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Turin and surroundings

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Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region, a modern city on the Po River side, located at the foot of picturesque hills. Turin outstands due to its powerful industrial production and its historical and artistic traditions, rich in monuments and cultural sites. Regarding monuments and the arts, the heart of the city is the Piazza Castello (Castello Square) designed in 1584 by Vitozzi. It is also the seat of the Madama Palace, the castle that back in medieval times was built from the old Roman gates, and was then redesigned by Juvarra around 1700. The square also houses important palaces, such as the Royal Palace, the Royal Library, the Teatro Regio and the State Archives. The Mole Antonelliana is also the city’s major distinctive landmark and today is home to the National Cinema Museum. Do not miss the Duomo of San Giovanni Battista (Cathedral of Saint John the Baptists) built between 1491 and 1498 by the Rovere Cardinal and that is home to the silver shrine where the Shroud of Turin is kept. The Palazzina Reale di Caccia di Stupinigi (Stupinigi Royal Hunting Palace) is also worth visiting; it was built for Vittorio Amadeo II and housed the royalty during the hunting season. A further attraction is the Egyptian Museum of Turin, where findings of extraordinary value can be admired. It is probably the most important specialised museum after the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. There are numerous cultural as well as artistic events that take place in Turin the whole year long. The “Book Fair” is a significant artistic exhibition; in fact, it is among the most important protagonists of contemporary culture. In September, the “Settembre Musica” (a music festival) takes place and offers high-quality music. The city boasts around 16 million m2 of parks and gardens; a 70-km green area stretches along the Po Riverside. The city has around 17 parks. As to the Piedmont cuisine, the main dish is Agnolotti, filled pasta dressed with beef meat or roast meat sauce; as second course comes the very famous “bollito di Manzo” (boiled beef) with an aromatic herbs sauce that enhances its flavour. A very typical drink is the “Bicerin”, a coffee-based drink usually served with “Bonet”, a typical chocolate and almond pudding. Turin in numbers: The city is 240 metres above sea level and covers a surface of 130 km2. It has about 903,000 inhabitants and a population density of about 6630 people/km.

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