The Lingotto's unusual rooftop is a true high-speed test track where thousands of Fiats underwent testing once they came out of the assembly line.
There is something both mythical and magical about Turin. The city is located at the intersection point between two triangles, that of white magic with Prague and Lyon and that of black magic with London and San Francisco. Black and white, Good and Evil, light and darkness: you can feel it in the air. The mysterious aura surrounding Turin and the emotional tension that floats among the streets have indeed very ancient origins, a magical legacy so powerful that turned it into the most famous esoteric city in the world.
Turin is a very beautiful city. What I love the most are its magnificent huge and charming squares and architecture. It reminds me of Paris a lot as «there’s a whiff of Paris in Turin’s elegant tree-lined boulevards and echoes of Vienna in its stately art-nouveau cafes, but make no mistake – this elegant, Alp-fringed city is utterly self-possessed.» according to Lonely Planet.
However, Turin is not only made by ancient buildings and smooth marbles but it proudly embraces its past as a motor city with the iconic cars producer Fiat.
The factory building of Fiat, called Lingotto, was built between 1919 and 1923, the year of its inauguration. It was a massive half-kilometer long reinforced concrete structure, five stories tall, that once housed the largest and most modern car manufacturing in the world. But what made it (and still do indeed) so special about Lingotto is a unique feauture: a racetrack on the roof! It was designed by architect Giacomo Mattè-Trucco in a very special way that allowed every step of the car-making process to be carried out there. The factory has a winding, internal ramp so that the cars could be driven up successive floors as they moved along the various stages of production. Finally, the finished cars would be taken to the rooftop of the building where thousands of Fiats underwent testing once they came out of the assembly line.
For its time, the Lingotto building was avant-garde, influential and impressive.
“One of the most impressive sights in industry and a guideline for town planning”.
- Le Corbusier
Lingotto finished car production in 1982, but today it’s still used as a commercial hub with the rooftop racetrack still intact for electric cars tests. And once again, what makes it even more special nowadays is the lush roof garden open to public.