, the first capital city of united Italy in 1861, is an ancient place. Established by the Romans with a distinctive rectangular grid which mesmerizes visitors to this day, each moment in history has left its mark on the city, generating a legacy of culture, architecture and monuments. In 2012 the New York Times
devoted to Torino one of its “36 hours in…” pieces.
The Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games
showcased a cosmopolitan city, still attached to its industrial tradition – the now global FCA car manufacture was founded here – while transforming into an Italian hub of technological and cultural innovation with a high quality of life. The UN System has its Staff College here (UNSSC
), together with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI
) and the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO
). UNESCO has recently approved the creation of a centre for research on world cultural heritage to be based in the baroque Venaria Reale
palace, one of several world heritage sites
in the area.
World-renowned Juventus football club – one of Torino’s glories – has its brand-new Stadium
in town, alongside the world’s second-largest Egyptian antiques museum after Cairo (Museo Egizio
), the Automobile Museum
, the Cinema Museum
(few know that in the early days cinema was being developed here), and the Mountain Museum (Museo Nazionale della Montagna
), aptly located on Torino’s hills overlooking the Alps. Torino’s region – Piedmont (Piemonte) – means “at the feet of the mountains” and Europe’s most charming peaks are within a couple of hours drive.
Sampling the local cuisine is a cultural must in Torino. Its informal trattoria, refinded top-end restaurants and exotic ethnic eateries make the city one of the undisputed world capitals of taste, including for its illustrious wine scene, whether one is looking for whites (Gavi, Arneis, Moscato), superb reds (Dolcetto, Grignolino, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco and Barolo), or even sparkling wines, which, through Martini & Rossi, gave rise to the tradition of Asti Spumante.
Seemingly closer to the Northern European no-nonsense, hard-working style than it is to Italy’s Mediterranean allure, Torino transforms at sunset: by aperitif time the streets are lit up and buzzing with people enjoying live jazz, exclusive dj sets, the local philharmonic orchestra performances, theatre and opera, but also shows, cabaret, literary cafes, street festivals and crazy notti bianche, all night non-stop events that animate the city streets until dawn.