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    Art and history

    Interior of Palazzo Madama – Turin

    The history of the Piedmont is rooted in prehistoric times, where, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, settled the prehistoric civilization said of Golasecca , during the Iron Age. It was then occupied by the X century BC by the Celts and Ligurians Taurini, then conquered by the Romans. Colonies were born as the “Augusta Taurinorum” (now Turin), Hasta Pompeia (Asti), Derthona (Tortona) and Eporedia (Ivrea). In the Middle Ages the Piedmont is ruled by powerful feudal families and is divided into counties and marquis. Is of the eleventh century, the first attempt of unification between the marquis of Ivrea and Turin and the foundation of free communes as Asti, Alessandria and Vercelli  and strong marquisates as that of Saluzzo and Monferrato.

    Politically, we see only the Piedmont since 1400, when Amadeus VIII of Savoy became the Duke of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta. The Savoy State has established itself as the Italian state, with Turin and the Italian capital as the national language, with the founding of universities and a national militia. The Piedmont is a land of battles during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, and again in 1848, when Carlo Alberto gives the Statute for the establishment of a unified Italian state. Then come the reforms of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, destined to renew the Piedmont and the kingdom. In 1861 the kingdom of Italy was proclaimed, with its capital in Turin and with its new legal structure and policy contained in the Albertine Statute of 1848 At the turn of the ‘900 Turin becomes hub of economic and cultural two phenomena: the industry automobile and the cinema. Born FIAT (1899), LANCIA (1906) and in 1905 the Carrozzeria Farina , while the early ‘900 are produced the first film. Meanwhile, the Biella consolidates control of the textile industry, and in Ivrea and the Canavese develops the mechanical industry with the production of office machines and early computers. In 1908 was founded the Olivetti.

    The Romanesque style is the style of medieval art, in Piedmont, shows different influences depending on the areas: east of Lombard, north (Val d’Ossola and Sesia Valley) in Swiss German, in the valleys of Susa d’Aosta and French art. Along the Via Francigena, an important way of communication in the Middle Ages, there are interesting Romanesque monuments and small towns of the same period such as, for example, Cortemilia in the Langhe, Cortazzone, Montechiaro d’Asti in the hills of  Monferrato, the Cathedral of  San Giusto in Susa and the Cathedral of Acqui Terme and that of Ivrea. In the Province of Turin are, in Val di Susa, the famous architectural complex of the Sacra di San Michele, the abbey of Novalesa, baptistery and the church of San Giovanni di Piobesi Torinese. In Turin, is an example of Romanesque bell tower of Sant’Andrea della Consolata, in the province of Cuneo is a wonderful testimony to the abbey of Staffarda while in Revello, in the province of Vercelli, it is the church of San Michele in Clivolo – Borgo d’Ale.

    For the Piedmont, the period of major artistic creativity is the Baroque, which is strongly influenced by the rise of the House of Savoy  from the late sixteenth to the eighteenth century: anywhere we build buildings and churches, and the baroque marks, for over two centuries, architecture and urban planning, enabling factor in Turin to become an exemple  of modern urban structure.

    The Savoy residences are photography monumental architecture between the European ‘600 and’ 700, symbolizing – with style, space and dimensions – the idea of absolute monarchy. In Turin you can admire the Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Carignano, Villa della Regina, Palazzo Madama, and the Valentino Castle. Nearby, the Castle of Rivoli, Moncalieri Castle, the residence of Venaria Reale, the Hunting Palace of Stupinigi and the ducal castle of Aglié. In Turin there are also other examples of Baroque architecture in the dome of the Shroud and in that of San Lorenzo, in addition to the work of the masters Filippo Juvarra and Guarino Guarini, or the magnificent Sanctuary of the Consolata. Another symbol of Turin is the baroque Basilica di Superga, situated on a hill just outside of the city from where you have a magnificent view, and that is home to most of the tombs of the Savoy family.

    In the province of Cuneo there are other residences of Savoy as the Racconigi Castle, Castello di Pollenzo, the Govone Castle and the Palace of Valcasotto. Today, the Piedmont, and in particular its capital, Turin, is an important landmark in contemporary Italian and international art scene, and we must not forget that the region is home to many monuments that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Turin is one of the major European centers of contemporary art: the GAM  – Gallery of Modern Art, with a collection of over 20,000 pieces, and the Museum of Contemporary Art at the Castle of Rivoli, beautiful Savoy residence redesigned by Filippo Juvarra for Vittorio Amedeo II, with the works of contemporary Vedova, Pistoletto, Paolini, Merz, Sol Lewitt, Long, Kounellis, etc.. Many appointments with the art as “Artissima” with the art market and “Luci d’Artista”, art exhibit bright open that bring to new life monuments, streets and squares of Turin proving that art lies not only in exhibitions and museums.

    To note the itineraries of art throughout the Piedmont: in Biella, Michelangelo Pistoletto founded “Cittadellarte” new model of artistic and cultural institution; Guarene, in the palace of the town hall square, opens one of the seats of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo while the old Filatoio di Caraglio, in the province of Cuneo, is transformed into a cultural center open to projects and thematic exhibitions on display in the beautiful Castle of  Rivara, the gallery owner Franz Paludetto transfers its historic art gallery.