How time flies… already one week ago, on this day, I first woke up in my beautiful Torino apartment. Today feels a bit like a ‘Groundhog day‘: the same sunny day, sitting behind my desk, watching the skyline of the city while sipping on a cup of Italian coffee. It feels like I arrived just yesterday.
The first week has been one with many impressions, every single day has been quite an adventure. I have met up with many inspiring people, each telling and sharing their own story of living the life in Torino. And as I take another sip of my coffee, my head feels a bit too packed from last week’s activities, so it’s time to put them down in words again.
The first thing I notice and really appreciated after my first intensive Torino-week is that the people here really try to enjoy life every minute of the day. The day doesn’t end when work is done, actually the day has only just begun! People gather to stroll down the broad and beautiful city lanes, heading towards a restaurant or friends’ place to have dinner, and after that a fine glas of wine. My experience also, being invited by Paolo and his friend Elisa, when they served me some tasteful risotto and a delicious chocolate cake for dessert.
Another thing that really grabs my attention is the hospitality and the passion of the Italians. Like the kindness of my ‘room mate’ Paolo helping me getting started at the apartment or my friend Monica showing me around San Salvario, the place where the locals go out, to kick back some cocktails.
Or what about Giancarlo picking me up with his car to show me the best beer pub in town, the Birrifico Torino!
Friday has also been a special experience, the Torino ‘knows it all’ Andrea showed me around the Fiat Lingotto area and also brought me to the Vermouth museum, which was situated above the impressive Eataly food chain location.
As for today I have my first Italian birthday invitation coming up. Ok, semi-Italian that is, because I’ve been invited by Ilona, who is Dutch.
And do I need to mention the food? The first thing I did on Monday was visit the Porta Palazzo outdoor market, the biggest in Europe, to buy some fresh fish, vegetables and fruit. It was the first time I went on my own, and what a challenge. They offer almost everything for a crazy low price per kilo, so I eventually ended up with a year supply of garlic, carrots, tangerines and salmon! There is so much delicious food around, I just don’t know where to begin… I’m feeling those extra pounds coming up, so let’s see how and where I can do some sports asap!
I’ve also started visiting some museums, to learn more about the cultural sights of the city. I have visited the Museo Egizi (one of Europe’s biggest Egypt expositions) and also the GAM, the Torino Museum of Modern Art. I was especially attracted by the Roy Lichtenstein Expo, but that eventually turned out to be a bit disappointing. They showed to much of his pre-famous drawings, that did not look impressive at all. I also visited the Balon, a big flea market with all kinds of vintage stuff, that get’s even bigger every second Sunday of the month.
So when writing this, it feels like I have putten some extra weeks in the first one I have experienced here. It has been pretty cool until know, but sometimes also a bit difficult. Such a big city, so many people to meet and locations to explore, also missing some The Hague friends around, it tends to get under your skin at some moments.