City of Turin
Turin and the Piedmont region
The architect Le Corbusier described Turin as "the city with the most beautiful natural location in the world." Regally elegant and often called "the Paris of Italy," this ancient Roman city now has close to one million inhabitants. It is nestled between the Alps and the Mediterranean in the magnificent Piedmont region of Northern Italy. The city is approximately one hour by car from Milan, the Ligurian coast, France, and Switzerland, and it has excellent train and airplane connections to the rest of Italy and Europe.
Once the seat of the Savoy dynasty, under which Italy unified in mid-19th century, Turin was the first capital of modern Italy and the focal point of many important intellectual, literary, social, and political movements. It is also Italy's traditional center of technological invention and manufacture, as well as the birthplace of the Italian cinema.
During the Mussolini period, Turin was a stronghold of anti-fascist resistance, and it is still renowned for its left-wing intelligentsia and its book publishing. It is also an important European center of advanced medical research and industry, from aerospace to cars (FIAT/FCA), coffee (Lavazza, Caffè Vergnano), chocolate (Caffarel and Gobbino), and sport (Juventus).
Turin is home of some of the best schools and universities in Italy and the world. The University of Turin was founded in the 15th century and the Turin Polytechnic, Italy's oldest technical university, in 1859; also, several UN and EC training centers are located in Turin.
More recently, Turin has been closely linked to the Slow Food Movement, founded in the mid-1980s in the famous wine-growing Langhe district in southern Piedmont.
The city is ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome, for its economic power, and in 2006 it became the largest city ever to host the Winter Olympic Games.
The historic center of Turin and its residential neighborhoods are among the most elegant in the world, full of museums, small artisanal shops, stores by the best Italian and European design and fashion houses, historic and modern cafés, and excellent restaurants and bookstores, as well as palaces and churches that are some of Europe's most exquisite examples of Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Art Nouveau architecture.
Most importantly, the city is quite safe and much less expensive to visit than most Italian cities, and full of university students from Italy and the entire world.
Among the many places of interest are an entire complex of Royal Palaces; the Egyptian Museum, which houses the most important collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo; the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, home of the Shroud of Turin; the Museum of the Risorgimento with the First Italian Parliament; and the Mole Antonelliana, symbol of Turin that is today the impressive National Museum of Cinema.