Turin Italy – 20 Interesting Facts & History

Turin Italy – 20 Interesting Facts & History

Visiting Turin, Italy

Turin, Italy (AKA Torino) is both a business and cultural center of Italy.  It became well known in 2006 when Torino hosted the Winter Olympics.

The city has excellent restaurants, beautiful churches and palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks gardens art galleries and theaters.

Knowing a few facts will make your visit more meaningful.

Here are 20 interesting facts & history about Turin

Torino Italy Facts & History

Turin Italy Facts & History – Photo by Zeta

# 1. Fact – Turin sits in the northwest corner of Italy on the river Po in the Piemonte region of Italy with the Alps to the west and north. At this point the river Po flows north

# 2. Turin, Italy was the largest city to host the winter Olympic Games (2006) with around 900,000 residents. The city and surrounding area has a population of around 1.5 million inhabitants

# 3. Like most of Italy the area around Turin has been inhabited since ancient times. The first settlers were the Taurini, an ancient Celt-Ligurian people. The city subsequently became a Roman camp, a medieval trading post, the seat of the House of Savoy and the first capital of a unified Italy

# 4. In 218 BC Hannibal and his elephants marched over the Alps near Sestriere and destroyed the area that is now Turin

# 5. The industrial importance of the city caused Turin to suffer heavy damage in World War II.  Italy’s WWII fascist leader Benito Mussolini subsidized the auto industry so they could provide vehicles to the Italian military.  This made Turin the target of allied bombing raids. Because of its importance to the auto industry and the Italian economy Turin made a rapid recovery after WWII.

# 6. Fact – Turin is one of the few Italian cities that has a limited number of structures and sites from ancient Rome, the middle ages or the Renaissance

# 7. In 1861 Turin was made the first capital of a unified Italy, in 1865 the capital was moved to Florence and then finally in 1870 to Roma, which has remained the capital

# 8. Turin is the fourth largest city in Italy behind Rome, Milan and Naples

# 9. Turin is a`city of Baroque architecture with streets filled with piazze (163), porticoes (18km/11 mi) and cafès

 

Turin Cathedral Italy Night

Turin Cathedral – Photo by Luke M N

# 10. Known as the Detroit of Italy, Turiin is the headquarters and main production center for Fiat

# 11. Fact – Turin is Italy’s center of industry where everything from cars to vermouth and chocolate are manufactured

# 12. The slow food movement was started in Bra, Italy near Turin. The slow food movement advocates the use of local ingredients and celebrates the art of enjoying a long leisurely meal.

# 13. Turin has a celebrated cafè society which lies at the center of the cities social, political and artistic life.Turin is an important center of contemporary Art and design

# 14. The first cinema blockbuster, Cabiria was made in 1914 in Turin.  It was one of the first long movies (two hours) and was exported worldwide

# 15. The soccer/football team, Juventus, located in Turin is the most successful team in Italian history having won 28 (Serie A) national titles

# 16. Fact – Torino, Turin in Italian, means little bull in Italian

# 17. The Piemonte region of Italy is home to the white truffle, one of the rarest foods in the world

# 18. Turin, Italy is the birthplace of solid chocolate, chocolate was produced here before it was produced in Switzerland

# 19.  Vermouth originated in Turin and is at least partially responsible for active “aperitivo” culture of the city

# 20.  Fact – Grom, the famous gelato chain began its sweet journey in Turin

Turin Tourist Information Office & Map

A Tourist Information Office is located at Via Roma 226 under the colonnade at the south-west corner of Piazza San Carlo. It is normally open daily from 9 am to 7:30 pm.

There is a smaller office at Stazione Porta Nuova normally open from 9 am to 7:00 pm and closed on Sunday.

Another YouTube Video Slideshow

Summary

Turin is not a city that is generally high on tourists lists of cities to visit in Italy.  The top spots are Florence, Rome and Venice followed by the smaller towns of Tuscany and Umbria.  But Turin has a lot to offer, not the least of which is that it is not that far from Milan.  For travelers flying into Milan who don’t want to stay in Milan, they can head to Turin to start their exploration of Italy.  Turin is rich in both chocolate and wine, not a bad way to start a trip.

Click Here for more things to do in Turin.

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