Popular for creating Fabbrica Italiana Automobilistica Torino (The Fiat), and hosting The 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Torino’s history is impressive and eclectic. Beginning in the first century, Torino was used as a military camp by Romans. Later, a germanic tribe, the Lombards, ruled for some time before Italy’s royal family, The Savoy’s took control. In the 1700’s the French, led by Napoleon fought over the possession of Torino. In 1814, after the fall of Napoleon, Italy regained power in Torino, and in 1861 Torino was named the 1st capital of Unified Italy. In 1865 the capital was moved to Florence, and then to Rome, as it stands today.
On Friday night, we went on a “Underground Tour of Torino”. Our tour focused on the period during which Italy created a network of underground caves for military strategies. The Italians could literally disappear underground and move throughout the city without being seen from above. We were also treated to some underground cemeteries, and creepy Italian ghost stories that had us on our toes. My favorite legend was of Giovanni Giolli, who was a castle cleaner. He was convicted of stealing young girls, murdering them, and hiding their remains in the castle. Future visitors, beware!!