Turin’s drawing room
Piazza Reale, Piazza d’Armi or Piazza Napoléon; whatever you call it, Piazza San Carlo is one of the icons of the city of Turin.
Inaugurated in 1638 and designed by architect Carlo di Castellamonte, Piazza San Carlo is the result of the southward expansion of the city, ordered by the Duke of Savoy after the Savoy capital was moved to Turin in 1563.
Further enhanced by Benedetto Alfieri a century after its inauguration, this scenic square in Turin is nicknamed “Turin’s drawing room”.
Rectangular in shape, it is connected to Piazza Castello by Via Roma, the main city street. In the centre stands the Bronze Horse equestrian monument of Emanuele Filiberto by Carlo Marochetti from 1838, depicting the duke in the act of drawing his sword after his victory at San Quintino.
Today, the square is overlooked by beautiful buildings and monuments, including the Baroque churches of Santa Cristina and San Carlo and the old cafés, famous meeting places among academics. The best known is Caffè Torino, a favourite haunt of Pavese, Einaudi and De Gasperi.