Turin

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Turin
Torino
Comune
Città di Torino
Turin with Mole Antonelliana and the Alps in the background.
Turin with Mole Antonelliana and the Alps in the background.
Coat of arms of Turin
Coat of arms
Turin is located in Italy
Turin
Turin
Location of Turin in Italy
Coordinates: 45°04′N 07°42′E / 45.067°N 7.700°E / 45.067; 7.700Coordinates: 45°04′N 07°42′E / 45.067°N 7.700°E / 45.067; 7.700
Country Italy
Region Piedmont
Province Turin (TO)
Government
 • Mayor Piero Fassino (Democratic)
Area
 • Total 130.17 km2 (50.26 sq mi)
Elevation 239 m (784 ft)
Population (31 December 2012)[1]
 • Total 911,823
 • Density 7,000/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
Demonym Torinese (pl. Torinesi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 10100, 10121-10156
Dialing code 011
Patron saint John the Baptist
Saint day 24 June
Website Official website

Turin (/tjʉˈrɪn/; Italian: Torino, pronounced [toˈriːno] ( ); Piedmontese: Turin, pronounced [tyˈɾiŋ]; Latin: Augusta Taurinorum) is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley and surrounded by the western Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 911,823 (December 2012) while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million.[2]

The city has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries, museums and other venues. Turin is well known for its Renaissance baroque, rococo, neo-classical, and Art Nouveau architecture.

Much of the city's public squares, castles, gardens and elegant palazzi such as Palazzo Madama, were built in the 16th and 18th century, after the capital of the Duchy of Savoy (later Kingdom of Sardinia) was moved to Turin from Chambery (nowadays France) as part of the urban expansion.

Turin is sometimes called the cradle of Italian liberty, for having been the birthplace and home of notable politicians and people who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour.[3] The city currently hosts some of Italy's best universities, colleges, academies, lycea and gymnasia, such as the six-century-old University of Turin and the Turin Polytechnic. Prestigious and important museums, such as the Museo Egizio[4] and the Mole Antonelliana are also found in the city. Turin's several monuments and sights make it one of the world's top 250 tourist destinations, and the tenth most visited city in Italy in 2008.[5]

The city used to be a major European political centre, being Italy's first capital city in 1861 and being home to the House of Savoy, Italy's royal family.[6] Even though much of its political significance and importance had been lost by World War II, it became a major European crossroad for industry, commerce and trade, and currently is one of Italy's main industrial centres, being part of the famous "industrial triangle", along with Milan and Genoa. Turin is ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome, for economic strength.[7] With a GDP of $58 billion, Turin is the world's 78th richest city by purchasing power,[8][9] and as of 2010 has been ranked by GaWC as a Gamma- world city.[10] Turin is also home to much of the Italian automotive industry.[11][12]

Turin is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin, the football teams Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C., the headquarters of automobile manufacturers FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo, Iveco and as host of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Several International Space Station modules, such as Harmony and Columbus, were also manufactured in Turin. It was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy from 1563, then of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the Royal House of Savoy and finally the first capital of the unified Italy.[13]

It is often referred to as the Capital of the Alps. Other popular epithets are the Automobile Capital of Italy and the Detroit of Italy, as it is home of FIAT; in Italy it is also dubbed la capitale Sabauda ([the] Savoyard capital).

History[edit]

The Roman Palatine Towers.

Ancient origins[edit]

The Taurini were an ancient Celto-Ligurian[14] Alpine people, who occupied the upper valley of the Po River, in the centre of modern Piedmont.

In 218 BC, they were attacked by Hannibal since his allies were the Insubres. The Taurini and the Insubres had a long-standing feud. Their chief town (Taurasia) was captured by Hannibal's forces after a three-day siege.[15] As a people they are rarely mentioned in history. It is believed that a Roman colony was established in 27 BC under the name of Castra Taurinorum and afterwards Julia Augusta Taurinorum (modern Turin). Both Livy (v. 34) and Strabo (iv. p. 209) mention the Taurini's country as including one of the passes of the Alps, which points to a wider use of the name in earlier times.

The Taurini tribe is the origin of the city of Turin: Celtic in origin, they joined the Ligurian tribes peacefully. The city's symbol and coat of arms is the rampant bull – Torino in Italian literally means "young bull" and in Greek tauros (ταύρος) means "bull". The Salassi, another Celtic Italian tribe, was also part of the Piedmont area which was eventually destroyed by the Romans.

The language of the Piedmont region, Piedmontese, still contains many words of Celtic origin to this day and is more than a dialect: it is indeed a separate language spoken by the people of Turin and the Piedmont region, giving them a unique sense of identity and affinity with their heritage.

Roman times[edit]

In the 1st century BC, probably 28 BC, the Romans created a military camp (Castra Taurinorum), later dedicated to Augustus (Augusta Taurinorum). The typical Roman street grid can still be seen in the modern city, but especially in the neighbourhood known as the Quadrilatero Romano (Roman Quadrilateral). Via Garibaldi traces the exact path of the Roman City's Decumanus which began at the Porta Decumani, later incorporated into the Castello or Palazzo Madama. The Porta Palatina, on the north side of the current city centre, is still preserved in a park near the Cathedral. Turin reached about 5,000 inhabitants at the time, all living inside the high city walls.

Middle Ages[edit]

Turin in the 17th century.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the town was conquered by the Lombards, then the Franks of Charlemagne (773). The Contea di Torino (countship) was founded in the 940s and was held by the Arduinic dynasty until 1050. After the marriage of Adelaide of Susa with Humbert Biancamano's son Otto, the family of the Counts of Savoy gained control. While the title of count was held by the Bishop as count of Turin (1092–1130 and 1136–1191) it was ruled as a prince-bishopric by the Bishops. In 1230–1235 it was a lordship under the Marquess of Montferrat, styled Lord of Turin. At the end of the 13th century, when it was annexed to the Duchy of Savoy, the city already had 20,000 inhabitants. Many of the gardens and palaces were built in the 15th century when the city was redesigned. The University of Turin was also founded during this period.

Early modern[edit]

Emmanuel Philibert, also known under the nickname of Iron Head, made Turin the capital of the Duchy of Savoy in 1563. Piazza Reale (named Piazza San Carlo today) and Via Nuova (current Via Roma) were added along with the first enlargement of the walls, in the first half of the 17th century; in the same period the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace of Turin) was also built. In the second half of that century, a second enlargement of the walls was planned and executed, with the building of the arcaded Via Po, connecting Piazza Castello with the bridge on the Po through the regular street grid.

In 1706, during the Battle of Turin, the French besieged the city for 117 days without conquering it. By the Treaty of Utrecht the Duchy of Savoy acquired part of the former Duchy of Milan, including Turin, and the architect Filippo Juvarra began a major redesign of the city. Now the capital of a European kingdom, Turin had about 90,000 inhabitants at the time.

Late modern and contemporary[edit]

A view of Turin in the late 19th century. In the background, the Mole Antonelliana under construction.

Turin, like the rest of Piedmont, was annexed by the French Empire in 1802. The city thus became seat of the prefecture of department until the fall of Napoleon in 1814, when the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia was restored with Turin as its capital. In the following decades, the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia led the struggle towards the unification of Italy. In 1861, Turin became the capital of the newly proclaimed united Kingdom of Italy[16] until 1865, when the capital was moved to Florence and then to Rome after the conquest of the Papal States in 1870. In 1871, the Fréjus Tunnel was opened, making Turin an important communication node between Italy and France. The city in that period had 250,000 inhabitants. Some of the most iconic landmarks of the city, like the Mole Antonelliana, the Egyptian Museum, the Gran Madre di Dio church and Piazza Vittorio Veneto were built in this period. The late 1800s were also a period of rapid industrialisation, especially in the automotive sector: in 1899 Fiat was established in the city, followed by Lancia in 1906. The Universal Exposition held in Turin in 1902 is often regarded as the pinnacle of Art Nouveau design, and the city hosted the same event in 1911. By this time, Turin had grown to 430,000 inhabitants.

After the Great War, harsh conditions brought a wave of strikes and workers' protests. In 1920 the Lingotto Fiat factory was occupied. The Fascist regime put an end to the social unrest, banning trade unions and jailing socialist leaders, notably Antonio Gramsci. On the other hand, Benito Mussolini largely subsidised the automotive industry, to provide vehicles to the army. Turin was then a target of Allied strategic bombing during World War II, being heavily damaged in its industrial areas by the air raids. The Allied's campaign in Italy started off from the South and slowly moved northwards in the following two years, leaving the northern regions occupied by Germans and collaborationist forces for about a couple of years.

During the Allied drive to liberate northern Italy, the Allied High Command in Italy realized that they only had a slight advantage over the German Army in the region; as a result British Field Marshal Alexander made a risky decision to include help from the French 27th Alpine Division or the French Alpine Army. The French 27th Division was stationed along the border between France and Italy in order to prevent the Germans from threatening the French Riviera; however the inhabitants of the Val d'Aosta region of northwest Italy have historical links to France and the French Government seeking revenge for the invasion from Fascist Italy in 1940 as well as historical links wished to annex all of the territory west of Turin. The French Offense from the Alps went from being a victory into becoming a route of the German Army in the region west of Turin and the French Army invaded much deeper into northwest Italy than anyone expected. The result of the French offensive meant that French troops reached Turin from the west while the units of the Brazilian Expeditionary arrived in Turin from the east. As a result of both armies arriving in the region of Turin there was a great deal of confusion and intermingling as well as a political dispute at allied headquarters.

Turin was not captured by the Allies until the end of Spring Offensive of 1945. By the time the vanguard of the armoured reconnaissance units of Brazilian Expeditionary Force reached the city, it was already freed by the Italian Partisans, that had begun revolting against the Germans on 25 April 1945. Days later, troops from the US Army's 1st Armored and 92nd Infantry Divisions came to substitute the Brazilians.[17][18]

In the postwar years, Turin was rapidly rebuilt. The city's automotive industry played a pivotal role in the Italian economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s, attracting hundred of thousands of immigrants to the city, particularly from the rural southern regions of Italy. The population soon reached 1 million in 1960 and peaked at almost 1.2 million in 1971. The exceptional growth gains of the city gained it the nickname of the Automobile Capital of Italy and the Detroit of Italy (Turin has been "twinned" with Detroit since 1998). In the 1970s and 1980s, the oil and automotive industry crisis severely hit the city, and its population began to sharply decline, losing more than one-fourth of its total in 30 years. The long population decline of the city has begun to reverse itself only in recent years, as the population grew from 865,000 to slightly over 900,000 by the end of the century. In 2006, Turin hosted the Winter Olympic Games.

Turin today

Geography[edit]

Turin is located in Northwest Italy. It is surrounded on the western and northern front by the Alps and on the eastern front by a high hill that is the natural prosecution of the hills of Monferrato. Four major rivers pass through the city: the Po and three of its tributaries, the Dora Riparia (once known as Duria Minor by the Romans, from the Celtic noun duria meaning "water"), the Stura di Lanzo and the Sangone.

Climate[edit]

Turin is located in the border of the humid subtropical climate and oceanic climate zones (Köppen climate classification Cfa/Cfb).[19] This is in contrast to the Mediterranean climate characteristic of the coast of Italy.

Winters are moderately cold but dry, summers are mild in the hills and quite hot in the plains. Rain falls mostly during spring and autumn; during the hottest months, otherwise, rains are less frequent but heavier (thunderstorms are frequent). During the winter and autumn months banks of fog, which are sometimes very thick, form in the plains[20] but rarely on the city because of its location at the end of the Susa Valley.

Its position on the east side of the Alps makes the weather drier than on the west side because of the föhn wind effect.

The highest temperature ever recorded was 37.1 °C (98.8 °F), while the lowest was −21.8 °C (−7.2 °F).



Administration[edit]

Closer bird-eye view to the city

Turin is split up into 10 boroughs, locally called circoscrizioni; these do not necessarily correspond to the historical districts of the city, which are rather called quartieri, rioni, borghi, borgate or zone.

The following list numerates the present day boroughs and today's location of the historical districts inside them:

  • Circoscrizione 1: Centro – Crocetta
  • Circoscrizione 2: Santa Rita – Mirafiori Nord
  • Circoscrizione 3: San Paolo – Cenisia – Pozzo Strada – Cit Turin – Borgata Lesna
  • Circoscrizione 4: San Donato – Campidoglio – Parella
  • Circoscrizione 5: Borgo Vittoria – Madonna di Campagna – Lucento – Vallette
  • Circoscrizione 6: Barriera di Milano – Regio Parco – Barca – Bertolla – Falchera – Rebaudengo – Villaretto
  • Circoscrizione 7: Aurora – Vanchiglia – Sassi – Madonna del Pilone
  • Circoscrizione 8: San Salvario – Cavoretto – Borgo Po
  • Circoscrizione 9: Nizza Millefonti – Lingotto – Filadelfia
  • Circoscrizione 10: Mirafiori Sud

The mayor of Turin is directly elected every five years. Piero Fassino, the current mayor, belongs to the centre-left coalition:

Turin's City Council is composed of 50 members.

Main sights[edit]

City centre[edit]

Via Roma

Turin's historical architecture is predominantly Baroque and was developed under the Kingdom of Savoy. Nonetheless the main street of the city centre, Via Roma, was built during the Fascist era (from 1931 to 1937) as an example of Italian Rationalism, replacing former buildings already present in this area.

Via Roma runs between Piazza Carlo Felice and Piazza Castello squares. Buildings on the portion between Piazza Carlo Felice and Piazza San Carlo were designed by rationalist architect Marcello Piacentini. These blocks were built into a reticular system, composed by austere buildings in clear rationalist style, such as the impressive Hotel Principi di Piemonte and the former Hotel Nazionale in Piazza CLN. Porches are built in a continuous entablature and marked with double columns, to be consistent with those of Piazza San Carlo. The section of the street between Piazza San Carlo and Piazza Castello was built in eclectic style, with arcades characterised by Serliana-type arches. To this day Via Roma is the street featuring the most fashionable boutiques of the city.

Piazza San Carlo and the equestrian monument to Emmanuel Philibert

Via Roma crosses one of the main squares of the city: the pedestrianized Piazza San Carlo, built by Carlo di Castellamonte in the 17th century. In the middle of the square stands the equestrian monument to Emmanuel Philibert, also known as Caval ëd Brons in local dialect ("Bronze Horse"); the monument depicts the Duke sheathing his sword after the Battle of St. Quentin. Piazza San Carlo arcades host the most ancient cafes of the city, such as Caffé Torino and Caffé San Carlo.

Piazza Castello with Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) on the background

On the northern edge of Via Roma stands Piazza Castello, regarded as the heart of the city. The half-pedestrianized square hosts some significant buildings such as Palazzo Reale (Former Savoy Royal House), the Palazzo Madama (which previously hosted the Savoy senate and, for few years, the Italian senate after Italian unification), the former Baroque Teatro Regio di Torino (rebuilt in modern style in the 1960s, after being destroyed by fire) and the Biblioteca Reale (Royal Library) which hosts the Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait. Moreover, Piazza Castello hosts a Fascist era building, the Torre Littoria, a sort of skyscraper which was supposed to become the headquarters of the Fascist party, although it never served as such. The building's style is quite different from the Baroque style of Piazza Castello. The square regularly hosts the main open space events of the city, live concerts included.

Porta Nuova main railway station, in front of Piazza Carlo Felice square

As for the southern part of the street, Via Roma ends in Piazza Carlo Felice and in its Giardino Sambuy, a wide fenced garden right in the middle of the square. Across from Piazza Carlo Felice stands the monumental façade of Porta Nuova railway station, the central station of the city built between 1861 and 1868 by the architect Alessandro Mazzucchetti. The passengers building was recently renovated to host a shopping mall and more efficient passenger service offices. However, it is still an example of monumental architecture, with its stately foyer and some baroque sights, such as the Sala Reale (the former Royal waiting room).

Piazza Vittorio Veneto square

In Piazza Castello converge some of the main streets of the city centre. Among them one of the most significant is the arcaded Via Po, built by Amedeo di Castellamonte in 1868 and featuring some interesting buildings, such as the first and original building of the University of Turin and the historical Caffè Fiorio, which was the favourite cafe of the 19th-century politicians. Via Po ends in Piazza Vittorio Veneto (simply called Piazza Vittorio locally), the largest Baroque square in Europe and today heart of Turin nightlife. Piazza Vittorio features the most fashionable bars and not far from here, along the Po riverfront, the Murazzi quays used to host several bars and nightclubs open till the morning until a few years ago.

Baroque façade of Palazzo Carignano

Parallel to Via Roma, other two popular pedestrian streets, namely Via Lagrange and Via Carlo Alberto, cross the old town from Via Po to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Their recent pedestrianisation has improved their original commercial vocation. In particular, Via Lagrange has recently increased the presence of luxury boutiques. This street also hosts the Egyptian Museum of Turin, home to what is regarded as one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt.

Via Lagrange and Via Carlo Alberto cross two significant squares of the city, respectively. The former crosses Piazza Carignano, well known mainly for the undulating “concave - convex - concave” Baroque façade of Palazzo Carignano. This building used to host the Parlamento Subalpino (the “Royal parliament”, which also became the Italian Parliament for a few years, after the Italian unification) and today houses the Museum of the Risorgimento. The square also features the Teatro Carignano, a well-conserved Baroque theatre. Via Carlo Alberto crosses Piazza Carlo Alberto, a big square hosting the rear façade of Palazzo Carignano, in eclectic style. On the other side stands the monumental Biblioteca Nazionale (National Library).

Not far from Via Po stands the symbol of Turin, namely the Mole Antonelliana, so named after the architect who built it, Alessandro Antonelli. Construction began in 1863 as a Jewish synagogue. Nowadays it houses the National Museum of Cinema and it is believed to be the tallest museum in the world (167 metres). The building is depicted on the Italian 2-cent coin.

Dome of Turin Cathedral Duomo di Torino

Just behind Piazza Castello stands the Turin Cathedral, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, which is the major church of the city. It was built during 1491-1498 and is adjacent to an earlier bell tower (1470). Annexed to the cathedral is the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, the current resting place of the Shroud of Turin. The Chapel was added to the structure in 1668-1694, designed by Guarini. The Basilica of Corpus Domini was built to celebrate an alleged miracle which took place during the sack of the city in 1453, when a soldier was carrying off an monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament; the monstrance fell to the ground, while the host remained suspended in air. The present church, erected in 1610 to replace the original chapel which stood on the spot, is the work of Ascanio Vitozzi.

Next to the Turin Cathedral stand the Porte Palatine, an ancient Roman-medieval structure that served as one of four Roman city gates along the city walls of Turin. This gate allowed access from north to the cardus maximus, the typical second main street of a Roman town. The Palatine Towers are among the best preserved Roman remains in northern Italy. Close to this site, the 51,300 square meters Piazza della Repubblica plays host to the biggest open market in Europe, locally known as mercato di Porta Palazzo (Porta Palazzo or Porta Pila are the historical and local names of this area).

West of the Porte Palatine stands the Quadrilatero Romano (Roman Quadrilateral), the old medieval district recently renewed. The current neighbourhood is characterised by its tiny streets and its several medieval buildings and today it is popular for its aperitivo bars and its small shops run by local artisans. The hub of the Quadrilatero is Piazza Emanuele Filiberto.

South of the Quadrilatero Romano stands Via Garibaldi, another popular street of the city. It is a 1 km (0.6 mi) pedestrian street between Piazza Castello and Piazza Statuto which features some of the old shops of the city. Large Piazza Statuto is another example of Baroque square with arcades.

Another main street of downtown is Via Pietro Micca, which starts in Piazza Castello and ends in the large Piazza Solferino. The street continues in Via Cernaia up to Piazza XXV Dicembre, which features the former Porta Susa passengers building, recently relocated a little more southward. Until 2012, Porta Susa was regarded as the second railway station of the city (the major one being Porta Nuova) but after the majestic reconstruction of the train station, along with the undergrounding of the railway, it now represents the central station of Turin. The new passengers building is situated between Corso Bolzano and Corso Inghilterra and it is an example of contemporary architecture, being a 300 metre long and 19 metre high glass and steel structure. Porta Susa is currently the international central station of the city (high speed trains to Paris and Barcelona) and it is becoming the central hub of railway transportation of the city, being the station in which local trains (so-called Ferrovie Metropolitane), national trains and high-speed national and international trains converge.

Close to Via Cernaia stands the Cittadella (Citadel), located in the Andrea Guglielminetti garden. What remains of the old medieval and modern fortress of the city, it is a starting point for a tour into the old underground tunnels below the city.

San Salvario[edit]

Borgo Medievale

Southeast of the city centre stands San Salvario district, which extends from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II to Corso Bramante and is delimited by the Turin-Genoa railway on the west side and by the Po river on the east side. Home to an increasing immigrants' community, the district is an example of integration among different cultures these days and over the last few years it has featured a lively nightlife that it had never had before, as several low-cost bars and restaurants opened recently.

San Salvario is crossed by two main roads, Via Nizza and Via Madama Cristina, and just as the city centre it is characterized by the grid plan which is typical of Turin's old neighbourhoods. The hub of the district is Piazza Madama Cristina which hosts a big open market, while several commercial activities flourish around it. In Via Berthollet, for example, is located Horas Kebab, the most popular Kebab restaurant of the city.

The celebrated Parco del Valentino is situated in the east side of San Salvario and, albeit not in downtown, it represents kind of central park of Turin. Thanks to the vicinity to the city centre, the park is very popular among the local people, during the day but also at night, because of the several bars and nightclubs placed here. From the terraces of Parco del Valentino, many sights of the hills on the other side of the river can be appreciated.

In the centre of the park stands the Castello del Valentino, built in the 17th century. This castle has a horseshoe shape, with four round towers at each angle, and a wide inner court with a marble pavement. The ceilings of the false upper floors are clearly in transalpino (i.e. French) style. The façade sports the huge coat of arms of the House of Savoy.

Another significant cluster of buildings in the park is the Borgo Medievale (Medieval village), a replica of medieval mountain castles of Piedmont and Aosta Valley, built for the 1884 International Exhibition.

Among the other significant buildings, Corso Massimo d'Azeglio hosts the Torino Esposizioni complex (Turin's exhibition hall built in the 1930s) featuring a monumental entrance with a large full height porch, the circular building which hosts a night club, and the Teatro Nuovo, a theatre mostly focused on ballets exhibitions. Another significant building is the largest synagogue of the city, located in Piazzetta Primo Levi square. Its architecture stands in the main sight of the city, as characterised by four large towers – 27 meters high – topped by four onion domes.

Crocetta[edit]

Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II
The Spina Centrale is a new under-construction boulevard built over the undergrounded railway. It is already completed in Crocetta

South of Centro stands the Crocetta district, considered one of the most exclusive districts of the city, because of high rated residential buildings. Heart of the district is the partially pedestrianized area crossed by Corso Trieste, Corso Trento and Corso Duca D'Aosta, plenty of some notable residential buildings in eclectic, neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau style. The area was built between 1903 and 1937 replacing the old parade ground, which was moved in the Southern part of the city.

North of this area stands the GAM (Galleria d'Arte Moderna), one of the two Museum of Modern Arts of the Turin Metro area (the second and largest one is hosted in Castello di Rivoli, a former Savoy Royal castle in the suburbs). The Museum stands in front a huge monument situated in the centre of the roundabout between Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Corso Galileo Ferraris: the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, a King of Savoy statue situated on a 39-meters high column. Next to the Museum, another significant residential building hosts the head office of Juventus, one of the two main Turin football clubs.

West of this area the main building of Polytechnic University of Turin stands along Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi. The 1958 building is a complex of 122,000 square meters, hosts approximately 30,000 students every year and is considered one of the major Institutes of Technology of the country – mainly due to the vocation of the city for the industrialization, pushed by the automotive sector. This institute recently expanded in the western district of Cenisia with additional modern buildings.

Crocetta is crossed by large and modern avenues, such as Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, Corso Galileo Ferraris, and Corso Einaudi. These avenues feature endless rows of trees which are a symbol of Turin's typical urbanity. However, the most popular avenue is Corso De Gasperi, which, albeit smaller than other avenues of the district, hosts one of the most fashionable open markets of the city, the so-called Mercato della Crocetta, in which it is possible to find some discounted branded clothing among the more popular ones.

The Western border of Crocetta is instead an example of contemporary architecture. The huge avenue, made up of Corso Mediterraneo and Corso Castelfidardo, is part of Spina Centrale boulevard and was recently built over the old railway (now undergrounded): as a result, the avenue is very large (up to 60 meters) and modern, having been rebuilt with valuable materials, including a characteristic lighting system supported by white high poles. This avenue hosts some examples of contemporary art, such as Mario Merz's Igloo fountain or the Per Kirkeby's Opera per Torino monument in Largo Orbassano.

The East side of the district is also known as Borgo San Secondo and was so named after the church of the same name standing in Via San Secondo, a major street in the neighbourhood. This area is located near Porta Nuova railway station and is actually older than the rest of the district, featuring several apartment buildings from the late 19th century. A local open market is held in Piazza San Secondo and along Via Legnano. The market square also hosts the former washhouse and public baths of the neighbourhood, among the oldest examples of their kind in Turin (1905); unfortunately this facility lies vacant and run down today.

One of the main thoroughfares crossing Borgo San Secondo is Via Sacchi, which serves as an ideal gate to the city centre: its Serlian arcades on the west side of the street (the east side is enclosed by Porta Nuova railway station service buildings) host some significant boutiques and hotels, such as the historic Pfatisch pastry shop and the Turin Palace Hotel (currently under restoration). South of Via Sacchi, Ospedale Mauriziano is one of the ancient and major hospitals of the city. Going further southwards, it is possible to appreciate an interesting residential cluster of old public housing gravitating around Via Arquata.

Cenisia[edit]

General Motors Turinese headquarters

Bordered by Corso Castelfidardo, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Corso Trapani and Corso Peschiera, this small district in mainly significant for hosting the recent expansion of Turinese Institute of Technology Politecnico. The expansion was possible after under-grounding the railway under Corso Castelfidardo and the subsequent disposal of the old buildings dedicated to the train maintenance present in this area (so called Officine Grandi Riparazioni or OGR). The Politecnico expanded its facilities trough two huge overpass buildings over the avenue, linked to new buildings on the west side. This cluster of buildings forms an evocative square with a unique architectural style. The main building on the west side hosts a General Motors research centre, the General Motors Powertrain Europe. The Politecnico area extends than till Via Boggio with further facilities hosted in the former OGR facilities. The Institute plans to further build new facilities in the current parking area.

North of Politecnico facilities, the main building of the OGR former cluster, which consists in three 180-meters long joint parallel buildings, became recently a big open space which hosts temporary exhibitions and during the hot seasons, its external spaces became a fashionable site to have a typical Italian aperitivo.

North of OGR, a former prison complex called Le Nuove is a significant example of old prison European building. The complex has been built between 1857 and 1869 during the reign of Victor Emmanuel II. After having being disposed during the 1990s, the complex is today a museum and it is possible to visit its facilities.

An example of contemporary art is the heating plant in Corso Ferrucci, which has been covered with aluminium panels. Another building (19th century), now abandoned, is the former Westinghouse factory of train brakes situated in Via Borsellino.

The remaining part of the district is mainly formed by residential buildings with not significant architectural value. The district had its development mainly after the World War II, following the industrial development of the town (in particular, the development of Lancia automotive factories in the Borgo San Paolo district and the consequent population of the nearby areas, including Cenisia. Main avenues which are crossing the district are Corso Ferrucci and Corso Racconigi. This last one is hosting a huge daily open market, the Mercato di Corso Racconigi.

Cit Turin[edit]

Casa della Vittoria

The smaller district of the city is Cit Turin ("Little Turin" in Piedmontese dialect). This small triangle surrounded by Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Corso Francia and Corso Inghilterra hosts some high rated residential buildings and is regarded as a prestigious residential neighbourhood by local people.

Intesa-Sanpaolo private bank headquarters

The district features many buildings in Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Neo-Gothic style. Among them, one of the most impressive and well-known is the Casa Della Vittoria (architect Gottardo Gussoni). Another notable example is Casa Fenoglio. Both buildings face Corso Francia.

The district is well known for its commercial vocation mainly in its two main streets, Via Duchessa Jolanda and Via Principi d'Acaja, ideally crossing each other among the gardens Giardino Luigi Martini, locally called Piazza Benefica, which hosts a popular open market.

The district is also characterised by two massive recent buildings: the Palazzo di Giustizia, Turin's new courthouse built in the 1990s (in a 350-metre long facility), and the ongoing construction of the first real skyscraper of Turin, the Grattacielo Intesa-Sanpaolo, which will house the headquarters of one of the major Italian private banks.

San Donato[edit]

Chiesa di Nostra Signora del Suffragio e Santa Zita

San Donato district is located between Corso Francia, Corso Lecce, Corso Potenza, Via Nole, the Parco Dora and Corso Principe Oddone. It was populated since the medieval era, but becomes bigger during the 19th century, prospering around the canal Canale di San Donato, which does not exist any more, currently replaced by the central street of the district, Via San Donato. Buildings in the district are relatively recent (around 1820), except for the oldest group of small houses located in the area of Brusachœr (Palazzo Forneris building) located along Via Pacinotti near the small Piazza Paravia. The conservation of the street and of this old building influences the straightness of Via San Donato, which makes a slight curve to result in parallel with Via Pacinotti before ending in central Piazza Statuto square.

Main church of the district is the Chiesa di Nostra Signora del Suffragio e Santa Zita, which with its 83 meters height of its bell tower, is well known to be the fifth tallest structure in the city of Turin, after the Mole Antonelliana, the Intesa-Sanpaolo skyscraper, the Torre Littoria and the two pennons of the Juventus Stadium. The church is hosting the Istituto Suore Minime di Nostra Signora del Suffragio and it was promoted and designed by Francesco Faà di Bruno. The legend says, that he wanted to build the tallest bell tower of the town and put a clock on the top, to all the poor people to know the time for free. The small building near the church, is what remains of Casa Tartaglino, a small residential building which was also extended and modified by Faa di Bruno.

Villino Cibrario in Via Saccarelli is another significant building designed by Barnaba Panizza in 1842. The building was equipped with a large garden which was eliminated to host the street. The neighbourhood has a high concentration of historic buildings in Art Nouveau style designed by architect Pietro Fenoglio (among the others, the prestigious Villino Raby in Corso Francia 8). Other significant buildings are the Villa Boringhieri in Via San Donato, and other Art Nouveau and Neo-Gothic buildings are situated in Via Piffetti and Via Durandi.

Among the modern buildings of the district, the most significant one is of course the Torre BBPR Tower (which took the name from the architecture office who designed it). The building is representing the post-rationalism Italian architecture (same style of the better known Torre Velasca tower in the city of Milan). Tower is facing the central Piazza Statuto square. District is crossed by some significant avenues: on Corso Svizzera, which crosses the district from North To South, faces the Business Centre Piero Della Francesca, where the offices of Tuttosport, one of the three national sports daily newspapers has its head offices. Also on Corso Svizzera, stands one of the oldest hospitals of the city, the Ospedale Ademeo di Savoia, specialised in infectious diseases. Other major avenues are Corso Umbria and Corso Tassoni.

Another big avenue, which border the district on its East, is Corso Principe Oddone, which in the past was along the railway to Milan. Currently the railway has been under-grounded: the avenue will be enlarged and have same architecture style of southern Corso Inghilterra in downtown, becoming one of the major avenue of Turin. Northern part of the district was part of the former industrial district of Turin, recently reconverted to a park called Parco Dora. Mainly, in San Donato the portion reconverted was the one occupied by the plant of Michelin (west of Via Livorno) and FIAT ironwork plants (on the East). Differently for other portions of Parco Dora, this part has been totally reconverted to park without letting any evidence of the industrial area except for the cooling tower which stands along Corso Umbria and became a symbol of the park. Works are completed in the western area, where Corso Mortara has been closed to traffic and moved just a bit northern and covered by an artificial tunnel. It is possible to access the southern shore of the Dora river. South of the Park, an interesting architecture of different levels sis hosting a new shopping mall called Centro Commerciale Parco Dora. East of Via Livorno, works are still partially in progress, with the Dora river still to be uncovered by a big slab, on which the FIAT plants where used to stand). West of Via Livorno, the Environment Park is a research centre for renewable engines.

Aurora[edit]

Cortile del Maglio
Tiny streets of Borgo Dora

Aurora is one of the most ancient districts which developed out of the medieval city walls, north of the historical city centre. It stretches from downtown northern boundaries in Corso Regina Margherita (an extended and important thoroughfare of Turin) up to Corso Vigevano and Corso Novara in the North Side (namely the old excise boundary till the early 20th century); the western boundary is Corso Principe Oddone (now part of the Spina Centrale boulevard) and the eastern border is the Dora river.

The district was named Aurora after the so-called cascina Aurora, an old farmstead lying north of the Dora river, right at the intersection between Corso Giulio Cesare and Corso Emilia. The farmstead has long been demolished and the area has been converted to office buildings, hosting the Turinese textile company Gruppo Finanziario Tessile (GFT) headquarters until the early 21st century.

The historical hub of the district is Borgo Dora ("Dora Borough"), a small neighbourhood next to Porta Palazzo and enclosed by Corso Regina Margherita, Via Cigna, the Dora river and Corso Giulio Cesare. Once known as Borgo del Pallone (literally "Ball Borough") or Balon in Piedmontese dialect (Italian pronunciation: [baˈlun]), this neighbourhood is famous for its mercatino del Balon or simply Balon, the Turinese flea market that opens every Saturday in its tiny and twisted streets. Borgo Dora hosts several remarkable places, such as: Piccola Casa della Divina Provvidenza ("Little House of the Divine Providence"), also known as Cottolengo, a well-known charitable organization which has been operating for almost 200 years in the city; Arsenale della Pace ("Arsenal of Peace"), a former weapons factory that currently hosts the headquarters of SERMIG (Servizio Missionario Giovani), a nonprofit association which assists poor and homeless people; Caserma Cavalli ("Cavalli Barracks"), one of the most representative buildings of the district, a former barracks topped by a clock tower which now hosts Scuola Holden, a storytelling and performing arts school; the evocative Cortile del Maglio ("Mallet Courtyard"), a covered pedestrian area featuring bars and clubs. Across from Cortile del Maglio and Arsenale della Pace stands a wide pedestrian area which features a hot air balloon, a clear allusion to the neighbourhood's old name Balon: recently installed, the balloon is open to public which can now take an interesting view of the city from this new high observation point.

Caserma Cavalli, a former barracks now hosting Storytelling and Performing Arts Scuola Holden School
Disused Porta Milano railway station

Right at the borders of Borgo Dora stands part of Porta Palazzo open market which hosts the New Exhibition Hall, designed by the Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. The building has replaced the Clothes Market, one of the four covered pavilions of Porta Palazzo market, but unfortunately this glass green-shaded building has been highly criticized because of its lack of usability for commercial activities, albeit an example of contemporary architecture.

Another interesting building at the borders of the neighbourhood is Porta Milano (a.k.a. stazione della Ciriè-Lanzo), a former 19th century railway station that marked the terminus of Ciriè-Lanzo railway line until the 1980s. To this day, the station is no longer in use as well as the rails up to Piazza Baldissera. The station building was recently renovated and now hosts some old locomotives, even though it is not open to the public. Unfortunately, the old rails crossing the district are totally disused and neglected, adding decay to the whole area.

Borgo Dora, as many other pockets of Aurora, is characterized by the marked multi-ethnicity of its population, being home to a large community of immigrants from emerging countries.

Santuario di Maria Ausiliatrice

West of Borgo Dora stands Rione Valdocco ("Valdocco neighbourhood"), enclosed by Via Cigna, Corso Regina Margherita, Corso Principe Oddone and the Dora river. This neighbourhood hosts the significant architecture of Santuario di Maria Ausiliatrice ("Maria Ausiliatrice Sanctuary") in the homonymous square and behind the church stands San Pietro in Vincoli old cemetery.

Overall, the main thoroughfares of the West side of Aurora are Via Cigna, which crosses the district from North to South, Corso Vercelli, a historical avenue starting north of the Dora river, and Corso Principe Oddone, part of the long Spina Centrale boulevard that will be built over the undergrounded Turin-Milan railway. However, the Spina Centrale project is proceeding slowly because of the lack of funds and the boulevard is still occupied by a large worksite along its span. Once completed, Aurora district will be connected to Eastern San Donato, thanks to a better connection among the roads of the two adjacent districts (i.e. Corso Ciriè will continue in Corso Gamba and Strada del Fortino in Corso Rosai).

As for the rest of Aurora, the district is crossed by an important thoroughfare named Corso Giulio Cesare, a long boulevard that extends from Porta Palazzo up to Turin-Trieste motorway entrance in the Northern urban fringe of Turin. Other significant roads are Corso Palermo, Via Bologna and Corso Regio Parco, mostly in the East side of Aurora which is known as Borgo Rossini ("Rossini Borough"). Albeit not a road, the Dora river is also a significant element for the whole district, since it completely crosses it from West to East.

Lavazza, the famous Turinese coffee company, will soon move its headquarters in a new contemporary building in Aurora
Officine Grandi Motori (OGM) is a former FIAT factory producing big Diesel engines

The area north of the river features a mix of old residential buildings and remains of former factories and facilities from the 20th century. An example are the remains of FIAT Officine Grandi Motori (OGM) in Corso Vigevano, an old factory that produced big industrial and automotive Diesel engines, a sort of symbol of the industrial history of Turin. Another disused facility is Astanteria Martini ("Martini Emergency Department") in Via Cigna, a former emergency department from the 1920s which has been lying vacant since long.

As for the old residential buildings of the area, this part of Aurora hosts the oldest public housing block of the city, built by Istituto Autonomo Case Popolari (IACP) in 1908 in lieu of an old dilapidated small farm once known as Chiabotto delle Merle.

Despite its run down look, the famous Lavazza coffee company, along with IAAD School of Design, chose this part of the city as the location for their new headquarters, which will be built in a contemporary building dubbed Nuvola ("Cloud") right at the borders of Borgo Rossini. Designed by the architect Gino Zucchi, this project is still a work in progress but excavations in the area revealed the remains of a medieval cemetery and an early Christian basilica; these findings will be preserved and will be shown to the public.

Borgo Rossini hosts a number of businesses, for instance the Robe di Kappa flagship store (Kappa is a noted Italian sportswear brand founded in Turin) and the Cineporto ("Cineport") a.k.a. La Casa dei Produttori ("The Filmmakers' House", which hosts the Turin Piedmont Film Commission Foundation).

Main churches[edit]

The Santuario della Consolata, a sanctuary much frequented by pilgrims, stands on the site of the 10th-century Monastery of St. Andrew, and is a work by Guarini. It was sumptuously restored in 1903. Outside the city are: the Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians built by St. John Bosco, the Gran Madre built in 1818 on occasion of the return of King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and Santa Maria del Monte (1583) on Monte dei Cappuccini.

In the hills overlooking the city, the Basilica of Superga provides a view of Turin against a backdrop of the snow-capped Alps. The basilica holds the tombs of many of the dukes of Savoy, as well as many of the kings of Sardinia. Superga can be reached by means of the Superga Rack Railway from Sassi suburb. The Basilica of Superga was built by Amadeus II of Savoy as an ex voto for the liberation of Turin (1706), and served as a royal mausoleum since 1772.[24]

Villas, parks and gardens[edit]

The most popular park in the city is Parco del Valentino. In 1961, during the celebrations of Italia61 (Italian unification centenary), an important international exhibition (FLOR61: Flowers of the world in Turin) took place in the park with 800 exhibitors from 19 countries. For the occasion the plan for the new lighting of the park, along with its fountains and paths, was assigned to Guido Chiarelli, the head engineer at the city hall.

Other large parks are Parco della Pellerina, Parco Colletta, Parco Rignon, Parco Colonnetti and the University botanical gardens. Around the city, there are several other parks, such as La Mandria Regional Park and the Parco della Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, once hunting grounds of the Savoy, and those situated on the hill of Turin. Many parks are smaller, located in the various districts: there is also a total of 240 playgrounds in these parks. In the early 1960s, mayor Amedeo Peyron had the first garden in Italy with games for children inaugurated. According to a Legambiente report from 2007, Turin is the first Italian city as far as structures and policies on childcare are concerned.[25] One of the most famous parks featuring a children's playground is Parco della Tesoriera, which is also home to Andrea della Corte Municipal Music Library; this facility is housed in a villa built in 1715 and was once the Royal Treasurer's residence. The park is located in Parella suburb (Turin's West Side) and it plays host to various concerts in summer.

Rosa Vercellana, commonly known as Rosina and, in Piedmontese as La Bela Rosin ("the beautiful Rosin"), was the mistress and later wife of King Victor Emmanuel II. She was made Countess of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda, but never Queen of Italy. As the Savoy family refused to allow her to be buried next to her husband in the Pantheon, her children had a mausoleum built for her in a similar form and on a smaller scale in Turin, next to the road to the Castello di Mirafiori. The circular copper-domed neoclassical monument, surmounted by a Latin cross and surrounded by a large park, was designed by Angelo Dimezzi and completed in 1888.[26][27]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1901 329,691 —    
1911 415,667 +26.1%
1921 499,823 +20.2%
1931 590,753 +18.2%
1936 629,115 +6.5%
1951 719,300 +14.3%
1961 1,025,822 +42.6%
1971 1,167,968 +13.9%
1981 1,117,154 −4.4%
1991 962,507 −13.8%
2001 865,263 −10.1%
2009 910,188 +5.2%
2012 911,863 +0.2%
Source: ISTAT 2001

In 2009, the city proper had a population of about 910,000, which is a significant increase on the 2001 census figure. This result is due to a growing immigration from Southern Italy and abroad. Approximately 13.5 per cent (122.946) of the population is composed of foreigners, the largest numbers coming from Romania (51,017), Morocco (22,511), Albania (9,165), China (5,483), and Moldova (3,417).[28] Like many Northern Italian cities, there is a large proportion of pensioners in comparison to youth. Around 18 per cent of the population is under 20 years of age, while 22 per cent is over 65.[29] The population of the Turin urban area totals 1.7 million inhabitants, ranking fourth in Italy, while the Turin metropolitan area has a population of 2.2 million inhabitants. The median age is 43.7.[2]

Largest groups of foreign residents[30]
Nationality Population (2011)
 Romania 52,196
 Morocco 19,424
 Albania 5,710
 China 5,518

Economy[edit]

Main article: Economy of Turin
Fiat Lingotto in 1928

Turin is a major automotive and aerospace centre, home of Fiat group, the sixth largest automotive company in the world. In 2008 the city generated a GDP of $68 billion, ranking as the world's 78th richest city by purchasing power,[8][9] and 16th in Europe, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.[31] The city has been ranked in 2010 by Globalization and World Cities Research Network as a Gamma level city.

Other notable companies operating in Turin are Maserati, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Iveco, Pininfarina, Bertone, Sparco, Italdesign Giugiaro, General Motors, New Holland, Comau, Magneti Marelli, Graziano Oerlikon, Rai, Ghia, Fioravanti, Intesa Sanpaolo, Kappa, Lavazza, Martini & Rossi, Ferrero SpA

The city is also well known for its aerospace industry Alenia Aeronautica, Thales Alenia Space and Avio. The International Space Station modules Harmony, Columbus, Tranquility, as well as the Cupola and all MPLMs were produced in Turin. The future European launcher projects beyond Ariane 5 will also be managed from Turin by the new NGL company, a subsidiary of EADS (70%) and Finmeccanica (30%).

Culture[edit]

Tourism[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Residences of the Royal House of Savoy
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Palazzina di caccia di Stupinigi1.JPG
Stupinigi: One of the Savoy royal houses in Turin

Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iv, v
Reference 823
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1997 (21st Session)

Turin, as the former capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdom of Italy, is home of the Savoy Residences. In addition to the 17th-century Royal Palace, built for Madama Reale Christine Marie of France (the official residence of the Savoys until 1865) there are many palaces, residences and castles in the city centre and in the surrounding towns. Turin is home to Palazzo Chiablese, the Royal Armoury, the Royal Library, Palazzo Madama, Palazzo Carignano, Villa della Regina, and the Valentino Castle. The complex of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin and in the nearby cities of Rivoli, Moncalieri, Venaria Reale, Agliè, Racconigi, Stupinigi, Pollenzo and Govone was declared a World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1997. In recent years, Turin has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, ranking 203rd in the world and 10th in Italy in 2008, with about 240,000 international arrivals.[5]

The inside of the Egyptian Museum, the second largest in the world after the one in Cairo.

The Egyptian Museum of Turin specialises in archaeology and anthropology, in particular the Art of Ancient Egypt. It is home to what is regarded as one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt. In 2006 it received more than 500,000 visitors.[32] The Museum of Oriental Art houses one of the most important Asian art collections in Italy.[33][34]

Other notable museums include the Puppet Museum, the Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile, the Museum of Human Anatomy Luigi Rolando, and the Museo Nazionale della Montagna (National Museum of the Mountains).

The city is home to the Shroud of Turin: a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in the city centre. The origins of the shroud and its image are still the subject of intense debate among scientists, theologians, historians and researchers. It is popularly believed to be a depiction of Jesus Christ, however this matter is still controversial, as there seems to be a sufficient amount of historical and scientific evidence supporting the idea that it is, or is not, the Holy Face of Jesus. Nonetheless, it is a symbol of religious devotion and is one of the city's main symbols and tourist attractions.

Remaining a village for a long time, in 1559 the Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy made Turin the capital of his domains. In the Baroque period, Turin became important to a court and the Duke had the ambition to transform the city into a major artistic and cultural capital. He created a city of artists of great repute, especially architects and planners like Carlo di Castellamonte and his son Amedeo, which include the route of a Roman castrum the new capital and build beautiful buildings, Guarino Guarini and, in the 18th century, Filippo Juvarra and Benedetto Alfieri.

As for the painting and the visual arts, Turin became a point of reference, especially in the 20th century. In the 1920s, the painter Felice Casorati inspired a number of students called The group of six of Turin and these included Carlo Levi, Henry Paolucci, Gigi Chessa, Francis Menzio, Nicola Galante and Jessie Boswell. Two important artists were born in Turin: the sculptor Umberto Mastroianni and the architect Carlo Mollino. Between the 1960s and the 1970s, the international centre of Turin (Arte Povera), the presence in the city of artists like Alighiero Boetti, Mario Merz, Giuseppe Penone, Piero Gilardi and Michelangelo Pistoletto. In those years there was a strong artistic influence of designer Armando Testa, the founder of advertising agency. Currently operating in the city are established artists like Ugo Nespolo and Carol Rama.

Literature[edit]

National Library

A literary centre for many centuries, Turin began to attract writers only after the establishment of the court of the Duchy of Savoy. One of the most famous writers of the 17th century was Giambattista Marino, which in 1608 moved to the court of Charles Emmanuel I. Marino suffered an assassination attempt by a rival, Gaspare Murtola, and was later imprisoned for a year because of gossip that he had said and written against the duke. Perhaps, because of this, in 1615 Marino left Turin and moved to France.

The main literary figures during the Baroque age in Turin were Emanuele Tesauro and Alessandro Tassoni. In the next century Turino hosted the poet Vittorio Alfieri from Asti for a while. The situation was very different in the 19th century, especially since the city became a point of reference for Italian unification and, subsequently, the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. Indeed, in those years Tommaseo, Settembrini and John Meadows resided in the city. A major literary and cultural woman of that time was Olimpia Savio. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Turin was home to writers such as Guido Gozzano, Edmondo De Amicis, Emilio Salgari and Dino Segre, the latter known by the pseudonym of Pitigrilli.

Teatro Regio

Turin had a very important role in Italian literature after World War II. For the publishing house founded by Giulio Einaudi worked figures such as Cesare Pavese, Italo Calvino, Vitaliano Brancati, Primo Levi, Natalia Ginzburg, Fernanda Pivano, Beppe Fenoglio, Carlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini. In more recent years, writers active in the city are Giovanni Arpino, Nico Orengo, Giuseppe Culicchia, Margaret Oggero, Laura Mancinelli, Alessandra Montrucchio, Alessandro Perissinotto, Guido Quartz, Piero Soria and Alessandro Baricco. Baricco was also among the founders of the Scuola Holden, dedicated to writing techniques teaching.

In the local Piedmontese language has a literary tradition, with names such as Nicoletto da Torino, Ignas Isler, author of epic poems, and Eduard Calv.

Media[edit]

After Alexandria, Madrid, New Delhi, Antwerp and Montreal, Turin was chosen by UNESCO as World Book Capital for the year 2006. The International Book Fair is one of the most important fairs of its kind in Europe. Turin is home to one of Italy's principal national newspapers, La Stampa, and the sports daily newspaper Tuttosport. The city is also served by other publications such as the Turin editions of La Repubblica, il Giornale, Leggo, City, Metro and E Polis. RAI has had a production centre in Turin since 1954.

Turin Book Expo
Torino 2006 Winter Olympics

Sports[edit]

The city has a rich sporting heritage as the home to two historically significant football teams: Juventus F.C. (founded in 1897) and Torino F.C. (founded in 1906). Juventus has the larger fan base, especially in southern Italy and worldwide, while Torino enjoys a more localised support. The two clubs contest the oldest derby in Italy, the Derby della Mole or the Turin derby.[35]

Juventus is Italy's most successful football club and one of the most laureated and important in the world.[36] It ranks joint eighth in the list of the world's clubs with the most official international titles (fourth between European clubs).[37] The club was Italy's most successful of the 20th century[38] and the first in association football history—remaining the only one in the world to date (2014)—to have won all possible official continental competitions and the world title.[39][40][41] The Stadio delle Alpi was one of the host stadiums for the 1990 FIFA World Cup and it was demolished in 2006 to make way for Juventus' owned ground, the Juventus Stadium, inaugurated in 2011. The other city's club, Torino, currently uses the Stadio Olimpico, property of the Comune of Turin, one of the host stadiums for the 1934 FIFA World Cup and the venue of the XX Winter Olympics.

Torino F.C. was founded by breakaways from Juventus and was one of the most formidable teams in the Serie A during the 1940s (before and after World War II), hence the nickname Il Grande Torino ("The Great Torino"). In 1949, in the Superga air disaster, a plane carrying almost the whole Torino F.C. team (at that time the most important team in Italy and known as the Grande Torino) crashed into the Basilica of Superga in the Turin hills. Valentino Mazzola, father of Ferruccio and Sandro (who were later to become football champions), was among those who perished in the accident.

The C.U.S. Torino volleyball team won the domestic league four times and, in the 1979–80 season, the Volleyball European Champion's Cup. It was the first team from western Europe to win this competition. In the 1990s the team was dismantled as a result of financial issues. There is also the largest rugby team of the city by the same name, CUS Torino. the most important basketball team is the PMS Torino, founded in 2009, playing in Legadue. Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics from 10 February 2006, through 26 February 2006. Turin, with a population of over 865,000 and a metropolitan area of 1.7 million,[42] is the largest city to have ever hosted a Winter Olympics and was the largest metropolitan area to host them at the time.[43][44] The title of largest metropolitan area to host the Winter Olympics fell to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, (2.3 million) when that city hosted the XXI Olympic Winter Games.[45]

The City was awarded with the title of European Capital of Sport 2015.[46] The candidature[47] sees the City strongly committed to increasing sports activities and at the forefront of new technologies thanks to an agreement[48] signed with the Interfaculty School of Motor Sciences of Turin aimed to the dissemination of the project We-Sport.[49]

The FISA (International Rowing Federation) was founded in Turin in 1892.

Turin was also the home of the Valentino Park motor racing circuit.

On 20 March 2012, UEFA announced that the Juventus Stadium will host the 2014 UEFA Europa League Final. This will be the first time the city of Turin hosts the final of a UEFA club competition. The hosts ended up being eliminated in the semi-finals by Portuguese side Benfica 2–1. Spanish side Sevilla Fútbol Club beat Portuguese side Benfica. Sevilla won the match 4–2 on penalties, following a 0–0 draw after extra time.

Cinema[edit]

Turin is the Italian city where film chromatography was first established. As such, it forms the birthplace of Italian cinema. Because of its historic, geographical and cultural proximity to France, Italian filmmakers were naturally influenced by French cinema and the Lumière brothers. The first Italian cinema screening occurred in Turin in March 1896. In November 1896, Italian filmmakers performed the first cinema screening of a film before a fee-paying audience.[50]

By the start of the 20th century (especially after 1907), a number of the first Italian films were aired in Turin. Examples include Giovanni Pastrone Cabiria, in 1914, one of the first blockbusters in history.

The Turin-based company Ambrosio Film, established in 1906 by Arturo Ambrosio, was one of the leading forces in Italian cinema and boosted the importance of the city as a filmmaking destination. The company, noted in particular for its historical epics, produced a large number of films until it was dissolved in 1924.

During the 1920s and 30s, Turin hosted a number of film productions and major film studios (film houses), such as the Itala film, Aquila and Fert Studios. Today their heritage is located in the modern Lumiq Studios[51] and Virtual Reality Multi Media Spa [52][53] Turin's prominence in Italian film continued until 1937, the year Cinecittà was inaugurated in Rome.

After World War II, the cinematic scene in Turin continued to thrive. 1956 saw the opening of the National Museum of Cinema, first housed in the Palazzo Chiablese and then, from 2000, in the imposing headquarters of the Mole Antonelliana. In 1982 the film critic Gianni Rondolino created Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani,[54] which later became the Torino Film Festival.

Today Turin is one of the main cinematographic and television centres in Italy, thanks to the role of the Turin Film Commission that reports the production of many feature films, soap operas and commercials.

The iconic Gianduiotto

Cuisine[edit]

Turin chocolate firms, aside from many kinds of chocolate, produce a typical chocolate called Gianduiotto, named after Gianduja, a local Commedia dell'arte mask. Every year the town organises CioccolaTÒ, a two-week chocolate festival run with the main Piedmontese chocolate producers, such as Caffarel, Streglio, Venchi and others, as well as some big international companies, such as Lindt & Sprüngli. Since the mid-1980s, Piedmont has also benefited from the start of the Slow Food movement and Terra Madre, events that have highlighted the rich agricultural and vinicultural value of the Po valley and northern Italy.

Education[edit]

University of Turin: the campus of Einaudi.
Main page: Education in Turin

Turin is home to one of Italy's oldest universities, the University of Turin, which still ranks among the best universities in Italy. Another established university in the city is the Polytechnic University of Turin, that ranks among Top 50 universities in the world and #1 in Italy ("Academic Ranking of World Universities" published by the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in engineering, technology and computer science fields). The business school ESCP Europe, ranked among the 10 best business schools in Europe, also has a campus in Turin. In recent years some small English language education institutions have been opened (St. John International University, International University College of Turin, Buddies Elementary School, Turin School of Development).

Transport[edit]

Porta Susa railway station

The city currently has a large number of rail and road work sites. Although this activity has increased as a result of the 2006 Winter Olympics, parts of it had long been planned. Some of the work sites deal with general roadworks to improve traffic flow, such as underpasses and flyovers, but two projects are of major importance and will radically change the shape of the city.

One is the Spina Centrale ("Central Spine") project which includes the doubling of a major railway crossing the city, the Turin-Milan railway locally known as Passante Ferroviario di Torino ("Turin Railway Bypass"). The railroad previously ran in a trench, which will now be covered by a major boulevard running from North to South of Turin, in a central position along the city. Porta Susa, on this section, will become Turin's main station to substitute the terminus of Porta Nuova with a through station. Other important stations are Stura, Rebaudengo, Lingotto and Madonna di Campagna railway stations, though not all of them belong to the layout of the Spina Centrale.

Turin VAL metro station

The other major project is the construction of a subway line based on the VAL system, known as Metrotorino. This project is expected to continue for years and to cover a larger part of the city, but its first phase was finished in time for the 2006 Olympic Games, inaugurated on 4 February 2006 and opened to the public the day after. The first leg of the subway system linked the nearby town of Collegno with Porta Susa in Turin's city centre. On 4 October 2007 the line was extended to Porta Nuova and then, in March 2011, to Lingotto. A new extension of the so-called Linea 1 ("Line 1") is expected in the near future, reaching both Rivoli (up to Cascine Vica hamlet) in the Western belt of Turin and Piazza Bengasi in the Southeast side of the city. Furthermore, an alleged Linea 2 is in the pipeline and it is supposed to cross Turin from North to South.

The main street in the city centre, Via Roma, runs atop a tunnel built during the fascist era (when Via Roma itself was built). The tunnel was supposed to host the underground line but it is now used as an underground car park. A project to build an underground system was ready in the 1970s, with government funding for it and for similar projects in Milan and Rome. Whilst the other two cities went ahead with the projects, Turin's local government led by mayor Diego Novelli shelved the proposal as it believed it to be too costly and unnecessary.

The city has an international airport known as Caselle International Airport Sandro Pertini (TRN), located in Caselle Torinese, about 13 km (8 mi) from the centre of Turin and connected to the city by a railway service (from Dora Station) and a bus service (from Porta Nuova and Porta Susa railway stations).

As of 2010 also a bicycle sharing system, the ToBike, is operational.

The metropolitan area is served by Turin metropolitan railway service.

Notable natives[edit]

Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour (1810–1861), the first Prime Minister of Italy
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy (1820–1878), the first King of Italy
Gianni Agnelli (1921–2003), chairman of Fiat 1966–2003.

Notable residents[edit]

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), philosopher
Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937), writer, politician and political theorist, founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy
Umberto Eco (born 1932), medievalist, semiotician, philosopher, literary critic and novelist

International relations[edit]

Turin is twinned with:[58]

Collaboration accords include:

Districts

The 6th district (arrondissement ) of Turin is twinned with:

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External links[edit]

Media related to Turin at Wikimedia Commons