Via Pietro Micca links two historic city squares in central Turin - Piazza Castello and Piazza Solferino.
Built between 1885 - 1897 it was referred to casually as ‘Diagonal’ as it broke the mould of the perpendicular Roman town plan (ortogonia). It was part of a wider plan to modernise the city towards the end of the 19th century, with the aim of creating a healthier and more practical infrastructure.
Named after a local war hero, who is said to have laid down his life for the city of Turin when under siege by the French in 1706 (part of the Spanish war of Succession). He bravely used the only (short) fuse available to light a barrel of gunpowder to defend the Citadel from enemy forces, the explosion that ensued took his life and he became enshrined in the history of the city.
Carlo Ceppi was responsible for the design of many of the buildings, especially in the section closest to the Piazza Castello, many of which were designed as residences for Turin’s aristocrats. These buildings are not uniform in style but differ from each other creating an eclectic feel. This eclectic style is only enhanced when you happen upon the modern steel and glass structures designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at the Piazza Solferino end. ‘City Atrium’ and ‘Atrium 2006’ were commissioned in the run up to the 2006 Winter Olympics hosted by the city and promote culture and tourism in the region. The street suffered damage due to aerial bombing of the city in WW2.
Stand-out buildings on via Pietro Micca include; Palazzo Fiorina; The Church of St. Thomas; the Petrini library; Art Nouveau building the Palazzo Bellia and the Solferino tower.