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Luci d'Artista Christmas lights
Fondest memory: Ever since I have been visiting Turin, the city has put on spectacular light displays over the Christmas scene. From year to year some light installations remain, while others change. The photos in this tip are from 2013, but I also have a travelogue featuring earlier projects.
All the main streets and piazzas of the city feature this lighting, which, being designed by artists, is often a little more unusual than your usual festive display. Many of the projects are overtly Christmassy or seasonal, such as Christmas trees, stars or multicoloured sentences of a wintery story, but others are entirely abstract.
Visiting Turin in late November to early January is a wonderful time as you wander the streets and take in such a variety of contemporary street art, all of it entirely gratis.
- Arts and Culture
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Events: Bike Pride 2013
Favorite thing: 20,000 estimated attendees took part to the 2013 Bike Pride on May 26.
Starting form the Valentino Park, the event grows bigger every year and this time the parade reached the Dora Park, a former industrial area which has been converted into a large urban green area. Stage concerts, food, bicycles everywhere!
Although joyful and colorful, let's not forget that this event cries demand for safer sustainable mobility. More dedicated cycling paths and better integration of the existing ones, slow-zones shared traffic and overall increased safety for vulnerable citizens. Statistics are the sad side and a thought must go to the 124 cyclists and the 287 pedestrians that lost their life on Italian roads in 2013 up to May 26th.Related to:
Salone internazionale del libro
Favorite thing: Since its first edition in 1988, the International Book event has grown to become the largest editorial event in Europe - since 2006. It's held yearly around mid-May and the 2012 edition exceeded 317,000 visitors.
The covered exhibition area of 51,000 sq. m (12.6 acres) hosts the exhibitors' stands, conference rooms, theaters and other facilities within the Lingotto complex. Former FIAT automotive plant, at the time of its opening in 1922 the Lingotto complex was the most advanced car factory in the world and it's an architectural marvel. The rooftop features a test track having two 400 m (1/4 mi.) straight sections and sloped hairpins. After its shutdown in 1982 the complex was transformed into a multipurpose building with a total exhibition area of 70,000 sq. m, a shopping mall, movie theaters, theater, concert hall, a museum (the Agnelli paintings collection), hotels, offices (including FIAT headquarters), bars and restaurants, heliport and the fabulous "Bubble", a steel-and-glass suspended conference room.
Website (English)Related to:
- Arts and Culture
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Turin - "Atrium" Information Center
Favorite thing: UPDATE: As of September 2008, the "Atrium" facility was closed for good and the structure was later removed to bring Piazza Solferino back to its former glamour. This tip is listed here for records purposes only. Use the information center located in Piazza Castello.
Good starting point for newcomers who need information.
Located in the center of Piazza Solferino, two glass-and-steel modern structures host exhibitions and presentations of the city, including a comprehensive introduction to the 2006 - XX Winter Olympic Games event.
These two pavillions host a Tourist Information Center and public bicycle rentals.
Free admission, open daily from 9.30 AM to 7.00 PM.
Phone and fax +39 011 5162006
Giuded tours can be booked by calling +39 011 5178134 or contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you ready?
Favorite thing: Torino is not a prime destination for those taking the typical "Italian journey". Most visitors to this country are likely bound to more notorious places. Who doesn't want to see Venice, Rome, Florence, Pisa to name some? Wonderful cities, no question. Looking at a map you'll see that Torino is slightly off the way for those running up and down the boot shape and it can be off the path for those who don't have sufficient time on their side. This is the beauty of it. A place unknown to many but always ready to surprise the welcome guest. Tucked away in the country's northwestern corner you won't find yourself among hordes of visitors elbowing to take a photo. And likely there won't be a crowd framed in such a photo.
It's the third largest urban sprawl in Italy although the feeling is that of a smaller place. Distances are small too. Within one hour drive you can reach the Mediterranean sea, or the Alps dominating a couple dozens beautiful valleys, the shores of quiet Lago Maggiore or find yourself lost in wine-tasting paradise.
You're right, this time you better skip Torino. It deserves the whole of your next trip! [wink]Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Events: Bike Pride
Favorite thing: Aimed at promoting urban cycling and spreading general awareness, the Bike Pride 2010 edition saw the participation of some 5,000 bicycles. More are expected for the 2011 edition to parade through a designated route in town. Music, food, pic-nics and other related events make it an enjoyable day on wheels.
Click here for further details.Related to:
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84th Adunata Nazionale Alpini
Favorite thing: The weekend of May 6-7-8 Torino hosted the annual itinerant Mountain Troops National Gathering. The city withstood an estimated 600,000 visitors at one time. I've actually never seen such a crowd in town, not even during the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Mountain Troops, commonly called "Alpini" - from Truppe Alpine - are a special corp of the Italian Army and, for historical reasons, receive particular nationwide appreciation. They are also called "Penne Nere" (Black Feathers). The typical 10-inch feather mounted on the left side of the hat was originally form an eagle, luckily not anymore.
The occurrence of the celebrations for the 150 years of unification of Italy made it a unique event and a special occasion to dust off my own feathered hat for three days of relentless party.
Official photosRelated to:
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Piazza Castello - Castle Square
Favorite thing: Although not the geometrically precise center of Torino, Piazza Castello is the center of gravity for downtown strolls and people watching. Four major straight streets departing from it are the most trodden in town and the best concentration of stores, cafes, ice cream parlors and more. Three of these four streets have porticoes to keep you dry in wet days and all of these lead to a square.
Directions from Piazza Castello are:
- North-West: Via Garibaldi, out of the four, is the only street without porticoes and banned to motor vehicles. Its length of over one Km (.65 mi) is paved with stone slabs all the way to Piazza Statuto and shopping here is an affordable practice.
- West: Via Pietro Micca is the link with Piazza Solferino and home to several beautiful buildings and artful portico ceilings. The cobblestone area comprised between its eastern half and Via Garibaldi is mostly pedestrian and hosts various crafts and arts stores.
- South-West: Via Roma is probably the most elegant shopping street in town - along with adjacent backstreets - and marble columns support its porticoes. Its middle section features the splendid Piazza San Carlo and Piazza CLN before opening onto Piazza Carlo Felice and Porta Nuova main train station.
- South-East: Via Po has some of the oldest stores in town. Historical cafes provide a unique ambience for an afternoon hot chocolate or delicious ice cream. The corner with Via Montebello gives a superb sight of the Mole Antonelliana. The opening on Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the largest in Europe, has a spectacular view over the city hill which lies beyond the Po river. Here, the "Murazzi" area awakens at dusk with lively nightlife.
Fondest memory: A few steps away from Piazza Castello, down Via Accademia Albertina to the south, lies Piazza Carignano with the magnificent brick building that hosted the first Italian Parliament. Considering it's only a 2-minute walk from Palazzo Madama - the western baroque facade of the Castle, former seat of the first Italian Senate, one can really think of being in the very heart of Italy at the time of its birth.
No matter if I walked or cycled here hundreds, perhaps thousands of times. I grew up with it and it's my special place on Earth.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Emergency Room - Pronto Soccorso
Favorite thing: Well, there are better places in town. But in case of need, the Italian health system won't leave visitors and foreigners alone.
In first place, discuss with somebody who can address you or call a doctor for you. If you're alone and hav eno chance to talk to somebody, let's consider three different situations and obvious guidelines.
1. If you think or feel there's something wrong of modest entity, walk into a pharmacy and let them know - if language is not a problem. As an example, make sure you don't waste ER doctors' time for a sore throat or a bruise!
2. If you are in serious conditions, but capable to be on your own, ask for directions or help and reach an emergency room at one of these five major hospitals in town:
- Maria Vittoria
- Martini (also sometimes called "Martini Nuovo")
- Giovanni Bosco (also sometimes called "Martini Vecchio")
3. Urgent cases requiring an ambulance should be addressed by dialing either the 118 number (specific for ambulance) or 112 (carabinieri) or 113 (police). All these numbers can be called for free from any cell phone, regardless of your roaming/plan.
Torino - Internet Points & Wi-Fi
Favorite thing: List of public free internet access, generally limited to sessions of 45 minutes. Multiple desktops.
List of public Internet Points, minimum rate 2.00 Euro/hour. Multiple desktops.
Lists (may be incomplete) of cybercafes in Torino:
The City of Torino has recently passed a bill to install Wi-Fi coverage for the entire city. The project is currently in progess, concept is to provide free access for the first hour, after which a rate of 2.00 Euro/hour is applied.
List of currently covered areas.
Complete list, both free and paid, of hotspots in Torino.
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CioccolaTÒ - Turin's annual chocolate festival
Favorite thing: Turin is famous for and proud of its chocolate, particularly the various sweets made with gianduja, or hazelnut paste. And there is no better time to sample it than at CioccolaTÒ, the yearly showcase of chocolate producers. CioccolaTÒ takes place in the last weekend or two of February to the first weekend of March in the city itself, with events happening in towns in the province in the weeks after.
Most of the exhibitors are from the city or province of Turin and many more are from neighbouring provinces in Piemonte like Cuneo, making this a great opportunity to compare and contrast different chocolates from the region. Even though I've been to Turin many times and lived in Piemonte, it was a surprise to see how many artisinal chocolate makers the area has. A smaller number of chocolatiers come from elsewhere in Italy and abroad.
The show is based around stalls selling anything and everything you could imagine related to Chocolate and its relationship to Turin: bars of all flavours and cocoa percentages (including lemon and cannabis, though not together), liqueur, chocolate salami, chocolate beer, hot chocolate and more. There are products and displays aimed at children, but actually this is just as much for adults as kids with an Italian approach to quality and tasting and lots of sophisticated grown-up treats. Including tasting sessions with spirits and wine.
2008's exhibition tied in with Turin's status as Design Capital and featured a stand with chocolate designs inspired by the city. There are also talks and 'laboratories', though unfortunately these all seemed to be on in the evening or early morning so we missed them as we were there only for the day.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Torino - 2008 World Design Capital
Favorite thing: On Jan 1st, 2008, Torino became the first World Design Capital.
More than 200 events are planned through the year in Torino and Piemonte.
WHY TORINO? (excerpt from website)
The presence of research centers, style centers, and model and prototype laboratories in various productive sectors represent an added value to the strong industrial tradition in Torino and Piemonte.
The year of events has been divided into four phases:
- the citizens
- the world of education
- the institutions
The themes of the four phases of the year are:
1. Public Design
The year of Torino 2008 World Design Capital is a “project” to increase the public’s awareness of design by broadening the usual conception of it as a merely aesthetic discipline and “a trend.”
2. Economy and Design
In a globalized world, successful businesses can no longer count exclusively on a process of optimization.
Companies specializing in “strategic design” are becoming valuable partners in helping companies achieve this objective.
3. Education and Design
Today, training designers is closely associated with the concept of multi-disciplinarity. Design is now identified as the best tool for interconnecting different types of know-how.
4. Design Policies
In the global scenario, design is viewed as the new driving motor for economic and industrial growth.
Torino is a centre of excellence in training managers and has been chosen as headquarters by many international organizations, including:
ILO, International Labour Office - United Nations
UN Staff College, an agency that trains the managers of the United Nations
Hydroaid, an international school entirely dedicated to water
ICER, International Centre for Economic Research
ETF, European Training Foundation
ISI, Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation
La piazza San Carlo
Favorite thing: L'histoire, la culture, le patois, la gastronomie et l'oenologie font de Turin la plus française des villes d'Italie. Mais en percer l'intimité est difficile. Ville très secrète, Turin n'en tisse pas moins des relations étroites avec Lyon, Grenoble, Munich et Barcelone.
Events: Torino Film Festival
Favorite thing: One of the most important events of its kind in Europe, the Torino Film Festival takes place each year in November. It is oriented to international emerging filmmakers and currents from around the world, divided into competing and non-competing participant works. The event is also an occasion for focusing on certain notorious or celebrated filmmakers. Several theaters in town play the movies and these can be viewed with single- or multiple-event access ticket.
Fondest memory: http://www.torinofilmfest.org/home.php?lang=engRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
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Events - Eurovespa 2006
Favorite thing: Torino hosts special events of all sorts, and it was chosen for the 2006 edition of Eurovespa which took place on June 16-17-18. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the worldwide known and cult symbol of the Italian scooter that made history as part of the FIAT enterprise and contributed to the social transformation of several Italian generations.
During the weekend the city was invaded by hordes of participants reaching Torino from various parts of Europe and beyond, a few even from the US.
Over 3,200 happy participants registered their vehicles to the rally and a countless more simply joined without registering. An estimated 5,000 streamlined Vespa of all ages gathered at one time in Piazza Castello and other selected locations.
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