Turin is the economic and industrial center of northern Italy. From 1562 until 1792 Turin was the capital city of the Duchy of Savoy. Many opulent baroque style buildings from that period have been preserved, such as the Piazza Castello, the Palazzo Reale, the Armeria Reale, the Biblioteca Reale and the Duomo with the famous Shroud of Turin. In winter the city is the base for skiing areas in the surrounding areas. In 2006 the city hosted the Olympic Winter Games.
The city has 900,000 inhabitants, however adding up the suburbs, 2.2 million people live in and around Turin.
Turin is located in the northwest of Italy at the base of the Alps, which lies to the west and north of the city. The city is situated on the Po River. Three other rivers pass through the city, the Dora Riparia, the Stura di Lanzo and the Sangone. Turin has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. It rains mostly during spring and fall.
The city is an important industrial center. Besides the famous FIAT plant, Lancia is also based in Turin and there are many car part manufacturers. Lavazza, the coffee manufacturer has its head office in Turin and well known chocolate manufacturers like Ferrero, Caffarel and Peyrano have their seat in the city.
Other important sectors are the textile and the financial services industry. In the last few years Turin has focused more on the high-tech industry (mainly IT). One of the world's largest telecom companies, Telecom Italia, has its seat in Turin.
The modern international airport's official name is Aeroporto di Torino-Caselle “Sandro Pertini”, named after the former Italian president (from 1978 until 1985). The airport is located 15 kilometer to the north of the city.
Turin has an excellent public transport network with bus, street car and subway lines. The subway was constructed for the Olympic Winter Games of 2006. Currently the line runs between Porto Nuova (the main railroad station) and Collegno. In the next few years the subway system will be extended to Lignotto, southwards of the city. Eight street car lines and well over one hundred bus lines will take you to any desired destination in the city. All public transport runs frequently. Tickets are valid for 70 minutes and can be used for all means of public transport and can be bought at the newspaper stands and the parking meters.
Traffic and parking
In order to combat the heavy traffic in the center of the city, restriction zones were created. This however, is quite confusing because there are zones that are fully restricted for cars, other zones have restrictions during specific hours, several streets have restricted traffic lanes, of which some are during a certain period.
Anyhow, you can best park your car in the street (the so-called blue zones), on a parking lot or in a parking garage.
Turin has a very broad offer of hotels, ranging from luxurious five star hotels to friendly guesthouses and bed & breakfasts. In order to attract tourists, Turin often offers special promotion packages. More information is available at the Tourist Office at the Via Maria Vittoria.
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