I took my first trip to Italy in May this year. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for many years and a language I would love to learn. I guess most of this stems from my love of opera, particularly those of Verdi and Puccini, and more recently for me the bel canto (beautiful singing) style of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini.
And Angela Meade just happened to be singing at the famous Teatro Regio in Turin…!
Turin is in the North-West of Italy in the Piedmont region, and surrounded by the South-west Alps. It has an important part in the history of Italy, becoming the unified country’s capital in 1861 and being home to Italy’s monarchy, the Savoys, who had moved there in the 16th century.
The city contains elegant squares such as the Piazza San Carlo and highly decorative churches such as the churches of San Carlo and Santa Cristina, both at the Southern end of that square. The Piazza Castello contains a strange building that is the result of a 19th century facade being built onto a 15th century castle. The facade is named the Palazzo Madama after the two queens that resided there. The intention was to match the rest of the castle with this facade but this was never completed.
There are several important museums, including the Italian National Cinema Museum housed in the extraordinary Mole Antonelliana, named after its architect, and originally intended as a synagogue.
Also on the outskirts of the city are two spectacular buildings constructed for the Savoys; the Stupinigi Hunting Lodge and the Superga Basilica built to celebrate the defeat of the French army in the Battle of Turin in 1706.