The conference main venue is OGR, the hub of innovation and art in Turin, supported by a group of modern classrooms at Politecnico di Torino for the workshops and tutorials days. An aerial view of the venue is provided, with its main landmarks: the OGR building, Rooms R, Rooms I, and Rooms T. The Porta Susa train station and the iconic Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper by Renzo Piano, which hosts the AFC event on Monday afternoon, are within walking distance (5 minutes).
The venues are all extremely close, with the OGR and the rooms R, I, and T in adjacent spaces, sharing their borders.
This area of the city is characterized by an optimal connectivity having metro station and train station, and being within walking distance from many points of interest in the city.
OGR: the hub of innovation and art in Turin
Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR) are characterised by an iconic H-shaped building: 20,000 square metres split between two wings (currently OGR Cult and OGR Tech), each 200 metres long and 13 metres high (16m in the Duomo), connected by a cross section, called Transetto, which offers a series of bars and restaurants, as well as a very pleasant beer-garden in the back area.
Built between 1885 and 1895, for over a hundred years OGR stood for excellence in the manufacturing and maintenance of trains, at the time truly a spearhead of technology and progress for the city. Once a major industrial site OGR were purchased in 2013 by Fondazione CRT, which carried out their redevelopment and repurposing, becoming the new beating heart of creativity, culture and entertainment. While preserving their strong historic identity, the repurposed OGR have become a multifunctional cultural hub where art, music, culture, innovation and major events take shape, with spaces “changing their skin” to adapt to any need. Just 5 minutes from the centre of Turin, OGR are situated in one of the most convenient and strategic areas of the city. See a video here:
Figures 2a and 2b offer a birdseye view of the OGR structure and a floor plan. The main conference venue would be the right wing (OGR Cult) but we plan to use also part of the left wing (OGR Tech). We next describe the main rooms.
Foyer. This large reception area (Figure 3a) provides access to the conference spaces and will hold the registration desk, wardrobe, sponsors desks etc.
Sala Fucine. The east wing of OGR Cult has kept the original name of Sala Fucine (Figure 3b) and is often dedicated to performing arts and music shows. The grand dimensions and the high ceilings make Sala Fucine a unique space of its kind and, with its wide range of setup options. It will be used as the plenary session room.
Duomo. Duomo (Figure 3c), is the heart of OGR Cult: this imposing 19 metre high hall – where train carriages used to be positioned vertically for boiler maintenance – is now dedicated to symposiums, workshops, conferences, training and didactical activities. On its walls, in a game of cross-references and fusion between memory and the present day, the traces of the building’s past have been preserved for the visitors. Speakers’ corner. Speakers’ corner (Figure 3d) which is part of OGR Tech – OGR’s hub dedicated to innovation – Speakers’ Corner is a wide versatile area to host cutting-edge events.
Rooms at Politecnico di Torino
Rooms R. This building of the Politecnico di Torino hosts four 300-seat classrooms and four 150-seat classrooms, featuring the most advanced and flexible equipment and solutions. The whole building is new, with its open ceremony held in June 2021. Some pictures of the building are provided in Figure 4. The large rear volumes are connected to via Borsellino by a connective volume, which preserves the masonry fa¸cade and uses the scanning of the sheds and their stereometry to raise it through large windows flush with the current façade.
Rooms I. The building is made up of 12 underground classrooms, with capacities ranging from 100 to 200 seats. They are surrounded by a large garden, which all the classrooms overlook. The classrooms, therefore, enjoy good natural lighting thanks to the windows that cover the entire wall facing the central garden. All the rooms feature full audiovideo equipment to host lectures and conferences. Some pictures of the building are provided in Figure 5.
The city of Turin
Turin, with its 900.000 inhabitants, is the fourth biggest Italian city and the second in the North West. Turin was the first capital of Italy, a city which offers a lot in terms of art, culture and sightseeing (more information in the second part of this proposal). In 2006, Turin hosted the Winter Olympic Games. Turin is a vibrant city which in the last years has been going trough a strong renovation process which as brought it to be one of the main innovation hubs in Europe.
Fueled by its traditionally strong industrial texture (automotive, aerospace, agri-food), Turin is recently witnessing an increasing interest in AI applications, thanks to which it has been selected as the future home of the Italian Institute of AI.
The two universities hosted in the city have several AI-oriented labs (HPC4AI, SmartData@PoliTO, AI@PoliTO, ELLIS unit, etc.), there is an international PhD on Law, Science and Technology, and the National PhD program on AI. Finally, there are several industrial research labs, including Amazon (mostly Alexa-related NLP research), Nuance, TIM-Google partnership, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, just to mention a few.
Discovering Turin means passing through twenty centuries of history. Walking through its streets is like visiting an open air museum, you can discover Italian history visiting the city that went from being a Roman encampment and a medieval centre to the first capital of Italy.
With its 40 museums Turin satisfies the tourist’s curiosity. The National Museum of Cinema in the Mole Antonelliana gives an insight into the world of cinema, from magic lanterns to the special effects of Hollywood cinema. The GAM, Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art has Chagall, Modigliani and Picasso paintings, and there is a historical museum dedicated to Pietro Micca, where you can tour the tunnels under the ancient town. Palazzo Carignano, the work of Guarini, saw the birth of the first Italian Parliament and which today hosts the Museum of the Risorgimento. In another Guarini building, in Piazza Carignano, you can visit the Egyptian Museum, the second only to the Cairo Museum for the number and importance of its exhibits. To the right of the Royal Palace, you can find the Archivio di Stato and the Regio Theatre. Behind them is the Cavallerizza area, historically reserved for the King and the Court and then transformed to hold the Regia Zecca and the Military Academy.
Historic cafés are seats of tradition and culture and worth visiting for their antique furniture and the warm atmosphere of the real Turin. Here taste the “bicerin”, a mix of chocolate, milk and coffee popular since the seventeenth century.
The aperitif ritual should not be missed either, a moment for relaxing with friends while nibbling delicious savouries in one of the various dehors where you can enjoy the natural and architectural beauties of Turin. The city offers a very high level of cuisine too as Turin is the capital of wines, both red and white, that perfectly match its traditional dishes. Turin offers high quality restaurants, with an eye on tradition and extraordinary local products: cheese, wild mushrooms, truffles, chocolate, and prestigious wines.
A city in the heart of Europe
Turin is a city that looks to the future, confident of its historic legacy of material and cultural resources. The capital of the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1864, Turin’s industrial development began in the second half of the 19th century. Industry was the key sector in the city’s development throughout the 20th century. Turin periodically reinvents itself and this is the reason for its renewed modernity. Today, the city has several faces: a centre of finance and industry, international trade and a meeting point, but at the same time a city which is pleasant to live in with an unmistakable atmosphere.
Seen from the air, Turin shows all its rationality: straight roads crossing at right angles, long tree-lined avenues, great squares and luminous internal courtyards. But it also reveals the imposing presence of nature: four rivers, the hills, parks and gardens that make it one of the greenest cities in Europe. A region which has been the main stage for European history. From Roman Britain to Flanders, from Franche Comt´e to Burgundy, from Switzerland to the western provinces of the Empire, the cities in this belt are the original urban heartland of Europe.
Turin is also strategically projected towards new markets and new trading partners – along the ”Latin axis”, that runs from Madrid and Barcelona to the Midi in France, through the Po Valley and on to the south and east. Turin’s historical and economic links with Europe are confirmed by its efficient infrastructure network.
The Savoy capital
The capital of the Duchy of Savoy, the Kingdom of Sardinia and then the first capital of Italy, Turin offers a circuit of great historical and architectural interest: the Savoy Residences. In addition to the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Savoys until 1865, the circuit includes palaces, residences and castles in the city centre and in the surrounding towns.
Turin is home to Palazzo Chiablese, the Royal Armoury, the Royal Library, Palazzo Madama, Palazzo Carignano, Villa della Regina, and the Valentino Castle. In the area around the city, the castles of Rivoli, Moncalieri, Venaria, Agli`e, Racconigi, Govone and Pollenzo can also be visited. Moreover the Hunting Lodge by Juvarra can be admired in Stupinigi. Some of these host events, exhibitions and cultural initiatives.
Entertainment and shopping in Turin
An opera theatre, three auditoriums, twelve theatres, high quality concerts and live music: Turin loves music. Concerts of all kinds attract an educated and open to innovation audience. The city has a large number of associations that help to make the quality of musical life in Turin unique. The RAI National Symphonic Orchestra is based in Turin. The Teatro Regio, one of Italy’s most prestigious opera houses, offers a programme of the highest international standing.
The Unione Musicale, founded in 1946 to promote music among young people, organises a busy programme of chamber music concerts every year. The Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi is one of Italy’s most famous music schools, attended by over 700 students. It contains an auditorium with splendid acoustics.
The Lingotto Auditorium (one of the largest and most modern in Italy and one of Renzo Piano’s masterpieces) hosts the world’s greatest orchestras with renowned directors and soloists. The high point of the musical season in Turin is MITO Settembre Musica: a full immersion in music for the whole September. From symphonic concerts to chamber music, contemporary and ethnic music, oratorio and jazz, this rich and varied programme attracts 40,000 people every year.
Turin boasts five shopping centres, 16,000 shops, 60 open-air markets and more than 12 kilometres of arcades. These are the figures of one of the Italian capitals for quality shopping. Haute couture boutiques and jewellery under the arcades of Via Roma and the Subalpina and San Federico galleries; antiques shops and restoration workshops in Via Maria Vittoria, Via della Rocca and Via Principe Amedeo; bookshops, perfume and clothes shops in Via Garibaldi – the city’s longest pedestrian street.
Turism in the city
Egyptian Museum (2 hours) The Museo delle Antichit`a Egizie is the only museum other than the Cairo Museum that is dedicated solely to Egyptian art and culture. Many international scholars, since the decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphs Jean-Franc¸ois Champollion, who came to Turin in 1824, spend much time pouring over the collections. It was Champollion who famously wrote, “The road to Memphis and Thebes passes through Turin”. The collections that make up today’s Museum were enlarged by the excavations conducted in Egypt by the Museum’s archaeological mission between 1900 and 1935 (a period when finds were divided between the excavators and Egypt). The Egyptian Museum was founded in 1824 by Carlo Alberto and now holds more than 30,000 exhibits.
Palazzo Reale (2 hours) Palazzo Reale (the Royal Palace) was designed by Carlo di Castellamonte in 1658. For 200 years it underwent various modifications at the hands of the court architects, from Amedeo di Castellamonte – who designed the main body of the building – to Filippo Juvarra, Benedetto Alfieri, Pelagio Pelagi and Benedetto Vittone – responsible for the internal wings. The Palace is one of the most complete points of reference for the documentation of furniture and furnishings in Turin from the mid-17th to the mid-18th century.
Savoy Gallery (2 hours) Established in 1832 at the behest of King Carlo Alberto, the Savoy Gallery houses the collections from the Royal Palace, the Carignano palace in Turin as well as the Durazzo palace in Genoa (acquired in 1824). It takes its name from the fact that it was partly constituted of art treasures collected by the House of Savoy for their various residences and subsequently brought together by Carlo Alberto. The new collection system, according to the specification renovated between 1987 and 1997, includes seven areas of access. On the first floor are displayed the works of the Piedmontese School (XIV-XVI century). The second floor is dedicated to the Savoy iconography and to the dynasty collection.
Palazzo Madama (2 hours) Palazzo Madama is a large historic building that now houses the collections of the Museo Civico d’Arte Antica, Turin’s municipal museum of ancient art. The visit thus consists of two tours in one: you will learn about the history of the building, as well as about the works of art it contains. The visit covers four floors, taking you on a sort of journey through time: in the basement, down by the Roman foundations, there is the Lapidario Medievale – the medieval stonework collection – with stone sculptures and jewellery. From there you can reach the Medieval Garden, a heaven of nature and silence in the heart of Turin; the ground floor is mainly devoted to the fifteenth-century castle and to the art of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance. In the Treasure Tower, you will find the Portrait of a Man by Antonello da Messina. The Baroque rooms on the first floor contain the art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with paintings and with furniture by Pifetti and Prunotto in lavishly decorated settings. Lastly, on the second floor, you will be able to see the decorative arts of all ages: ceramics, ivories, jewellery, fabrics, glasswork, and much more besides.
Museo Nazionale del Cinema (2 hours) The National Cinema Museum of Torino it’s not a museum in the traditional sense of the term. Those who have already visited it understand what we mean. And those of you who are planning on visiting it will be surprised to discover what a special and unique place it is. The Museum is one of the most important of its kind in the world thanks to it vast collection and the many different scientific and educational activities it carries out. But what makes it truly unique is its special exhibit setup. The museum is located inside the Mole Antonelliana, a bizarre and fascinating monument which is the symbol of the City of Torino. And the various areas inside the Mole Antonelliana were the starting point for the Swiss set designer Fran¸cois Confino who, with talent and imagination, multiplied the museum’s itineraries. He created a spectacular presentation that offers visitors continuous and unexpected visual and acoustic stimuli, just like when we watch a film that involves and moves us. The Museum is more than a museum and whoever enters it isn’t just a visitor but also an explorer, an author, an actor, a spectator.
Out of town trips
Turin is at the centre of a ring of mountains and close to Mar Ligure. From Genoa to Cannes, all the most famous tourist resorts of the Riviera and the Cˆote d’Azur are linked to Turin by motorway. You can be at the seaside in an hour and a half. There are also excellent regular rail connections. Only a little more than one hour from Turin there are winter sports resorts renowned throughout the world: Bardonecchia, San Sicario, Sauze d’Oulx and Sestrières.
Mountains are the natural home for winter sports, but also the ideal place for enjoying uncontaminated nature. In warmer months, the Alpine valleys closest to the city – Lanzo, Susa, Chisone, Germanasca and Pellice – are the perfect setting for walks and hikes, taking visitors even as far as the Gran Paradiso national park. The Gran Paradiso was the first park established in Italy and incorporates a vast area of valleys and mountains. The highest peak is over four thousand metres high, like many others in the Valle d’Aosta, where the most famous are Mont Blanc (4,810 metres), Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn. The Alps boast the highest peaks in Europe, and constitute a unique natural and biological heritage. An extremely important environmental and tourist resource, that is conserved and enhanced with the due equilibrium in Piedmont: there are two national parks and 55 protected areas.
Only 70 kilometres from Turin, between Langa and Monferrato, some of the world’s most celebrated wines are grown: Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Asti Spumante and Moscato. This is the centre of a noble and very varied gastronomic tradition. Here you will find some of Piedmont’s most beautiful towns, among them Alba, Bra, Casale and Cherasco.
Langhe and Monferrato are less than an hour from Turin. Once just a destination for day-trippers, today the area is visited by tourists from Switzerland, Germany and all of Northern Europe. Just 90 minutes from Turin, there are two of the most famous lakes in Italy: the great Lake Maggiore and the smaller Lake of Orta. Holiday resorts since the beginning of the century, they conserve the architecture of the period in their beautiful villas and many hotels. The area of Lake Maggiore offers high quality tourist facilities: resorts and historical parks, protected environmental areas as well as water sports centres.
Visit to Savoy Hunting Lodge – Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi (3 hours) Built for Vittorio Amedeo II by Filippo Juvarra in the period 1729-1739, the Palace was extended in the reign of Carlo Emanuele III by the architect Benedetto Alfieri, who designed the apartments for the King’s sons, the Dukes of Chiablese and Savoy. The original furnishings of the Palace include masterpieces by Piedmontese “minusieri” and cabinet-makers, among them Pietro Piffetti, Luigi Prinotto, Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo and Francesco Bolgiè. The paintings include vast hunting canvases by Vittorio Amedeo Cignaroli and lintels by Michele Rapous. The Napoleonic government declared Stupinigi a Palais Impérial, together with Palazzo Reale and Palazzo Chiablese; until the end of World War II it was one of the favourite residences of the Savoys. Today it is part of the circuit of Savoy Residences and houses the ‘Museum of History, Art and Furnituré.
Castle of Rivoli (3 hours) The Castle of Rivoli is 14 km from Turin. Magnificently situated on a hill which dominates the entrance to the Susa Valley, along the old road to France, the castle was almost certainly used as a viewpoint which contributed to the defence of the valley. Today its appearance betrays little of its ancient origins (12th century); over the centuries it has undergone various modifications, especially at the beginning of the 17th century, by the architect Carlo di Castellamonte, subsequently by Michelangelo Garove and in the 18th century by Filippo Juvarra. Seriously damaged in the last War, it has been restored and since 1984 has been the premises of the Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses artistically significant permanent collections.
Reggia di Venaria Reale (4 hours) La Venaria Reale is a “permanent cultural project” that offers a wealth of opportunities to learn, to feel new emotions and to make new experiences: it is a “contemporary court” awaiting to be discovered. It is also a journey through Italy and its glorious historical, natural and gastronomic heritage to celebrate “regality and the pleasure of living”. La Venaria Reale is a grandiose estate just outside Turin. In comprises 80,000 square meters of floor surface in the Reggia and 60 hectares of Gardens, adjacent to the 17th century ancient village of Venaria and the 3,000 fenced hectares of the Park of La Mandria. It is a natural and architectural masterpiece that was declared part of the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997. It reopened to the public in 2007 after completing the EU’s largest cultural restoration project to date. The monumental palace or Reggia boasts some of the finest examples of universal Baroque: the elegant Hall of Diana designed by Amedeo di Castellamonte, the solemn Great Gallery and the Church of St. Hubert, the imposing complex of the Juvarra Stables designed by Filippo Juvarra in the 18th century, the sumptuous decorations and the spectacular Fountain of the Stag in the Court of Honor. The permanent display – almost 2.000 m long – devoted to the House of Savoy spans from the basement level to the piano nobile of the Reggia.
Visit to the Langa: wine and food tour (all day long) Who reaches Langhe and Roero area, attracted to its food and wine tradition, can see a breathtaking landscape: hills covered with extensive vineyards which are dressed in new colors every season from ocher to gold, from bright green to warmer tones. The “Strada del Barolo e grandi vini di Langa” is a touristic and cultural wine trail that crosses hills, wineries and farms.
You can experience tastings at companies, visits to vineyards and cellars to understand the work behind this ancient and wonderful product, the wine.
Lago Maggiore (all day long) Lago Maggiore, at the foot of the Alps, is the second largest lake in Italy. A mild climate, lush vegetation, castles and medieval villages, the Borromeo Islands (Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre), and the gardens of Villa Taranto make Lake Maggiore an enchanting area.