The area was settled by the Taurini in pre-Roman times. In the first century A.D., the Romans created a military camp (Castra Taurinorum), later dedicated to Augustus (Augusta Taurinorum). The typical Roman street plan with streets at right angles can still be seen in the modern city. Nowadays the city is a major industrial centre, known particularly as home to the headquarters and main production lines of the car company Fiat. The city is home to the famous Lingotto building, at one time the largest car factory in the world, now a convention centre, concert hall, art gallery, and hotel.
One of its main symbols is Mole Antonelliana. The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist houses the Shroud of Turin, an old linen cloth with an imprint of a man, which is believed by many to be the cloth that covered Jesus in his grave. The Museo Egizio has one of the most important collections of Egyptian antiquities in the world.
The city is famous for its soccer teams (Juventus and A.C. Torino), and will host the 2006 Winter Olympics. During the fifties, in a terrible air accident, the whole football team of Turin (then one of the most important in Italy) was in a plane that hit the church of Superga, on the Turin hills. Among those who lost their lives was Valentino Mazzola, father of Ferruccio and Sandro Mazzola (who were also later to be football champions).
Turin is surrounded by several smaller cities in the Province of Turin such as Grugliasco, Rivoli, Orbassano, Moncalieri, Avigliana, Buttigliera Alta, Gassino Torinese, etc. to make up one of Italy's primary metropolitan areas.
Turin is also the birthplace of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour.