Curiosities about Turin

1. The first capital of Italy

Torino was the first historical capital of Italy from 1861 to 1865, it has played a political and institutional role in the rising of Kingdom of Italy


Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino – is an automotive brand. The brand was founded on July 11, 1899 at Palazzo Lascaris in Turin as a car manufacturer, when a group of Turin businessmen headed by Giovanni Agnelli decided to build a prototype car. The history of Fiat is the history of the Italian economy and industrial development

3. Pizza margherita

The legend says that in June 1889, to honor the first Queen of Italy (Margherita di Savoia wife of the king of Italy and Turin born Umberto I) the chef Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi invented a meal in honor of her, the Pizza Margherita indeed. The toppings: tomato, mozzarella and basil represented the same colors as the Italian flag

4. Martini

In 1847 four Piedmontese merchants have founded in Turin a distillery called “Distilleria nazionale da spirito di vino” which became “Martini, Sola and C.ia”in the 1863. The first Martini bottle was born in 1864 but it was only the beginning of the twentieth century when the name “Martini” imposed itself and becoming the name that indicated the vermouth of the “Martini & Rossi

5. Nutella

Ferrero’s story begins in Alba (less than 1 hour south of Turin) where Pietro Ferrero opens a laboratory of bakery in via Rattazzi. During the war it was very difficult to find the ingredients so he decided to use the hazelnuts, one of the greatest riches of the territory. From the workshop in via Rattazzi comes the first product Ferrero: the “Pasta Gianduja” or “Giandujot”. Nutella was introduced by the company in 1964.

6. Bicerin

Bicerin is one of the symbols of Turin, its history begins in 1763 when Giuseppe Dentis opened his little shop. The invention of Bicerin is an evolution of the eighteenth-century bavareisa, a drink that was served in large glasses and that was made of coffee, chocolate, milk and syrup. 

7. The Magic City

According to many legendary stories, Turin is a city where the forces of good and evil are concentrated. The city is indeed one of the tips of both the “magic triangles”: the Black Magic triangle formed by Turin, London and San Francisco, and the White Magic triangle formed by Turin, Lyon and Prague. This is why Turin is called “the Magic City”.

8. One of the thinner house in the world

In Turin – in the Vanchiglia neighborhood, at the corner between San Maurizio street and Giulia di Barolo street – there is a very curious and weird house called “Fetta di Polenta” (slice of polenta, which is a north Italy typical food) by locals. This house was designed by Alessandro Antonelli in 1840 who decide to create a building that developed in height rather than width.

9. The first movie

For the first time in the Italian history in 1896 a movie was shown on a sheet in a small room in via Po. 

1o. The walking ice cream

The first ice cream for strolling was born in Turin: the famous “Pinguino” of Gelateria Pepino (you can still find it in Piazza Carignano). Pinguino is the typical covered ice cream, with cream inside and crispy chocolate outside.

11. Aperitivo was born in Turin

Turin is defined as the city of “aperitivo”. The invention of the aperitif dates back to 1786. In a local in Piazza Castello Benedetto Antonio Carpano invented the recipe of Vermouth: a mixture of dry white wines, sugar, alcohol and infusion of herbs and aromatic spices. It’s very common for people in Turin to meet with friends and enjoy an aperitivo with finger food before dinner.

12. The palace with a piercing 

In Corpus domini square (not far from Piazza Palazzo di Città) at the height of the fourth floor, you will notice a “piercing” that made that building known to the people as”Palazzo with the Piercing”. You will also notice blue and red blood, to indicate the difference between the poor and the rich.

13. Arcades

Turin has 18km (11 miles) of arcades. These were built following a specific request by Savoia noble family who didn’t want to walk under the rain in winter and under the sun in summer.


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