After being lit in Olympia, the flame was relayed to Athens and flown to Rome, where the Italian leg of the relay began. It included parts in the neighbouring countries, including the former Olympic Winter Games host cities of Albertville and Grenoble in France.
The relay on Italian soil got under way at the Piazza del Quirinale. Stefano Baldini, the marathon Olympic gold medallist in Athens in 2004, was the first torchbearer. The flame then travelled around Italy, passing, in particular, through the two cities which had already hosted the Games: Cortina d’Ampezzo and Rome.
When the flame stopped in Cortina d’Ampezzo, it was exactly 50 years to the day after the opening of the Olympic Winter Games in 1956.
The final part of the relay honoured some of Italy’s sporting heroes. First, it was three-time Olympic skiing champion Alberto Tomba who had the privilege to carry the Olympic flame into the stadium, then to hand it to the four men who had made up the Italian 4x10 km cross-country skiing relay team which won gold in Lillehammer in 1994. They covered part of the stadium before handing the flame to Piero Gros, an Alpine skiing gold medallist at the Games in 1976, who was followed by the penultimate torchbearer Deborah Compagnoni, three-time Olympic Alpine skiing champion in 1992, 1994 and 1998. She passed the flame to Stefania Belmondo, an Italian Nordic skiing legend, who lit the 57-metres high cauldron, the tallest in the history of the Games.
Start date: 27 November 2005, Olympia (Greece)
End date: 10 February 2006, Olympic Stadium, Turin (Italy)
First torchbearer: Konstadinos “Kostas” Filippidis, Olympic participant in athletics (2012)
Last torchbearer: Stefania Belmondo, Olympic participant in cross country skiing (1988, 1992, 1994, 2002); gold, silver and bronze medallist in Albertville 1992; two-time bronze medallist in Lillehammer 1994; silver and bronze medallist in Nagano 1998; gold, silver and bronze medallist in Salt Lake City 2002.
Number of torchbearers: 534 in Greece, 10,001 in Italy
Recruitment of torchbearers: -
Distance: 2,006km in Greece, 11,300km in Italy
Countries visited: Greece, Italy, Vatican City, San Marino, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, France
Description: The torch bore the inscription “Torino 2006”, together with the Games emblem and the Olympic rings. Using technology based on an internal combustion system, the flame, instead of emerging from a hole at the top, surrounded part of the body of the torch, giving the impression that the metal itself was on fire. The aim was to reinterpret the traditional wooden torch. The shape of the torch was also reminiscent of a ski tip and the monument which is the symbol of Turin: the Mole Antonelliana.
Composition: Aluminium, plastic, steel and copper
Fuel: 40 per cent propylene and 60 per cent butane. The burning time of the torch was around 15 minutes.
Designer / Manufacturer: Pininfarina / Pininfarina
A team of 30 people spent 18 months working on designing and producing the torch, making a total of over 20,000 hours’ work.
The torch was awarded the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” award, the highest prize from the Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art.