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Information about Turin

Car rental Turin
Car rental Turin

Turin is located in the northwest of Italy at the foot of the Alps and on the Po river. It has a reputation of being a grey industrial town, but people who claim that have forgotten that Turin was once the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, and the beautiful Baroque squares and palaces in the city remind you of that.

The town's focal point is the Mole Antonelliana, a building from the second half of the eighteenth century with a spire of 167 meters high. Originally built as a synagogue, it is now the home to a fantastic film museum. Italian film was born in Turin and film lovers can not miss the National Film Museum. Classic films are displayed in a brilliantly beautiful cinema and you can also learn plenty on the masters of Italian film like Fellini, Visconti, Antonioni and Rossellini. Only Italian? No, even the original cape of Superman Christopher Reeve can be seen here...

The main square of the city is the Piazza Castello, surrounded by Baroque buildings, like the medieval castle Palazzo Madama. It is built on the remains of the old city walls from Roman times and it now houses the Museo Civico d'Arte Antica. The collection of paintings mostly shows the life of Christ and every day scenes from the former Turin and surroundings. On this same square you can find the Palazzo Reale, or the Royal Palace. Not only utensils from the Royal family can be seen here but a large collection of art that the House of Savoy gathered as well.

A famous but controversial attraction of the city is the Shroud of Turin. This linen cloth was claimed by believers to have been wrapped around the body of Jesus after his crucifixion. Experts still strongly disagree about the veracity of this story. Anyway, you will only see a replica, the original garment is carefully preserved in the Cupola della Sacra Sindone of the Duomo di San Giovanni Battista.

The Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) has the largest collection of sculptures, utensils and remains of temples from the old Egypt outside the museum with the same name in Cairo.

Torino is the birthplace of the Fiat group. The car factory started in a building that is called Il Lingotto and now is a multifunctional center which includes a conference center, concert hall and a hotel. The building belongs to the industrial heritage of Italy because it has a special construction. On the inside, a spiral shaped path runs to the test track on the roof. You can't see antique cars here, like you would expect. They are exhibited in the Museo dell'Automobile, which covers the history of the car. From eighteenth century carriages to superfast Formula 1 racing cars.

The Fiat car company and other industries have given Torino the name of 'working city'. And indeed, during the day Turin is less crowded with strolling people than other Italian cities. But that changes toward the evening, when the terraces of the Piazza San Carlo come to life. This square is in the middle of Via Roma, where shops of renowned brands have their branches. The pedestrian Via Garibaldi, between the Piazza Castello and the Piazza Statuto is an important shopping street too.

In and around Turin

About 10 kilometers outside of Turin stands an imposing church (much nicer than the cathedral in the city itself), the Basilica di Superga, on a high hill. Buried here are many members of the House of Savoy, and you have a beautiful view of the surroundings. Furthermore, there is a memorial for the soccer players and champions of AC Torino. Not because they were champions of Italy in 1949, but because the plane of the team in that year smashed to pieces in that year against this very hill.

There are many palaces, houses and castles of the House of Savoy to be found in the surroundings of Turin. For example the Castello di Rivoli, east of Turin. The seventeenth century castle has never been finished, incidentally. It houses the Modern Art Museum.

Turin lies at the foot of the Alps, so you can make trips into the mountains from the city. For example, the nature reserves Gran Paradiso, Orsiera Rocciavrè and Val Varaita are at a short distance from Turin. In the winter months the city is the go-to base for the ski resorts in the area.

Parking

Zones have been set in the center of Turin where different restrictions apply. That is quite confusing, because there are zones where no cars are allowed, zones where you can't drive at certain times, streets that have certain lanes where driving is prohibited, sometimes for certain times again. So, best is to park your car in a parking lot or garage.

Airport

Aeroporto di Torino-Caselle 'Sandro Pertini' is situated 15 kilometer north of the city center. From the north of Turin runs the Raccordo Autostradale Torino-Aeroporto di Caselle straight to the airport. This road is also accessible from the northern part of the ring road, Tangenziale Nord.