I’m someone with a bit of a obsessive with finding photo locations. My husband lived in Turin and when visiting Turin, I had often seen photos of the Mole with a stunning scene of mountains behind the Mole. This article discusses Monte dei Capuccini, the church on top of Monte dei Cappuccini, how to get to Monte dei Cappuccini, and how to get that perfect photo of Turin (and the Mole)!
There’s something about seeing a city from above. I often don’t often go to viewpoints, however after Jacob and I decided to visit his old stomping grounds of Turin (where he had lived and worked), I wanted to figure out where the following photo (below) was taken. I kept coming out without a clue until I finally just showed the photo our passionate Piedmontese B&B host Lidia (who runs an affordable and cozy B&B in Turin). She immediately knew where to go to find the best free viewpoint in Turin!
She implored us to visit Monte dei Capuccini. This mountain on the other side of the Po, not far from Vittorio Veneto, involves a ten-minute walk up a fairly steep side of a paved road (Salita al C.A.I. Torino). I recommend wearing shoes with good grip and avoiding coming here in the rain. (It is also possible to drive up!)
Once you’re halfway up, you can see the Basilica di Superga on top of a nearby mountain. Once you reach the almost top, you’ll see a place with a great viewpoint. Keep climbing until you get to the viewpoint in front of the church (Chiesa di Santa Maria del Monte dei Cappuccini)! From here, you’ll see viewfinders and locals on dates. Despite living in Turin, my husband had never been here.
I recommend coming here on a clear day as you should have clear views of the mountains behind Turin from here. If it’s cloudy, you’ll still have a great view of Turin, but the mountains won’t be in view. Check if there seems to be fog as the Piedmont fog is famous for a reason…and it can easily ruin a photo. My photos reflect this although I’d definitely recommend coming up here at sunset for a romantic view over Turin!
I definitely recommend stepping into the church (Chiesa di Santa Maria del Monte dei Cappuccini) to view the impressive altar. There has long been a religious establishment of some sort on top of this mountain and it’s thought that this was a pagan altar in earlier periods. In the 13th century, one of the Savoys built a fortress on top of this mountain, which provided good defensive views over Turin.
Later on, the building was bought and sold until it was given to the Capuchin Friars. The church today dates back to 1583 and its notable feature has to be its impressive high altar. It’s said that during the French siege of Turin, the French considered plundering and destroying the church. It’s said that a fire grabbed the French and burned them prior to the church filling with smoke… They left the church intact. There are a few information packets that you can browse within the church (and purchase if you so choose).
Visiting the Church takes about fifteen minutes, but I’d definitely recommend coming up to Monte dei Cappuccini if you’re looking for a great viewpoint. Although the Basilica dei Superga is more famous for its viewpoint over Turin, it’s further out of the city (about an hour from Torino Centre) and doesn’t provide the up-close panoramic view of the Mole for free. Similarly, you’ll need to pay for the tram up to the church. I think that if you’re short on time in Turin, Monte dei Cappuccini is a great place for a romantic moment to enjoy the sunset or selfie.