The Piedmont Region is in the north-west corner of Italy. The capital of the region is Turin. Turin was founded in 300BC by the Taurini Gauls (Celtic tribe) and was originally named Taurasia. Taurasia was later destroyed by Hannibal (Carthaginian general) who crossed the alps to invade Italy. The Gauls however left a lasting reminder of their past with the city of Turin still using the symbol of the bull (Taurus is Latin for bull).
Today there is an estimated 1 million people living in Turin and is Italy’s most important industrial center. Turin manufactures motor vehicles, clothing, textiles and electronic equipment. The Piedmont region produces two thirds of Italy’s rice and is one of the leading wine producers in Italy. Click here for more history of Turin.
Things You May Not Know About Turin
Turin is famous for Vermouth, which was created by Antonio Benedetto Carpano in his shop on Via Roma, in 1786. The martini cocktail is named after the best known producers of dry vermouth, Martini & Rossi.
Under the rule of King Victor Emmanuel II and the guidance of Camillo Cavour , Turin has proclaimed the capital of Italy in 1861, following the unification of Italy. It only lasted three years before Florence then finally Rome held the honours.
In 1899, during the industrial revolution, Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) established their factory in Turin. Today it is Italy’s largest company.
Turin lays claim to inventing solid chocolate. During the 18th century Turinese Doret, built a machine for processing and refining cocoa paste, which resulted in the production of solid chocolate.
The most famous of Turin chocolate is the Gianduja chocolate, which consists of a mixture of cocoa, sugar and hazelnuts.
I don’t know how much of this is true, but it is said that a Swiss man came to Turin to learn the art of chocolate making. On his returned to Switzerland, he began making milk chocolate.
The Shroud of Turin which resides in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, is the single most studied artifact in history.
During archeological diggings on Monte dei Cappuccini (small hill overlooking Turin), fossil seashells were unearthed, leading many to believe this small hill was once covered with an ocean, thousands of years ago.
During restoration work on the church on Monte dei Cappuccini, workers uncovered a secret room inside the church, where the body of a forgotten priest had been buried. Another unexplained body was unearthed in the church’s garden.