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Turin, Italian first capital

Two weeks ago I went to Turin, Italy for the autumn break with my family. Turin (Torino, Italian) lies at the foot of the majestic Alps. Look at the Mont Blanc (France) watching over the city. Impressive right? On the right, not pictured is Matterhorn (Swiss).

The oldest mention about Turin is about a small village at the foot of the Alps, Taurasia. The Taurine tribe lived there, they were descendants of the Gauls and Celtics. In 218 BC the great Hannibal from Carthage set the village under siege.

The Romans under Augustus gave it the name Augusta Tauronirum in 28 BC. At that time Turin was a military citadel.

This is a trace of the Romans in Turin, Palatine Gate (Porta Palatina), built in 1st century, renovated in 1404. This gate is one of the best preserved Roman gates in the world.

Palatine Gate

The Franks of Charlemagne ruled Turin for a couple of centuries before the House of Savoy took over in 1280. From 1802 to 1814 Turin fell under the French Empire. After the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812, the House of Savoy regained power. This royal family initiated the unification of a number of regional kingdoms in Italy. And so was Turin appointed as the first capital of the united kingdom of Italy in 1861. 4 years later the capital was relocated to Florence.

Under the Savoyards Turin glorified as a center of architecture (Baroque, neo Baroque and art deco), industry, culinary and art. All of these are still very much alive now. Turin is said to be the most French Italo city according to Paris but without the wide boulevards.

Royal Palace Turin (Palazzo Reale di Torino) built in the 14th century. It is located on Piazza Castello downtown.
Royal Palace Turin, Palazzo Reale Torino, PIazza San Carlo

Next to it on Piazza Castello, there is Palazzo Madama. This is the first senate of Italian kingdom. Palazzo Madama was built in 17th century. It is integrated around the city port from the Roman era dated from 45 BC. Now Palazzo Madama houses a museum; Museo Civico d’Arte Antica.

Palazzo Madama Turin, Torino, Piazza Castello

This is the ancient Roman city port behind Palazzo Madama. The monument in front of it is the statue of lord of Savoy, Emanuele Filiberto Duke of Aosta, posing in the middle as the commander of Italian army in WW I.

Palazzo Madama Torino

Turin’s downtown offers shopping comfort to its visitors. There are 18 km long shopping arcades connecting building to building. One day my family and I were strolling when it started to rain. We managed to stay dry by walking under the arcades for about an hour. This following picture is taken in Via Milano, adjacent to Via Garibaldi. The shopping street full of street fashion brands.

European cities are not complete without a cathedral in the city center. This is Turin’s. The tower of Turin Cathedral (Duomo de Torino), built in 1491 – 1498.


The entrance of Turin Cathedral (Duomo di Torino), formally called Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist (Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista).

Turin Cathedral, Duomo di Torino

The entrance to Politecnico di Torino.

Piazzas (squares) are abundantly present there. Mostly with a church or another landmark nearby. This one is Santuario della Consolata (Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Consolation), an important minor basilica at the Piazza della Consolata.

This is Chiesa Santa Cristina (Santa Christina Church) at Piazza San Carlo.

Chiesa Santa Cristina Torino

This is an example of rich ornamented Baroque style which is visible overall in the city.

I love how the old elements have been preserved and integrated with today’s comfort.

This trip was booked long before my mother passed away. Four days after I came back to The Netherlands from Jakarta, I flew to Turin. I saw many more than I captured on camera as shown here. During my stay there the weather was rainy and dark. Hence less pictures pf the city landmarks. Perhaps this is a sign for me to come back in spring of summer, when the weather is nice.


  • Turin was host city of 2006 Winter Olympics.
  • Fiat is an abbreviation of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, in English Italian automobile company of Turin. Turin is Fiat and Fiat is Turin.
  • Another well – known car from Turin is Lancia.
  • Lavazza coffee brand comes from Turin.
  • Turin is homebase of two Italian big football clubs: FC Torino and Juventus.

In the next post I will share stories about food and art. Stay tuned!

Comune Torino
Visita Torino


16 thoughts on “Turin, Italian first capital

  1. Saya mendengar nama Turin Turino pas ada show lomba nyanyi2 di TV. Tapi baru membaca tentang Turin dari tulisan mbak Yo ini plus gambar-gambar bangunannya yg cantik & klasik, menariknya lagi ada kelihatan gunungnya juga.

  2. Thank you very much Mbak Yo. I learned a lot from your story and enjoy the pictures as well. I just knew that Turin is Fiat and Fiat is Turin!

  3. It is pretty, likewise the rest of Italy. There’s a UN Campus here, once I was enrolled to their course but it was cancelled at the last minute. Bummer. But maybe someday I’ll pay a visit. Thank you for featuring Turin in your blog, so I could have a little taste 🙂

    • Ah bummer indeed. The city itself is compact, not too big. Whenever you visit Italy, Turin is a must. It is actually not so far from Genua and Milano.

  4. Love Turin mbak! Salam kenal ya 🙂
    Pernah ke Turin sehari doank, pas mendung ujan, ga puas banget! Tapi saya naek ke Superga cathedral dan bagus banget view dari sana.

    • Hai Aggy, Salam kenal. Iya bagus sekali ya kotanya. Waktu aku disana juga sering mendung & hujan, ngga sempet malah motret Turin dari bukit itu.

  5. Yoyen, pernah ke Turin tapi numpang lewat aja, ga sempet sight seeing, next time kalo ke sana lagi. Turin kan jauh dari Belanda, naik kereta ato nyetir waktu ke sana? Foto2nya as always bagus bagus…:)

  6. Bagus ya mba Turin, waktu liburan bulan Maret kemarin sempet kesana sehari aja, mampir ke Stadion Juventus karena adekku penggemar beratnya hehe.. Stadionnya bagus dan gede banget….orangnya di Turin ga seperti di Roma atau Milan, lebih santai dan jalan kaki kemana2 enak banget, ga kayak di Roma atau Milan kayaknya was was terus mba hehehe..

    • Turin itu kotanya kaya ya Lydia. Bangunannya bagus-bagus. Terus yang bikin istimewa gaya bangunannya lebih condong ke Perancis daripada Italia.

  7. Pingback: Porta Palazzo Market | Chez Lorraine

  8. Pingback: Seeing Monet in Turin | Chez Lorraine

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