Night had already fallen the previous evening by the time I’d arrived on the TGV from Paris and checked in to my hotel, so there was no chance of a dusk photo shoot, but after a bite to eat I wandered round the clean and spacious floodlit squares in the centre of Turin to get some ideas for my return trip when I would have an afternoon and evening in the city. It was still very warm, so a late evening icecream in Piazza Castello was in order before returning to the hotel.
In the morning I returned to the beautiful squares along Via Roma – firstly Piazza San Carlo, a huge cobbled pedestrian friendly expanse with a horseback statue of Emanuele Filiberto at its centre and the lovely twin churches of Santa Cristina and San Carlo at one end. From here it’s just a short stroll in the shade of the colonnaded Via Roma to Piazza Castello with the Palazzo Madama (housing the Civic Museum of Ancient Art) with the First World War Memorial to Emanuele Filiberto at its rear.
On the other side of the square EU, Italian and Piedmont flags were flying outside the Palazzo della Regione and beyond this railings adorned with gold painted faces denoted the start of Piazza Reale with the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) beyond.
By this time I was in need of a cappuccino break, so found a table in a shady spot back in Piazza Castello before continuing my exploration along Via Po down toward the river, through another spacious square, Piazza Vittorio Veneto before finally arriving at the River Po for a stroll along the riverside. Away from the shady colonnaded streets this proved warm work and was very quiet in the middle of the day, but some of the delapidated doorways in the arches along the promenade adorned with graffiti made an interesting photographic subject before going in search of a much needed drinking fountain (fortunately you’re never far from one in the centre of Turin it would seem).
I made may way back toward the city centre along part of Via Po and then into Piazza Carlo Alberto to have a look at the magnificent Palazzo Carignano which houses the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento.
From here it was a short walk back to Via Roma for another wander past the exclusive shops in its colonnades which eventually took me down to Porta Nuova station and my afternoon train to the Ligurian Coast at Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre.
For further information try Torino Turistica, Turismo Torino (Turin and Province) or the Lonely Planet Introducing Turin page.
For more images of Turin see my Turin set on flickr.