Moving to Turin

Italy is a popular country for international students, and for so many reasons. With its friendly people, tasty food and unforgettable wine cellars, it’s definitely not a bad place to spend a semester or two.

With so many interesting cities in Italy, like Rome, Venice and Naples, selecting the perfect locale may be a bit of a task. However, if Turin has come to mind, then you’ll quickly find that it has a lot to offer to a student studying abroad, or a young professional on an internship.

As with any relocation, to “know before you go” will make the transition much easier, leaving more time to explore your new home when you arrive. This guide includes exactly what you’ll need to be prepared.

About Turin

The days are long gone when Turin was known for being an industrial city. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to go to Turin, or even to move there for your international exchange. Turin is also considered to be the Automobile Capital of Italy, and Fiat, a well-known car maker, has its headquarters there. Other companies that have made Turin their home base also include Martini, Superga and Kappa, along with the creators of Ferrero and Nutella.

Located in the northern area of Italy, Turin is relatively close to the Alps. It has a rich history and a diverse culture, as well as beautiful architecture from many different periods of Italy’s past. You’ll find a lively social life, with a downtown district full of bars, restaurants and attractions. The city is renowned for its rich culture and history, and its varied architecture from all eras.

The city of Turin boasts a population of over 911,000, with 1.7 million when the residents of the urban areas are included. With an average of 13% of the population of international descent, the city’s Piedmont area was named the number one region in Italy for expats in 2013.

Weather in Turin

Due to its inland location, Turin’s climate is not quite as warm as other more Mediterranean areas in Italy. This also causes the weather in Turin to have less rain than the coastal areas. But be prepared for May as it is the rainiest month of the year. Winter and autumn often bring in fog. The hottest month in Turin is July and the coldest is January. Average temperatures are 21°C and 3°C accordingly.

Italian Language

In Turin, Italian is the official language, and it is also the most widely spoken. However, due to Turin’s wide international appeal, English is often heard on the streets. As a student in Turin, you’ll find that many people in the downtown area will speak English, but if you find yourself in less tourist areas, knowing some basic phrases in Italian can prove to be very helpful. There are also several schools in Turin that offer classes to learn the Italian language.

Public Holidays in Italy

It’s always a great idea to make a note of public holidays, this way you can plan for businesses or banks being closed. The following are a few of the special days that are observed in Turin.

  • New Year's - 1 January - This is the first day of the year.
  • Epiphany - 6 January - This is the day that the witch Befana brings gifts and sweets to the good children or coal to the bad.
  • Easter Monday - This is the first Monday after Easter.
  • Liberation Day - 25 April - This is a celebration of the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy, as well as the fall of Mussolini and the Social Republic.
  • Labour Day - 1 May -This is often observed as a day free from work.
  • Republic Day - 2 June - This is a commemoration of when the Italians voted to abolish the Monarchy, and a republic was created in 1946.
  • St. John the Baptist Day - 24 June - A day to honor the Christian saint.
  • Ferragosto (Assumption of Mary) - 15 August - This Catholic holiday is celebrated with large family meals and feasts.
  • All Saints’ Day - 1 November - This is a day of remembrance of the dead.
  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception - 8 December - This feast day celebrates the conception of Jesus.
  • Christmas Day - 25 December - This is the celebration of Christmas, as observed across the world.
  • Giorno di Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day) - 26 December - This is a day to spend with family, and many communities re-enact the Nativity scene.

Facts about Turin

Traveling throughout Italy is becoming more and more popular, and Turin is quickly becoming a favorite destination, no longer in the shadow of some of Italy’s more legendary locales. In fact, there are plenty of interesting facts that make Turin a great choice, whether for a visit or as your new home during your time studying abroad.

  • The First Capital of Italy

IN 1861, Turin was declared the unified Italy’s very first capital city, until it moved to Florence in 1864, and then on to Rome. You can see the first Parliament at the Museum of the Risorgimento, along with other artifacts of Rome’s unification. After Rome, Milan and Naples, Turin is the fourth largest city in Italy.

  • City of Magic

Legend claims that Turin was given two souls – one to white magic and one to black magic. Additionally, Turin is located on one of the three vertexes of the triangle of white magic. Lyon and Prague are situated on the remaining two. Plus, it is also situated on one of the three vertexes for black magic, with San Francisco and London falling on the other two. Some even say to avoid Piazza Statuto, where, in ancient times, prisoners were tried and executed.

  • The French Side of Italy

Wherever you look in Turin, you can see the French influences in the architecture. After Italy’s unification, some of the areas currently in Piedmont were once actually located in France. Even the culture is similar to that experienced in France.

  • Medieval Village in the center of the City

Located in Valentino Park, the Borgo Medievale Torino is a 15th-century replica of a Piedmontese Village. Alfredo D’Andrade, a famous Portuguese architect and castle restorer, designed the village between 1882 and 1884.

  • The Stele of Mount Musinè

Many say that this well-known mount was once a gathering place for UFOs, which will explain this mystical carving that attracts so many visitors every year. You may also experience unusual energies and effects, and see rocks displaying prehistoric etchings, which some feel resemble flying objects.

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