The Italian Adventure pt.1 – Turin!

As many of you may know, I spent this weekend in Italy, visiting a close friend of mine who is studying over in Milan for a term. We managed to pack a ridiculous amount in, given that I was only there for 2 and a half days! Although I arrived on the Friday evening, I didn’t actually get into Milan until past midnight so we just had a quick catch-up before trying to grab some sleep ready for tomorrow’s adventure.

We decided to spend the Saturday in the city of Turin (or Torino as the Italians call it) and we were up bright an early at 6.15am, ready to head into Milan and catch our train from the rather beautiful Central Station. The journey was just over an hour and by this time we had worked up quite an appetite so, of course, our first stop was obviously for food.

Piazza San Carlo

Gorgeous Nutella Croissant for Breakfast! 

After stuffing our faces with pastries we then wandered through Turin city centre, up towards the Castello, the civic museum of ancient art and the royal palace. Turin is absolutely beautiful and full of gorgeous architecture and grand buildings. As I’ve never even been to Italy before I was pleasantly surprised at how grand even the simplest of buildings were.

Outside the Castello

Grand staircase in the museum

Inside the Royal Palace

Following this we decided to head towards the Duomo (Cathedral) before making our way towards the River Po and the National Cinema Museum of Turin. Turin itself is actually quite a small city, so we easily managed to cover a lot of ground, relatively quickly.

Duomo

Outside the National Cinema Museum

Inside the museum is really cool and has an absolutely amazing gift shop full of cinematic memorabilia and quirky souvenirs – definitely could have spent a ridiculous amount of money in there, given half a chance! Even better, there’s also a panoramic lift that takes you onto the roof of the building, providing you with some amazing views of the entire city. Unfortunately it was little grey when we were up there but it was still pretty impressive.

View from the top

By this time we were starting to get hungry (again!) and so I was introduced to the excellent Italian traditional of aperitivo. For those of you that are unaware, this is basically a set meal deal whereby you pay somewhere between 8 and 10 euros for a drink and a buffet style lunch. The best thing about this though is that you can have practically any drink off the menu AND eat as much as you like – perfect!

Lunchtime!

Of course, the only way I could finish this up was by having an Italian Gelato (Ice Cream). I opted for a scoop of white chocolate and a scoop of stracciatella and it was genuinely the best ice cream I have ever tasted.

Dessert! 

After a leisurely lunch, we just wandered through the city centre, enjoying what had now become quite a sunny afternoon. We stumbled upon some beautiful churches and buildings, a massive food market and even ended up in a disused ice chamber (don’t ask!)

Yet more beautiful buildings

All in all I had a great day wandering around in the sunshine and just soaking up the atmosphere. By the time we finally got home about 8pm we were knackered so instead of going out as originally planned we treated ourselves to a bottle of wine and had an Italian feast at home.  If you couldn’t already tell, I adore Italian food, especially all the amazing meats and breads. Safe to say my jeans are more than little tight now!

Feast of Parma Ham, Salami, Focaccia, Olives and Tomatoes (Yes it tasted as yummy as it looks!)

Before we knew it we’d spent the whole evening chatting away into the wee hours and reminiscing about some of our more memorable moments in Lancaster which was just lovely, although it made me miss being a student even more than I already do. We eventually went to bed about 1am to try and prepare for another day of adventuring – this time in Milan itself! More about that in my next post…

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