130 km² (50 mi²)
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|Time zone||CET: UTC+1|
|External link: Città di Torino|
Turin (Italian Torino) is a major industrial city in north-western Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the west bank of the Po River. The population of Turin city is 865,263 (2001 census), but its metropolitan area totals about 1.5 million inhabitants. Turin will host the 2006 Winter Olympics. The province is one of the largest in Italy, with 6,830 sq. km, and one of the most populated, with 2,165,619 inhabitants at the 2001 census.
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The name of Turin comes from Tau, a celtic word that means mountains. The Italian name, Torino, happens to mean "little bull" in Italian, hence the coat of arms and the symbol of the city. The area was settled by the Taurini in pre-Roman times. In the first century A.D., the Romans created a military camp (Castra Taurinorum), later dedicated to Augustus (Augusta Taurinorum). The typical Roman street plan with streets at right angles can still be seen in the modern city. The capital of the Duchy of Savoy since 16th century, the Kingdom of Sardinia and then in 1861 Turin became the capital of the newly proclaimed United Italy. In 1865 the capital was moved to Florence. Since 1871 the capital has been Rome.
Law and government
Mr. Chiamparino is currently the mayor of Turin, which is elected directly by citizens every 4 years. He belongs to the center-left coalition.
Turin has three major rivers, the Po, with its tributaries Dora Riparia (from the celtic "duria" meaning water, later changed to "Duria Minor" by the Romans) and Stura di Lanzo.
Nowadays the city is a major industrial centre, known particularly as home to the headquarters and main production lines of the car company Fiat. The city is home to the famous Lingotto building, which was at one time the largest car factory in the world, and is now a convention centre, concert hall, art gallery, shopping centre and hotel.
Turin is also the birthplace of major aspects of Italian economy, like telecommunications Telecom Italia, television (Rai, National TV channel) and cinema. Most of this industries have moved to other parts of Italy, but Turin still hosts the National Museum of Cinema.
As of 2001, Turin is the fourth largest city in population in Italy, with a population of 857,433. There is a large proportion of people with southern-Italian background as a consequence of the mass immigration of the second half of the twentieth century, and a significant presence of immigrants from Africa and the Asia.
Sites of interest
One of its main symbols is the Mole Antonelliana, which hosts the National Cinema Museum of Italy. The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist houses the Shroud of Turin, an old linen cloth with an imprint of a man, which is believed by many to be the cloth that covered Jesus in his grave. The Museo Egizio has the most important collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world after the Cairo Museum.
Turin offers a circuit of great historical and architectural interest: the Savoy Residences. In addition to the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Savoys until 1865, the circuit includes palaces, residences and castles in the city centre and in the surrounding towns. Torino is home to Palazzo Chiablese, the Royal Armoury, the Royal Library, Palazzo Madama, Palazzo Carignano, Villa della Regina, and the Valentino Castle. In the area around the city, the castles of Rivoli, Moncalieri, Venaria, Agliè, Racconigi, and Govone can be visited. The Hunting Lodge by Juvarra can be admired in Stupinigi and there is also the royal estate in Pollenzo. Some of these (first and foremost Rivoli, the location of the Museum of the same name) host events, exhibitions and cultural initiatives not only of local interest. In 1997, this complex of historical buildings was recognised as a world heritage site by Unesco.
In the hills above the city is the basilica church of Superga, from where there is a splendid panorama of Turin against a backdrop of the snow-capped Alps. Superga can be reached by means of the Superga Rack Railway from the suburb of Sassi.
- University of Turin (Università degli Studi di Torino) / http://www.unito.it/
- Politecnico di Torino (Turin) / http://www.polito.it/
Turin World Book Capital
After Alexandria, Madrid, New Delhi, Antwerp and Montreal, Turin has been nominated by UNESCO as World Book Capital for the year 2006 because of its activity of book and reading promotion, especially with the International Book Fair, one of the most important fairs in Europe of its kind.
From April 2006 to April 2007 Turin will host a festival called "Signs of Writing" composed of events, meetings, seminars, debates, letters, and performances.
The city is famous for its soccer teams (Juventus and Torino Calcio), and will host the 2006 Winter Olympics. One year later, in 2007 it will host the Winter Universiade. In a terrible air accident in 1949, a plane carrying the whole Torino football team (at that time one of the most important in Italy) hit the church of Superga, on the Turin hills. Among those who lost their lives was Valentino Mazzola, father of Ferruccio and Sandro Mazzola (who were also later to be football champions).
Turin is surrounded by several smaller cities in the Province of Turin such as Grugliasco, Rivoli, Orbassano, Moncalieri, Avigliana, Buttigliera Alta, Gassino Torinese, Nichelino and others, that to make up one of Italy's primary metropolitan areas.
- Giovanni Agnelli
- Amedeo Avogadro
- Camillo Benso, count of Cavour
- Norberto Bobbio
- Galileo Ferraris
- Sonia Gandhi
- Piero Gobetti
- Joseph Louis Lagrange
- Primo Levi
- Aurelio Peccei
- Umberto Tozzi