Turin must be one of Italy’s most unsung cities. While most travelers to Italy head to the triptych Rome-Florence-Venice, Turin appears to remain off the tourists’ radar. It seems that, nowadays, the city is merely associated with the automobile industry. Indeed, it is here that Agnelli, the founder of Fiat, chose to build his automobile empire. However, that would be forgetting that eight decades earlier another dynasty, not an industrial one, but a royal one, chose Turin as its capital. Nineteenth century Turin was also a favorite among intellectuals and artists, such as Nietzsche, who liked the city for its austere elegance, its atmosphere, its literary cafés, and its food.
Turin is the undisputed Italian automobile capital, a fact demonstrated by the industry, style, design and research centres: for the capital of Piedmont the car is not just another product but a cultural and social phenomenon. Founded in 1932, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (National Automobile Museum), boasts one of the rarest and most interesting collections of its kind in the world, with almost 200 original cars of 80 different makes, from the first steam cars of 1769 to the most recent.
The Museo Egizio or Eyptian Museum of Turin is the world’s oldest Egyptian museum; founded in 1824, it ranks second only to Cairo. Dedicated exclusively to ancient Egyptian culture and art, the museum’s collection has been the subject of interest for some of history’s most important scholars, for instance Jean-François Champollion, decipherer of the Rosetta Stone. To such is attributed the fact that Turin is considered to be the city where Egyptology began.