Piazza Carlina is a square in the center of Turin. It was laid out in the 17th century and is dominated by the Chiesa di Santa Croce. The statue in the middle of the square depicts the statesman Cavour and was placed there shortly after the unification of Italy. The official name is Piazza Carlo Emanuele II.
Piazza Carlina Turin
Piazza Carlina is just over a kilometer from the Porta Nuova station. Exit the station and go straight ahead on Via Roma. Turn right at the end of Piazza San Carlo (onto Via Maria Vittoria) and walk straight until you reach Piazza Carlina. If you prefer public transport, bus 68 will take you to your destination in less than 10 minutes.
History and description
Piazza Carlina was laid out during the reign of Maria Giovanna Battista di Savoia-Nemours (1675-1684).
There was an earlier project by Amedeo di Castellamonte. This had been commissioned by Carlo Emanuele II, who wanted to create a grand square with uniform facades and a statue of himself on horseback in the middle. The project was cancelled, partly because of the death of the good man, but mainly because of the difficulty of selling the palazzi along the octagonal square.
Piazza Carlina is a nickname, the same nickname that was used for Carlo Emanuele II himself. Apparently Carlina (“Little Carla”) was rather effeminate, which had caused the population to call him thus.
The present version of what was meant to have been Piazza Carlo Emanuele II is rectangular. Originally, it had been designated as a wine market. It is also further to the southeast than originally intended.
From 1798 to 1814, Turin was occupied by the French. During those years, Piazza San Carlo was called Place de la Liberté. It was here that the condemned were beheaded. At least 423 people were killed by the guillotine during Napoleon’s reign.
What to see
The 18th century Santa Croce Church, designed by Javarra, is located on the south side of the square.
Giovanni Duprè sculped the statue of Cavour. It was placed in the center of the square in 1872.