Two Days In Turin, Italy
Heather Markel, Best Selling Author, Speaker, Traveler, Full Time Travel Coach
I’m often asked how I decide where to go. Most frequently, apart from the first place I choose to go, which is planned in advance, the rest is decided last minute. This is no exception.
After my visit to Paris, I whisk off to Lyon to visit some friends who live near to it, have a quick visit with my brother who is vacationing nearby, and then plot out how to get to Croatia. I’ve chosen Zagreb. The train seems expensive, and I don’t fancy a sleeper car that could be all men and me, so I decide to take the bus. But, it’s a long trip. I don’t feel like riding over 20 hours at one go. So, I look at what stops the bus makes. My brother mentioned liking Turin, so, what the heck?! And that’s how I ended up in Turin.
As with most places I go, I have no immediate plan, or “must go/see/do” activity list. After arriving, I ask my hotel for some tips, check out Google Maps and TripAdvisor, and decide to head to the city center and walk around. I’m delighted to discover some beautiful piazzas. The architecture of the buildings and statues are amazing. I walk and walk and walk. I snap photos and admire everything I see.
One of the days I’m there, I take a local bus towards Monte dei Cappuccini. I mean, I love the coffee, so it seems like I should go (!) It turns out to be a tough uphill walk in the very hot sun, but I make it. Along the way I meet a French couple. Once at the top, the views of the city are beautiful. But, what nobody else does, except me, is pay 3 euros to enter the on site museum and head up to the top and admire the beautiful city views from even higher up! From what I understand, this is actually a church built for the Capuchin monks, and the name is about the brown color of their robes.
I walk down from the church and am now ready for lunch. I meander and discover a lovely street full of restaurants and choose, surprise, an Italian restaurant. I opt to eat outside and people watch. The food is good, but the heat of the day distracts me a from my taste senses. To pay my bill, I have to walk inside the restaurant. When I do, I learn I could have spent my meal in the comfort of air conditioning if I had chosen an indoor table! 😮 Thankfully, the meal was very nice. I decide, from there, to go explore the Borgo Medievale, or Medieval City. It turns out there’s a bus stand nearby. I head to it, but, after waiting ten minutes in the heat, give up. Obviously, within minutes of my starting to walk away from the bus stop, the bus I had been waiting for passes me by.
I end up at the entrance to the park where the village is located. It’s really, really hot. I decide to try one of the scooters. Though several are around me, they are each from a different company, and a different app. I download one of the apps on my phone, but when I scan the nearest scooter, it appears the scooter battery is dead. The same thing happens with the next two scooter apps and scooters I try, so I take it as a sign I should walk. A few minutes later, I feel I may melt into the sidewalk. So, I stop for an ice cream. Eventually, I make it to the medieval city, and it’s a nice visit. Though not large, it does feel a bit like stepping into another time. There are a few souvenir shoppes and cafes. I snap some photos and then take my leave.
I decide to check out the city’s main Roman gate, but it’s too hot to walk that far. I use the Moovit app to find the nearest tram. It’s an older line, and I love discovering what feels like an old, and original part of Itay. Most of the passengers look like they could be my grandfather! I exit at my stop and find not just the gate, but also one of the major churches in the city. It’s a beautiful area, and there’s even a museum and I delight in exploring.
Alas, I need a coffee. I find the perfect looking cafe. Tiny, unassuming, and an older man runs it. I ask if I could get an iced coffee. He says he can shake it with some ice. Sounds perfect. He tells me to take a table outside, and I await what I presume is a cup with some ice and coffee. Instead, I’m delivered what looks like the perfect chocolate martini, but is, in fact, my perfect iced coffee, shaken not stirred, no ice, and wow, yum! Best looking iced coffee I ever had.
On my final day in Turin, I attempt to see the museum of cinema, specifically, the view from the top. But, it’s sold out. (Tip, reserve your spot in advance to avoid arriving and finding they’re sold out.) The next morning, on my way to my bus for Croatia, I do the one activity that got added to my list – find a cow fountain! Throughout the parks in the city are water fountains. They are small green portals and the water comes out of a small cow head. I fretted I would miss seeing one for myself, but there, on the street, on my way to the bus, I found one and snapped a photo. 🙂
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