People who know me know that one of my compulsions is travelling. Hence at age 33, thanks to my beloved mother, I am a well travelled girl. But I admit I was taken by surprise when I exited Torino airport and saw the rocky skyline as I greeted warmly my Italian first cousin who I’m very close to and fond of.
Now even this is a revelation to me. Since becoming single last June, I have truly found my much younger first cousins so comforting, fun and pleasant that, as far as they permit me to do so, I drag them everywhere I go. There is something so nice about hanging out with younger people – they are energetic, tech savvy (which I lack), carefree, dreamers, idealists (I am very idealistic, but now that’s long gone and instead I have become a truly grounded woman).
Back to the point – (I am shocked myself as to how I deviate so much – some people know this trait far too well!). So yes, Torino has revealed to be a charming city that is hidden unlike say Milano or Roma. Now hold on a second – my uncle has been living here since I was 3 years old so I got to be with the locals. Here’s my advice as to where to go; what to do etc. Do remember that I am no Lonely Planet guide but I will surely give you some worthy tips:
- Ryanair flights exist between Malta to Torino so flying costs are low.
- Superga – this is where a plane had crashed due to severe fog and all the on-board passengers perished including Torino football players, press etc. Plus the views from up here are amazing – you get to see the entire city of Torino and the mountains as a back drop. Also, as you are driving up the hill to Superga note the villas – nice; this is were rich affluent ‘gente dello speccattolo’ lodge themselves.
- Monte del Cappucchini – it’s a must to see the infamous Torino Il Molo. Once again breathtaking views.
- Torino City What’s there to say – enjoy it all! The Po, Via Garibaldi, Egyptian Museum etc etc. I have been there last year between 12-19 December and it was magical lit up with classy Christmas lights.
- Ivrea Provincia di Torino – Olivetti is all around you and an extremely small characteristic ‘centro’.
- Valle D’Aosta – again a must-see. The drive from Borgofranco, Ivrea (because that is where my relatives live) to Valle D’Aosta was already to me, as an islander, a place to write home about. Then the ‘centro’ was again pleasant including the chocolate drink my uncle bought for me. One may think that I’m speaking this way due to the release of endorphins the chocolate drink caused in my chocolate-deprived organism but I can ascertain you that it is not the case.
- Snow – Okay, so yes it did snow, and yes I had never truly experienced being snowed down overnight, but we were. I woke up Friday morning oblivious to my white surroundings until my uncle brought the winter wonderland to my attention. I was so held in awe that I went running outside and, thanks to my uncle, suffered no fatal head injury due to me slipping like no other fall episode in my life (and I do admit that I tend to have many – but don’t ask me why please, thank you). My uncle nicely and kindly explained to me that one needs to wear special shoes/boots when it snows. So off we went to fetch snow boots for myself to spend an entire day driving round winter wonderland, as my uncle had a driving working day. It was either the uncle-effect and/or the winter wonderland effect, but this was one of the best days in my life which made me feel like I had shoved off the last year we just celebrated.
- Monterosa Ski Resort – Again sorry to sound clichéd but magical. Despite the falls and knocking my head on tapit rulant, and getting entangled like ‘a fish in a net since I’m Maltese’ as my Italian cousin explained to the person in charge of the baby slope, while he was trying to disentangle my skis – I had a memorable day. It was me, myself and the mountain (true it was just a baby slope but hey I struggle going down a flight of stairs, walking in heels etc etc so yes I did ski to the utter amazement of my aghast family members – the support one gets from my family members is mind boggling……..NOT).
- The ‘Crodino’, ‘Spumante’, ‘Prosecco’, ‘Mirto’, Espresso con la crema and the FOOD – too good and dead cheap. I ate and ate and ate and ate till towards my departure I couldn’t eat anymore. In 8 days I became just what the cleaners at hospital called me as I was making myself a coffee in the pantry – ‘IMBRAMT’ – enough said.
So here I am now, grossly overweight that I do not recognise myself in the mirror – I mean even my face ‘imbarram’. The multitude of parties, family lunches etc certainly do not help me regain my previous weight, but I can guarantee that not for a second do I think that it was not worth the weight (not only myself but even my luggage – I mean it is Italy after all) to get that Ryanair flight to Torino and visit my dearest uncle, and just feel like that little kid when he use to sporadically visit us.
Certain things in life one cannot buy – and this is one of them! Visit Torino EVE readers.