Some Info on Turin, Piedmont’s Capital.

Turin has a long and extensive history, dating back to the Roman Empire. I could probably write multiple books on Turin’s history; however, I will try and be brief and only highlight some of the main events that formed the Turin I know and love.

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You can still see the ancient Roman ruins that have left a skeleton upon which Turin was built; Via Garibaldi was constructed by the Romans and remains one of Turin’s main streets, as well as one of the longest pedestrian-only walkways in Europe, if you love shopping Via Garibaldi will be your go-to destination while in Turin.  There are also the ruins of the ancient city walls that still stand, and a park has been constructed there. I often spend summer days in that park with my puppy dog! Augusta Taurinorum was the Emperor who lead the Romans north into the Piedmont region; it is from Taurinorum that the name Turin is derived.

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During the Middle Ages, the University of Turin was founded. This still boggles my mind, and one university has a recorded history longer than my own country’s!

Later, Turin became the capital of the Duchy of Savoy (a state which was part of modern-day Italy). By 1800, the Piedmont region was taken over by France. This explains not only some of the architectural details but also the dialect and accent that is heavily influenced by the French, the accent is very nasally and reminds me quite a bit of French. When Napoleon fell, Turin returned as the capital of an ever-changing state. Only in 1861 did Italy final become united under King Vittorio Emanuele II of Sardinia, the capital of Italy soon changed to Florence and then finally Rome. The government buildings and palace from the Kingdom of Italy remain iconic well-preserved symbols of the city.

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In the 1900 Mussolini left his fascist mark on Turin, creating one of the tallest buildings that dominate the skyline nicknamed “Mussolini's finger”. By WWII like most European cities, parts of Turin were destroyed, luckily it was rapidly rebuilt, and the economy boomed as industry such as the Fiat factory took over the town and employed people from all over Italy, significantly increasing the population and size of Turin.

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In 2006 Turin hosted the Winter Olympics. Thanks to the games, the city gained its metro. I am thoroughly impressed by the subway, it is clean and very punctual running almost every 10 minutes throughout operating hours, this is a lovely surprise in Italy! The city nowadays has a young population of students and workers who come from all over Italy and the world. There is always so much to do and see, and Turin is truly worth a visit!

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BY ABIGAIL GREEN

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