True to form we experienced the ever changing landscape on our train as we travelled from Rapallo heading to Turin. This is our last stop in Italy. (We will be back briefly in summer to see the lakes)
It had snowed the night before we left on the hillside on the outskirts of Genoa.
A little further down the track the whole town of Rincon Scrivia had snow. We had arrived in a winter wonderland. In two days we would be in Switzerland.
Then came the green grassy plains and on we rattled and rolled further on down the tracks.
Final stop Torino! The third largest train station in Italy. Torino is Italy’s northern capital city. We decided to ditch the tram stop and instead we walked about 1.5 kilometres with bags in toe to our attic roof top Airbnb accommodation. On our walk we admired the beautiful buildings. Torino is known for its historical stately building and elegant architecture. Our roof top cosy attic apartment has north facing windows which look out to the snow covered Alps. When laying on our bed we stare out our sky light rooftop window. The shower fitting is an elegant vintage hand held shower. When you pick up the brass heavy shower head you feel like you are about to make a phone call from grandmas phone. The icy cold water from the hand basin gives you an instant face lift, that is why these Italian women look so good!
On arrival we found a bowl full of delicious Italian hazelnut chocolates that we devoured within 10 minutes. We later learnt this is where Nutella was invented! After I declared that I had already eaten four, well we had no lunch as we were on the train! Rob started lining the chocolates up so that the rest were shared out, just so I wouldn’t eat them all on him !!!!
We enjoyed a sunset walk down to the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele bridge as Torino is cradled by the river. We took some amazing photos with pigeons flying around in the background.
Rob has decided he already likes this Italian city as on our afternoon walk he sampled Amsterdam Chips, Grom – famous Italian gelato (there is also complementary hazelnut gelato in the freezer) and he found Roberto’s cafe! We will need to do a lot of walking tomorrow and I don’t think I want any dinner! If I stay in Italy much longer I am going to look like a hazelnut on legs!!
We woke to a sky view ceiling with a view of the moon and a cloudy sky out of the sky light ceiling window. Our day exploring Torino took us first to the biggest outdoor market in Italy. It seemed to go forever. Here you could buy everything and anything from clothing, house hold goods to great fresh produce. We were astounded how each day these markets places are packed away. The fruit and veg market stalls went on and on.
The city is very quiet as there is limited car access. Trams and double length buses quietly patrol the wide stone street. Many shopping areas and arcades are pedestrian areas only. Cafes are exuberant in decor. Near the grand Piazza Castello we stopped for coffee at a cafe called San Carlo famous for its Lavazza coffee. Here you will not get an American cheap watered down coffee that comes in a styrofoam environmentally unfriendly cup. Here you get a waiter dressed in his bow tie and suit, lavish furnishings that make you feel like you are about to have high tea in the queens sitting room, marble floors, a chandelier the size of a Mini, real authentic artwork, wall to wall mirrors and the real deal expresso coffee in a proper cup for the price of a little more than a euro, that is if you stand and drink at the bar the way the Italians do. You pay three times as much if you sit down at a table. We tried an Italian specialty hot chocolate with a coffee shot. It was great and I think knowing there were people waiting for us to finish ours before they could be served added to the atmosphere.
A highlight was riding the glass elevator up to the viewing platform at Mole Antonelliana. Here we were taken aback by the panoramic views. The snow covered alps climbed high into the clouds which looked like something from Jack in the Beanstalk. At first I didn’t even see the snowy alps in the skyline, and then it took me a while to get my head around how enormously high these snowy alps are. Scary really! The mole is 167 meters high and is the tallest masonry building in Italy. It houses the cinema museum as Torino established Italy’s first cinema.
Our last afternoon in Italy was spent relaxing in our attic apartment with the warm winter sun streaming in and pigeons cooing on the rooftops.