For an area with such a rich history, Turin, or Torino in Italian, is mightily overlooked by all but a few tourists. Beautiful scenery and a rich history make the region fascinating as well as the home to some of Italy’s most powerful families. Aptly considered the cradle of Italian liberty, the Turin has been the seat of the Savoy family dynasty since 1574 and the area owes much to the family’s wealth and prestige for the beauty and success it enjoys today. Today, Turin is home to the latest dynasty, the Agnellis who owe Fiat, newspapers, hotels and the Juventus professional soccer team.
Turin sits at the base of the Alps along the banks of the Po River. The city is full of museums, historical sites, delicious restaurants, stores and easy transportation options that make it a peaceful place to visit and browse. The city has been much restored and built over the centuries by the Savoy family. The family created the wide, curving avenues, archways and large public squares which are still found throughout the city.
The skyline of Turin is dominated by Mole Antonelliana, a large domed monument to the Risorgimento. The Risorgimento was launched in the 1860s and was responsible for unifying Italy. Across the river, you’ll find terrific views of the town and towering Alps by the Basilica di Superga, a Baroque Shrine. While in the suburbs, you should visit Stupinigi, the elaborate rococo hunting lodge of the Savoys.
The Egyptian Museum
The Savoys didn’t just repair the country and the area; they collected a wide range of Egyptian antiquities beginning in 1628. The collection grew tremendously, especially around the turn of the twentieth century when the Italians were granted digging rights in Egypt. The collection of Egyptian treasures was made available to the public in the late ninetieth century, and today the museum is considered second only to the Cairo’s National Museum. The museum is world-famous, and should be mandatory stop on your trip through Turin.
About two miles south of Turin is the Automobile Museum. Its location is not surprising as the town is the central location for Fiat, and with the Agnellis as the main benefactor of the museum, the variety and quality of the artifacts within the elegant building truly tell the history of the automobile not just display custom vehicles. The world-wide contributions to emerging technologies over time that have built the modern car are all part of the displays and race cars and actual production cars make up the bulk of the offerings.