Though the 66th edition of Eurovision is still 11 months away, Italy is slowly but surely getting ready for the event. Now that we know that the peninsula will host the show, and that RAI has had its first meeting with the EBU in Geneva, the word on everybody’s lips is “dove?” (where?).
Right after Måneskin’s victory, several cities expressed their will to welcome the contest in 2022. One of the very first ones to do so was Turin (Torino in Italian) and now, Piedmont’s capital city is taking it a step further.
On May 24th, the city’s mayor, Chiara Appendino declared Turin’s intention to bid and on June 17th, 2 motions were presented to the city council. This morning, the voting took place and both motions were unanimously adopted, hence launching the bid.
The first motion, introduced by M5S party, focuses on the turistic spinoffs Eurovision would have on the city. The second one, by Lega Nord party, underlines the ecomomical benefits the event would bring to the city, especially after the pandemic.
So now, with the official support of political authorities, the race can start for Turin even though RAI hasn’t started the selection process yet, and has not even published the criteria (even though they should be similar to 2020). An official launch of the procedure is expected anytime soon.
Turin is the 4th city of Italy with 850,000 inhabitants (2.2 million within the metropolitan area). It is often referred to as “the cradle of Italian liberty” since it was the first capital city of the Kingdom of Italy (from 1861 to 1865). Though it is less trendy than its Lombard couterpart Milan, the Alpine city is famous worldwide for being the birth place of FIAT. The city was put under the spotlight back in 2006 when it successfully hosted the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Recently, Turin has achieved two goals: Ryanair chose the city as one of its new hubs, and the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) has decided to organize its Nitto ATP finals there from 2021 to 2025. For many Turinese, Eurovision would be a third victory for their city.
Though long seen as an old industrial city of the North, Turin was reborn with the 2006 Olympics, changing, improving and becoming a more and more popular destination, catching up on Milan.
So far, 11 cities have expressed their intention to bid:
- Florence (Firenze)
- Milan* (Milano)
- Naples (Napoli)
- Reggio Emilia
- Rome* (Roma)
- San Remo
- Turin* (Torino)
But among those cities, only 4 (in bold* on the list) seem to meet the host city criteria set up by the EBU a few years ago. The main criteria being: proximity with an international airport, at least 2,000 hotel rooms, a suitable area for Eurovillage and an indoor venue which can accomodate an audience of around 10,000.
When it comes to Turin, the city has a medium-sized yet international airport (Aeroporto di Torino-Caselle), and as a former Olympic city, accomodation should not be an issue. But the strongest point of Turin’s bid may be its venue.
It seems obvious that if Turin was chosen, the contest would be held in the renowned Pala Alpitour. This multi-purpose indoor arena was built as the ice-hockey venue for the 2006 Olympics, and has since become one of the main arenas in Italy, whether for sports competitions or concerts with a capacity of nearly 16,000. It is today the 2nd largest venue in Italy (after Bologna’s Unipol Arena).
The last detail that could make Turin stand as an front-runner in the race, is the fact that back in 2017, when Gabbani was considered a top favorite to win the contest in Kyiv, RAI had already strongly considered Piedmont’s capital as the most suitable host city for the 2018 contest.
So now, Turin is the very first city to officially be on its starting blocks, waiting for RAI to launch a selection process that promises to be quite interesting and with a real suspense (for once)…