Torino – La Città Bella

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.

On our way to the historic centre we passed a beautiful fountain for the fallen and glimpsed many lovely scenes of everyday Torinese life – like this Grandfather taking his grandchild for a walk!

We stumbled across a residential flea and food market

where my friend found some beautiful material which she’ll make a dress from at a later date

and we perused all the fresh, local produce

Further along the way we also found a big long 2nd hand book shop – i was SOOOO happy and couldnt help but get a few old books (like Dante’s Paradiso and Inferno) and a magazine from the 1940s!

We wandered through parks of poppy flowers

that this happy man filled with cheerful music.

As we drew closer to the historic centre we passed through more and more collades

and turned into little streets where these children were having the BEST time dancing to the street performers music.

Here another street performer satirized the business man – always rushing!

We stopped for lunch, picking up a salad to have in a sunny piazza and there was chocolate in it!

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.

After a spot of people watching, from chic women

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.

It’s always a sign of something good when the cup is scraped clean!

We then headed down to cross the Po river

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 then came to a big park and started to head up Mount dei Cappucini

Walking through beautiful sun speckled trees

Until finally arriving at the top and taking in the panoramic views of Turin

with the Alps vaguely distinguishable in the distance

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.

Afterwards we sat for a while enjoying the passing afternoon in the Museums cafe

Before heading back down the hill and along the river to find an aperitif

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!

Whilst i was busy with the wine, my friend found a twin soul in the delightful Torinese lady pictured on the left who is a Literature teacher and after a big chat

They hurriedly exchanged details to keep in contact and hopefully meet again!

We left Sergio with an added spring in our step and picked up some antipasti on the way home which we made into a delicious salad

and thoroughly enjoyed it with one of bottles of wine from Sergio!



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2 responses to “Torino – La Città Bella

  1. sally

    Lovely long blog, very enjoyable. The section on the bar was my favourite, perhaps because of the human content, you are engaged in the country, not just observing. LM

  2. Lisa

    So beautifully written Hollie!

    And lovely to see Mum as she jaunts around…you look at home Mum 🙂


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