The City of Records


Torino is a peculiar city for many reasons. Some call it the city of magic due to the many legends that connect the city to the darkness of black magic and the godness of white magic. Some others describe it as the capital of the italian industry, which is true being the headquarters of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobile), while some others describe it the as the European green capital due to the presence of at least 7 trees per inhabitant, menaing there are at least 7 million trees in town. Some other call it the capital of sport and in fact the city hosted the winter Olympics in 2006, then the World Masters Games (the Olympic of the elders) and for the next 5 years it will also host the Tennis ATP finals, thus putting the city again in the front line of the most sporty cities in the world.

There are several themaic tours of the city, which cover pretty much all aspects of it, including the chocolate making mastery, the historic cafès, the religious sites (don’t forget that the famous Holy Shroud is kept in the cathedral of the city) and the main Museum such as the Egiptian collection which is second only Cairo’s

There was just one aspect of the city which was left unexplored by the local tour operators: the many Records of Turin.

The city, in fact, holds more than 300 records, some of which are national, others are European, and some are world records.

Just to mention some of them:

The tallest building in town is 167.5 meters, which is definitely not very high if compared to the American Skyscarpers, however, it is a record: it’s the tallest building in the world for non-residential use: in fact it’s a museum, the National Museum of Cinema.

The Mole Antonelliana, home to the National Museum of Cinema – Turin. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata

The largest market of Italy covers an area of more than 50.000 squared meters on a centrally located Piazza called “Repubblica”, although the official name of the market is “Porta Palazzo”.

The world’s vegetable section at Porta palazzo Market – Torino. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata

The first electrical illumination in Italy happend inside “Galleria dell’Industria Subalpina” – a big covered mall, in 1879, while city center got illuminated in 1886.

Galleria dell’Industria Subalpina – Turin. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata

The first streetcar (Tram), pulled by horses, appeared in Torino in 1845 as a public service offered by the “city of the king”. The price was not very convenient however: a single ride was equal to a 8 hours salary of an employee.

Turin’s streetcars. Photo Courtesy of Torinotoday

There is a chance now, to discover a large portion of such records by joining a tour promoted by a group of Local Guides, called Turin Piedmont Guides. The tour name is Turin: the City of Records. It last approximately 3 hours, starting from the Cathedral, it then meanders through the historical Roman and Medieval centre, until the end into one of the biggest squares on Earth, called Piazza Vittorio Veneto, which, by the way, actually is the biggest Piazza on earth surrounded by Arcades.

The Tour Flyer

The tour is available in Italian, English, German, French and Spanish

If you happen to be in Turin in the short, medium or long run, I would highly recommend you to take this tour. First of all because, to be honest with you, I contributed to the research that led to the planning of the itinerary, and second of all because it actually is an unusual way to discover the city and get to learn more about it.

Finally, there is a record in town than cannot be written down. You simply have to feel it: Turin is for sure the most elegant city in the world.

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