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Piero Fassino in New York: Presenting Turin

Giovanna Pagnotta (February 24, 2014)
Attention New Yorkers, we present you Turin. From the city’s first citizen and its delegation, Turin and its brand new initiative for tourist events, ExpoExto, which will take place in the area in and around Turin during Expo 2015 in Milan.

"You can bet on Turin," “Puoi scommettere su Torino” is the slogan, which in New York, opened the days dedicated to the promotion of the major city of Piedmont: Turin, a modern city and a multiform reason and a driving force of the entire Italian peninsula. Turin is ready to launch EXTO, an event organized in parallel with the Expo 2015 in Milan.

Therefore at the begining of the countdown to the Expo 2015, which will culminate in Milan on May 1st with the opening of the World's Fair, Mayor of Turin, Piero Fassino, supported by his resourceful team, tells us about his city, which is to have quite an important presence during Expo 2015.

He did during three events. At the ICE (Agency for the promotion abroad and internationalization of Italian firms) in New York, directed by Pier Paolo Celeste, where he spoke of investments and real estate market, together with the Consul General of Italy in New York Natalia Quintavalle and the city-planning commissioner Stephen Lo Russo.

The second stop was at ENIT (National Agency for Tourism), conducted in New York by Eugenio Magnani. There, the talk centered on the topic of promotion of tourism, and the Vice Consul Lucia Pasqualini and Marcella Gaspardone, director of tourism marketing office in Turin, joined him.

Before the beginning of the  Piedmontese reception the audience got to watch a promotional film starring the talented actor, Arturo Brachetti, which was a fun yet always an informative break.

And in the evening, at a meeting at the narrower circle of the Partito Democratico, although the issues were obviously related to the contingent management national policy, there was certainly no shortage of references to issues related to the administration of the municipality of Turin.

Metropolis with an important historical legacy, the first capital of Italy in the nineteenth century, Turin has always been an economic center capable to spread its development done by large companies (among these, first of all, Fiat, today Fiat / Chrysler, distinctive symbol of Made in Italy) across the peninsula.

The capital of Piedmont is also the birthplace of the gastronomic chain Eataly, the first example of a union between the public and private sectors, an ambassador in a sense of Turin and Italy in many cities across the world, including New York.

Turin also plays a very important cultural role, with its two major university centers that serve more than 100,000 students, fourteen royal residences, 45 museums, including the world-famous Egyptian Museum and the most important museum of film in Europe.

In 2006 the city was the site of the Winter Olympic Games, which in addition to being a huge strategic investment in terms of structures, also let the citizens of Turin for the first time to feel as they belonged to a world community and thus exposing them to an international reality.

Natalia Quintavalle talks about it as a multifaceted city, evolving, and therefore able to adapt and reinvent itself according to the needs dictated by a country that, as in the rest of Europe, must deal with the specter of crisis and therefore now more than ever, is in need of innovation.

The program of this visit to New York, as explained by the Consul General, is to show how things are now beginning to change. "Presenting the investment opportunities in Turin, Mayor Fassino not only is playing his role as mayor, but is also promoting what are the opportunities of all of Italy."

Italy is in fact learning to create its spot at the international level thanks to its ability to assist the tangible and intangible resources that have always distinguished us, making it all possible through a great job of co-operation.

Expo 2015 will be a big international stage for Italy and Turin; an opportunity to promote is as the country with a glorious past, but also with a rich future.

What exactly are the projects in which the city of Turin has been and will be involved in the coming months?

The key is urban development says Stefano Lo Russo, Deputy Mayor for City Planning.

For urban development, the focus lies in the renewal of anything related to infrastructure such as the rail system, the modern high-speed network, the subway that allows flow within the city, and all this to be achieved keeping in tune the enrichment and respect for the environment as well.

According to Lo Russo transformations must start from what already exists, therefore it must begin with upgrading and the reuse of existing structures. “Il lingotto" in Turin is one of the clearest examples of the reuse of buildings. This district, once home of the first industrial space of FIAT in 2006 (for the XX Olympic Winter Games) has been converted into an important trade fairs, thanks to the project of architect Renzo Piano. The same Olympic village was reused to build housing and student residences.

Turin is a city for the people, and no city can be that if people do not feel they belong to a community. Russo explains that in fact one of the prerogatives of the government was precisely to transmit this kind of concept. Furthermore, public awareness is the key strategic project for the city in the future and that is why it is crucial for the commissioner to create a solid and transparent link between the government and citizens.

Turin is a city that focuses on future projects, possible, as the commissioner said, only through a synergistic combination of commitment and functional public and private sectors. Variante 200 seems to be one of the most ambitious projects that Turin sets out to complete in the years to come. A project that will radically change the face of 900 thousand square meters of the North-East of the city. Slogan: Retraining.

But Turin is not "just" that. For years now, the authorities are trying to make the city more attractive to an ever-increasing number of tourists.

"If an American citizen thinks of Italy, the first cities that immediately come to mind will surely be Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples, but as I tried to explain, Turin now has a new identity," explains Fassino. Turin year after year has indeed become an increasingly popular tourist destination and it should reach its peak of visitors from May to the end of October on the occasion of EXTO, an event organized in tandem with the Expo 2015 in Milan. The two cities are in fact connected efficiently thanks to a high-speed railway and it is for this reason that the authorities are working to prepare affordable deals which are sure to make tourists choose to stay in Turin as a city and then visit the Milan fair.

What are the strategies to promote Turin until 2015?

Marcella Gaspardone, director of the marketing of tourism in Turin answers this question:

"What we're trying to do is create some benefits, namely packets and show Turin as a city with great prices and fast lanes for accessing museums. We are trying to advertise Turin through various projects to promote it, such as the on-site presentations like the one today as well as advertising on the web. Very important will also be the sale of deal packages through tour operators and surely we will be happy to follow the promotional initiatives of Expo 2015, and be sure to have the same plan to implement."

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