Blogs from Turin, Piedmont, Italy, Europe


Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin August 9th 2017

Today I recommend... a nice slice of polenta! No, I’m not talking about food. Today I’m taking you on a journey to the first capital of Italy, Turin, to visit a very curious building: Casa Scaccabarozzi, also known with the name of Slice of Polenta, which is one of the narrowest buildings in the world with one of its side measuring just 54 centimetres! The nickname commonly attributed by the people of Turin, Slice of Polenta, is most probably given by the curious shape of the building, that make it resembling a real slice , but also its characteristic yellow colour. The building, built in 1840, has got a triangular shape (16 metres x 5 metres x 54 centimetres) and consists of 9 floors, 2 of which are underground, all connected through an internal staircase. The ... read more

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin June 29th 2017

Turin, the home of Fiat. Why did we want to stay here? Originally we had planned for a three night stay but as it got closer to book our accommodation we decided two nights would be enough. After yesterday’s awful drive we are pleased we decided on two nights. Our apartment is comfortable and we don’t mind the slow start today. Once we get ourselves organized we’ll visit a tabacchi and buy two 24 hour bus tickets. It is only a short distance into the centre of Turin but the bus is best. Last night’s washing is dry, a breakfast of cereals, yoghurt and some brioche filled with apricot jam purchased that morning (we think baked the day before), the day planned, and we’re off. We walk to the nearest tabacchi, not that close, and get ... read more

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin June 28th 2017

We wake to another wet morning. Thunderstorms have been sweeping across northern Italy for the past week. In the south it is hot and dry. In spite of all this rain we have not worn our raincoats. We have been lucky enough to get our sightseeing completed before the rain starts. We just hope we can pack the car without getting wet. Time for breakfast and a chance to say farewell to our friends in the bar. Today they are discussing the outcome of next year’s World Cup, a favourite topic in Italy. There is so much football on TV and in the papers. Perhaps they are discussing the future of their pension. We leave and thank everyone for making our stay enjoyable. Each morning we wake to the baking smells of the panificio next door. ... read more

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin July 31st 2016

Woolly says – Having left the tusk and trunk eating baby behind for the day, an hours train ride left us in the centre of Turin.......well it would have done if either of the women had a sense of direction! Having left the station we turned right, an hours walking and we seemed to have discovered the suburbs, in the interests of helping my paws and not covering more miles than necessary I went for the sensible option of asking for directions and then having retraced most of our paw steps back towards the train line we finally found ourselves in what appeared to be a large square with some strange cows which seemed a little random. Pizzia Reale is home to The Royal Palace of Turin, originally built in the 16th century and modernized in ... read more
The Shroud's box
One of the many statues of Victor Emmanuel
We might get lost but the buildings are great!

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin July 5th 2016

"What news from the cafes today?" Apparently when King Victor Emmanuel II of Turin wanted the latest political gossip, that is what he would ask his advisors. Turin is famous for its beautiful cafes and they form part of the cultural and political history of the city. While we didn't have much time, I was keen to experience some of that cafe culture for myself. I particularly loved the magnificent Caffè San Carlo, with its gilded mirrors, wonderful chandelier and fabulous waitstaff. I must say I walked in and wondered if I should be turning right around again, but a coffee here is the same price as it is anywhere else in Turin (and costs much less than it does at home), despite the decor being so opulent and the waiters so crisply attired! Apparently anyone ... read more
The most beautiful chandelier
Porticoes on Via Roma
Lunch together at Eataly

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin June 24th 2016

The scenic bus ride through the Alps from Lyon to Turin was painless - and I paid just 15€ for the privilege. I could do with saving a bit of dough after splurging a bit in Lyon. And the heat re-entered my trip too - my last day in Lyon was a warm one and things went up a few degrees more when I arrived in Turin. Turin isn't exactly on the tourist radar; Juventus FC and the famous Shroud Of Turin were the only things that put the place on the map for me but as a fairly important Italian city, I felt the need to check it out and see if there would be anything there to surprise me. One thing that I had learnt about Northern Italy from my trip to Milan some ... read more
The Shroud Of Turin
Ponte Isabella
Galleria Subalpina

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin April 25th 2016

Sometimes, and I think every traveller is asking this question from time to time, you accidentally go to a place and later you ask yourself: Why did I not come here any earlier? This happened to us with Turin, or Torino, in Italy. Well, to be precise, I (Nina) have been here before on a business trip, but I did not really visit the city. I arrived at the train station, went to a business lunch in a fancy restaurant close by, had some excellent piedmontese specialities and left the same day. So I had no idea what the city really is like. As our spiritual master, Sri Swami Vishwananda did a tour around Italy in April and was about to come to Turin, we did not hesitate and planned a short weekend trip to Turin. ... read more
Porta Palatina
Piazza San Carlo
stunning view from Monte Dei Cappuccini

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin February 14th 2016

I just finished my first week of school, and it is quite different from the states. Instead of the kids going from class to class, the teachers switch rooms. Each class stays the same throughout the years, so the kids stay with each other every year, and teachers also teach at multiple schools. I am teaching 10-12 year olds at two different schools, and they are quite precocious. I have 20 different classes throughout the week, so my first days have been introducing myself and answering questions. Some popular ones are if I like Justin Bieber, if I prefer the mountains or the sea, and if I like kebab. The kids are good at asking questions in English, but most don't understand me when I answer. All of the teachers I work with are very nice, ... read more

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin February 8th 2016

I am officially living in Torino! I met and went home with my host family on Saturday. The live in a flat about 2.5 miles from the city center. My host dad, Cristiano, is a bank executive and my host mom, Tina, is a lawyer. They have two kids: Giacomo, who is 12 and also one of my students, and Giorgia who is 10. They also have a bunny, Bianca. The flat is very nice, and I have my own room. After lunch on Saturday we went around the city center and then out to dinner for pizza, which was amazing. My host family is friends with the host family of anothe girl in my program, so they joined us for dinner. They have very big portions here, and don't really snack, so it's been hard ... read more

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Turin February 5th 2016

The past few days have been a whirlwind! On Tuesday I went to Verona for the day, it was only about an hour and a half train ride from Venice. Verona is beautiful. From the train station it looks very run down, but the city center is a mix of the old and the new. There were many high end shops in the walkways and nice restaraunts with outdoor seating areas looking into a park that was in the center. There is an old arena, which is known as a mini colosseum. We went to see the tomb of Juliet, there was just an empty stone coffin. There is a fresco museum in the same area, and all the frescos are very beautiful and were from the church that housed Juliet's tomb. Her house is in ... read more

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