In this episode of the Grand Tour, Clarkson, May and Hammond set off to find the answer.
Jeremy Clarkson thinks he’s found the classiest way to cross Europe. Instead of a helicopter or private jet, he’s behind the wheel of the brand new 1470 horsepower Bugatti Chiron. It’s a hard life as Clarkson manages to squeeze in a little bit of breakfasting in St. Tropez, skiing in the Alps and dinner in Turin, all as part of his quest to re-define luxury travel. Its important work and someone has to do it.
Rather appropriately, the endpoint of The Grand Tour’s Euro drive is a place built on carburetors and crankshafts. Famous Italian motoring brands like Fiat, Lancia and Pininfarina have helped make Turin Italy’s third largest economic center, after Rome and Milan. In 2008, Turin contributed US$68bn euros to the Italian economy.
Turin is Italy’s second largest export market. As you’d expect from its four-wheeled heritage, it’s big on manufacturing and engineering. It’s also Italy’s chocolate capital, making a very sweet contribution to the city’s GDP. Banking has also made a huge contribution to the city’s success, with some of Italy’s major financial institutions headquartered here.
The Italian Government is going out of its way to encourage entrepreneurs, recently introducing the Italian Startup Visa. As a city, Turin is making the most of the opportunity. An active startup community has converged on the city, fueled by digital, technological and scientific innovation. So it’s not surprising that, as of 2006, there were 21,987 foreign entrepreneurs registered here.
Compared to many other major cities in the world, the cost of living in Turin is a major attraction for businesses – for example, it’s a mammoth 48% cheaper than San Francisco. Italian labor laws are also very much on the side of the foreign entrepreneur – you can hire people on temporary contracts if necessary, reward them with stock options and look forward to a 35% tax credit if you hire skilled people full-time.
Turin would never have gotten to host the Winter Olympics without a modern and well-connected airport. Here, the international business traveler is only a flight away from the rest of Europe, The Middle East, Scandinavia and Russia. And if you’d rather avoid the check-in process, Turin’s three main railways stations can you take right across Italy and non-stop to Paris.
While Turin is a naturally business-friendly and outward-looking city, it’s worth going into the market with your eyes open. Italy has been working to reduce its layers of bureaucracy but it can still be comparatively complex and time-consuming to set up a business here. It can also be quite expensive – it costs around €10k to set up a limited liability company and Italy’s VAT rate is 22%. So whether you’re entering Turin in a sleek new Bugatti or flying in for business, this is a city that’s ready to offer you a friendly hand and a warm welcome.
Watch episode 3 now, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video