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Brief History of Torino

Brief History of Torino

The name "turin" originates from "Tau", a Celtic word that means mountains. The Italian name, "Torino" translates into "little bull" (note the coat of arms and symbol of the city). In pre-Roman times, the area was settled by the Taurini, who were ancient Celt- Ligurian people. In the first century B.C., approximately 28 B.C., the Romans created a military camp called, Castra Taurinorum. The distinctive Roman street grid can still be seen in the modern city. The 5,000 inhabitants of Torino at this time were all living inside the high walls.

After the fall of the Roman Empire the city was conquered by the Lombards, followed by the Franks. Many of the gardens and palaces were built in the 15th century when the city was redesigned. The university was also founded during this period. Emanuele Filiberto made Turin the capital of the Duchy of Savoy in 1563. Piazza San Carlo, via Po and the Royal Palace were built in this period.

In 1706 the French besieged the city for 117 without conquering it. After the Treaty of Utrecht, the Kingdom of Sardinia was annexed to the Duchy of Savoy. Around this time, the architect Filippo Juvarra began a major redesign of the city. Torino was the capital of a European kingdom and had about 90,000 inhabitants at the time.

After a brief occupation by Napoleon in 19th century, the city began to actively pursue the unification of Italy. In 1871, the Frejus Tunnel was opened, making Torino a significant communication mode. The city by this time had 250,000 inhabitants. The Museo Egizio, the Mole Antonelliana, the Gran Madre church and Vittorio Veneto square were built at this time.

Torino became the capital of the newly proclaimed United Italy in 1861. In 1865 the capital was moved to Rome, but since 1870 the capital of Italy has been Rome. It was around this time that Torino began a rapid industrialization period. After WWI, conflicts between workers and industrialists began. The first strikes took place in 1920, when the Lingotto factory was occupied.

After WWII, Torino was quickly rebuilt and its industries greatly developed. This resulted in waves of immigration, notably in the southern regions of Italy. The population reached 1 million by 1960. In the 1980s, industrial crisis hit the city and its population began to decline. In 2005, the population was 908,000.