The Alpine City of Turin Italy

Called the `cradle of Italian liberty’ Turin, the capital of Piedmont is an attractive city with a rich history which blends the high technology required for automotive and space manufacturing with architecture and culture which extends back to the Roman era.

Turin is famous for its parks, shopping arcades, Baroque cafes and museums, but its most famous attraction is the Shroud of Turin, which many people believe was the actual shroud of Jesus. Securely housed in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, there have been a few exhaustive investigations into the true origins of the shroud, none of which have been truly conclusive, although it is likely to be a quite brilliant forgery.

Back in 1861 the city used to be Italy’s capital, and even today it is a significant trading centre being ranked third after Rome and Turin for its economic strength.

The most imposing building in Turin is the Mole Antonelliana which has a tower that is over 167 metres in height. Originally built in 1888 as a synagogue, its usage has changed since then as now the building houses one of Europe’s best cinema museums.

Given its history as a city known for the design and manufacture of cars it should come as no surprise that the city does have quite a comprehensive automobile museum. There are 170 vehicles included in the collection which includes a great variety of vehicles ranging from 18th century carriages to F1 racing cars.

One of the best views of Turin can be gained from the hill which houses the Basilica of Superga. Although the church itself is impressive, it was built to commemorate victory in a famous battle and also houses the tombs of members of the Royal House of Savoy, it also affords magnificent views of the Alps.

An interesting way to commute to the Basilica is to catch the antique tram which takes passengers on the climb to the top of the hill.

Similar to Manchester, Turin is internationally known for its two football teams, Juventus and Torino, both of which have been very successful, with Juventus being the most successful club in Italian football, as well as being very successful internationally. There is a fierce rivalry between supporters of the two clubs but Torino fans got the upper hand in 2006 when Juventus was removed from the champions league following accusations of match fixing. A tragedy occurred near the Basilica of Superga in 1949 when a plane carrying the entire Torino football team, one of the greatest in Italian history, crashed into the hill near the church killing all on board, and a plague now commemorates the city’s tremendous loss.

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