Capital of the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy, Turin has been an industrial centre of Italy for centuries with its fair share of culture and beauty too.

Taking its name from the Celtic word tau (meaning mountains), the first settlers in the region, the Taurini, were of Celtic-Ligurian stock, before the Romans took over the area in the 1st century BC. Since that point, the city has been associated with the bull (the Italian translation of ‘Torino’), visible on the coat of arms.

Although suffering occupation by the Lombards and the Franks after the fall of the Roman Empire, Turin would prove a vital player in the reunification of Italy much later during the final decades of the 19th century and propel the country towards industrialisation thereafter.

However, as well as being home to many important industries like the car company Fiat, Turin is a picturesque destination for the visitor, evidenced by its starring role for the 1969 film, The Italian Job.


Turin’s main claim to cultural and religious fame can be found in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, the patron saint of the city. Within the Royal Chapel can be found the Shroud of Turin, supposedly the cloth that covered Jesus Christ when placed in his tomb.

Elsewhere, should you want a glimpse at the old Roman city, make sure to check out the Palatine Towers.

The Mole Antonelliana, dating back to the late 19th century, is another beautiful sight and more common than you might think, emblazoned as it is on the Italian 2 cent Euro coin.

Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, the Savoy Residences are a must-see area of the city. A circuit of architecturally important buildings owned by The Royal House of Savoy, it contains a fabulous array of palaces, residences and castles.

For museums, unquestionably the most prominent is the Museo Egizio. With a collection dating back to 1753, it contains some of the oldest artefacts in existence and is regarded as the second largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world after Cairo. Amongst the treasures can be found three different versions of The Book Of The Dead, including the most ancient copy known.

Turin is very much a city of football. Recently in the newspapers for all the wrong reasons, Juventus FC is otherwise the most successful club in Italian football and one of the most popular in Europe. Although relegated to Serie B for the 2006/2007 season, they can still be seen at the Stadio delle Alpi. More closely connected to the city are Torino FC, bearing the city’s bull as their own emblem. Lacking the modern success of its local rival, the club’s history is rich, with the ‘Great Torino’ side of 1940s setting many still-standing records, and inventing the now-typical 4-4-2 system, before the team and manager were tragically killed in the Superga air disaster of 1949. Promoted to Serie A for 2006/2007, they can be seen at the new Stadio Grande Torino.


With 18km of shopping arcades associated with the Royal Court, finding something to buy shouldn’t be difficult in Turin, and local craftsmen can be found everywhere.

For high-street fashion, the Via Garabaldi is recommended.

As with all Italian cities, Turin has its share of markets. Most popular are the Porta Palazzo, which remains the largest open market in the continent, and the Gran Balon, which takes places every second Sunday of the month and specialises in antiques.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Piedmontese cuisine can be found in the many restaurants of Turin, meaning an emphasis on meat and pasta. The most extraordinary, and highly recommended, restaurant is Ristocolor, a converted tramway now lavishly decorated and specialising in food according to the rules of The Royal House of Savoy. It can be found off the Via Po.

For a night out, the Murazzi, Docks Dura and Valntino Park are all filled with bars and clubs. The Roman Quadrilatero is also well stocked with places to drink and have a good time.

Tourist Information

GTT Tourist OfficeCorso Turati, 19/610128Tel: +39 (0)11 5764 733servizituristici@gtt.to.it

Turin Tourist OfficePiazza Solferino, AtriumTel: +39 (0)11 535 181turismo@comune.torino.it


Turin is served by the Torino Caselle Airport, some 16km from the town centre. Bus, train and taxi services are readily available.

International and domestic connecting flights depart daily.

British Airways (London Gatwick), Ryanair (London Stansted), and Easyjet (London Luton) are among the many airlines operating.

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