ESC in Turin: message of tolerance and peace

Status: 05/08/2022 12:05

The Eurovision Song Contest will be decided in Turin in a week. The city of northern Italy is surprisingly glamorous at the opening ceremony – and with a message of tolerance and peace.

By Jörg Seisselberg, ARD studio Rome, currently Turin

In the Parco del Valentino, between the Po River and the coolest neighborhoods in the city, the people of Turin worked to the last on Fan Village. 17,000 people should find a place here. Some from the ESC milieu, such as the Italian Cristina Giuntini, are already in Turin and looking around. “People from all countries will celebrate together here,” the Florentine says in anticipation. The current situation in the world is difficult, she admits, but “music brings people together like nothing else”.

Giuntini is perhaps the biggest fan of the Eurovision Song Contest in the host country. Her parents got her excited about ESC, she says, since 2009 the Florentine has been there live for all decisions. Now she is experiencing for the first time a final “a casa” (at home) – and welcomes the fact that Torino has been awarded the contract: “Because Turin is a city that is easily forgotten by many non-Italians.” In Italy, Rome, Florence and Venice are tourist attractions. But Turin also has a lot of beautiful things to offer, both culinary and architectural – “Turin was, after all, Italy’s first capital”.

Aperitif on the square

Hardly anyone can tell you about it like Ardena Caramello. The Turines lead through her hometown as a tourist guide – and beam as she enjoys the buildings around the central square of Piazza San Carlo with a sweeping arm gesture: “The buildings here are simply beautiful. They date from the 17th century, are not baroque or art nouveau, but classic, some still in their original condition. ” It is the most expensive place in the city, but care has been taken “that well-established cafes and shops can keep under the arcades”.

The people of Turin are seen primarily as hardworking and ambitious, as friendly but initially reserved – but they are also people who enjoy themselves. They proudly point out that vermouth, and with it the aperitif, was invented in Turin in the 18th century. A tradition still actively cultivated in the city, Caramello says: “At 11, 11:30 you drink your first aperitif here on Sunday. It’s just part of it.” Show up at the piazza until it’s time for lunch at home. During the week it starts later, so early in the evening, Turin’s city center is practically a single aperitif bar.

Preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest are in full swing at San Carlo Square in Turin.

Image: EPA

Italy’s first capital

When the people of Turin do not enjoy life, they like to invent. Turin, says Caramello, is more of an innovative than an industrial city, though it has this image because of the Fiat factories. The first coffee machine came from here, but also the first Italian reinforced concrete, the country’s first cinema opened in Turin, so did the first car factory, and the two largest Italian banks also have their roots here.

Perhaps the most important innovation: Italy was “invented” in Turin. In the 19th century, the liberal royal family Savoyen, based here, promoted the country’s union, and Turin became Italy’s first capital. Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture from those years characterizes the city center, which is 18 kilometers of arcades and one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe.

Mayor hopes Mahmood and Blanco win

A mayor from the Left Democrats, Stefano Lo Russo, is sitting in the town hall today. For the Committee’s days, the mayor wants Turin to send a message of tolerance, peace and the European spirit.

With a view to the decision on the music scene, Lo Russo, as mayor of the host city, says he wants the best winner, but subsequently presses: “As an Italian and a Turin, I also admit that I cross my fingers. for Mahmood and Blanco. Because in case they really win, I will announce: Then we will do ESC in Turin next year as well. “

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