Torino is an aristocratic “old lady” of more than two thousand years, whose original remains are still visible in the main monuments, in the streets, the squares and below ground… an old lady reborn from the ashes to become even more dynamic, innovative and modern but always proud of her great past.
The story of Torino began in the third century BC when, along the banks of the Po River, the “Taurini” – the first Celtic-Ligurian tribes – settled. But the ultimate foundation of the city occurred around 28 BC when Octavian Augustus made a second colony with the name of Augusta Taurinorum.
In 1280 the House of Savoy conquered Torino. Under their reign, the city experienced one of the most important transformations of its history. In 1563, the Savoy transferred their capital from Chambéry to Torino and called the finest architects of the times: from Ascanio Vitozzi to Amedeo and Carlo di Castellamonte, from Guarino Guarini to Filippo Juvarra. Thanks to their talent and creative genius, the city was transformed into one of the major capitals of the Baroque era.
The Savoy reign was interrupted in 1798 when Napoleon’s troops occupied the city and forced Carlo Emanuele IV to abdicate and move to Sardinia. Piemonte became a part France and Torino saw the crumbling of her defence walls, that until then were one of the distinctive traits of her planning structure. The Congress of Vienna returned Torino to the Savoy in 1814.
After the concession of the Albertine Statute by King Carlo Alberto it was with the ascent on the throne of Vittorio Emanuele II, along with the work of Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, that the city became protagonist of national history, leading the process that will result in the Unification of Italy. In 1861, Torino became the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy.
In the years following the Unification, even after the capital’s transfer to Florence, the city defined the industrial component of her identity more and more clearly. This process culminated in 1899 with the founding of FIAT car factory.
The crisis of the 1980s affected FIAT and therefore Torino which was forced to rethink its future. In 2006, the city hosted the XX Olympic Winter Games, the starting point for the city’s rebirth: the underground railway, city railway, the new Porta Susa station and other major redevelopment works, the museums, contemporary art and industrial design, university culture and cinema, sport and big events have made it into a tourist attraction.