Friday, May 1, 2015
5 things I didn't expect in Turin
We are sharing Maria Pasquale's guest post about her first exciting visit to Turin and Piedmont!
Born to Italian parents, Maria always knew Rome was her destiny, although she was raised in Melbourne. She has a formal background in political science and policy and now runs her own event management & PR company, through which she manages marketing & social media for Eating Europe Food Tours (Rome, London, Amsterdam & Prague). An unabashed romantic (Rome being her one true love!) she is the creator of popular food, travel and lifestyle blog HeartRome. Her blog was runner up as the Best Italy Travel Blog in the 2015 Italy Magazine Blog Awards and is featured as a go-to source for Rome in the Rough Guide to Italy.
She is a Local Expert for 10Best & Tripology, USA Today and was voted in the top 100 travel bloggers to follow on social media in 2014. In Rome you'll find Maria walking the streets of Trastevere, checking out the latest bar for an aperitivo or dining with friends.
I spent a short 36 hours in Turin last month and put simply, now I'm in love. In fact, I can't get her off my mind and I can't wait to get back.
If I have to be honest it took a while for me to get there.
Growing up in Australia we learnt a lot about Italy at school and in geography lessons when the regions of Italy were discussed, Piedmont was always described as the industrial heart of Italy. And with big name brands like Fiat, Martini and Ferrero it is. But 'industrial' engenders a sort of grey and dreary existence. Turin couldn't be anything further.
So here are 5 things that surprised me about the place:
1) It's not grey and boring
Turin is a beautiful, elegant and stylish city. Big Paris-like streets, outdoor cafes, museums and galleries and resplendent squares. It is a treat for the eyes!
2) It's home to some of the best chocolate makers in the world
Turin is home to the gianduiotto - an upside down boat shaped chocolate hazelnut praline. Baratti & Milano is one of the big name brands but you can find these decadent beauties just about all over Turin.
3) It has a little black and white magic
Apparently the city has two souls: one linked to white magic, the other to evil-black – who knew! Thanks to the Torino Magica tour, I saw parts of the city that Romans, who founded Turin, considered unlucky and used as a burial site; statues of devils; sinister architecture and ornate building ornaments.
4) Cafe culture is in and bicerin is amazing
The French kind of ruled this place a long time ago and the presence of a relaxed outdoor (and indoor!) café culture is still present. Bicerin is the Torinese hot drink of choice – a shot of coffee, hot chocolate and topped with fresh cream. It will blow your mind!
5) The food is to die for
With a host of award winning restaurants and food outlets, Turin is a foodies' dream come true. If Bologna is home to tortellini, then Turin claims its stake on agnolotti. Cradled in the region of some of the worlds best wine (think Barolo, Asti, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, the list goes on) there is no shortage of a good drop to accompany your meal around here.
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