Photo: City of Turin
Chiara Appendino, Mayor of Turin
12 February 2020
by Christopher Carey
I was about 24 years old and I worked as an internal auditor for Juventus Football Club.
Why did you become mayor?
One day I was with my husband at the Porta Palazzo Market–one of the biggest in Europe–and we talked with two young activists from the Five Star Movement. Since that day I began to get involved in local political issues. I became a member of the city council and later, in 2016, Mayor of Turin.
What is your favourite part of the job?
The relationship with citizens, definitely. But I also have to say that achieving our goals is always a good moment too.
What has been your biggest success?
I guess the ATP Finals that will be hosted in Turin from 2021 to 2025.
What has been your biggest setback?
The City of Turin has the highest public debt per person compared to other Italian cities. This debt was created from the 1990s to 2008. This is literally a dead weight to deal with.
What surprises you most in this day and age?
The speed of change. Everything is changing very quickly. Not only technology and the economy, but also our society and–unfortunately–our environment.
What are you reading right now?
Council deliberations and… lots of fairytale books for my daughter.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I am an early bird. I am used to waking up very early in the morning. It is the best time to be with my daughter and to think about my day without my phone ringing (almost).
Who is your hero or inspiration?
Adriano Olivetti. One of the most important and innovative Italian entrepreneurs.
What was your last overseas trip as mayor?
I went to London, on the occasion of the last Wimbledon tennis championships.
Who is the most interesting person you have met or worked with since becoming mayor?
There is not one person in particular. Since I’ve become mayor I’ve met a lot of interesting people. I’ve learned something important from everyone.
What’s one thing your colleagues wouldn’t ordinarily know about you?
That I am a timid person. Very timid.
Favourite place in your city and why?
Porta Palazzo. It is a symbolic place in our city, where you can find the identity of Turin, but also differences from all over the world. The tradition and the future. The old and the new.
What advice would you give to the first time visitor to your city?
Love our art, our history, our landscape and our culture. But keep in mind to meet people. You cannot say you have been to Turin unless you have visited our public squares and spaces and seen how people live.
CITY OF BIRTH:
Masters in Economics
DATE ELECTED MAYOR:
19 June 2016