Once Italy’s best-kept secret, Turin and the surrounding Piedmont region are now ranked by Lonely Planet as the #1 travel region for 2019.

Located on the Po River in the foothills of the Alps in Northern Italy, Turin has been an important commercial and cultural centre since ancient times. For a short period in the 1860s, it even served as the capital city of the united Kingdom of Italy. Its royal legacy is still visible today in its many grand royal palaces and buildings, including Palazzo Carignano, the Royal Library, the Royal Armory, Palazzo Madama and Palazzo Chiablese. Today, Turin is beloved by travellers for its diverse architecture, grand piazzas and exquisite local cuisine. Visitors are charmed by the informal, almost village-like atmosphere of the city. Its many famous attractions make Turin an ideal destination for a city trip and the perfect entry point to the beautiful Piedmont area.

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Cultural Capital

Turin is home to many treasures of Western civilisation. A frontier outpost during ancient Roman times, the city is the site of some of the best-preserved ancient ruins in Europe, including the towering Porta Palatina. Built in the 1st century, the Porta Palatina served as part of the city’s early fortifications.

Another famed legacy is the shroud of Turin. According to tradition, this well-preserved sheet of linen was the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. No visit to Turin would be complete without a visit to the ornate Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, where the shroud of Turin is displayed.

An equally iconic cultural highlight is the red chalk self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, now held in the city’s Royal Library or Biblioteca Reale, just a few metres from the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Recently, researchers have suggested that Leonardo da Vinci may have created the shroud of Turin himself, modelling it after his own face. With this rare self-portrait and the shroud located so close to each other, you can visit both these iconic images and decide for yourself.

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