On our second day in Torino we set out with a vague plan but were pretty much just directed by the our determination to make the most of another sunny day in beautiful Turin.
We wandered through parks of poppy flowers
Whilst i was surprise i wasn’t shocked as Torino is the chocolate capital of Italy! Turin chocolate firms produce a typical chocolate, called Gianduiotto (like a firm Nutella – which was first produced in Alda, a town not far from here), named after Gianduja, a local Commedia dell’arte mask; plus many other kinds of chocolate. Every year the town organizes CioccolaTÒ, a two-week chocolate festival run with the main Piedmontese chocolate producers, such as Caffarel, Streglio, Venchi and others, as well as some big international companies, such as Lindt & Sprüngli.
to the “Alpini” (Alpine Policemen) with their gorgeous feathered hats. Formed in 1872 they are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world. Their original mission was to protect Italy’s northern mountain border with France and Austria. Today they are permanently engaged in Afghanistan and are stationed around italy.
As we passed through the Colonnades my friend finally gave into her chocolate craving at an old cafe. As you can see from the photos below, she was in pure bliss as she sipped her hot chocolate and read swooning Torinese poetry.
and came to the Gran Madre di Dio, commissioned in 1814 to celebrate the return of Vittorio Emanuele I in Turin (Turin was the capital of the first united Italy in 1871 of which Vittorio was the first King).
We spent quite a while exploring the Museo Nazionale della Montagna (National Mountain Museum). It aims to celebrate all to do with mountains and act as a link of cultural unity which ideally unites, under every aspect, the mountains from all over the world. There are insights to the naturalist-environmental aspects of the mountain, its traditions, its life, its art and the technological supplies which determined its transformations. There was also alot of installations and info about the climbing activity in its historical, exploratory and sport events, completed by the civil services. I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting it was and there were some stunning black and white photos and old videos of the adventurous mountaineers.
We happily stumbled across the Maggiora Di Sergio Sechi, a fun and nostaligic wine bar that seemed VERY popular with the locals which is always a good thing. People (and animals) from all walks of life, school children, businessmen etc
all came in and delighted in the drinks and free pieces of home made (INCREDIBLY good) pizza whilst engaging in lively conversattion and laughing with the hysterical proprieter Sergio. Before our “Spritzer” apperitifs i had an extensive conversation with Sergio about wine, and in particular, Sicilian wine which i learn a bit about with my father whilst we were there a few weeks ago . A long queue built up as he rushed around excitedly showing me all his favorite wines from the Region (he’s originally from Calabria right near Sicily) and despite my plea for him to serve the awaiting clientele he waved his hand dismissively and said a loud “Bo” (sounds like boh and is the Italian version of our colloquial Pfft) and continued until we were done!