Turin Visitor information
Turin offers a pleasant surprise to those who are expecting an industrial city with little else. In reality, this city in northern Italy has an extraordinary and vivid heritage to explore. The city was significantly spruced-up in preparation for hosting the 2006 Winter Olympics, and now boasts renovated palaces with amazing collections of Egyptian antiquities and Northern European paintings, as well as new pedestrianised areas among Baroque avenues and squares.
The city street-plan is like a grid, making it exceptionally easy to find your way around. The main road is the Via Roma, where you will find expensive boutiques and swanky cafes. The city’s plazas offer variety, for example, the Piazza Carlo Felice boasts a small park, whereas the Piazza San Carlo is close to some of the city’s most prestigious museums.
Turin has an international airport known as Caselle International Airport Sandro Pertini which is located in Caselle Torinese, about 13 km (8 mi) from the centre of Turin. It is connected to the city by a railway service (from Dora Station) and a bus service (from Porta Nuova and Porta Susa railway stations).
There is a bicycle sharing system, the ToBike, operating in the city.
The metropolitan area is served by Turin metropolitan railway service.
Turin was originally a Roman settlement, but the Savoy dynasty made the largest impact on the city. From 1563, the city was the seat of the Savoy dukes, who gained a royal title in 1713. After over a century of both military and diplomatic squabbling with foreign powers, Duke Carlo Alberto di Savoia partnered with Cavour, the liberal politician of the Risorgimento, who used the royal family to lend credibility to the Italian Unification movement.
When Sicily and southern Italy were passed over to Carlo Alberto’s successor, Vittorio Emanuale, in 1860, he became sovereign of the entire of Italy. For a time, Turin was the country’s capital, but political turmoil lead the court to move to Florence, and then finally to Rome in 1870. Despite falling into the hands of the Piemontese nobility and quickly became a provincial backwater. Despite this, it kept it’s regal air: its cafés abundantly laden with chandeliers, carved wood, frescoes and gilt – only slightly less flamboyant than the rooms of the Savoy palaces, fourteen in all, and now all listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.