-brainer! Aside from those, you simply cannot miss:
- Castello di Rivoli is the first attraction to make our Turin, Italy, can’t-miss list. Art enthusiasts, take note! First, Castello di Rivoli is an unfinished castle dating back to the 17th century located atop the Rivoli hills, so it’s something wonderful to see in and of itself. Second, it is filled with so much influential contemporary art that it is considered one of the best of the best galleries in Europe. Included in its pristine art collection are works by contemporary greats Franz Ackermann and Frank Gehry.
- Juventus Stadium is our next can’t-miss stop and is especially for sports fanatics! Football (European football, I should say) is all the rage in Italy, and Turin fans go ballistic over their Juventus F.C. and Turin F.C. teams. Juventus draws the larger crowds, so their players are spoiled with a 120-million-euro facility; that’s more than $1.6 million here! Tour the stadium, shopping center, and museum, and if you’re brave enough, catch a Juventus F.C. versus Turin F.C. Game – a rivalry of epic proportions!
- The National Cinema Museum is for our movie buffs… well, and our architecture buffs, too. The Mole Antonelliana is a unique structure with a tower standing nearly 548 feet. This 1888 building looks somewhat like a cross between New York City’s Empire State and Chrysler buildings (sans the gargoyles). Covering five floors of this glorious structure is Turin’s National Cinema Museum, where visitors can browse the history of movie-making and movie memorabilia, including an original cape from 1978′s Superman.
- The Shroud of Turin is a can’t-miss for believers and non-believers alike. Whether you are religious or not, you’ve no doubt heard of this ancient linen. Many believe that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth in which Jesus was wrapped after his crucifixion; many others are skeptical. The Shroud of Turin is controversial, and only the pope can say when Turin’s Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is allowed to display the linen, so check the display dates prior to booking your Turin trip.
- Piazza San Carlo is a can’t-miss for relaxation. Inevitably, when I’m talking about Italy, I’m going to start talking about piazzas, and there’s no better place to take a load off, enjoy some good food, and watch the Turin locals than the Piazza San Carlo. This piazza dates back to 1650, and it is surrounded by baroque, neoclassical, and rococo architecture. If you’re exhausted from must-seeing all of the previous can’t-miss attractions on my list, grab an authentic espresso and relax in the historic Piazza San Carlo.
As you can see, Turin, Italy, is truly a wonder, and it’s home to many wonders! It makes me wonder why it ranks as far back as tenth on the country’s most-visited city list! Clearly, there are numerous wonderful things to see and enjoy. Okay, I’ll stop, I promise! Seriously, though, you have to see Turin. Don’t let this wonderful Italian gem pass you by. You’ll be sorely disappointed if you do!