Karen Rossi, a digital friend of ours from Boston, has very kindly accepted to type down her memories of Turin when she was studying abroad!
I arrived in Italy in July of 1989 to study Italian at the Universita' degli Stranieri in Perugia for the summer. On September 1, 1989, we held tickets to take us to Rome via our friend's small town of Attigliano, a date that my mother reminded me was the 50th anniversary of Hitler invading Poland and sparking the beginning of World War Two. The fall of 1989 was to be an historic one in Europe, and I was on my way to Torino at the Scuola Amministrazione Aziendale to study International Business. Once in Rome the first week of September, I met with my Junior Year Abroad program, Jera Pecotte Delpiano, and my fellow American students who would be studying with me in Torino. We traveled around Rome and to Florence, and then made our way to my apartment on the Corso De Gasperi. I had three roommates, two Americans and one British gal who was a nanny for the Carobbi family on the Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi. We took our dinner meal at the Medical School near our apartment during the week, and the cafeteria food was excellent! On the weekends I came into my own as a chef, having to cook for myself and my roommates after shopping at the outdoor market across the street from our apartment and at a small supermarket near by. Fresh pasta, fresh mozzarella, and incredible produce were all I needed to learn how to cook naturally, for a crowd or for my roommates.
We became friendly with a group of medical school students from Lebanon, and they invited us into the homes of their local friends for some incredible meals all shared with lots of love and fun. No pressure, just the pleasures of the table, some Gavi and Nebbiolo D'Alba were all we needed. It was a golden time to be able to roam free in the city to discover the chocolate, pastries and the old world cafes. We frequently tried new restaurants and it was the first time I had white truffles, an unforgettable dish with just pasta, butter and truffles.
I think that Torino is a beautiful hidden gem in Italy, that really feels like its own place. The sunny days where you could see the Alps and imagine a day trip to Santa Margherita Ligure were the best for shopping outside and planning a big meal with friends. I can't wait to go back for an extended visit to my old home.
Follow Karen on her Twitter account @kikirossi