Travel Tuesday: Torino

Cappuccinos Amidst Beautiful Architecture

So, I know I’m on a trip right now and should probably post a picture and update about that, but I can’t forget my Travel Tuesday posts!  I think, for now, I’m going to keep them international, though eventually they may be of different places in the US.  For now, I want to share Torino (also known as Turin), Italy.

Torino was the host of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.  As such, they have the perfect venue for skating competitions, and therefore hosted the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships.  Evan and I qualified to compete there and, despite sustaining a concussion prior to leaving, we ended up placing 9th.

After the competition, a lot of us went to visit the old Olympic Village there and were saddened to find it falling apart.  However, the rest of Torino was just incredible!  The city itself is in a beautiful location.  In the northwest of Italy, Torino finds itself surrounded by the Alps for a gorgeous view no matter where you look.  My mom and I spent a day just wandering around Torino, eating at various cafes, looking at statues, and admiring the architecture.

First of all: the food!  I made it a point to try anything Italian-sounding.  My mom and I stopped first at the Caffe Torino Ristorante (an original name, I know).  It was this little outdoor café on one of the main squares of Torino, so I ordered a cappuccino (Italian-sounding!) and we people-watched for a bit.  A word of warning: coffee is stronger in many foreign countries compared to the United States.  Be sure to grab an extra sugar or two if you’re used to Starbuck’s cappuccinos!

If you go to Italy, you must get the pizza.  It is far different than American pizza is, and I find it far more delicious.  I also love any and all dishes with buffalo mozzarella; I think Italy was made for me.  Also, I recommend their pasta alla carbonara (actually, I’d recommend all their pasta, but this dish stuck with me the most), which is entirely different than what one will get here in the US, but it is honestly far better tasting!  Fresh made pasta with egg, cheese, bacon, cracked pepper and salt… Yum!

However, there is more to Italy than just great food.  Make sure to keep your eyes open at your surroundings.  The architecture is just stunning absolutely everywhere, and every time you turn a corner you seem to run into a new statue.  Look above you, look below you – everywhere it seems as though each rock was carved by hand.  My mom and I were overwhelmed at one point and exhausted from all our walking, so we stopped to rest and I snapped this picture.  A bunch of locals and tourists enjoying an afternoon coffee amidst beautiful buildings… Who can ask for anything more?!

Overall, Torino was a small but amazing city.  Including the outdoor tango lesson we ran into as well as the regatta being raced on the river, Torino gave us a taste of classic Italy plus a few pleasant surprises.

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