With a population of 908,000 inhabitants, Turin is one of the most important business and cultural centres in Italy. Train and bus connections are available to both Turin and Milan Malpensa International Airports.
Sometimes called the cradle of Italian liberty, for having been the birthplace of notable politicians who contributed to the Risorgimento, Turin has a rich culture and history, and is well known for its Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical, and Art Nouveau architecture.
The city currently hosts some of Italy's best universities, colleges and academies, such as the University of Turin, the Turin Polytechnic and the Turin Academy of Sciences. Prestigious and important museums, such as the Egyptian Museum, the Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Arts (GAM) and the National Museum of Cinema are also found in the metropolitan area.
As the former capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdom of Italy, Turin is filled with historical sites: Savoy residences, art galleries, churches, palaces, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries and museums.
Among the most prominent buildings are the Mole Antonelliana (so named after the architect who built it, Alessandro Antonelli), whose construction began in 1863 as a Jewish synagogue), Palazzo Reale (the Savoy royal palace), Palazzo Madama (previously home to the Savoy Senate and, for few years, the Italian Senate following unification), Palazzo Carignano (House of Deputies of the Subalpine Parliament and then seat of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy), the Biblioteca Reale (whose collection includes the famous self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci), the Turin Cathedral, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, and the Porte Palatine, an ancient Roman-medieval structure that served as one of four Roman city gates along the city walls. In each of these sites, as well as many others, there are exhibitions and guided tours.
For those who enjoy restful walks or cuisine, Turin offers beautiful squares (Piazza Castello, Piazza Carlo Felice, Piazza San Carlo, Piazza Carlo Alberto, Piazza Vittorio), many parks and gardens (Parco del Valentino, the University botanical gardens, hiking trails up and down the Po River) and historical cafés (Fiorio, Baratti & Milano, Caffé Torino, Caffé San Carlo, the aperitif bars in the Quadrilatero, and more).
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