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Italy's first capital in 1861, the city boasts a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous Baroque palacesand sumptuous Royal residences, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site , from the city centre Palazzo Madama toVenaria Reale; churches and museums that house priceless masterpieces, such as the Self-portrait in red chalk by Leonardo da Vinci.
Home to the world's most important Egyptian Museum after the one in Cairo and the Holy Shroud, Torino is also the city that saw the birth of Italian cinema at the beginning of the 20th century and is rightly the home to the National Cinema Museum in the spectacular setting of the Mole Antonelliana, the symbol of Torino, a 167 meter tall tower built between 1798 and 1888.
Host of the 2006 Winter Olympic games, the city has taken on a new guise, with ultramodern Olympic facilities and infrastructures and is now also one of Europe's leading capitals of Contemporary Art, thanks to a vast range of collections, museums and foundations, events and fairs.
The heart of the region's gastronomy, and with a history of great chefs, Torino is where extraordinary specialities have been created, such as gianduiotti chocolates, gianduja cream as well as grissini bread sticks, agnolotti, cheeses and truffles, all accompanied by wines from the region's great tradition.
From its historical cafés and architecture to its arcaded shopping promenades and museums (see Photo Gallery), Turin is also a great city for wandering and exploring.