FROM TAURASIA TO TURIN
The ancient Ligurian populations, which were later joined by the
Taurinians, founded Turin, whose original name, Taurasia, was
derived from the word “Thor”, which in their language meant
“mount”. But according to Virgil the name comes from the fact
that a tract of river Po appeared to the first inhabitants as a
bull with golden horns.
The town, who was allied with the Romans, was destroyed by
Hannibal in 218 BC.
Julius Caesar awarded the town the Roman citizenship and
established a colony which was later strengthened by Augustus,
who called it Augusta Taurinorum, that is, Augusta of the
In time the name changed and only Taurinorum remained, then it
became Ad Taurinos (the place where the Taurinians live) and
finally Torino (Turin).
In the 12th century it became a free Commune, then it was subject to the French domination till it returned under the Savoy dynasty, who chose it as the capital city of their State. Throughout the following centuries the Savoy dynasty Italianized Turin’s language and customs, enriched the town with monuments and buildings and gave it universities libraries and museums
During that time the town was besieged by the French several
times, among which we remember the sacrifice of
and the victory of Vittorio Amedeo II, after which the Basilica
Superga was built.
But after the economic depression due to the loss of the role of capital city Turin did not lose its importance at all. In 1884 a great occasion appeared: the General Exposition in Valentino Park. On this occasion the park was redesigned and the Medieval Village was built. In the following years the rail links got improved and the local authorities devoted themselves to education and social care.
The automotive industry which would have made Turin famous all over the world was founded. Thanks to Giovanni Agnelli’s innovative ideas FIAT was born, followed by Lancia and Itala. It was in Turin that the first Italian movies were produced at the end of the century.
The new industries were attracting thousands of people, popular
quarters were built, the railway network was widened and the
first vocational training courses were started.