25 August 2007

A gorgeous cinematic introduction to Turin, Italy

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Even for those who don’t understand Italian, this is quite a spectacular introduction to Turin (or “Torino”), Italy, and its surrounding region.

The videos are shot in gorgeous high definition quality by the Turin movie director Luciano De Simone and narrated by Carlo Massarini (who was also responsible for the highly entertaining videos in the excellent Turin Museum of the Mountains).

Eventually the site, which was produced for the Italian Ministry of Culture, will introduce a number of Italian cities but for now the only one online is Turin, the city where I live.

Structured in nine chapters, accessible via a horizontal menu on the bottom, the series includes:
– a general introduction to the city;
Piazza Carignano, which introduces some of the historic centre, Italy’s first parliament (Turin was Italy’s capital from 1861 to 1864), the Egyptian Museum, the role of the theatre in the city, Piedmont food, the Langhe region, and the culture of the “aperitivo” in Turin;
Turin and the movies, focused of course on the Mole Antonelliana, site of the cinema museum;
Turin from the Balôn to the Murazzi, which introduces various neighbourhoods such as the Balôn area where the city’s flea market takes place;
Lingotto, the former FIAT factory, now a mixed-use facility with a conference centre, a commercial centre, a museum, a hotel, and a cinema;
Italia ’61, one of the sites of the Olympic Winter Games of 2006;
From the Dora to the Docks, focused on the new uses given to old industrial buildings;
The heart of the city, introduced as a historic but lively centre;
Turin nightlife.

The interface is quite simple: the “+” sign gives you a larger image, “link utili” provides you with links to what you just saw, and “mobile” allows you to download the movie files.

The site is not at all interactive though: the only thing you can do is watch. Another concern I have is that the creators did not add (optional) English subtitles, which would have not been so difficult to do. Graphically, the meaning of the bar code design element is beyond me.

But it is beautiful. Enjoy.

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