What do you know about Turin, a charming city in northern Italy? I have traveled to Italy several times, but sadly never made it to Turin or Torino until now. Prior to my visit, I didn’t know much about it, except that the 2006 winter Olympics were held here. Here are some facts about Turin that I feel you should know too!
- Though most people are familiar with Rome, Turin was Italy’s first capital city in 1861.
- Turin was home to the House of Savoy, Italy’s royal family. There are many palaces, residences and castles in the city and in surrounding towns.
- French influences can be seen in the city’s architecture and culture. Up until the unification of the Italian kingdom in 1861, Piedmont included areas that are currently in France which explains this. The atmosphere, culture and even the local dialect is very similar to French.
- 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.
- Some of Italy’s best universities and colleges are in Turin, such as the six-century-old University of Turin and the Turin Polytechnic.
- 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. Even then, it doesn’t feel touristy at all here.
- Turin is ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome, for economic strength. With a GDP of $58 billion, Turin is the world’s 78th richest city in terms of purchasing power. Food is actually quite cheap.
- Turin is also home to the Italian automotive industry, having headquarters of FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo.
- The shroud of Jesus of Nazareth is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. The Pope decided when it is allowed to be displayed to the public.
- Turin is home of 2006 winter Olympic games. Events that made their Olympic debut in Turin included mass start biathlon, team sprint cross country skiing, snowboard cross and team pursuit speed skating.
To learn more about Turin, visit my friends at Turin Epicurean Capital.