Elegant Torino – “Motor City” Part 1

Lately, my thoughts have been drifting back to the city in Italy which my parents called home before they moved to New York – Torino.  With its elegant Porticos, French influenced architecture, and yummy Gianduiotti chocolates, it is a beautiful historic city in the Piedmont region that is probably now best known for being the world headquarters of FIAT automobiles (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino).  I am lucky to still have several relatives that live there, some of which I am quite close to.  I have been to visit about three times since 2007 and wanted to share some of my photos and impressions of this unique place.  I have decided to divide the journey into three posts.

Porticos (arcades) are a signature architectural feature of the elegant downtown streets of the historic city, apparently built at the request of the king who did not want to get wet in their rainy and sometimes snowy weather when strolling.

 Since Roberto and I are thinking about how we want to get married, I will start the series with some photos from the trip we took there together in 2009 to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.  The day started in the adjacent suburb Moncalieri at the Bride’s family Church.  The party then moved to Lingotto, the site of the former FIAT factory where the reception was held on the rooftop which formerly served as the test track for the newly manufactured FIAT automobiles.

Italians love cars and beautiful cars.  But Torinese even more so.  Consider the inhabitants of our Detroit, Motor City, and the car culture there. Now add Ferrari and Lamborghini into the mix…

As photos were being snapped after the Church ceremony, a fancy car slowed down to ogle and honk. The bride and groom also had their own beautiful white Porsche, so it made for a cute juxtaposition.

The bride and groom had a cute kiss at their beautiful car.

Now, getting back to FIAT, the original factory was in a part of Torino called Lingotto.  The original factory was massive, and as a car was built, it would ascend the different floors of the building until it was finally completed by the top level.  At the top, they had a test track on the roof, depicted in this cool antique photo that was in a NY Times article:

From The New York Times

The factory was later moved to another location in 1982, but the building remains and now houses concert halls, a theater, a convention center, shopping and a hotel.  The original Lingotto rooftop test track features briefly in the getaway sequence in the original film The Italian Job (1969).  When Torino hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006 the track was used for speed skating events.

File:Fiat Lingotto veduta-1928.jpg

Arial view of the Lingotto factory roof test track
From Wikipedia

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Our photo from the wedding:
the test track at night

My mom’s cousin and I, as he proudly showed us his Bentley during the cocktail hour at Lingotto….the Bride had been taken to the Church in that Bentley.

More on lovely Torino to follow…