Torino

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After our trip to Lake Maggiore and Lake Como our next two days off work came quickly. We decided to go to Torino, host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, since it’s only a two hour train ride away from our current home.

After a quick breakfast at the house we walked down the hill to the Pettenasco train station were we caught the 9 a.m. train to Torino.

We were in Torino by 11 a.m. and we dropped our bags off at the hostel we were staying at before setting out to explore the city.

Torino is a beautiful town nestled at the base of the Italian Alps. The city is a maze of low buildings with red rooftops and on a clear day it seems as if the city all the way to the very base of the mountains.

We chose to stay at the Tomato Backpackers Hotel, a new modern hostel that opened less than a year ago. The staff was extremely helpful and the place had a vibe that we really enjoyed. If you ever make it to Torino, this is definitely the place to stay.

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Once we crept around the hostel and checked out all the amenities the place had to offer we decided to take a stroll around town to check the place out.

Our first stop was an area of town called Eatly. It’s a street lined with a bunch of Italian fast food restaurants. We stopped for lunch at a busy little place serving up a selection of focaccia bread and pizza. Of course two slices wasn’t enough for me and I had to go back for seconds.

From Eatly we headed to the main square, which is lined with little shops selling all sorts of chocolates and sweets.

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It turns out a few significant things were invented in Torino: solidified chocolate (it was only a drink before), Tic-Tacs and Fiats.

Anyway, of course Tarynne had to get her chocolate fix before we could continue our stroll around town.

Our next stop was Via Garibaldi, and although Tarynne tried to sneak it by me when she announced our walking route through Torino, I picked up on the fact this was the street with all the shops.

We spent the next two hours slowly making our way down Via Garibaldi in search of the perfect pair of boots for Tarynne. As you might expect the perfect pair of shoes ever materialized and we left empty handed.

Well, almost empty handed. Just as we began to make our way toward the river on the other side of town Tarynne spotted her precious Aveda face wash in a shop window and quickly threw down 25 Euros.

We then slowly made our way back through town and walked along the river back to the hostel.

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At the hostel we relaxed, drank a bottle of wine and chatted with the owner before heading out for a late dinner and some drinks at the bar.

The next morning we stayed in bed and hung around the hostel until 11 a.m.

It was a beautiful sunny day outside so we decided to rent bikes so we could enjoy the sun and quickly cruise around town before we had to head home.

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Our first stop was Monte dei Cappuccini, a church perched on top of a hill over looking Torino with the Alps as a dramatic backdrop.

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From the church we bombed back down the hill to a grocery store where we picked up supplies for a picnic lunch.

Although we already had our supplies in hand we decided before setting the picnic we better head to the Mole Antonelliana, a 167 meter tall tower built between 1863 and 1889, in case the line to get to the top was really long.

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The wait was half an hour and since our train back to Lake Orta was at 4 p.m. we decided we better check out the view at the top before we got too caught up in our picnic lunch.

The wait was 30 minutes, but the view from the top was fantastic.

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From the Mole Antonelliana we biked back to the river and found nice bench where we set up our picnic lunch.

By the time we were finished eating it was already time to take the bikes back to the hostel, gather our things and catch the train back to Lake Orta.

We had a quick stay in Torino, but we loved it. It’s a quiet, laid back town with a creative, artistic feel. There’s aspects of it that somehow remind me of Seattle and I think we both took some comfort in that.

If I ever find myself in Northern Italy again, I’ll be sure Torino is on the itinerary.

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