By Samantha D’Alonzo ’21

Our Friday in Turin started at the Valentino Palace, a complex rich with history and the current home of the ‘Politecnico di Torino’.

The view from the second story of Valentino Palace

Founded in 1859, The Polytechnic University of Turin is the oldest technical university in Italy. The university offers courses in engineering, architecture, and industrial design.

In the morning, we listened to two lectures from faculty members of the university. The first was entitled ‘Torino. Urban history of a Cultural City’ and was given by Mauro Volpiano. The presentation touched upon the history of the 2,000 year old city we are currently residing in.

Turin had many different identities throughout history. Twice in its existence it was a capital city: once for the dukedom of Savoy in 1563 and then a second time for Italy after the country’s unification in 1861. After the capital of Italy was moved in 1863, Turin was forced to reinvent itself as an industrial city and it became the primary manufacturer of Fiats.

Our second lecture was given by Chiara Devotion and touched upon the residences of the royal house of Savoy. She discussed the Corona di Delizie, which is a crown shaped geographical region of palaces, gardens, and hunting grounds connected with the royal House of Savoy. This includes Venaria Reale, which we visited yesterday.

After a thorough tour of the rooms of the Valentine Palace and a lunch break, we moved on to the Church of San Lorenzo and the Palace Madama. Both were filled with beautiful baroque architecture.

The dome in The Church of San Lorenzo

A restorer working on removing fake gold paint in the Church of San Lorenzo. The fake gold paint was a result of an uninformed, poor restoration years ago.

Admir appreciating Palace Madama