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Basic information

  • Area: 130.17 km² (50.3 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +3911
  • Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)
  • Population (EST): 910,188
  • Official language: Italian
  • Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)

Cuneo/Turin – Overview

The City of Turin is to be found at around 50 kilometres east of the French border in the north-west of Italy and a short distance from the Alps mountain range. Turin is the capitol of the Piedmont region which is known for its agriculture ensuring the city has some of the best produce in Italy.

Dating back to Roman times Turin has a long history as can be seen from the cities street system which is still based on the grid of old the Roman roads. The city didn't start to grow until around the 16th century, some of the buildings of the time are still in evidence in the city, such as the Church of San Lorenzo. During the 19th century the city grew into a centre of industry, but despite the industrialisation culture remained a part of the cities heritage as it does up to the current day.

One of the cities most famous exports is of course Fiat cars and vehicles, the company was founded in 1899 and is still head-quartered in Turin. Despite being an industrial company it is still very much a part of the cities history and is something the locals are proud of, as they see its longevity as proof of the stability of the region and community.

The city is surprising in many ways as many outside of Italy assume Turin is mainly an industrial destination, however once there it is very easy to be overwhelmed by the choices you have. If you want shopping then Turin provides an excellent selection, ranging from up-market to flea markets. Food, you will find plenty to fill you and for night-life you won't be disappointed.

Shopping in Turin is more relaxed than most cities especially along the long, pedestrianised Via Garibaldi where window shopping leads to many temptations. Not to be missed on a Saturday and the second Sunday of the month is the Balon Markets, the markets are a great place to look for antiques and bric-a-brac. Other areas to consider for shopping are Via Roma which has both up and mid market shops, Via Po is geared to the younger avant garde types, The Quadrilatero Romano is a good place for designer labels, the Lagrange 15 shopping centre which includes the La Rinascente department store and Porta Palazzo said to be largest open air market in Italy.

The city is a wonderful place to be if you are hungry and Italian cuisine always has something for any appetite, but if you want other cuisine's then you will find a variety around Turin. For the less fussy eaters there are however some international restaurant chains. In the past Turin was not known for it's night-life, yet in recent times that has changed dramatically. The city has a number of trendy clubs and disco's to entertain the night-owls into the next morning, also in the summer there are outdoor evening events.

Hotels in Turin range from 5 star luxury hotels to bed and breakfast establishments and all types in between, as well as the large chain hotels and compared to other Italian cities are usually reasonably priced. It does however depend on your tastes and what you expect as well as your budget where you stay, the hotels provide great service by trained staff but with bed and breakfast you will be dealing often with the owner personally.

If you have not yet been to the city yet, then some sights may seem familiar to you if you like to watch feature films, the city has been a backdrop for a number of cinematic productions. The 1969 British classic “The Italian Job” (the original, not the American remake) was partly shot in the city.

Of course when people here the name 'Turin', many automatically think of the Shroud of Turin, although the origins of the artefact are disputed it is undoubtedly important to the Catholic faith. It is believed by Catholics to be the death shroud of Jesus Christ, but after many scientific tests there has not conclusive evidence to support the belief. Display of the shroud is very limited, in the 20th century alone it was only shown 4 times, when the shroud is displayed it draws tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world. The last time it was seen by the public was April 2010 and it will not be seen again until 2025.