Like most Eurovision enthusiasts, I was waiting an eternity for the Eurovision Song Contest host city reveal. Turin was a front runner from the beginning and seemed to be the eventual winner BUT with so many other options thrown out there, the race to find the host city was bound to get interesting.
Upon learning the information of the selection, I instantly ran to Airbnb (of course) to search for a room and was left with a conundrum… Is Turin Torino? Some listings said Turin. Some said, Torino. Was my search correct? Was I about to book a room in the wrong city?
Of course, Google quickly answered my Turin vs Torino question. But then another question presented itself. All of the promotional materials say, Turin. However, Italians supposedly call the city Torino. If Italians call it Torino, why aren’t we?
This question has been debated before, most notably during the 2006 Winter Olympics.
“The city in Italy (map) that’s hosting this month’s 2006 Winter Olympics is known throughout the English-speaking world—and to speakers of the traditional Piedmontese language of the region—as Turin. But the official name, as far as the Olympics are concerned, is “Torino,” in keeping with a decision by the IOC.via National Geographic
So apparently, the city officials were hoping that the name Torino would become more widely used by way of the 2006 Winter Olympic coverage. In the National Geographic article, BBC Sports’s Tim English was quoted as saying, “Our presenters and commentators will initially be using ‘Turin,’ because that is how the city is known in the English-speaking world, and [it] will relate better to the vast majority of our viewers…we will try as much as possible to bring in the Italian ‘Torino’ at appropriate moments, in order to reflect the official name of the city and educate the audience.”
Why can’t we call it what the folks WANT us to call it?
This isn’t the only city in Italy facing this conundrum:
- Rome vs Roma
- Milan vs. Milano
- Florence vs Firenze
- Do you remember “Leghorn” aka Livorno?
In America during the 2006 Olympics, NBC Sports and CBS Sports writers referred to the Italian city as Torino BUT! The Associated Press held strong and referred to the host city as it’s “official name” Turin. NBC’s Dick Ebersol told the Wall Street Journal, “Turin just doesn’t do it for me…It [Torino] rolls off your tongue, sounds so Italian, so romantic.”
I’m with Dick. I want to tell people I’m going to Torino. Why? Italians call it that and it sure does SOUND Italian. After almost 2 years of no real travel and fun, your girl needs to live in a fantasy— a fantasy in the magical land that is Torino.
What do you think? Should we be calling it Torino?