Turin locals consider the Piazza Maria Teresa a small piece of Paris within their own city. The square is located in the Borgo Nuovo, founded in 1825, south of what was then the old town.
Piazza Maria Teresa Turin
History and description
The square itself was laid out in 1836. It is one of the few places in the city that still retains the original tiling of pebbles from the river.
Piazza Maria Teresa is flanked by neoclassical buildings. Since most of the owners were of aristocratic descent, the district was known as “the contrada of the nobles.”
The most important buildings are the palace of architect Giuseppe Formento and the Sacramentine monastery complex.
In addition to the aristocracy, many representatives of the more affluent part of the local citizenry also came to live there. These were mainly citizens who had worked in textile processing and later became bankers and insurers. One of these palaces was designed by a young Alessandro Antonelli.
The central part of the square consists of a garden, with a statue depicting Guglielmo Pepe. This Bourbon army general spent the last years of his life in Turin.
When the square was created, a green line ran through the entire district. It was called Giardino dei Ripari and connected the Piazza Maria Teresa with the Giardini Cavour and the Aiuola Balbo. The stretches of greenery between these main gardens succumbed over time to the Turin building boom.
Unfortunately, the square is quite polluted these days because of the never-ending stream of cars driving around it.