Why Torino is my Favorite City in Italy

Visiting a different country it is truly the most enriching valuable experience. Growing is about gaining new perspectives, and we have to take ourselves out of our comfort zones and go to places we have never been before in order to truly gain that new perspective. Many people wait until they are old enough and have saved enough money to travel safely, unfortunately, by then they cannot do the things that they want to do because of life circumstances or it is not as enjoyable because they cannot use their bodies as well anymore, not having the energy or the curiosity of seeing a new part of this beautiful world we live in.

I am not into seeing huge tourist attractions but rather parts of the world that inspire help me learn more about myself and other cultures. I wanted to show a little bit of a place that touches my heart because of the interesting people and history that it has. This place is Torino, Italy, a city in the Northern Piemonte region. Of all of the other cities in Italy that get attention, I figured that this places deserves just as much.

The culture runs thick in Torino. It’s roots derive from native inhabitants (Taurini) in the 3rd century BC, but it was the Romans that provided the name, Augusta Taurinorum, and it’s peculiar streets with a grid pattern still visible now are found in Rome as well, as they are based on the roman camping (castrum – The latin term used for an original Roman fortress in the earlier periods of history).Torino was the first capital of Italy before it was moved to Florence and then Rome. This region is now the home of Italian names such as Fiat, Ferrero (makers of Nutella) and Lavazza. Torino was the home of and hosted such legends as Primo Levi, Alexandre Dumas, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Friedrich Nietzsche. In 2006, Torino was endowed as the home of the Winter Olympics, deeming Torino the Sport Capital of Italy. Adding to its depth of history, the Holy Shroud, an artifact that many people believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, resides in the Cathedral of Turin.

If there ever was a place to transform you into a food and wine snob and make you go off of your sworn-in Paleo Diet then this is the place. It’s amazing what won’t kill you if you eat it in Europe. Italy will raise your standards in men, food, wine, history and lifestyle…and not in a lavish way, but with an appreciation for genuine on many different levels.

FEEDING YOUR SOUL

In Italy, you can go to any hole-in-the-wall and it’s still going to be high quality. Because Italy has a ban on GMO’s, everyone gets to live better knowing or not knowing that their food isn’t full of things they don’t need. In Torino, it’s really easy to find animal products coming from the Alps, which means that they breath fresh air and they get to roam free in luscious and mineral rich land. There is no worry that the animals have been mistreated or the food isn’t good enough. Down to the honey with its rich mineral earthy taste, everything has substance.

Negroni sbagliato – An amazing cocktail with absinth, aperol and vermouth. This is not your normal negroni and it was only 5 Euros.
Colomba pasquale A typical italian sweet dish prepared during Easter, made of flour, eggs,butter, sugar, candied orange and an almond frosting on top.
Colazione italiana– Honey and pastries from the mountains, fresh coffee… this is how Italians do breakfast. They also have large lattes only in the morning and do not down obscene amounts of coffee during the day. If they would like a pick me up later on, it’s usually just an espresso.

P A S S I O N

 L I V E S      

 H E R E ……

There is no lack of chivalry here. Torino is full of lovers of all ages. It could be the romantic setting for the lucky ones who have found this treasure of a city to spend with their significant other. Personal experience has shown me that it is easy to see the happiness found in life from the simple things here, and from each other.

Best Gelato I think I have had in my life. #ruined
Best Gelato I think I have had in my life. #ruined

There is also a lot of passion for futbol here because there exists strong emotion and culture wrapped up in the history of these rivalries.

Juventus and Torino FC are the big futbol rivals in Torino. In the 1940’s Torino FC was believed to be the best soccer team in the world. In 1949, they tragically crashed their plane against the Basilica di Superga walls in the hills of Torino because of limited visibility, killing the entire team. Pictured below people are crowding the streets to celebrate the first time Torino FC beat Juventus in 20 years.

Picture taken in the middle of Via Roma, the most important street in the center of Turin. A couple kisses with people walking by.
Picture taken in the middle of Via Roma, the most important street in the center
of Turin. A couple kisses with people walking by
After 20 years, finally Torino FC manages to beat Juventus FC, prompting fans to get in the streets and celebrate. An old FIAT 500 stops in the middle of the road and gets surrounded by chanting fans.
After 20 years, finally Torino FC manages to beat Juventus FC, prompting fans to
get in the streets and celebrate. An old FIAT 500 stops in the middle of the road and gets surrounded by chanting fans.

B  E  A  U  T  Y 

     Being from San Francisco, I have seen many eccentric and creative things, but walking through Torino, I found Golden Gate Park’s European twin. Life is abundant in Parco del Valentino. Outdoor cafes, picnicking, sunbathing, riding bikes, young love and families.  There is a free outdoor fitness center for everyone to use. Yes, free. People do not have to pay to get healthy and there are initiatives to create a rich and healthy environment for everyone here. Even if there are plenty of gyms in Torino, it is not uncommon to find free fitness centers outdoors in the parks. Extra bonus for Torino, a lot of walking plus free outdoor fitness centers! There are also hikes just fifteen minutes away in the hills that have stunning views of the Alps overlooking the city and will definitely get your heart pumping.

These guys have been hogging the bench all day.
These guys have been hogging the bench all day.
IMG_3188
Parco del Valentino – This is the brother to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. People lounge, read, love and sunbath. Italians love their sexy tan skin!
The Alps are always visible from the city if the sky is clear and they are amazingly huge. It will take your breath away.
The Alps are always visible from the city if the sky is clear. Overlooking Torino on a sunny day, the sheer massiveness adds an energy to the air and coaxes you into the world of winter sports, reminding you that you are in Northern Italy.

Old arcades and docks became a nest for the city “movida” (party) on the River Po, with several clubs and bars, heavily popular during the hot season.

H I S T O R Y

Torino has much to offer, from it’s origins dated more than 2,300 years ago to more recent days, especially with World War II history. From a bunker on display where residents would go to hide during German bombings, to the original King and Queen of Italy’s castle, almost everywhere you turn it’s a time capsule of events that have shaped our world today.

Parco della rimembranza - A huge public garden situated in the hills surrounding Torino. It hosts more than 21.000 trees and has walkways, trees and commemorative poles to honour and remember (“Rimembranza”) all soldiers who died fighting for Italy.
Parco della Rimembranza – A huge public garden situated in the hills surrounding Torino. It hosts more than 21.000 trees and has walkways, trees and commemorative poles to honour and remember (“Rimembranza”) all soldiers who died fighting for Italy.
Faro della Vittoria - Built in 1928 for the 10th anniversary of World War I victory and all soldiers who died to achieve it. The statue hosts a lighthouse and stands tall on the hills of Torino, facing the city. Underneath it, walkways, trees and commemorative poles create the Parco della Rimembranza.
Faro della Vittoria – Built in 1928 for the 10th anniversary of World War I victory and all soldiers who died to achieve it. The statue hosts a lighthouse and stands tall on the hills of Torino, facing the city. Underneath it, walkways, trees and commemorative poles create the Parco della Rimembranza.
Fontana del Frejus - This fountain was built to mourn all the workers perished while building the Frejus tunnel at the end of the 19th century, a strategic infrastructure that connects Piedmont with southern France running under the Alps. Ancient locals believe it represents the black heart ( a dark and mystifying place) of the city for several reasons: it's position is adverse towards the sunset, this square used to be the place for public executions, the angel on top probably represents Lucifer and underneath the statue there is a door leading to the entire sewer city network, believed to be the gateway to hell.
Fontana del Frejus – This fountain was built to mourn all the workers perished while building the Frejus tunnel at the end of the 19th century, a strategic infrastructure that connects Piedmont with southern France running under the Alps. Esoteric believe it represents the black heart of the city for several reasons: its position is adverse towards the sunset, this square used to be the place for public executions, the angel on top probably represents Lucifer and underneath the statue there is a door leading to the entire sewer city network, believed to be the gateway to hell.
Notes to the future about what we have learned from the past at the Museo della resistenza. This museum, created in 2003, guides the visitor in a journey from 1938 and the racial laws and promulgations to the bombings in Torino and, in particular, to the Resistance (“Resistenza”) which managed to fight the germans and free Torino and the entire country from the now-enemies in war.
Notes to the future about what we have learned from the past at the Museo della Resistenza. This museum, created in 2003, guides the visitor in a journey from 1938 and the racial laws and promulgations to the bombings in Torino and, in particular, to the Resistance (“Resistenza”) which managed to fight the germans and free Torino and the entire country from the now-enemies in war.
Museo Egizio di Torino - The second most importan Egyptian museum in the world after Il Cairo in terms of number (3,300 showcased, more than 26,000 stored) and quality of the finest egyptian artwork. A time journey running back as far as the Predynastic Period of Ancient Egypt (prior to 3100 BC), including statues, stones, clothing, jewelery, papyrus, mummies and much more.
Museo Egizio di Torino – The second most important Egyptian museum in the world after Il Cairo in terms of number (3,300 showcased, more than 26,000 stored) and quality of the finest
egyptian artwork. A time journey running back as far as the Predynastic Period of Ancient Egypt (prior to 3100 BC), including statues, stones, clothing, jewelery, papyrus, mummies and much more.
The Cathedral of Turin - The Holy Shroud, an artifact that many people believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Cathedral of Turin contains The Holy Shroud, an artifact that many people believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth. Many police officers and armed guards protect the church during it’s display and people are lined up for blocks to view it.
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