The two main themes of my Torino adventures: food and tea. Anyone surprised?
It feels a bit silly to put a post about Torino (1 hour away on the train) under the Travel section, but I actually felt like I was gone from Bra for about 2 weeks even though it wasn’t even 48 hours. I know I’m not good with numbers, but take not bringing warm enough sweaters + walking about 9 miles per day (thanks Fitbit) and that adds up to perceived travel hours quickly.
First of all, major shoutout to my classmate Giulia who acted as an absolutely lovely hostess/tour guide/knower of all places hip/resident Italian speaker.
Anyhoo, Torino. As you may or may not (if you have been living under a rock maybe) know, the Winter Olympics were there in 2006. It was the first capital of Italy in 1861 and the home of the ruling Savoy family. Impressed by my historical knowledge? Ok, maybe not. Moving on.
One of the many reasons we wanted to escape from the little hamlet of Bra for a few days was for this event held in the venue where they had the short track and figure skating:
Now I have to say, after my Friday Off the Grid outings, my expectations for this shebang were not sky high. Food trucks are really not a thing yet in Italy.
But I have to say, with a porchetta and mushroom cream sandwich in one hand and some hot red mulled wine from an adorable couple in the stand pictured below, I was quite content.
This photo has been stolen from the Caravin FB página. I congratulate them on their very appropriate use of a filter.
I didn’t fall for the Italian/Argentine choripan, but still, it was there, tempting me.
How about some tortellini in broth to brighten your day?
After a few hours roaming around the festival, I was in serious need of some tea to help digest the mixture of things sitting in my stomach. Giulia took us to this lovely little place called Teapot in San Salvario, your classic recently gentrified/ still multiethnic/ hipster hangouts-a-plenty/ quick access to public parks kind of neighborhood.
Not the best pic, I know. But just wanted you to grasp the flowers and cute lettering-ness of the space.
From there, we headed back for lovely dinner in Giulia’s home (radicchio risotto, anyone?) and then cleaned up a little bit for a quick drink at La Drogheria in Piazza Vittorio Veneto across from a large building somewhat resembling the Pantheon. I didn’t manage to snap any images of the square at night, but imagine a lot of 16 year olds in their down jackets just milling around and smoking to no end.
On Sunday morning, we were surprised not to encounter any of the grayness/mist that has plagued northwest Italy for the last month. Stowing our umbrellas in our backpacks for once, we embarked on more edible adventures at a Christmas-esque market involving food and antique plates that seemed to multiply before my eyes.
Hey there, big guy.
After looking about 1298370 vintage posters, we made moves towards an a-do-ra-ble store called Melissa for all things tea and feminine. I do believe they put this couch in the middle of the store for the poor boyfriends dragged along by their significant others and then knocked out by the scent of lavender.
The sign at the door said photos were welcome, so, I took a lot. Obviously.
A tea brewing system just for me? Say it ain’t so.
A suitcase of various things covered in chocolate? Yes please.
After all that browsing, it was time to eat again. We roamed on over to PAI Bikery, a place that is a bike shop (now do you get the pun?) and magically open ALL DAY on Sunday (this is so rare in Italy that I think the entire population of 20-30 year olds in the city of Torino was crammed in there).
Despite the fact that we had to eat outside on the patio because it was not possible to accommodate 6 hungry/ shivering girls inside (they gave us fleece blankets), my eggplant/cherry tomato/rosemary quiche was scrumptious.
The remainder of the early evening involved walking upstream through throngs of people on Corso Garibaldi out to do some Christmas browsing and a much-deserved aperitivo before heading back on the train.
It’s quite comforting to know that when I get a little stir crazy here in Bra, I can go run around in a very underrated city with beautiful archways and oodles of little cafés to hole up in.
Two thumbs up for Torino.