Like all cities rich in history, art and architecture,
the best way to visit Turin is to walk on foot and to use the public transport
for long distances only. The square plan of the city, heritage of its Roman past,
favors the tourist's orientation, which can use squares and monuments as landmarks.
For the visit of Turin in a weekend, take advantage of our itinerary departing
from Piazza Castello, in the heart of the city center.
Around the so-called "Living room of Turin" (Piazza San Carlo) stands the Royal Museums Complex of Turin (the Polo Reale) which brings in a unique architectural complex the most important museums of the city, such as: Palazzo Reale, official residence of the Savoy family until 1865, the Royal Armory, the Royal Library, the Archaeological Museum and the Galleria Sabauda, one of the most prestigious Italian art galleries.
On the square there is also the Church of San Lorenzo and the Palazzo Madama, a building characterized by the precious baroque facade by Filippo Juvarra, which now houses the Civic Museum of Ancient Art of the City of Turin.
Behind the Palazzo Reale there is the Cathedral of the city (dedicated to St. John the Baptist) with the dome of the Chapel of the Shroud, baroque masterpiece of the architect Guarino Guarini. Near the Chathedral one can admire the remains of the roman gate (now called Porta Palatina) used as one of the gateways to the Turin until the Middle Ages, and the archaeological area that contains the remains of a theater of ancient Rome dated in the first century AD.
From Piazza San Giovanni, taking a stroll along Via 4 Marzo, you can admire a number of medieval buildings. From here, turning left towards Via Porta Palatina, Via San Tommaso and Via Giuseppe Barbaroux, you will have the opportunity to discover the "Contrada dei Guardinfanti", one of the oldest areas of Turin, full of enchanting backstreets and old fashioned shops.
Continuing for a hundred meters from Piazza San Carlo towards Via Maria Vittoria, you will arrive at the Egyptian Museum (not to be missed!), which, thanks to its rich collection, is considered one of the Egyptian museums more important of the world after that of Cairo. While strolling along the Via Accademia delle Scienze towards Piazza Castello, you will have the opportunity to see the Palazzo Carignano, seat of the first Italian Parliament, realized on Guarino Guarini's project, now National Museum of Risorgimento, and the superb Teatro Carignano, executed by Benedetto Alfieri in 1752 and recently reopened to the public after a long period of restoration. Next to the theater entrance is the famous restaurant Il Cambio, which preserves the table where the Count Camillo Cavour liked to spend his free time. A few meters from the Palazzo Carignano, crossing the Via Cesare Battisti, you will arrive at the Galleria Subalpina, an elegant passageway with decorations belonging to the Art Nouveau architecture of the early twentieth century, made in 1873 by Pietro Carrera.
The tourist way for the visit of Turin continues from Piazza Castello near the Palazzo Madama, towards Via Po leading to Piazza Vittorio Veneto, one of the largest squares in Europe, rich in arcades, recently renewed and with a large pedestrian area. From here, turn your look to the majestic Church of the Gran Madre di Dio and to the Monte dei Cappuccini with its homonymous convent realized by Ascanio Vittozzi and dating from the sixteenth century, this last seat of the Museum of the Mountain, a privileged place to appreciate the beauty of the city and of the hills of Turin. The Piazza Vittorio Veneto is well loved by the Turinese people even for its coffee shops open day and night. From Via Po, continue your walk to Via Montebello and join the Mole Antonelliana, the building symbol of Turin reaching 167 meters high and home to the National Museum of Cinema (not to be missed either!), with a lift that will bring you up to the 85 meters of the dome offering a magnificent 360° view over the city, the hills and the Alps with their snow-capped peaks almost all year round.
The visit of each museum described has a duration of about 2.30 / 3.0 hours. We therefore advise you to complete our tourist itinerary in at least two days. Those who have more time at their disposal, can enjoy visiting other important sites of Turin, including: the 8Gallery Shopping Center near the Lingotto (formerly Fiat factories), the new Museum of the Automobile (join both from the railway station of Porta Nuova with the underground line 1 up to Lingotto station), the medieval village of the Valentino Park (outside Porta Nuova station take the tramway No 9 towards Corso Massimo d'Azeglio), and the Basilica of Superga, located 672 meters on the Turinese hill (can be also joined by the funicular "Dentera"). Near the Basilica you can visit the tombs of the Savoy family and the park where you can enjoy, when the weather is nice, a superb panorama of Turin. Take also the chance to visit the temporary exhibitions of the Castle of La Venaria Reale, its beautiful gardens and the recently reopened rooms of the Hunting Lodge of Stupinigi.
What to see in Turin: uselful imformation for to visit the main museums of Turin »
Map the center of Turin .PDF [Source: turismotorino.org]