Spend a few hours exploring this pleasant area of Turin, and see if you can spot any signs of its industrial past while visiting the museums and galleries here.
To gain insight into the real Turin, of both the present and the past, make your way to Borgo San Paolo, a lively neighborhood located just to the south of the city’s heart. Wander streets that once buzzed with factory workers, take a break in one of the delightful green spaces and stop by industrial buildings that have been converted into museums and galleries.
Borgo San Paolo’s industrial character dates back to the late 19th century, when factories and workshops began to spring up here in large numbers as agricultural endeavors became less profitable. At its industrial peak, the district was home to railway workshops and the large Lancia plant, which employed many locals. As home-grown industries of this kind began to fade in the second half of the 20th century, in Italy and all over Europe, the neighborhood began to adapt. Visit today and you will find many of the former factories converted into art galleries or museums.
One such gallery is the Fondazione Mario Merz Onlus. Pay a visit to this gallery to see contemporary art in an industrial setting. The Ecomuseo Urbana, or Urban Ecomuseum, is another such cultural treasure. Rather than being limited to just one location, the museum is spread all over various sites of significance to local heritage. Find one of them in Borgo San Paolo.
At the western fringe of the neighborhood you will find the Parco Ruffini, one of the city’s biggest parks. Wander its trails, enjoy a picnic on the grass or take in a sports game at the Stadio Primo Nebiolo, the park’s stadium. A sports complex, Palazzo dello Sport Ruffini, is also located within the park.
Visit Borgo San Paolo at any time of the year and you will find it full of life. However, come in the warmer months to take full advantage of the many family-run cafés and restaurants that offer relaxed outdoor seating. Exploring the Parco Ruffini and the neighborhood’s smaller green spaces is also a greater pleasure in good weather.