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  • Writer's pictureBird

Torino? Yes, Please!

Last night, as I was reflecting on the past year, I realized that I never shared details of the Northern Italian leg of our trip with y'all. Mi dispiace! Let me bring you up to speed on our time in Torino (aka Turin).

After leaving Istanbul in late October, we flew back to Italy and settled in a small town called Grugliasco. It's a residential neighborhood just outside of the city of Torino, that has the Italian Alps in the backdrop everywhere you look. I remember waking up the morning after we arrived, looking out the window and being like "Yooooo....those are the Alps!!!"

I would hang laundry and marvel at this view

Sunset from our living room

The area was reminiscent of NY for me. It was much more metropolitan than any place we visited in the south, yet not nearly as iconic as Rome or Milan. Getting around the immediate area was easy and enjoyable. Everything we needed in our day to day was within walking distance. One of the things that I loved most about living in Europe is that there are actual stores for the things that you need. We'd joke about it like: 'Oh you need an envelope? Go to the envelope store. Did you need a bandana? Cool, let's go to the bandana store!' But it really is like that and I miss it so much. We would go to the grocery store a few times a week and it was like therapy. Because the walking route there took you through a beautiful park. And carrying groceries ain't so bad when you're walking through nature.

But by far, the best part of living in Grugliasco was the weekly farmer's market. MY GOD. Not only was the produce 10/10 and super affordable, but they had everything else that one might ever need. Clothes, household products, handicrafts, gifts, cannoli, and the best fried fish. We went every Saturday religiously and sometimes I still go back in my dreams.

But that was Grugliasco. Torino was a whole other vibe.

To get to the city center, we'd have to take 2 buses (which we never had to pay for) for a total travel time of just under an hour. It was worth the commute every single time we went. The city is gorgeous, diverse, super clean, and walkable with so much to see and do. The piazzas are wide open and calm (minimal car traffic and no air of rushing whatsoever). The streets are covered in porticos that make you feel like the main character in a movie. Stores, cafes and restaurants galore. Theaters and churches. Even a big park along the route to the River Po. And there's always something poppin in the streets. Literally.

Often an African drum circle gives a heartbeat to Piazza Castello, and from there, you'll find street performers in any direction you go. On one block there'd be a marching band, on another a magician. Fire performers on this corner and break dancers on that one. One night there was even a gospel choir singing Christmas songs in Italian and English. It was unexpectedly great, too.

During the three months we spent in this region, we experienced so much:

  • Lyss and I caught a Halloween performance at the Teatro Alfieri

  • Zion and Amore celebrated Halloween at a party catered to kids

  • Zack and I had drinks and watched a band perform in a Speakeasy

  • Lyss got her hair cut in a Curly Girl Salon

  • We saw the Tim Burton exhibit at the Mole Antonelliana

  • Everyone minus myself had a grand ol' time ice skating

The food was good, too (not Calabria good though). The weather was unusually mild with only a handful of really cold days. For Christmas, we kept things low key. We gave cards to each of our neighbors on Christmas Eve and walked the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. On Christmas day we exchanged homemade gifts and had a day filled with food, games and togetherness. It was a sweet ending to our time living in Europe. Two-ish weeks later we were on our way back to the states. We spent a handful of days in NY, trying to catch up with as many loved ones as possible.

Then we moved on the Puerto Rico. Stay tuned for an update on that!

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