In 1997 a part of the historical center of Torino was inscribed in the World Heritage List under the name Residences of the Royal House of Savoy.
The city has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries, museums and other venues. Turin is well known for its Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-classical, and Art Nouveau architecture.
Many of Turins public squares, castles, gardens and elegant palazzi such as Palazzo Madama, were built between the 16th and 18th centuries. This was after the capital of the Duchy of Savoy was moved to Turin from Chambery as part of the urban expansion.
The city used to be a major European political center. Turin was Italys first capital city in 1861 and home to the House of Savoy, Italys royal family.
From 1563, it was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, then of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the Royal House of Savoy and finally the first capital of the unified Italy.
Turin is sometimes called "the cradle of Italian liberty" for having been the birthplace and home of notable politicians and people who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour.
The city currently hosts some of Italys best universities, colleges, academies, lycea and gymnasia, such as the University of Turin, founded in the 15th century, and the Turin Polytechnic. In addition, the city is home to museums such as the Museo Egizio and the Mole Antonelliana. Turins attractions make it one of the worlds top 250 tourist destinations and the tenth most visited city in Italy in 2008.
Even though much of its political significance and importance had been lost by World War II, Turin became a major European crossroad for industry, commerce and trade, and is part of the famous "industrial triangle" along with Milan and Genoa. Turin is ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome, for economic strength. Turin is also home to much of the Italian automotive industry.
Turin is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin, the football teams Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C., the headquarters of automobile manufacturers FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo, and as host of the 2006 Winter Olympics.
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