Turin, the capital city of Piedmont, located in northern Italy, is recognized for its exquisite architecture and fine cuisine. The Alps rise steeply from the city’s west coast. Stately ancient houses and colorful, old-fashioned buildings line the boulevards and streets of Turin. Nearby is the imposing, soaring spire of the Mole Antonelliana; a nineteenth-century Gothic tower housing the world’s famous National Cinema Museum. The Musee della Castel (The Castle) is also nearby, an authentic Italian palace with a fine art gallery.
A few hours east of Venice, Italy, lies Tuscany, another cultural hub. Founded by the Roman Emperor around 22 BC, Tuscany is one of the best-known Medieval centers in the world. Much of Tuscany’s art, cuisine, architecture, and culture comes from this era. Visitors to Italy’s southern peninsula can take a two-week trip to Florence, one of Italy’s most historically significant cities. Florence, home to the famous Tintori Fountain and Palazzo Reale, is a jewel among Tuscany attractions. Along with a guided tour of nearby vineyards, art galleries, and museums, visitors can partake of some of region’s delicious cuisine at local restaurants.
Tourists who want to experience Italian art and culture on a whole new level should consider a Tuscany tour, as the art and music here is unparalleled. During the first two weeks of October, for instance, the world-famous Tri Municipio di Tuscany gives free public concerts in honor of Turin’s rich musical heritage. If you take note of this concert schedule, you can also do some research about the different types of music that can be played during these concerts.
The city of Turin enjoys great shopping opportunities; not only are there numerous boutiques, shops, and cafes to explore, but there are also museums dedicated to several important periods in Italian history. One of the most popular museums in town is the San Lorenzo della Misericordia, or Saint Lorenzo Palace, which was originally constructed during the medieval period and served as a royal residency. The main palace room is decorated with oil paintings depicting historical events such as the battle of Asculi and the sack of Podesterio. Other popular attractions include the Duomo, or Grand Ducale Palace, and the Santa Maria Novella, or Santa Maria Nobile, an ancient Roman Catholic Church. Other museums in the vicinity of the royal residences offer interesting displays on Italian craftsmanship including fine woodcraft, metalworks, glass manufacturing, and textiles.
Museums in Turin also include the Museo Civico, or the Old State House, one of the seven wonders of the world. Built during the Renaissance and initially used by the Roman government as its own palace, the museum has now been transformed into an art gallery as well as a research center. There you can find works by renowned artists such as Michelangelo, Giusi, and Sanderina. It is also home to the largest collections of ancient statues in Italy.
Tourist attractions in and around the medieval town of Turin include the Piazza di Svezia, or the square where Svezia Square is located, Piazza Campi, or the park built across the square, and the Castello delle Staccato, or St. Croce dell’Orient, where the Turin Shroud was discovered. Several museums in the area include the Turin Archaeological Museum, the Turin Museum, and the Turin Natural History Museum. The Viale della Misericordia, or Water Fountain of Lecrin, is Turin’s most famous fountain and is popular for its distinctive orange colored water.