A walk through the suggestive landscapes of the historical Valentine's park and San Salvario, the multicultural and creative district of Turin
Departs downtown Turin When you want from Porta Nuova metro station exit. (Piazza Carlo Felice, close to the Sambuy garden) Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
Because this is a free and funny way to visit Turin. The tours are done in ENGLISH and ITALIAN. Free Walking Tourin shows off the best of Turin, rain, hail or shine on a Free Walking Tour. The booking is required
The walk starts in front of Porta Nuova Railway Station, built in 1868 by Mazzucchetti and Ceppi, two very important architects. Located just by San Salvario neighborhood, the station and locals stories are extremely linked with each other. Today San Salvario its the center of the multicultural, artistic and creative life of Torino, where many bars and restaurants can be found.
An example of the multicultural environment that characterize San Salvario is the large number of places of worship like churches, a synagogue, mosques and temples from many different religions that have peaceful been living together and close to each other since XIX Century.
In Turin it’s easy to discover symbols, unusual figures and statues on building facades. This two streets, that take their name from two members of the Savoy Family who where at war in the XVII Century, have interesting architectures decorated with animals and mythological figures, or with "art nouveau" ornaments. Nearby there were many theatres and “varietè”: in one of them Louis Armstrong played for the first time in Italy in the 30's.
This octagonal square, the only one in Turin along with Piazza della Repubblica (Porta Palazzo) overlooked by the renaissance-style Saint Paul and Peter church, is the heart of Turin nightlife. Lots of bars, restaurants, and clubs have reshaped this square and the streets around, mixing with distinctive shops, art galleries and artisan workshops.
This old bath, built at the beginning of the XX CAentury by the Municipality according to the project of the engeneer Camillo Dolza has now been renovated. It hosts a social and cultural center for the neighborhood, the Casa del Quartiere (House of the Neighborhhod), and a multicultural cafeteria, the Bagni Municipali. In front of this building stands the massive neo-gothic church of Sacro Cuore di Maria, charactierized by huge bell towers, designed by the architects Carlo Ceppi that also worked on the Porta Nuova Station project.
The Valentino Castle is one the most important palaces in Turin. It was built in an elegant baroque style with French influences between 1620 and 1660, under the will of Madama Cristina, a powerful French women, daughter of the King of France Henry IV and married to the Savoy Duke, that ruled a for long time the Piedmont State. Now it represents the headquarters of the Architecture Department of the Polytechnic University of Turin and it’s was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
This magnificent and historical park is the most famous in the city. Set along the Po River in a splendid and suggestive location it was designed by the French landscape architect Barillet-Dechamps in 1863-1864 hosting many historical buildings and gardens, like the Botanical Garden of Turin, the rowing clubs and the Fine Arts Society.
The Valentino Park also hosted many important International Exhibitions and Fairs, that donated uniques monuments to the park. During the General Italian Exhibition of 1884, a great medieval village was buil, the Borgo Medievale, thanks to the work of Alfredo D'Andrade and a pool of researchers who collected the best examples of medieval architecture.