Turin (Italian: Torino), a large city of about one million inhabitants, is set in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, a one-hour drive from the French border and slightly more than that from the Mediterranean sea. It's famous for being the home of Italy's royal family. Today, Turin, with its fine, aristocratic atmosphere, old world sophisticated shops, grand boulevards and palaces, leafy parks, and several art galleries, is an increasingly popular tourist resort. The 2006 Winter Olympics, and its status recently as World Book Capital have promoted tourists to visit this beautiful and underestimated Italian city, with a lot of culture and artsy stuff.
Turin was the first capital of modern Italy, and was the host of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. While it's not a famous tourist destination like Florence or Rome, the setting is pleasant, with the Po River flowing through the city, the genteel hills overlooking the city and scattered with pleasant villas and the Italian Alps off in the distance. This is why the famous architect Le Corbusier defined Turin as "the city with the most beautiful natural location in the world".
Turin is an important city of technology and industry, and the FIAT automobile company is based here. (The 'T' in the name stands for Torino). It was also the birthplace to many important cultural and political movements in Italy.
Turin inhabitants are well known across Italy for their understatement and composure and the city reflects this attitude.
Many people consider Torino the European capital of Baroque: many palaces and churches were built in this style during the kingdom of the Savoia. It isn't the typical Italian city, with red and yellow buildings: is a bit more French; wide boulevards with white buildings make the city centre more similar to Paris. Around the city, a crown of churches and castles, some up on a hilltop, some lost in a park, provide plenty of interesting views. Turin also has an aristocratic atmosphere - the centre is filled with posh 19th century cafes, regal-like arcaded mansions, debonair glittering restaurants, and grand churches.
Turin is home to the famous Shroud of Turin. More recently, it has become the home of the Slow Food Movement.
Turin's international airport is placed 15 km north of the city and is named after Italy's former President Sandro Pertini. It is located in the town of Caselle, connected to Turin city by a convenient motorway. The main carriers to reach Torino from abroad are Lufthansa, Air France and Alitalia if flying from Rome or Naples , Italy's flagship airline, which operates flight from some European and Italian cities. Caselle is also a destination for some low fares airlines, for example Ryanair and Easyjet. The airport is connected to the city by train (to the station of Porta Dora, which is useless. Arriving at the Porta Dora really is like arriving in the middle of nowhere.), bus (with a regional bus service, which is long) and taxi (30 euro one way to city centre at December 2010).
The SADEM bus service runs every 30-40 minutes from the airport to Torino's Porta Nuova train station. It costs approximately 5 euros, and tickets may be purchased at a ticket kiosk inside the airport terminal. The voyage from the airport to the center of the city takes approximately 40 minutes.
Turin is also reached from Malpensa airport, which may be cheaper to fly to. There is a bus service running five times daily between the city and the airport . The ride lasts 2 hours and costs 18 Euros (as of April 13th, 2007).
Turin has three main railway stations, Porta Nuova, Porta Susa and Lingotto FS.
Generally speaking, Porta Nuova is a station dedicated to mid-range and long-range trains. Porta Susa (under renovation) serves some local trains, but the trains for Milan - leaving from Porta Nuova - also transit there. You'd better check in advance where you need to go. Many trains also stops in both stations. no Trains coming from/going to the south of Turin, for example, Genoa, Cinque Terre, Bologna, depart from Porta Nuova via Lingotto FS, to those cities.
Turin has an efficient system of city connections with buses and trams managed by GTT . Currently, the first driverless, ultra-modern underground line was opened for the Olympics in 2006. Both urban and suburban areas are served by an efficient network. Buses and trams cross the city from morning to late at night.
The hard part of bus travel is remembering you must buy your ticket before you get on the bus. All tabaccherie (tobacconists) sell bus tickets as do some bars and various ticket offices at stations.
There's possibly a bewildering array of tickets from singles to annual season tickets. Generally the longer the ticket the greater the saving but for many season tickets of one week or more you'll need a separate card with photo ID which costs very little and can usually be issued on the sport by the ticket issuer. It's not necessary for single tickets or, in Turin, weekly town tickets.
You may run into ticket inspectors any time, everywhere, even on night buses. Most of them do not speak English and some of them may behave rude. Be sure take your ticket/pass on you and validate it before the first stop after you get on the bus. Once you are caught, you may pay a certian amount of fee about 25euro right on the bus. If you pay later, this amout may increase to 36 euro. If you forgot to take your pass/valid ticket with you, you may tell the inspectors your situation and get a fine ticket of 10 euro. Then you go the GTT office with your fine ticket and your pass/valid ticket and pay.
That's a good question. are somewhat rarer than hen's teeth in Turin. Supposedly it's an integrated transport system for buses, trains, coaches and trams. Certainly trams and buses are one and the same.
You're pretty safe in Turin with yellow buses or trams. The stops are clearly marked with yellow signs. If it seems a very long list your stop will be highlighted in grey and buses go from the bottom to top direction. If it seems a rather short list with just the highlights you probably see an arrow pointing down on the left of the sign, showing stops go from top to bottom. It takes a bit of getting used to! vSome of the more modern and popular trams and buses have onboard indicators and announcements of the forthcoming stops. But don't bank on it.
Yellow buses are divided into urban and suburban. In Turin the urban tickets allow you to hop on and off of as many town buses as you like within and hour of validating your ticket. Suburban tickets cost a little more (valid for 70 minutes) and can get you anywhere up to 20km on some routes. They are also valid for trains within the same area. There's a bit of confusing overlap with some areas appearing to be both urban and suburban. If in doubt buy the suburban ticket, it's a lot cheaper than a fine.
You can also buy your tickets in a 'blochetto' of 15 which works out a reasonable amount cheaper. There are daily tickets for town travel as well as various weekly and monthly combinations.
Things get a little more complicated when you need to go further afield on the bus. Each town, district or region seems to have its own bus service. Generally in Turin there is a healthy selection of blue buses run by SADEM and other companies which tend to go further afield.
If possible still try to buy your ticket before you get on the bus, although vendors are not as numerous. Generally look around for the nearest tobacconist, cafe or news stand.
It should also be possible to buy your ticket on the bus, but this will cost up to 60 cents more and you may get a certain amount of abuse from driver who plainly is not on a percentage.
This also applies to the blue buses between Porta Nuova and Turin airport. There's a kiosk and two vending machines (usually out of action) at the airport and cafes near the terminal in Turin where you can buy tickets for five euro. In theory the bus driver should be able to sell you a ticket but don't bank on it.
The City of Turin has recently completed a network of bicycle paths throughout the city. However, a lot still has to be done, and cycling outside the paths (and sometimes even on them) can be quite tricky.
Car Rentals If you would like to rent a car, you can find all the main car hire companies at Turin Airport. Car rentals companies are grouped together immediately in front of the Domestic Arrivals, Ground Floor-Level Zero.
Taxis in Torino start the meter the moment your call is received. It is not customary to hail a taxi on the street.
Pronto Taxi Tel: +39-011-5737
Radio Taxi Tel: +39-011-5730
Turin Airport Tel: +39-011-9914419
Main Railway station - Torino Porta Nuova Tel. +39-011-547331
Via Sacchi ang. C.so Vittorio Emanuele II Tel: +39-011-657139
Turin's main attractions include important baroque palaces and churches, a regular and attractive street grid, an extensive network of arcades, famous coffeeshops and a number of world-renowned museums.
Mole Antonelliana. Turin's landmark building was completed in 1888 as a synagogue. The 167.5-meter tower is the highest work of masonry in Europe and it now contains one of the finest cinema museum of Europe.
Museo dell'Automobile(Also Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia, Biscaretti for short.), Corso Unità d’Italia 40, . The collection houses over 170 vehicles, from 18th-century carriages to Formula 1 racers, and lots of gorgeous red sports cars. The museum is under restructuring and the re-opening is scheduled for 2011. Part of the collection is currently shown at Torino Esposizioni venue (two kilometres from Museo dell'automobile).
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Duomo di San Giovanni. The Cathedral's Chapel of the Shroud houses the controversial Shroud of Turin, which is stored in a vault below the Duomo. It is only displayed by papal decree, and the last time it was shown was during the Jubilee Year of 2000. The next time it is slated to be shown is between 10 April - 23 May 2010. Information about the shroud, viewings, and reservations can be made at the official site .
Egyptian Museum , 011 561 7776, Via Accademia delle Scienze, 6, Houses the most important collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts outside Cairo. Founded in 1824 by King Carlo Felice after acquiring archeologist Drovetti's collection, the museum contains 30,000 exhibits. It documents the history and civilization of Egypt from the paleolithic to the Coptic era through unique exhibits and collections of objects d'art, articles of daily use and funeral furnishings (including the Altar of Isis, the canvas painted by Gebelein, the intact tombs of Kha and Merit, and the exceptional cliff temple to Ellesjia). It is also intelligently laid out and the exhibits are lovingly preserved.
Palazzo Madama, Piazza Castello. Recently re-opened after a long refurbishment, it is attracting many tourists. It was home of the Queen, and is a mix of medieval and baroque rooms. There's a room with red sofas to take a rest after the visit, with a magnificient chandelier, and a cafeteria in one of the rooms. Contains plenty of art depicting Christ in various stages of life (and death) and some fascinating scenes of life in Torino in times gone by.
Palazzo Carignano, Via Accademia delle Scienze 5 (close to Piazza Castello).
Quadrilatero Romano. Full of restaurants, it is the old Roman town, northwest of Piazza Castello.
Via Garibaldi. Pedestrian-only shopping zone between Piazza Castello and Piazza Statuto.
Galleria Subalpina. A pedestrian passage from Piazza Castello and Piazza Carlo Alberto. One of the most elegant place of the city.
Valentino Park, the biggest park in Turin central area. This park is situated along the Po river and in its area you can find the Valentino Castle, and the Medieval Village (Borgo Medievale).
Cathedral of Superga. On top of the hill near Turin, this cathedral was built in thanksgiving for a victorious battle against French. Today, it houses the tombs of the House of Savoy. In 1949 a plane carrying the entire Turin FC team crashed near the cathedral, killing one of the greatest football teams ever. At the crash site a plate memorializes the dead. The top of the hill offers the best view of Turin, with the magnificent Alps in the background. You can reach the top by car but also by a little chain-train. Ask for the Trenino per Superga.
Castello di Rivoli, . In the small town of Rivoli, east of Turin. Houses one of Europe's most important Contemporary Art Museums. The Castle of Rivoli is a unfinished XVIII castle that stands on top of Rivoli hills. Corso Francia (France Road) is one of the world's longest streets and was built because of the desire of the House of Savoy to connect Royal Palace in the center of Turin with Rivoli Castle. You can reach it by bus or taxi.
La Venaria Reale outside the town of Venaria, 10 kilometres north east of Turin. Restored to the baroque magnificence that inspired it when it was built in the mid 17th century for duke Carlo Emanuele II di Savoia, the Reggia of Venaria Reale was inaugurated in October 2007, after two centuries of abandon and decay, and eight years of intense restoration. In the first year since it opened to the public, Venaria Reale has welcomed approximately 1.000.000 visitors becoming one of the most popular spot in Italy. The enormous palace, which has a surface area of over 80,000 square metres, contains some of the most outstanding examples of European baroque architecture: the enchanting Salone di Diana, designed by Amedeo di Castellamonte, the solemnity of the Galleria Grande and the chapel of Sant’Uberto, and the immense complex of the Scuderie, designed by the 17th century genius, Filippo Juvarra. The Gardens now represent a close combination of ancient and modern. Venaria Reale, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is at the centre of the circuit of Royal Residences in Piedmont. To get there: Venaria Express” shuttle bus operated by GTT (freephone number: 800 019152 www.comune.torino.it/gtt Bus: routes 72, 11 (freephone number: 800 019152 - www.comune.torino.it/gtt) Train: Turin-Ceres line (freephone number: 800 019152 - www.comune.torino.it/gtt) Car: Torino Nord orbital road, Venaria or Savonera/Venaria exit
River Po Park The Piedmontese part of the longest river of Italy is protected as a natural park. Its benches ar full of interesting and unexpected views onwards the town and the hill and are enriched by the Castle of Valentino, Medieval Burgh and Gran Madre church, which mirror on river Po.
Armeria Reale (Royal Armoury), 011543889, 1, Piazza Castello, Turin, Italy, Turin's Royal Armoury contains one of the best exhibits of arms in Europe, dating back to the 16th century. The collection was put together in 1833 by sardinian king Charles Albert.
A trip to Superga by chain train from Sassi to see the magnificant view of Turin from there. Sassi is reached by tram 15.
A walk on Via Roma from Porta Nuova Station to Piazza Castello through Piazza San Carlo to see how elegant this city can be.
A walk on Via Po from Piazza Castello to Piazza Vittorio and further to the Gran Madre Church. Stop on the bridge and enjoy the beautiful view of the Po river.
Have a break in one of the historic cafes located around Piazza Castello, such as Mulassano or Baratti & Milano (established in 1873).
giusti mauro, 011.8170604, via maria vittoria 21, 4 blocks east of via roma, almost only italian diners because it accepts only cash. menu does not vary between lunch and dinner. closed 2p.m. to 7:30p.m. no nonsense, but good basic regional food at reasonible prices.
Obelix, Piazza Savoia. This bar served a nightly aperitivo- meaning with the purchase of a beverage you receive unlimited access to a food buffet. During the aperitivo, all drinks (from water to cocktails) cost the same price, which is about EUR 8. The aperitivo starts around 18:00 and ends when the food runs out, usually around 21:00.
Gennaro Esposito, Via Passalacqua 1/g (near Piazza Statuto). 011 535 905. For about 15 euros, sit at one of the few tables and one of the best pizzas in Turin.
Fratelli La Cozza, Corso Regio Parco 39. 011 859 900. Outside the city center, this large pizzeria is brightly decorated and popular with large groups. If you're a couple, ask for a balcony seat for the best view!
Exki, Two locations in the center of Turin: Via XX Settembre 12 and Via Pietro Micca near Piazza Castello. 011 560 4108. The healthiest fast-food you'll find in Turin, Exki serves up fresh salads, soups, quiches and health-minded entrees at low prices. You'll also find a selection of fresh juices, organic beers and organic coffees.
Tre Galli, Via Sant'Agostino 25. 0115216027. Nice "Vineria" in the quadrilatero perfect for the aperitivo. Service is good and the ambiance is young and relaxed, not too trendy. Here you can eat or just drink. Typical dishes of Torino reinvented.
Sfashion Cafè, Via Cesare Battisti 13. 011 5160085. The owner and the decorations are the same of Fratelli La Cozza: kitsch an funny. Infact the owner is Piero Chiambretti, an Italian actor. Good pizza and southern italy dishes. Perfectly located on the lovely Piazza Carlo Alberto, pedestrianized.
Arcadia, Galleria Subalpina (Piazza Castello), 011 56 13 898 beautiful place, sushi bar.
Trattoria Ala, Via Santa Giulia 24, 011 81 74 778. For about 35$ you will get delicious food and wine. Definitely to try Cantucci con vinsanto dessert. Beware that they cook Tuscan food, so if you are looking for local food, you may not be in the very right place.
Spada Reale, 011 8171363, Via Principe Amedeo 53, near Piazza Vittorio Veneto, A classic restaurant with local Piedmontese as well as Tuscan offerings.
Trattoria Decoratori & Imbianchini, via Lanfranchi 28, 10131, Torino, Tel. +39 011.819.06.72, fixed menu 24 euros, beverages excluded. Near the Gran Madre Church.
A Livella, Corso so Belgio 50/A, 011 86 00 173. Stylish restaurant with moderate prices.
Where before there were boatsheds, you will find many modern bars and nightclubs by the river Po at the Murazzi close to the bridge Ponte Vittorio Emanuele. Closer to the historical center, there are many charming old-world cafes.
Vinicola Al Sorij Via Matteo Pescatore 10c (close to Piazza Vittorio), 011 835667, wine and entries.
Zonk Via Bellezia 20. 011 521 7568. In the heart of the Quadrilatero Romano, Zonk features an expansive cocktail list (from Mojitos to Manhattans to cocktails with dried, powdered scorpions!), long wine list and nightly aperitivo buffet in a funky environment. When the food is cleared away a live DJ starts spinning.
caffe rossini, Corso Regina Margherita, at the corner to Via Gioacchino, Caffe Rossini is a nice Caffe/Pub with music and young local people.
lab, +39 011 8170669, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 13/E, modern bar with lots of young people and nice music. some place to go out during the week when the city is sleeping.
Caffe al Bicerin is home to the classic Torinese drink,the Bicerin. A mix of coffee, hot chocolate and cream, it is a wonderful treat on a raw winter day. Located in the small but scenic Piazza della Consolata, across the square is the elaborate Baroque church, Chiesa della Consolata.
Birrificio Torino , +39 011 2876562, 20:00-2:00, Via Parma, 30, Brewpub restaurant. Four regular Birrificio beers brewed on premises. Good menu with recommended matched beers. More restaurant than pub. Can be very busy.
Doria, Via Academia Albertina, 42 (near to Porta Nuova Train Station, Center) +39 011 889300. Single rooms are EUR 30, doubles EUR 40. TVs and bathrooms in the room, with very friendly staff.
Hosteling International Torino Via Alby 1 (across the river from the city center in the area called La Collina) +39 011 6602939. Just outside the city center and up a fairly steep hill, Torino's main youth hostel is services by Bus #52 (get off across the river, after the obelisk). It's clean, quiet and includes breakfast, but there is an afternoon lockout. EUR 14.50 for dorm-room accommodation.
Hotel Artua'&Solferino via Brofferio, 3. (Piazza Solferino). Rooms for 1-4 people. Internet access and parking available. $80-$200
Hotel Interporto, Sesta Strada Interporto Sud Sito, 10040, Tel. +39 011.3981600 | Fax. +39 011.3981750, . Easily accessible from the Caselle highways and the nearby Caselle international airport, the three star Hotel Interporto is located in the Turin area.
Hotel Savoy Sestriere – Via Fralteve 7 - Cap: 10058, Sestriere, Italy. . Telephone +39 0122 77040 • Fax +39 0122 76326. The Savoy Sestriere is three star hotel located in the city centre. A comfortable position to reach the ski slopes and lifts and the swimming centre. This three star hotel of Sestriere offers a large selection of bedrooms divided in single, double, triple, quadruple and suite. All rooms include modern service, as the internet access, and the private bath. The junior suite also boast a small living room and the Jacuzzi bathtub. Euros 65 for a single, and 90 for a double.
Relais Villa Matilde, Via Marconi 29, 10090 Romano Canavese (Torino). The Relais Villa Matilde Hotel is located in Romano Canavese, only 35 km away from Turin. Romano Canavese is a peaceful ancient town, dominated by a high bell tower and, situated near the boundaries of Valle d'Aosta.
Le Meridien Lingotto Via Nizza 262. Four-star business hotel in a former Fiat Lingotto factory located just outside city center. $200 and up.
Le Meridien Art + Tech Also at Lingotto, this hotel has 5 stars and features the architecture of Renzo Piano.
Hotel Diplomatic Via Cernaia 42.
Hotel Victoria Via Nino Costa, 4. Three-star. Junior Suites feature two-person jacuzzi bathtubs. Free wireless Internet in most rooms and lobby.
"The Grand Hotel Sitea." Via Carlo Alberto 35. Within easy walking distance of the Piazza San Carlo. Decent restaurant, unfailingly polite and helpful staff. Rooms well appointed, and well serviced.
Boston Art Hotel Exclusive 4 star design hotel in Turin historical center, near train station.
Principi di Piemonte Another 5 star hotel right in the center of the historical district and around the corner from shopping hub and pedestrian street, Via Lagrange.
Turin is not the best Italian city for shopping fashion brand, although there are plenty of small and expensive brand shops. It's a great spot for buying food and wines.
Via Roma, from Piazza Castello to the main railway station. Here you can find upscale brands like Hermes and Dolce & Gabbana, as well as cheap chains like H&M, United Colours of Benetton and Zara. In Piazza CLN, behind Piazza San Carlo, there's a good branch of La Feltrinelli, a bookstore chain with shops all over the country. On the Via Roma there is also a branch of FNAC, the French book and multimedia chain.
Via Garibaldi- People in Turin say it's the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe. There are clothes shops, bars, a Nike store and a new branch of the Japanese store Muji at the beginning of the street near Piazza Castello.
Via Po is more alternative, with record shops and strange clothing stores under the arcades. This street goes from Piazza Castello to the Po River (Piazza Vittorio Veneto).
Via Pietro Micca also houses upscale shops, but also one of the three shops of Frav. This 2-storey shop sells trendy clothes and is very popular in the city.
Via Lagrange, near Via Roma, is a pedestrian street and houses the Lagrange 15 shopping centre, with La Rinascente department store.
Le Gru is a shopping center in Grugliasco, just outside Turin. Easy access TO the center on the #17 bus. Consider timing your return trip to one of the infrequent #66 busses, or take a taxi back. Ikea store was in this area but now it has moved to Collegno.
Bookstores are very popular in Turin, and there are many in the Via Po area. An innovative bookshop is in Via Cesare Battisti, near a lovely square, Piazza Carignano. Together with books you can also sit down and have a cup of coffee, or the famous aperitivo. The Luxembourg International Bookshop is at V. Accademia delle Scienze, 3 (just off Piazza Castello) and it's your best destination for English-language novels, EFL teaching materials and foreign magazines and newspapers.
The Quadrilatero Romano is a trendy neighborhood north of Piazza Castello. It is the most ancient part of the city, and once was an unsafe area. But now there are many design shops (Marcopolo, via Sant' Agostino) and indepent shops like Autopsie Vestimentaire or Born In Berlin in its pedestrian cobbled streets. Lots of cozy restaurants and outddoor trendy cafes and bars. For dog-lovers there is a dog park inside the fenced area around the Roman ruins.
Porta Palazzo in Piazza della Republica (north of the Quadrilatero) is the largest open air market in Europe, and a spectacle that is well worth the visit (from 6 am to 13 pm working days, from 6 am to 19 pm saturdays). A newly built building by the famous architect Massimiliano Fuksas remains unused.
8 Gallery and Eataly 8 Gallery is a long corridor with various shops, located in Lingotto area, sharing the same building with Politecnico di Torino Automotive department and Turin University. Created by the famous architect Renzo Piano, it can be reached by autobus No.1, 35, 18, 17. Or if you are near the Lingotto FS station, you can pass a bridge which directly connect to the 8 Gallery. It is one of the few shopping centers which still open at Sunday. Next to 8 Gallery, Eataly is the greatest gourmet grocery in Europe: here you can buy, or eat, the best Italian food (guaranteed by Slow movement).
Generally Turin can be considered a safe city. Be aware that the Porta Nuova area (train station) can be pretty dangerous in its east side, not only at night (watch out for pickpockets). This especially applies to the San Salvario neighbourhoods, which lies between the station and Parco Valentino. Be very careful especially with your luggage and backpacks.
Also the areas near Porta Palazzo can be dangerous, especially in the smaller streets.
The University of Turin (Università degli Studi di Torino), main campus is located just off Via Po, . Is a public university with all the main faculties, located in Turin that was founded in the 16th Century. Also well known is the Politecnico di Torino, a university of engineering and architecture. The Politecnico has multiple campuses, including one in Castello di Valentino (in Parco Valentino) and two outside the city center, one on Corso Francia,the other is in the Lingotto for automotive engineering where once a Fiat factory lied; their main campus is on Corso Duca degli Abruzzi.
House of Savoy residences and hunting reserves. The city of Turin is surrounded by magnificent XVI, XVII and XVIII residences, like Royal Palace and Carignano Palace (in the centre of the city), Valentino Castle (inside the city, near the Po river, within Valentino Park), Rivoli Castle (10 km west of the city), Stupinigi Hunting Pavillion (between the town of Orbassano and Nichelino, south of the city), the Racconigi Castle (near border with Cuneo province).The two main Savoy's hunting reserves, La Mandria Park and Stupinigi Park, are now natural reserves.
The Alps. Turin is a city that feels its mountain legacy and their proximity is why so many inhabitants have second homes in the thousands of little valley villages. During Summer, if you have a day and want to relax, take a trip to Gran Paradiso National Park, or Orsiera Rocciavrè Park, or Val Varaita Park. During Winter, the Alps offer a wide range of ski resorts, from one of the world's greatest, , to a number of small ski areas which are less crowded and cheaper.
Turin is home to two football clubs , Juventus and Torino , playing in Serie A and B respectively. Juventus are the most successful club side in Italian domestic football and have won the UEFA Champions League twice in their history , while Torino also have a proud history. They both play at the Olympic stadium constructed for the 2006 winter games.
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