A trip to chocolate city

Published by Katarina Kovacevic — 9 months ago

Blog: Erasmus Trips in Italy
Tags: Erasmus blog Turin, Turin, Italy

It was my cousin's birthday. I had an amazing idea for her birthday that can also serve as my gift. I bought her tickets for two trips with me – to Turin and to Milan. This is the story of the first trip. There are cities that are famous, touristic, beautiful and simply a place where you must go. And there are cities that we discover by pure chance. For me, Turin was one of those cities. There, I felt I could stay forever.

The tickets I bought were for the train company called Italo. Since I bought them almost three months earlier I was able to get them for a very economic price. Depending on how well you plan your trip, the Italo offers very economic, economic, normal and expensive tickets. Therefore, as you can see, I was very lucky. The train itself is superb. Fast, in fact so fast that it even goes over 200km per hour. Amazing! But even if you don't find that impressive, you will find the interior of the train very clean and its service impeccable. The thing I appreciated the most was the fact that we were notified about all of our stops in both Italian and English.

Turin is the capital of the Italian region of Piedmont. We discovered it slowly, we walked down its long narrow streets, opening in cobble squares, we watched stunning buildings, churches and statues. We listened to the sounds of river and enjoyed the feel of the sun on our skin. We saw Castello Square - the medieval heart of the city, the "royal salon of Savoy", Palazzo Madama – a palace built on the site of the former Roman gate of Pretoria, the Duomo di Torino - the magnificent cathedral, Piazza San Carlo - the most beautiful city square with twin churches, the Royal Palace - the former residence of the Savoy dynasty, Mole Antoneliana - fantastic dome 165 m high with a panoramic terrace at 85m high, with which you can see a unforgettable view of the city.

When you come to Turin for the first time, the city will transcend all of your expectations of beauty and usual nature of typical Italian cities. This city on the river Po, with its surrounding settlements, has about 1,700,000 inhabitants, and it is the largest multi-ethnic city in Italy. Although it is a big city of multicultural character, it does not feel like a metropolis. It is very easy to navigate because it was constructed according to the Roman-era urban plan. This means it has linear streets that are clearly arranged. Here, you can find many museums, artistic buildings, palaces and other buildings of great historical value dating from the time of the king. Eighteen kilometers of arcades, dating back to 1500, were built to allow the undisturbed walking of the king and his escorts. Another fact that speaks about its beauty is the fact that from 1861 to 1865 Turin was the first capital of united Italy. There, the first Italian Parliament was formed where the first speech was held by Vitorio Emanuele II. Among the 650 senators and deputies were Alessandro Manzoni, Giuseppe Verdi and Garibaldi.

Beside its rich history, the thing that impressed us the most was the river Po. It was such a nice day and it was so nice to have a walk along the river bank. The sun, the water and of course the ice-cream, or in Italian “gelato”, made this day something to remember. Turin is also known for its chocolates. It is even considered as one of the chocolate capitals of the world. The very first chocolate house was opened in 1678 serving hot chocolate. And the first chocolate as we know it today was invented in Turin at the end of the 18th century. In a town like this, how do Italian women remain their slim figures?

Turin, city of chocolates, palaces, art and museums. What would I give to experience again its glorious history, mystic streets and beautiful baroque architecture, at least for a moment.

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