Mad about museums!
The history of art, cinema, cars and chocolate - in Turin.
There are more than forty museums in Turin and although the majority of visitors to Piedmont's buzzing capital are likely to head straight to either the city's Egyptian Museum, or the Museum in which the Holy Shroud is displayed, others will make their way to one of the lesser known, but equally fascinating, collections such as the city's Fruit Museum or Puppet Museum.
Points of view
Our tour of Turin, which, from 1861 to 1865, was the first capital of unified Italy, commences with a trip to the Museo Nazionale della Montagna "Duca degli Abruzzi".
Founded in 1874 as mountain observation point, next to the church and monastery on Monte dei Cappuccini, the museum houses exhibitions concerning the mountain environment, the traditions of the Alpine community and, in particular, the history of mountaineering.
The museum's Alpine observation point and viewing terrace, this latter added to the roofs of the edifice in 2005, offer a spectacular panoramic view of the Alps and the city of Turin below.
Pyramids in Piedmont?
Turin's Egyptian Museum, in the Palazzo dell'Accademia delle Scienze, is the second largest in the world, after that in Cairo.
Turin's Egyptian Museum contains some 30.000 exhibits, which record the history and civilization of Egypt, from the Paleolithic age onwards, and includes unique pieces of art, everyday objects, and funereal garb
The museum is located half-way between the centrally placed Piazza Carlo Alberto and Piazza S.Carlo, this latter is home to the impressive Caval d'Bronz.
Over the years, the name of the square has been changed on more than one occasion: in the Napoleonic era it was known as the Place Napoleon.
Shopping, coffee and chocolate
At the heart of the city's vibrant social life, the square is linked to the Piazza Castello by way of Via Roma: the main road of the city and a popular shopping street.
Via Roma was once frequented by writers and aristocrats who could be found passing away the time of day in Turin's historic cafes, located beneath the baroque arcades of the 17th century Palazzo Solaro del Borgo.
Turin is famous for both its coffee culture and for the production of chocolate: a delicacy to which a soon-to-open museum at Porta Palazzo will be entirely devoted.
As of July 2000, one of the symbols of Turin, the imposing Mole Antonelliana, has housed the city's National Cinema Museum.
The National Cinema Museum covers 3200 square meters and spans five floors, each one being dedicated to a different aspect of the world of film: the Archeology of Cinema, the Film Camera, the Poster Collection, Video Installations, and the Temple
Turin is the undisputed capital of Italy's automobile and design industry. The Fiat Lingotto building, designed by Giacomo Mattè Trucco in 1916, is widely considered a masterpiece of industrial architecture and a symbol of Italian modernity.
Italy's celebrity architect, Renzo Piano, was involved in the edifice's conversion from a car manufacturing plant into a stunning 70,000sqm exhibition center, a project completed in 1995.
Want to see the best collection of classic cars in Italy? Go to Turin's Automobile Museum, recently redesigned by the architect Cino Zucchi!