I have been planning to write a follow up to my first adventures in Torino for days now, but time and also the daily impressions keep on getting the better of me.
Almost three weeks have passed and the word that crosses my mind and exits my mouth every day is ‘whow!‘. The beauty and way of life that this country has to offer is just so overwhelming. It is incredible that the Italians keep on living life with so much passion, even though they are caught in an intensive economic crisis. But fortunately they are also blessed with so many positive things, as opposed to having a steady income or people that know their way with politics: beautiful cities, excellent food, the magic of nature, fine wine and a lust for life. And I must say that I feel more than fortunate to have created a possibility to be a part of the Italian state of mind.
After a bit of a difficult and intensive first week(s), I seem to have found a more suitable balance in Torino. It’s so easy to get caught in all the people you want to meet or to explore the city and its surroundings. But I have set myself at ease, realizing that with some luck I still have a life time in Italy ahead of me.
Some Flemish rock and roll in Torino!
The past few weeks have again been quite an adventure. One of the highlights was attending the concert of Too Tangled, a Belgium band that debuted in Torino as part of their Italian tour. It was the first time I saw them live and they were really good. After the show I met up with the bands members to exchange some Dutch / Flemish words, they were more than kind. And also I met up with some other Flemish / Torino guys, which was also quite the experience. These guys knew their beers and eventually we ended up leaving the venue as the last ones… sometime around 4 a.m.
The magic mountains of Aosta…
Due to the amount of beers I had the night before, the day after was a bit heavy. This day I had planned to visit Aosta, a magical place situated in the Alps. Starting from Torino it took about two hours to get there by train. But because of the breath taking view, these two hours flew by. It was almost like watching some kind of nature program on TV.
And Aosta, well that also was a piece of true beauty. Everywhere I looked there were (huge) mountains covered in snow, and with some eye squeezing I could also spot the Matterhorn. The village used to be Roman and you could still spot some ancient landmarks. Like for example an old Roman bridge or part of an Amphi theater. I walked around the city, looking up – to the mountains – and down – to the Roman landmarks – and experienced a smile upon my face the whole day… what an environment!
Coffee & TV
The next day I again took on the challenge of visiting Porta Palazzo, the outdoor market of Torino. The last time I was there I returned home with a year supply of vegetables and fruits! But this time I made it out ‘alive’, with only spending ten euro’s and exactly the right ingredients to do some fine Italian cooking for a week. In the evening I visited an Internations – a mixed community of expats and Italians – for the first time. There was a viewing of ‘Leon’, a classic starring the then twelve year old Natalie Portman. Just to be sure I brought along my friend Monica… to eventually end up in a very cool club called Blah Blah.
It has been a while since I danced the night away, but when the DJ played tracks from The Prodigy, Underworld and especially Blur (Coffee & TV)… well, I just couldn’t get enough.
This evening I also learned an important frase: “ogni pezzo potrebbe essere l’ultimo!“, each piece, track or breath could be your last one, so live or dance like it IS the last one!
I have fallen in love, again!
Last Wednesday I finally visited Genova. This city has been on my list for a long time now. From Torino also just two hours by train. When I arrived I immediately noticed that Genova was going to be something special, a city that has two faces. First there is the harbor and the more industrial side, that has its own beauty. The blue ocean, the line up of expensive yachts, the palm trees… it almost made me feel like being in Miami.
But when entering the city center it was something else: the small streets and the high houses… suddenly I arrived in Napels! Again, what an experience and all I can say that I have fallen in love with yet another part of Italy. Can’t wait to see this city in its summer glory.
The (first) Italian Job
So three weeks have almost passed. It still feels a bit like a vacation but I realize that there is work to be done, otherwise this life changing adventure could end up becoming a bit difficult.
Fortunately things started well with BnB Promotions: I have received my first payed assignments and have also sent out some new proposals. What was really special is that today – Thursday – I worked on checking some Dutch translations for Fiat navigation systems… my first Italian job! These people found me via an apartment add that I placed some months ago. By coincidence they were looking for a Dutch native. The job went well and hopefully they will ask me back.
And tomorrow? Well, let’s see what the new day has in mind for me… since in Torino there is never a dull moment. Alla prossima!