Travelling the SURPRISE cities from space – Turin

The first destination of our journey across the SURPRISE cities is Turin (Italy), home to our partner Politecnico di Torino.

So where are we exactly?

Turin (Torino in Italian) is located in northern Italy, just 480 km from the French border. It is surrounded by western Alps on the North and West and it is located mainly on the western bank of Po river, as you can easily see from the image below, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite.

It was the first capital of Italy (from 1861 to 1865) after the country was unified. Today, it is the third Italian city from the economic point of view and the core of the Italian automotive industry, home to the headquarters of Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia.

What can I do in Turin?

If you take a walk around Turin, you can see a range of different architectural styles, from architecture Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-classical to Art-Nouveau styles. Many of the city’s buildings are labelled by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites and it is obvious why! Just take a look at the royal palace! Torino has an amazing contemporary side too: UNESCO has even named Torino a Creative City of Design.

Turin is home to the world famous Egyptian Museum, the oldest museum entirely devoted to ancient Egypt culture. Since you can’t get there in person right now, you can take a virtual walk with the museum’s Director. Something to keep you and the kids busy! The city is also home to the Mole Antonelliana that hosts the National Museum of Cinema and Media and is renowned as one of the tallest museums in the world.

So what about research?

Turin has two major universities and around 100.000 students. Around 30.000 of these attend Politecnico di Torino, where they can study one of 23 Bachelors and 30 Masters programmes. Our partner represents the Image Processing and Learning Unit, working on topics such as Machine Learning, Forensics and Security, and (very important for SURPRISE) Image and Video Compression.

So we have history, culture, industry, world class research and we mustn’t forget sport. Yes, Turin is also home to two major Italian football teams – Juventus and Torino – it hosted the 2006 winter Olympics and the very first rugby match in Italy in 1910.

Any other interesting facts?

Well, maybe it is worth mentioning that Turin has also a very special relationship with space. Turin has an asteroid: 9523 Torino, first observed in 1981 and belonging to the main belt. But that’s not all! The “Torino scale”, widely used in astronomy to measure the impact hazard of Near-Earth Objects (NEO) with Earth, was first introduced at the International Conference on NEO, held in Turin in June 1999. Want to learn more about NEO? Have a look at the website of Horizon 2020 project NEOROCKS.

And what about its residents? What do they say about Turin?

The “Torinesi” love living here! Torino is one of the greenest big cities in Italy, with plenty of parks and next to a hill. Especially on clear days, the landscape is breathtaking, with the Alps, Mole Antonelliana and Monte dei Cappuccini standing out in the sky. Moreover, the city is large enough that there’s plenty to see and do, but not so large to become overcrowded.

Did you enjoy Turin as much as we did? Then do not miss the next city of the SURPRISE journey!

Cover picture: Photo by Joris Visser on Unsplash