As I walked out onto the cobblestone street, I was in awe of the sunrise and the silence surrounding me. I wanted to explore Turin from sunrise to sunset.
This was a new city for me. I was enjoying the quietness before the city awoke. There is something about walking the streets and thinking back to the Renaissance period and the people that strolled along this same path.
Turin, which is pronounced Turino, is a city that is located in the northern part of Italy and is the capital of the Piedmont region. It is located on the Po River and surrounded by the western Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is approximately 900,000.
The city has a rich culture and history. With all the restaurants, churches, universities, theaters, libraries, museums, parks and other venues, there is always something to do. Turin is well-known for its Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-classical and Art Nouveau architecture.
Our guide gave us some interesting facts about Turin:
1. It is home of the FIAT auto plants. FIAT is Italy's largest automobile manufacturer. The acronyms stands for "Fabric, Italy, Automobile, Turin".
2. The "Shroud of Turin" is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin. The Shroud of Turin is a centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man. A man that millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth.
3. EATALY - opened in 2007 in Turin. It was built for the 2006 winter Olympic Games, and is basically a gourmet grocery store offering all foods Italian. There are about three of them in the United States(NYC, Chicago & Boston).
4. The movie "The Italian Job" was filmed in Turin in 1969. Michael Caine was the main actor. This is a movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.
5. The Egyptian Musuem in Turin is the only museum other than the Cairo Museum that is dedicated solely to Egyptian art and culture.
6. Cafes - There are at least 2 cafes on every block. The historic cafes have remained favorite among politicians, intellectuals and artists. One of the popular drinks that is served is "bicerin". This drink has hot chocolate at the bottom, espresso coffee and milk, froth on top.
7. Piazza San Carlo - This is Turin's most beautiful square. It is the city's outdoor living room, surrounded by arcaded sidewalks that house the terraces of the cafes for which Turin is famous.
8. Martini & Rossi, which was founded in Turin in 1863, is an Italian multinational alcoholic beverage company primarily associated with the Martini brand of vermouth and is also with sparkling wine(such as Asti).
9. and so many more other venues.
While walking along, be careful, as you could get run over by a bicycle. Everywhere I looked, people were riding their bikes.
I was very impressed with this city. Next time you are a planning a trip to Italy, put Turin on your list.