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Turin ( ; Piedmontese: Turin; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po Rivermarker surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 (November 2008) while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants; the Turin metropolitan area is estimated by OECD to have a population of 2.2 million.

Turin is a flourishing, industrious and cosmopolitan European city, which enjoys state-of-the-art technology and architectural developments. The city boasts a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, operahouses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries, museums and other venues. Turin is well-known for its baroque, rococo and neo-classical French-style architecture. Much of the city's public squares, castles, gardens and elegant "palazzi" (such as Palazzo Madamamarker), were built by Sicilian architect Filippo Juvarra, who modeled these buildings on the classical French architecture of Versaillesmarker. Examples of these French-themed edifices include the Royal Palace of Turinmarker, the Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigimarker and the Basilica di Supergamarker. Turin is sometimes called the "cradle of Italian liberty", due to it being the birthplace and home of notable politicians and people who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour. The city currently hosts some of Italy's best universities, colleges, academies, lycea and gymnasia, such as the Polytechnic University of Turinmarker. Prestigious and important museums, such as the Museo Egiziomarker and the Mole Antonellianamarker are also found in the city.

Turin 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. Even though much of its political significance and importance was 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 Milanmarker and Genoamarker. Turin is ranked third, after Romemarker and Milan, for economic strength. With a GDP of $58 billion, Turin is the world's 78th richest city by purchasing power, and even though the city was unable to become a "world city", unlike Milan or Rome, it was ranked by GaWC as "economically efficient", along with Jerusalemmarker, Genoa, Macaumarker, Marseillemarker, Liverpoolmarker, Strasbourgmarker, Salt Lake Citymarker, Sevillemarker and Tijuanamarker, to name a few. Turin is also home to much of the Italian automotive industry.

Turin is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turinmarker, the football teams Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C., the headquarters of automobile manufacturers Fiatmarker, Lancia and Alfa Romeo, 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 a unified Italy.

It is often referred to as "the Capital of the Alps". Turin is also known as "the Automobile Capital of Italy" or the Detroit of Italy; in Italy it is also called "[La] capitale Sabauda".


Roman times

In the first 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. Turin reached about 5,000 inhabitants at the time, all living inside the high walls.

Middle Ages

After the fall of the Roman Empire the town was conquered by the Lombards, then the Franks of Charlemagne (773). The Contea di Torino (or countship) was founded in the 940s, which was held by the Arudinic dynasty until 1050. After the marriage of Adelaide of Susa with Humbert Biancamano's son Otto family of the Counts of Savoy gained control. While the dignity 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 thirteenth 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 fifteenth century when the city was redesigned. The University of Turin was also founded during this period.

16th-18th century

Emmanuel Philibert (Iron Head) made Turin the capital of the Duchy of Savoy in 1563. Piazza Reale, today named Piazza San Carlo and Via Nuova, today called Via Roma were added with the first enlargement of the walls, in the first half of the 17th century; in the same period the Royal palace (Palazzo Reale) was 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 diagonally, through the regular street grid, Piazza Castello with the bridge on the Po.

In 1706, during the Battle of Turin, the French besieged the city for 117 days without conquering it. After the subsequent Treaty of Utrecht, the Kingdom of Sardinia was annexed to the Duchy of Savoy 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.

19th century

In the nineteenth century, after brief occupation by Napoleon, the city began to actively pursue the unification of Italy. In 1871, the Fréjus Tunnelmarker 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 Egyptian Museummarker, the Mole Antonellianamarker, the Gran Madre di Dio Church and Piazza Vittorio Veneto were built in this period.In 1861, Turin became the capital of the newly proclaimed United Italy. In 1865 the capital was moved to Florencemarker. (Since 8 July 1871, the capital has been Rome.) Turin reacted to the loss of importance by beginning a rapid industrialisation: in 1899 Fiat was founded and Lancia in 1906. The Universal Exposition held in Turin in 1902 is often considered the pinnacle of Art Nouveau design, and the city hosted the Exposition again in 1911. By this time, Turin had grown to 430,000 inhabitants.

20th century

After World War I, conflicts between workers and industrialists began. The first strikes took place and in 1920 the Lingottomarker factory was occupied. Turin became a major industrial center during the first part of the 20th century thanks mainly to the automotive industry, insomuch that the city gained the nickname of Automobile Capital.

Turin was a target of Allied strategic bombing during World War II and was heavily damaged by the air raids. The city was a target because of its industrial production, including FIATmarker, which produced aircraft, tanks and automobiles for the Axis war effort. The Allied campaign in Italy had the Allies landing in southern Italy and pushing northward through Italian and German resistance. Turin was not captured by the Allies until the Spring Offensive of 1945, and, after a general insurrection, was liberated by Italian Partisans on April 25, 1945, only days before the German forces in Italy surrendered in May 1945.

After World War II, Turin was rapidly rebuilt and its industrial base saw a huge development throughout the 1950s and 1960s, which attracted hundred of thousands of immigrants from the southern regions of Italy. The population reached 1 million in 1960 and peaked at almost 1.2 million in 1971. In the 1970s and 1980s, the automotive industry crisis severely hit the city and its population began to sharply decline loosing more than 1/4 of its total in 30 years. The long standing population decline of the city has begun to reverse itself in recent years, as the population grew from 865,000 in 2001 to 910,000 in 2009.

Geography and climate

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's the natural prosecution of the hills of Monferrato.Four major rivers pass through the city: the Po and two of its tributaries, the Dora Ripariamarker (later changed to "Duria Minor" by the Romans, from the Celtic duria meaning "water"), the Stura di Lanzo, and the Sangone.

Turin has a rigid Continental climate, unlike most of central and southern Italy which is famous for its comfortable Mediterranean climate. Winters are 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 usual but more strong (thunderstorms are usual). During the winter and autumn months banks of fog, which are sometimes very thick, form in the plains.


Turin City Hall

The mayor of Turin is directly elected every four years. Sergio Chiamparino, the current mayor, belongs to the center-left coalition.Turin is divided into 10 boroughs; these do not necessarily correspond to historical districts in the city. The following list numerates the present day boroughs :(named Circoscrizioni) and the today 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 Auroramarker - Vanchiglia - Sassimarker - Madonna del Pilone
  • Circoscrizione 8 San Salvario - Cavoretto - Borgo Po
  • Circoscrizione 9 Nizza Millefonti - Lingottomarker - Filadelfia
  • Circoscrizione 10 Mirafiori Sud

Main sights

For a complete list of Turin's landmarks, see: Buildings and structures in Turin
The symbol of Turin is the Mole Antonellianamarker, which is 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 meters or 548 feet).

The Palatine Towers is an ancient Roman-medieval structure that served as one of four Roman city gates, which 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.

Turin Cathedralmarker, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist (Italian San Giovanni Battista), is the major church of the city. It was built during 1491-1498 and it is adjacent to an earlier campanile (1470). The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, the current resting place of the Shroud of Turinmarker, was added to the structure in 1668-1694.

The Egyptian Museum of Turinmarker 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.

The Museum of Oriental Art houses one of the most important Asian art collections in Italy.

Turin, as the former capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia, is home of the Savoy Residences. In addition to the 17th-century Royal Palacemarker, 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 Madamamarker, Palazzo Carignano, Villa della Regina, and the Valentino Castlemarker.The complex of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin and in the nearby cities of Rivolimarker, Moncalierimarker, Venaria Realemarker, Aglièmarker, Racconigimarker, Stupinigimarker, Pollenzomarker and Govonemarker was declared a World Heritage Sites by UNESCOmarker in 1997. Turin's gardens include the Orto Botanico dell'Università di Torino, a historic botanical garden.

In the hills overlooking the city is the basilica church of Supergamarker, providing 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 Railwaymarker from the suburb of Sassi.


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 form Southern Italy and abroad. Approximately a 5.77 percent of the population is composed of foreigners, the largest numbers coming from Romaniamarker (44,158), Moroccomarker (22,511), Albaniamarker (9,165), Perumarker (7,044), China (5,483), and Moldovamarker (3,417). Like many Northern Italian cities, there is a large proportion of pensioners in comparison to youth. Around 18 percent of the population is under 20 years of age while, 22 percent is over 65. 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.


Turin is a major industrial center, where the headquarters of the car company FIATmarker are located. The city has a GDP of $58 billion and is the world's 78th richest city by purchasing power. Even though the city was unable to become a "world city", it was ranked by GaWC as "economically efficient". Turin is home to the Lingottomarker building, which was at one time the largest car factory in the world, and now houses a convention centre, a concert hall, a multiplex, an art gallery, a shopping centre and a Le Méridien hotel. Other companies founded in Turin are Lancia, Pininfarina, Bertone, Sparco, Italdesign, Ghia, Fioravanti, Stola, Intesa Sanpaolo, Superga, Invicta (1821), Lavazza, Martini & Rossi, Kappa and the chocolate factory Caffarel.

The city is also well known for its aerospace industry (Alenia). 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%).

Turin is also the birthplace of some of the country's main companies, such as Telecom Italia (telecommunications), Raimarker (television), and cinema. Most of these industries have since moved their headquarters to other parts of Italy, but Turin still retains the National Museum of Cinema (in the Mole Antonellianamarker building).



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 Turinmarker, that ranks among Top 50 universities in the world and # 1 in Italy ( "Academic Ranking of World Universities" published by Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong Universitymarker, in engineering, technology and computer science fields). The business school ESCP Europemarker, ranked among the 10 best business schools in Europe, also has a campus in Turin. In recent years, two small English language higher education institutions have been opened (St. John International University, International University College of Turin).

Publishing, journalism and media

After Alexandriamarker, Madridmarker, New Delhimarker, Antwerpmarker and Montrealmarker, Turin was chosen by UNESCOmarker 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.RAImarker has had a production centre in Turin since 1954.


The city is famous for two football teams: Juventus F.C. (founded in 1897) and Torino F.C. (founded in 1906). These squads play in the oldest derby in Italy: the Derby della Mole or Derby of Torino.Juventus is Italy's most successful team, and one of the most prestigious and successful in the world. It ranks joint sixth in the list of the world's clubs with the most official international titles (third between European clubs), was the first team in football history – and the only one in the world to date (2009) – to have won all official international championships and cups for clubs recognized by one of the six continental confederations (UEFA in this case) and by FIFAmarker.

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

In 1949, in the Superga air disastermarker, 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 Supergamarker in the Turin hills. Valentino Mazzola, father of Ferruccio and Sandro Mazzola (who were later to become football champions), was among those who perished in the crash.

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.

Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics from February 10, 2006, through February 26, 2006. Turin, with a metropolitan area of 1.7 million, was the largest city to have ever hosted a Winter Olympics.
The title will fall to Vancouvermarker, British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker, (2.5 million) when that city hosts the XXI Olympic Winter Games.


Turin chocolate firms produce a typical chocolate, called Gianduiotto, named after Gianduja, a local Commedia dell'arte mask; plus many other kinds of chocolate. Every year the town organizes 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.


Turin tramcar

The town 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 change the shape of the town radically.

One is the Spina ("spine") which includes the doubling of a major railroad crossing the town. The railroad previously ran in a trench, which will now be covered by a major boulevard. The Porta Susamarker on this section will become Turin's main 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 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 Collegnomarker with Porta Susa railway stationmarker in Turin's town centre; on 4 October 2007 the line was extended to Porta Nuova railway stationmarker. This underground transportation project has historical importance for Turin, as the town has dreamed of an underground line for decades, the first project dating as far back as the twenties. In fact, the main street in the town centre (Via Roma) runs atop a tunnel built during the fascist era (when Via Roma was built). The tunnel was supposed to host the underground line but is now used as an underground car park. A project to build an underground system was ready in the seventies, with government funding for it and for similar projects in Milanmarker and Rome; whilst the other two cities went ahead with the projects, Turin local government led by mayor Diego Novelli shelved the proposal as it believed it to be too costly and unnecessary, but that only meant more funding for Rome and Milan.

The city has an international airport known as Caselle International Airportmarker Sandro Pertini (TRN), located north of the city about 13 kilometres from downtown and connected to the city by a railway service (from Dora Station) and a bus service (from Porta Nuova and Porta Susa railway stations).

Notable natives

Notable residents

Twin towns and sister cities

Turin is twinned with:

Collaboration accords with:


File:Basilica di Superga.jpg|Basilica of SupergamarkerFile:Turin piazza san carlo 2009.JPG|Piazza San CarloFile:Turin piazza costello.JPG|Piazza CostelloFile:ScalonePalazzoMadamaTorino.JPG|Palazzo MadamamarkerFile:Museo Egizio di Torino-631 o.jpg|Egyptian MuseummarkerFile:Turin aerial 2009.JPG|Turin viewed from the MoleFile:molle.jpg|Mole AntonellianamarkerFile:PalazzoRealeNotteTorino.jpg|Royal Palace of TurinmarkerFile:Mg-k Torino Cappuccini.jpg|Monte dei CappucciniFile:Museo del Risorgimento italiano.JPG|Museo del Risorgimento italiano



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  13. Only Milan (with 18 titles), Boca Juniors (18) and other three clubs: Independiente, Real Madrid (both with 15) and Al-Ahly (14) have won more official international titles.
  14. The 2002 Salt Lake City games also claims this title because at the time of the Olympics its Combined Statistical Area population was 1,516,227 and some events were held in the Provo metropolitan area of 400,209 ( tables from the Census). . Accessed 2009-03-06. Archived 2009-05-16.
  15. http://www.eresie.it/id337.htm eresie.it Retrieved on 2007-10-06
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