Torino italian named Turin, 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 Torino city is 908,000 in 2004 , but with its metropolitan area totals about 1.7 million inhabitants.
Torino is one of the largest in Italy, with 6,830 square kilometres (2,637 sq. mi), and one of the most populous, with 2,236,941 inhabitants at the 2004 census. Turin is also well-known as the home of the shroud of Turin and host of the 2006 Winter Olympics.
The name of Turin comes from Tau, a Celtic word that means mountains. Its Italian name, Torino, translates as "little bull"; 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 centur
y B.C. (probably 28 B.C.), 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.
After the fall of the Roman empire the city was conquered by the Lombards, then the Franks; it was then ruled by the Bishops. At the end of the 13th 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 15th century when the city was redesigned. The University was also founded during this period.
Emanuele Filiberto (Iron Head) made Turin the capital of the Duchy of Savoy in 1563. Piazza San Carlo, via Po and the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale) were built in this period.
In 1706 the French besieged the city for 117 days without conquering it (Battle of Turin). 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.
In the 19th century, after brief occupation by Napoleon, the city began to actively pursue the unification of Italy. In 1871, the Frejus Tunnel was opened, making Turin an important communication node. The city now had 250,000 inhabitants. The Museo Egizio, the Mole Antonelliana, the Gran Madre church and Vittorio Veneto square were built in this period.
In 1861, Turin became the capital of the newly proclaimed United Italy. In 1865 the capital was moved to Florence. (Since 1870 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.
After World War I conflicts between workers and industrialists began. The first strikes took place and in 1920 the Lingotto factory was occupied.
After World War II Torino was rapidly rebuilt and its industries greatly developed, which caused waves of immigration, largely from the southern regions of Italy. The population reached 1 million in 1960 and peaked at 1.5 million in 1975. In the 1980s the first industrial crisis hit the city and its population began to decline (and continues to, while the metropolitan area grows). The 2005 population is 908,000.
Today Torino is a major industrial centre, known particularly as home to the headquarters and main production lines of the car company Fiat.
Torino 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. Other companies founded in Torino are Invicta, founded 1821, Lavazza, Martini, Kappa and the chocolate factory Caffarel.
Torino is also a center for aerospace industry, with Alenia. Some major elements of the International Space Station, such as the Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, 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%).
Torino is also the birthplace of major aspects of the Italian economy, such as telecommunications Telecom Italia, television (Rai, National TV channel) and cinema. Most of these industries have moved to other parts of Italy, but Turin still hosts the National Museum of Cinema.
Torino 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.
Places to Visit :
One of Torino's main symbols is the Mole Antonelliana, which hosts the National Cinema Museum of Italy. The Cathedral of St 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.
Torino 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, Aglie, Racconigi, and Govone can be visited.
University of Turin (Universita degli Studi di Torino)
Politecnico di Torino (Turin)
Istituto Europeo di Design (Turin)
Torino is famous for two very successful football teams, Torino F.C. and Juventus F.C., and was the host of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Torino has also hosted two summer Universiade: the first in 1959 and the second in 1970. In 2006 it will also host the chess olympics and the fencing World Championships. In 2007, Turin will host its first Winter Universiade. In a terrible air accident in 1949, a plane carrying the whole Torino F.C. team (at that time the most important in Europe and aka Grande Torino) hit the church of Superga, on the Turin hills.
Famous People :
Giovanni Agnelli (1866-1945) - Founder of FIAT
Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856) - Physicist
Alessandro Baricco (1958-1982) - writer
Giuseppe Marc'Antonio Baretti (1719-1789) - Critic
Camillo Benso, count of Cavour - Politician (Italian unification)
Norberto Bobbio (1909-2004) - Historian and philosopher
Carla Bruni (1968) - Supermodel
Pierre Paul Caffarel (1795-1850) - Founder of the first chocolate factory in the world
Antonio Benedetto Carpano (1764-1815) - Inventor of vermouth and aperitif
Robert Fano (1917-2004) - Engineer
Galileo Ferraris (1847-1897) - Physicist and electrical engineer
Sonia Gandhi (1946) - Politician
Piero Gobetti (1901-1926) - Intellectual
Joseph Louis Lagrange (1736-1813) - Mathematician
Vincenzo Lancia (1881-1937) - Sportsman and businessman, founder of Lancia
Luigi Lavazza (1859-1949) - Inventor and businessman of coffee
Carlo Levi (1902-1975) - Painter
Primo Levi (1919-1987) - Philosopher and writer
Salvador Edward Luria (1912-1991) - Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine
Alessandro Martini (1812-1905) Businessman in vermouth industry
Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) Architect and Designer
Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909) Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine
Adriano Olivetti (1901-1960) Businessman
Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932) Mathematician
Aurelio Peccei (1908-1984) Founder of the Club of Rome
Tullio Regge (1931) Physicist
Piero Sraffa (1898-1983) Influential economist
Massimo Taparelli, marquis d'Azeglio (1798-1866) - Statesman, novelist and painter
Umberto Tozzi (1952) - Singer
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy (1820-1878) - King of Piedmont and the first King of the united Italy This article is licensed under the [GNU Free Documentation License]. It uses material from Wikipedia
Torino Image : webshots.com