Turin is nestled at the base of the Alps in the northwestern corner of Italy. During my first year in Italy, 1980, I lived for about six months in this beautiful city. I must specify, at that time I was a missionary for my church, so I was very poor. The living conditions were pretty terrible but the apartment, a 5th floor loft with no heating, was located right on the river on the east side of the city in Corso Casale. The stone floors would create dust, no matter how often you cleaned them, and Turin can be VERY cold.
FIAT, the car manufacturer or as they say in New York “Fix It Again Tony”, was still a big company at that time. They were the major employer and 50% of the city’s territory and 90% of the businesses, directly or indirectly, worked for FIAT. The FIAT plants are just huge warehouse like structures, really ugly, and go on for several city blocks.
I lived through this experience and over the years have learned to appreciate Turin for its great culture. In the 1800s Turin was the capital of Italy. One of the 3 primary Italian royal families also called Turin home. Remember that Italy has had several kingdoms thus the royal families are rather prevalent. If you add in Napoleon, who was born in Corsica that was Italy until he, as emperor of France, annexed the island to France.
Today FIAT is less important, after they milked GM for 5 billion, yes billion, dollars they have just about exited the automobile industry. If GM had asked me I could have saved them a lot of money. Turin, once part of the “Iron Triangle”, is no longer the industrial power it was. Turin is dedicating more attention to tourism and that makes Turin, and the rest of Piedmont, a great place to visit. Although my experience may not be 360 degrees, if you like to Ski, visit castles turned into hotels and resorts, eat and stay at Agriturismo (farms where you can eat what is produced directly on the farm), or like to visit wineries, Turin is a great place to go.
Over the next weeks I will talk about the Olympics and make a round of the various wines produced in this area. A word about the people from Turin, there is a saying “Torinese falso cortese,” or “Torinese is double faced.” Watch your Ps and Qs.
Tags: Olympics Torino Winter Vacation Skiing Alps Piemonte Travel Italy