Turin Historical Center
Turin (Torino), Italy
Submitted by: giacinto chiosso
A set of three "Italian" piazzas, and a lot more.
Piazza San Carlo, Piazza Castello, and Piazza Vittorio Veneto are three distinct large squares in center of Turin, but included in a baroque covered walkways system; they can be thought of as a single set.
Piazza San Carlo, just restored, is a center for the Turinese life. Totally baroque, it hosts two churches built in symmetrical/parallel position. It also has a set of typical Turinese "Caffe."
Piazza Castello surrounds a Castle, from which it gets its name, that incorporates: (a)the ancient Roman entrance to the city (the first two towers), (b)a medieval compound and (c)a baroque facade. The northern edge of Piazza Castello is formed from the Royal Palace, the Royal Library, the "Teatro Regio" (i.e. royal opera house) and other baroque palaces. The complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also known as "medal plaza," during the Olympic Games of February 2006.
Piazza Vittorio Veneto (360m x 111 or 112m) is considered the largest square in Europe by people in this area (but I found on this site we have a competitor in Poland!). The eastern border of square is the Po River. On the other side stands the "Grand Madre" church, which is very similar to Rome's pantheon but only 200 years old.
What Makes Turin Historical Center a Great Place?
Being the center of Turin City, it is obviously well connected by scores of public transportation lines. The very best way to get here anyway is the stroll under the archways.
Turin hosted the Olympic Games in February of 2006, and awarded the medals in Piazza Castello.
There is a lot to do here, both for tourists and residents. In the northwest corner of Piazza Castello lies the Turin romantic Cathedral that holds the Holy Shroud. In the northeast corner lies The Teatro Regio, the Turinese Opera House. The Royal Library's collection includes also the Leonardo Da Vinci Self Portrait.
For shopping lovers, under the Archway you can find any "shopping target" you can imagine. A few meters away from these piazzas, there are a lot of world-class museums.
In normal days, it is crowded by Turinese people as a place where to socialize, but in recent years the rate of tourists has been very significantly increasing. During the Olympic Games, it was so crowded it was very difficult to simply enter into the piazzas.