Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blogs By Cecilia

Turin’s Hidden Gem: La Pista 500

Turin’s Hidden Gem of History, Culture, and Nature: La Pista 500

a sign on the side of a snow covered bridge

Nestled atop the iconic Lingotto building in Turin, La Pista 500 is an extraordinary site that encapsulates the city’s rich automotive heritage, stunning vistas, and contemporary cultural transformation.

a group of people flying kites on a beach

This unique rooftop, once a car test track for Fiat, now boasts the largest botanical garden in Europe, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and hills.

La Pista 500 is not just a must-see destination for history buffs and nature lovers but also a testament to Turin’s innovative spirit and resilience.

a person standing in front of a blue bench

LaPista500, Turin, Torino.

Historical Significance of La Pista 500

The Birthplace of Automotive ExcellenceLa Pista 500’s historical significance is deeply intertwined with Turin’s identity.

The Lingotto building, completed in 1923, served as Fiat’s production plant and was one of the largest and most modern factories of its time.

This rooftop track was where newly manufactured cars underwent rigorous testing, symbolizing the city’s pivotal role in the automotive industry.

Fiat. Turin, Italy

The track even gained cinematic fame as a filming location for the 1969 classic, “The Italian Job,” further cementing its place in popular culture.

Shaping Turin’s Economic and Social Landscape

Fiat’s presence in Turin transformed the city into an industrial powerhouse, attracting workers from all over Italy and fostering economic growth. The factory was not just a place of employment; it was a community hub that influenced the lifestyle and identity of Turin’s residents.

As Fiat evolved, so did Turin, adapting to changes and reinventing itself while maintaining a deep connection to its industrial roots.

La Pista 500 Today: A Blend of Nature and Art Europe’s Largest Botanical Garden

Today, La Pista 500 has been repurposed into the largest rooftop garden in Europe, a green oasis offering a serene escape from the urban hustle. This transformation highlights Turin’s commitment to sustainability and innovation. Visitors can stroll through a variety of plant species, enjoying the tranquil environment and panoramic views of the Alps and the cityscape.

The garden not only enhances biodiversity but also serves as a reminder of the harmony that can exist between industrial heritage and nature.

Contemporary Art Installations

No, it’s not the end of the world…;)

In addition to its botanical splendor, La Pista 500 is a hub for contemporary art. The Pinacoteca Agnelli, located on the same rooftop, features an impressive collection of masterpieces, including works by Matisse and Picasso.

Matisse Paintings on a Wall

Matisse at Pinacoteca Agnelli, Torino

a close up of a Picasso Painting

Pinacoteca Agnelli, Torino. One of the Picasso’s masterpieces

The juxtaposition of historic industrial architecture with modern art installations creates a unique cultural experience, reflecting Turin’s dynamic evolution.

a rainbow over a city

Exploring the Lingotto District. A Hub of Gastronomy: Eataly and Beyond

a close up of a plate of food with broccoli

Just a stone’s throw from La Pista 500, the Lingotto district is a burgeoning food hub. Eataly, the renowned marketplace celebrating Italian cuisine, opened its first location here, offering a variety of gourmet foods, cooking classes, and dining options. This vibrant area also houses the ancient Carpano vermouth factory, now a museum where visitors can delve into the history of this iconic Italian aperitif.

Easy Access and Convenience

Despite being slightly off the beaten path, the Lingotto district is easily accessible from Turin’s city center. The Lingotto metro station is just a 10-minute ride from the central hub, making it a convenient destination for tourists and locals alike. This accessibility ensures that visitors can effortlessly explore this culturally rich and historically significant area.

The Sociological Impact of Fiat and Its Role in Shaping Turin’s Identity

Fiat has played a crucial role in defining Turin’s socio-economic landscape. The factory not only provided jobs but also influenced social structures and community dynamics. Over the decades, the identity of Turin evolved around this industrial giant, with the factory becoming a symbol of progress and resilience.

After my graduation in Sociology I was hired by Fiat as a trainer consultant specialised in Stress Work Related and organizational risks. Fiat Lingotto has been my playground for a few years and has played a pivotal role in shaping my carrer, allowing me to develop new set of skills that truly helped me in my further professional choices. So yes, I am proud and thankful for that part of my life and feel a bit romantically nostalgic about those times.

Btw, my office was just below La Pista and when the AD arrived with his private elicopter we couldn’t had miss him! 🙂

a woman wearing a hat and smiling at the camera

Where’s my head, that was the window of my former Fiat Lingotto Office when I worked as a trainer consultant for FCA – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Although times have changed and today, Turin is embracing its past while looking towards the future with a renewed vision.

The transformation of La Pista 500 from a car test track to a botanical garden and art space is emblematic of this shift. The city is celebrating its heritage while fostering a new cultural and artistic identity, reflecting a broader trend of adaptive reuse in urban spaces.

I believe it’s important to share this renewed vision for it’s something that armoniously blends Past, Present, and Future.

Infact, La Pista 500 is a microcosm of Turin’s rich history and forward-thinking spirit.

It stands as a testament to the city’s ability to adapt and innovate, blending its industrial past with contemporary cultural trends.

a woman sitting in a car

Cute&Fancy. Timeless&Iconic. It’s her, it’s Fiat 500

Visitors to La Pista 500 can not only enjoy the beauty of Europe’s largest rooftop garden but also explore the surrounding Lingotto district, with its gastronomic delights and historical significance.

For those looking to delve deeper into Turin’s automotive legacy, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (MAUTO) is just a short distance away, offering a comprehensive look at the history of car manufacturing in the region.

To enhance your experience, consider joining one of our curated food tours, which provide an insider’s view of Turin’s culinary and cultural offerings.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a culinary explorer, La Pista 500 and the Lingotto district promise an unforgettable journey through the past, present, and future of Turin.

Plus: not so many places in the city allow you to get such a wonderful view! Who doesn’t like to feel more connected to the sky, after all…

a man and a woman taking a selfie

…We surely like it!

Hope you have enjoyed this blog and to host you in Turin for many moments of delightful wonders!

Thanks for passing by.



Copyright Notice

All images and content on this blog are protected by copyright laws. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Image Use Policy Original Images: All original photographs taken by the author are copyrighted. These images may not be reproduced, copied, distributed, or used in any manner without prior written consent from the author.

Contact Information:

For any inquiries regarding the use of content or images on this blog, or to request permissions, please contact us at:


Thank you for respecting our work and for adhering to copyright laws.