Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region and a major commercial and cultural center in northern Italy. The city is primarily situated on the western bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley, and is bounded by the western Alpine arch and the Superga Hill. The city proper has a population of 892,649 people (as of August 2015), whereas the urban area has a population of 1.7 million people, according to Eurostat. The OECD estimates that the Turin metropolitan region has a population of 2.2 million people.
The city is noted for its various art galleries, restaurants, cathedrals, palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries, museums, and other venues. Turin’s architecture is widely recognized for its Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical, and Art Nouveau styles.
The majority of the city’s public squares, castles, gardens, and elegant palazzi, such as Palazzo Madama, were built between the 16th and 18th centuries, after the capital of the Duchy of Savoy (later Kingdom of Sardinia) was relocated to Turin from Chambery (now in France) as part of the urban expansion.
The city was formerly a prominent European political center, serving as Italy’s first capital city in 1861 and as the residence of Italy’s royal dynasty, the House of Savoy. From 1563, it was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, then of the Kingdom of Sardinia governed by the Royal House of Savoy, and lastly of the united Italy. Turin is commonly referred to as the “cradle of Italian liberty” since it was the birthplace and home of significant leaders and contributors to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour.
Turin is home to some of Italy’s top universities, colleges, academies, lycea, and gymnasia, including the six-century-old University of Turin and the Turin Polytechnic. The city also has prestigious and renowned museums, such as the Museo Egizio and the Mole Antonelliana. Turin’s many monuments and landmarks place it among the top 250 tourist destinations in the world, and it was the tenth most visited city in Italy in 2008.
Despite the fact that most of its political significance and importance had been lost by World War II, it became a key European crossroads for industry, commerce, and trade, and it is now one of Italy’s primary industrial hubs, as part of the famed “industrial triangle” alongside Milan and Genoa. Turin is Italy’s third-largest economy, after only Milan and Rome. Turin is the world’s 78th wealthiest city by buying power, with a GDP of $58 billion, and was named a Gamma-world city by GaWC in 2010. Turin is also home to a large portion of Italy’s automobile sector.
Turin is well-known for being the home of the Shroud of Turin, the football clubs Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C., the headquarters of car manufacturers FIAT, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo, and the venue for the 2006 Winter Olympics.