October and November are hectic months, because I am constantly away from home and I can count on the palm of my hand the number of times I am physically in London. Besides, with fall in full bloom and the days becoming shorter and shorter, it’s very difficult to take nice pictures indoors due to a very limited time of natural light. On another note, a couple of weeks ago I was on a business trip in Italy and was lucky enough to spend the weekend in my home town – Turin. And Turin is where I’d like to take you today.
I love Torino. That’s the city I was born in, raised, went to school and to university. It’s the city where I spent the first 20 years of my life. It’s the city where I developed my passion for cinema, for ballet, for travelling, for figure skating, for food, for fashion, for foreign languages. Torino is elegant, royal, unique, magical. It’s a city where history was made, having been the first capital of Italy and it was home of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. It’s a city that at first you don’t really fancy visiting, because ‘oh, but it’s so grey’, ‘there’s nothing to see’, ‘isn’t the city where FIAT is?’, but once you see it, you fall in love with it.
Torino is poetry, is art, is magic. The surrounding mountains protect the city and impart a sense of power, whilst the buildings take you on a journey through centuries of time: from liberty inspired façades to contemporary art monuments, from Baroque decorations to ancient Roman cobbled street. It’s no wonder that I was born in Torino, considering that it is one of the food capitals of Italy: chocolate, wine, cheeses, tajarain (very thin tagliatelle), truffles and the list could go and on. Our renowned hills – Langhe – have recently been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list and we produce some of the finest wines of the world: Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Arneis, Bonarda (one of my favourite!) and of course Barolo. Cheers to that!
Torino is an elegant city. The imposing arches of the city centre make their way to the the very heart of the city, i.e. its big squares, where historic cafès from the 1800s and luxury boutiques catch everyone’s attention. Walking along them is as pleasant as walking along the river, especially in autumn, when the smell of roasted chestnuts spreads in the air and you yearn for a cozy spot to sit and sip a delicious hot chocolate (of course Torino is also the capital of chocolate! Nutella anyone??)
It is also considered to be the only city in the world where white magic meets black magic and this incredible union makes Torino even more special: there are thousands of urban legends regarding this topic and the best that you can do is experience it by joining an evening tour around the city.
The late Umberto Eco said:
Without Italy, Turin would be more or less the same. However, without Turin Italy would be much more different.
Top 10 things to do in Turin:
1. Walk around the city centre and get lost in any of its stunning squares
San Carlo square
2. Go for a run in the early morning along the river Po (the longest in Italy)
3. Go up to the Monte dei Cappuccini and snap a view of the city surrounded by mountains
4. Have a delicious and luxurious ice cream at Pepino’s or at Grom‘s
4. Go back in time in the Medieval village at the Valentino park
5. Go a little further out Torino to see of one of the royal residences of Piedmont
6. Get a breathtaking view over the city from the Basilica of Superga
7. Visit the iconic Mole Antonelliana, a former synagogue turned National Museum of Cinema
8. Enjoy an aperitivo in the city centre with a huge amount of food!
9. Who said that you can shop only in Milan?
Exclusive boutiques along via Lagrange
10. You can’t leave Torino without sipping a glass of our own Vermouth – the famous Martini
The pictures under number 5, 6, 8 and 10 were taken by my amazing boyfriend during his first visit to Turin. More pics and more stories about my city will be published on his website, which will be launched very soon. 🙂