Piemonte: facts and figures

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Torino and Piemonte economic outlook: find out here the answers to our advertising campaign.


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Discover our excellence: Revealing Torino to the world

The smallest utility car in the world

It was the Fiat 500, or “Topolino” (literally “little mouse” but also the Italian name for Mickey Mouse). In 1936 Fiat started production in the Lingotto factory of the “Topolino”, the most widely produced small car. The car was created thanks to the engineering team coordinated by Dante Giocosa and put on the market on June 15th, 1936.

The very first personal computer in the world

The first electronic desktop computer was designed and built by Giorgio Perotto Olivetti in 1964. It was called Programma101, but was better known as the "Perottina”, and in October 1965 it was presented to the BEMA show in New York where it gained a lot of attention. In 1967, Hewlett Packard paid $900,000 to Olivetti, acknowledging that it violated their patent with its 101 HP 9100. A symbolic one dollar was paid by Olivetti to Mr. Perotto as the inventor of the first personal computer in history.

The father of mp3

In 1988 an engineer from Torino, Leonardo Chiariglione, founded the ISO standards committee known as Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). He can be considered the “father” of both the MPEG, the committee for standardization in audio and video compression, and the MP3 which has become the most popular format for compressing audio files. Internationally, Leonardo Chiariglione is so well known and appreciated that in the year 2000 Time magazine included him among the 25 most influential people in the world of the Internet.

The modules for the International Space Station

On 7th February 2010, the Space Shuttle Endeavour carried two modules into orbit to complete the assembly of the non-Russian part of ISS - the International Space Station. The modules were: Node 3, called "Tranquillity", and the dome, called "Armony", that finally will allow the astronauts to look outside with a 360 degrees view. Both modules were commissioned by European Space Agency (ESA) on behalf of NASA and were designed, developed and built by Thales Alenia Space factory in Torino.

The first Italian-European Hydrogen Fuel Cell Airplane

On 20th May 2010 the first hydrogen-powered airplane in Europe, the RAPID 200-FC, completed its test flight. The plane was created within the project ENFICA-FC, funded by the European Commission under the scientific responsibility of Prof. Giulio Romeo, Department of Aeronautics and Space Engineering at the Politecnico of Torino. The plane landed after 11 minutes of flight during which it reached an altitude of 700 feet. The aircraft, which has a wingspan of 10 meters, has an all-electric propulsion system (40kW): propeller power is supplied by fuel cells exploiting gaseous hydrogen (20 kW). A second energy source, a battery pack of Lithium Polymer (20kW), is able to provide additional or alternative power during the take-off and initial climb.

The first World Design Capital

In 2005, the ICSID, The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, elected Torino as the first World Design Capital. So it was that in 2008 Torino held this title which recognized the city and the territory's crucial international role in the design sector. Design is perhaps the one feature that most characterizes the “Made in Italy” ideal, from the automotive industry to consumer products and fashion, and it is deeply rooted in Piedmont. Automotive design was born here in Torino, home to designers who have shaped the history of the automobile, such as Pininfarina, Giugiaro and Bertone. The presence of research centres, design centres, and laboratories working on models and prototypes in various production sectors is a particular strength of the industrial tradition in Piedmont and Torino. Furthermore, the city of Torino has successfully worked to shed its image as a grey industrial city to a lively and creative European city. During 2008, 340 initiatives and 137 exhibitions were held in Torino, successfully filling its role as the “beta-tester” for the new World Design Capital program.

The first individually-wrapped chocolates

The chocolate in question is the Gianduiotto, initially produced by Caffarel, the historic Torino confectionery company. Gianduiotto was presented to the public in the 1865 during a parade through the city the masked character Gianduja – from which the chocolate takes its name – distributed it to people along the streets. The origins of this sweet stem from very specific historical reasons: because of the Napoleonic blockade, the amount of cocoa arriving in Europe were reduced and prices were exorbitant, but the demand for chocolate continued to increase. Michael Prochet then decided to replace the cocoa with a product common to this territory, the hazelnut from the the Langhe district. It is known as “tonda e gentile” (round and refined), with a specific and delicate flavour. The mixture is then composed of hazelnut powder, cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar.

The longest silent movie of the early 20th century

The film is Cabiria, directed by Giovanni Pastrone and was released in 1914. The film lasted three hours and ten minutes and used 3,500 meters worth of film. It was shot in Torino's factories, along the river Dora Riparia and in the city of Lanzo. At the time this Italian film was the longest and also, by far, the most expensive film ever made, costing a million gold liras, compared with average funding for the period of fifty pounds a film.


Torino Chamber of Commerce 
Business development and internationalization department 
Via San Francesco da Paola, 24 
10123 - Torino (TO) - Italy 
E-mail: sviluppo.competitivita@to.camcom.it

14/06/2023 - 21:54

Aggiornato il: 14/06/2023 - 21:54