Automobile Capital of Italy
Once again on a trip returning to a city long time not been. It was back in July 2012, and this was in fact the very first guide I created in my travel blog. Now 5 years after and almost 400 guides later, it was long due for a full remake and edit in order to bring it to the usual standard clear and neat design, with way much more information and description. There are still around 100 guides to eventually keep updating as I return to the cities or merely to revamp them every now and then, but that’s a great achievement I am very proud of, thinking on the countless days and nights I’ve spent in order to maintain such a vast content, backdated to 2009 when I really started with this travel-bug that has seen myself to already 85 countries as of today, hundreds of cities and constantly on the go pretty much every weekend of the year.
Turin, the capital city of the Piedmont region was once the first capital city of Italy in 1861 and home to the House of Savoy, Italy’s royal family. Today it remains as one of the major cultural and economic poles in the country and a very important tourist destination legacy of its superb architecture and elegance combining all of the styles: Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, neo-classical, and art-nouveau among the Roman foundation of the city with gates, walls and other archaeological remains. Such a vast collection of constructions, especially the grand palaces scattered through the city and nearby villages was the key point for the UNESCO to list it a World Heritage Site under the name: “Residences of the Royal House of Savoy.”
From the 16th century, when Turin twas made the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, the city was one of the major projects in history with the enlargement of the otherwise small city into a big and elegant, with the construction of Piazza San Carlo and Via Roma the major urban achievements coupled with the strengthening of the city’s walls. A second expansion wave came in the 17th century with farther enlargement of the walls, the construction of the Royal Palace, and the famous Via Po linking the riverside to Piazza Castello. This was the last time the city saw such a revival, and for what it owes most of its nowadays enormous cultural heritage. Only during the 1930’s the latest additions was built, the main thoroughfare Via Roma in the Italian Rationalist style.