Around via Roma
Another direction from piazza Castello heads towards via Roma*, the city’s most famous shopping street with arcades 750 meters long, lined by boutiques, famous brands and labels. Half way to Porta Nuova railway station, via Roma opens to piazza San Carlo***, the so-called drawing room of Torino, a wide pedestrian square animated by the dehors of some historically famous cafés. At the southern end are the churches of Santa Cristina and San Carlo, built in the 1630’s. At the center of the square is a 19th century statue of Emanuele Filiberto that has become an emblem of the city. Called Caval ëd Brons in local dialect ("Bronze Horse"), the monument depicts the Duke sheathing his sword after the Battle of St. Quentin.
Parallel to Via Roma, other two popular pedestrian streets, namely Via Lagrange (a second shopping street with luxury brands) and Via Carlo Alberto, cross the city center from Via Po to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Via Lagrange crosses Piazza Carignano**, well known mainly for the undulating “concave - convex - concave” Baroque façade of Palazzo Carignano designed by Guarino Guarini (1679) for the Carignano branch of the Savoy family. In 1820 Italy’s first king, Vittorio Emanuele II, was born here. The unification of Italy was here announced in 1861 and the building became the venue of the first Italian Parliament. Nowadays the palace houses the Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento devoted to the 19th century unification of Italy, with a collection of curious personal items documenting the life and work of the leading figures in the struggle for Italian unity (1861).
In via Lagrange, close to Piazza Carignano, the austere 17th century Collegio dei Nobili Palace built by the architect Guarino Guarini hosts the Accademia delle Scienze (a scientific Academy founded by the mathematician Louis Lagrange in the second half of the eighteenth century) and the Egyptian Museum***. Opened in 1824, the museum shows the most important collection of Egyptian treasure outside Cairo. Among its many highlights are a statue of Ramses II, the world's largest papyrus collection and over 500 funerary and domestic items found in 1906 in the tomb of royal architect Kha and his wife Merit (from 1400 BC).
In Piazza Carignano is also one of the oldest restaurants of Torino, Ristorante del Cambio attended, since 1757, by MPs and ministers during the XIXth Century and which today keeps intact the original furnishings and proposes a top-class modern cuisine.