Monarchy and Renaissance are the key words in the history of Torino. The Savoy, the royal house of French origin, gave Torino the honour of being a capital three times: of a duchy, of a kingdom and the first capital of Italy, before Florence and Rome.
On 17 March 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed, with Turin as its first capital. In 1911, Italy commemorated its first 50 years with an international Industrial Exhibition in Turin and in 1961 with a fair, visited by six million people.In 2011 to celebrate the 150th anniversary as a united nation Turin hosted several big events and exhibitions.
Torino is also considered one of the main capitals of Baroque art, thanks to the two outstanding architects Guarino Guarini and Filippo Juvarra who, from the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century re-shaped the architecture of the city, leaving a patrimony recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage.
Torino boasts treasures of major historical and architectural interest that are inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites: the Royal Residences of Piedmont. These Residences narrate the epic deeds of the House of Savoy, from the grand dukes to the first kings of Italy.
The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace was the nerve centre of the capital of the Savoy State, the place where great decisions were made and treaties and statutes were signed, but also where sumptuous parties and receptions were held.
With its extraordinary park and extensive surrounding grounds, the Stupinigi royal hunting lodge was begun in 1729, to plans and with the supervision of Filippo Juvarra. This lodge has 2 Orangeries, that can be used for cocktails or dinners with a total capacity of up to 800 people.
The Royal Venaria
The Royal Venaria, built in 1659, is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is one of the hugest "containers" in Europe having a surface area of about 80,000 sqm. In the fabulous Diana's Gallery it is possible to organise gala dinners for 450 seated people.
The Mole Antonelliana is a major landmark building in Turin, Italy. It is named for the architect who built it, Alessandro Antonelli. A mole is a building of monumental proportions. Construction began in 1863, soon after Italian unification, and was completed in 1889, after the architect's death. Originally conceived of as a synagogue, it now houses the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, and is the tallest museum in the world.
Basilica di Superga
The Basilica of Superga has been built by will of Duke Vittorio Amedeo II, because of a vow he made to the "Madonna delle Grazie" in 1706, when the city of Turin was putted under siege by the French-Spanish army. The project of the Basilica is by Filippo Juvarra, architect born in Messina who worked for the Savoia House.
The baroque complex, inaugurated in 1731, is 75 meters tall, 51 meters long, and is located at 672 meters above sea level. On May 4th 1949 the Grande Torino football team's airplane crashed on the hill behind the Basilica of Superga's convent.
To remember them a commemorative tombstone has been collocated on the back of the complex, and still today it is destination for supporters and followers.
Arts and Museums
Contemporary art is also very important and found its first patrons here, in the royal family of Savoy, who in 1863 brought together the most modern works of the time, creating the first contemporary Civic Museum. Today, those works are the nucleus of the collection of 20,000 items, housed at the GAM, the Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Torino. The GAM now shares its role in contemporary art with the Castle of Rivoli, a Savoy residence designed by Filippo Juvarra and now a Museum of Contemporary Art.
A more modern form of art is showcased at the National Museum of Cinema, which is located inside the Mole Antonelliana, the symbol monument of the City. The setting was created by the Swiss architect Francois Confino, who designed an interactive trip through the world of cinema. In the middle of the Mole (tower) there is a panoramic glass lift that rises to the top of the building and from where the whole Torino can be seen.
The Automobile Museum, unique to Italy and one of the oldest in the world, will reopened in 2011, radically renovated, with a larger and completely overhauled display area designed by the architect Cino Zucchi and displays organised by the set designer Francois Confino. The new Museum tells of the car's evolution from being a means of transport to a cult object, through the epoch-making moments of society. The old courtyard with its garden was closed in order to make a new space, extremely charming and futuristic, with an overall surface area of around 1,000 sq. m., which can be hired to host various kinds of events with very large capacity audiences.
Food and Wine
Eating well in Torino is an art, a tradition of excellence that spans from wine to cheese, and from coffee to apéritifs. Alpine cheese accompanied by red wines, world-famous apéritifs, "agnolotti" and superb boiled meats are just a few of the city's typical dishes.
Gastronomic traditions in Torino have always kept abreast of the times. In 1786 Benedetto Carpano invented Vermouth, Torino's apéritif par excellence. The recipe calls for steeping the wine with thirteen different ingredients and aromatic herbs; a procedure that confers upon it an unmistakable flavour and perfume, enjoyed the world over.
Operators in the food sector, experts, and those who simply enjoy eating come from all parts of the world to Torino for the bi-annual Food Fair and the Wine Fair.
They gather amid the heady smells of salami, truffles and wine. Both events had their start in the 90s and prove the vitality of a tradition that shapes the city's culture. These appointments with the gastronomic arts have placed Torino among the world's undisputed leaders in the sector.
EATALY is a groundbreaking food and wine market in Turin, located in the Lingotto Area. This gourmand's delight features cured meats and cheeses, fruits and vegetables, fresh meats, fresh fish, handmade pasta, desserts and baked goods and coffees. Eataly, at its essence, embodies the philosophy and commitment of artisanal products available to everyone, at fair prices and in an environment where people can shop, taste and learn. enhancing the work of those who make quality food and guarantee products which are good, clean and fair, and sold at reasonable prices to consumers who want to eat better on a daily basis . Each retail area will be paired with its own dedicated restaurant, including a wood-fired pizza and pasta bar, a cheese and salami counter, a beef restaurant, a vegetable restaurant, a crudo and seafood bar.There is a separate wine shop, bakery and patisserie. Eataly is also a learning center : events year-round with food and wine courses, demonstrations and lectures from renowned chefs and food and wine producers from the best farms in the world take place in the learning area.