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Turin’s charm is often underrated. This former Italian capital has been considered the capital of the Art Nouveau architecture movement, which is reflected within its stunning architecture seen throughout the walkable city center! One of the highlights of Turin’s architecture has to be the covered passages of Turin. These historic passages can be easily seen while walking around Turin’s historic city!
Although the first covered passage was built in Milan, Turin quickly followed. (Turin and Milan have a tenuous relationship like siblings who fight over everything!) Like in all things, Turin has tried to best Milan when it comes to covered passages although I’d happily argue that the passages easily rival Paris’ covered passages in terms of beauty.
This beautiful covered passage with a glass roof opened in 1874. Today, it’s home to numerous antique book shops, which are a pleasure to browse. The passage is located close to Piazza Castello and can be visited for free during the day. It was named for a bank. It’s thought that Fredrich Nietzsche lived within the gallery at some point! It’s typically a bit more green, but they were busy doing renovations when I was visiting.
Galleria San Federico
Galleria San Federico is one of the largest covered passages in Turin. This stunning passage is a bit more crowded as it’s home to a few Turin chocolatiers, one of Turin’s oldest cinemas that is still active today, and a few cafes. I recommend stopping here to just enjoy the stunning atmosphere!
You’ll find the entrance hidden next to Via Roma as the gallery was meant to make this area a premier commercial area of Turin, which was a great success. The gallery is not as old as Galleria Subalpina as the covered passage was only built in 1933.
Galleria Umberto I
Galleria Umberto I seems quiet compared to the other passages of Turin, however it has a rich history. This cute covered passages was completed in 1889 and it is one of the best places to grab a bite to eat. My husband is a big fan of Caffè della Basilica, which sits on the exterior of this cross-shaped passage close to the Porto Palazzo.
The building was once the main hospital of Turin and the home of the historic pharmacy Maruitian Pharmacy. Although the hospital closed, it was renovated as it was turned into a commercial area. You can still see the Savoy coat of arms near the entrance close to Piazza della Repubblica!
There’s one other small passage close to via Doria and via Mazzini, but we advise skipping this one as it’s not as beautiful as the others.