Turin s a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley and surrounded by the western Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 911,823 (December 2012) while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin Metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million.
The city has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theatres, libraries, museums and other venues. Turin is well known for its renaissance, baroque, rococo, neo-classical and art nouveau architecture. Many of the city's public squares, castles, gardens and elegant palazzi such as Palazzo Madama, were built in the 16th and 18th century, after the capital of the Duchy of Savoy (later Kingdom of Sardinia) was moved to Turin from Chambery (nowadays France) as part of the urban expansion.
Turin is sometimes called the cradle of Italian liberty, for having been the birthplace and home of notable politicians and people who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour. The city currently hosts some of Italy's best universities, colleges, academies, lycea and gymnasia, such as the six-century-old University of Turin and the Turin Polytechnic. Prestigious and important museums, such as the Museo Egizio and the Mole Antonelliana are also found in the city. Turin's several monuments and sights make it one of the world's top 250 tourist destinations, and the tenth most visited city in Italy in 2008.
The city used to be a major European political centre, being Italy's first capital city in 1861 and home to the House of Savoy, Italy's royal family. Even though much of its political significance and importance had been lost by World War II, it became a major European crossroads for industry, commerce and trade. Currently it is one of Italy's main industrial centres, being part of the famous "industrial triangle", along with Milan and Genoa. Turin is ranked third in Italy, after Milan and Rome, for economic strength. With a GDP of $58 billion, Turin is the world's 78th richest city by purchasing power, and as of 2010 has been ranked as a ‘global world city’.
Turin is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin, the football teams Juventus F.C. and Torino F.C., the headquarters of automobile manufacturers FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo, Iveco and as host of the 2006 Winter Olympics and, in the same year, the 37th Chess Olympiad. Several International Space Station modules, such as Harmony and Columbus, were also manufactured in Turin. It was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy from 1563, then of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the Royal House of Savoy and finally the first capital of the unified Italy.
About the agreement
A ceremony for the official signing of a letter of intent as a preliminary action for the signing of a cooperation pact was signed in Turin on 20th May 2015 by Vera Baboun, Mayor of Bethlehem, and Piero Fassino, Mayor of Turin, a visit made in conjunction with the Holy Shroud Exhibition held in Turin at that time. The pact was based on the belief that strengthening dialogue between the cities was a fundamental step towards the development and promotion of economic, academic and cultural relations between the cities. They specifically agreed to cooperate in the field of city development in the realms of cultural heritage, work to improve the water supply in Bethlehem (Bethlehem Smart Water/BSW), the training of public staff, preparation of Market Guidelines and management procedures, exchange of expertise, tourism and industry as well as a number of other areas.
This action followed the visit of a delegation from Turin in connection with the ‘Bethlehem Smart Water project’ in January/February 2015 and the visit of a delegation to Bethlehem at the beginning of May. In August 2015 a group of 16 visited Turin to attend a workshop at which the BSW project would be presented.
The final agreement of cooperation was signed on 14th October 2015 by both Mayors but Vera Baboun, Mayor of Bethlehem, was unable to travel to Turin because of the situation in Palestine.