Magnificent Baroque square, one of Turin’s largest and finest piazzas.
Formally referred to as Piazza Reale, Piazza d’Armi and Place Napoleon, it features at it’s centre a monumental equestrian statue of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. Historically significant this statue depicts the Duke sheathing his sword after victory in the battle of San Quintino (1557).
The square took shape over the 16th and 17th centuries and honours Charles Borromeo - a counter reformist cardinal and Archbishop of Milan 1564 - 1584, who was later sainted. Today it is one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions, and it’s city centre location make it the ideal venue for hosting various culinary and sporting events.
The well known luxury shopping distric via Roma continues to the north and south of the square and the southern entrance to Piazza San Carlo is flanked by twin churches Santa Cristina and San Carlo Borromeo.
The uniformed, porticos enclosing the square were designed by royal architect Carlo di Castellamonte and have remained largely unaltered since their creation in 1638. Institutions such as café Torino (204) and café San Carlo (156) can be found here as well as traditional confectioner Fratelli Stratta (191). At number 183 is the Palazzo Solaro del Borgo, originally luxurious apartments it was altered several times, and eventually adapted to include a grand staircase and concert hall when it became the home of the Philharmonic Academy. The square was entirely pedestrianised in 2004.
San Carlo square, Turin
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