Completed in 1864, Piazza Statuto was the final structure to make up the old center of Turin. By that time the three other major piazzas had been completed: Piazzas Repubblica, Vittorio and Carlo Felice. Today, Piazza Statuto’s Baroque style and iconic red facades surround numerous monuments and gardens. Cafés and restaurants fill much of the shop space and offer nice vantage points to this busy central square.
Make your way to the center of the piazza where you’ll find the monument to the builders of the Frejus Tunnel, one of the first railway tunnels to travel underneath the European Alps. The monument was constructed with boulders removed from the Alps and is a symbol of the determination and effort that was put into completing the incredible feat. Stroll through the gardens in the center of the piazza or sit back and relax to watch the world go by.
The history of the Piazza has been rather mixed, with a particularly dark period occurring during the French occupation. A Gothic monument now stands in the spot where a French guillotine once operated. Dating even further back, a Roman necropolis is buried beneath the roads, a sign of the age of this ancient city. These two periods have given the piazza a mystical reputation. Some locals consider it a place of dark magic and others associate it with the “gates of hell.”
Despite this dark reputation, the piazza remains a busy place with locals and tourists alike appreciating the monuments and architecture of the surrounding buildings. Start your morning or take a mid-afternoon break with a classic Italian espresso at one of the many cafés lining the piazza. Then investigate the local stores nearby.
While you enjoy the views aboveground, workers may be busy belowground completing three levels of construction that will allow the piazza to be used strictly by pedestrians. Soon there will be an underground auto bypass, a subway and a high-speed train to Milan.
Getting to Piazza Statuto is easy, with plenty of tram and bus connections from throughout Turin.