Torino after the Olympics
I have never lived in a Olympic city, but as I toured downtown yesterday I really enjoyed how Torino has cleaned up, opened up to our guests and shook itself free from the “woe is me, FIAT is dying” mentality. Now that the Winter Games have ended, what will become of all the banners, art installations, lights, information kiosks, extra payphones, extra garbage cans and friendly faces trying to speak English? Piemonte is landlocked but not far from the Ligurian Sea, we are surrounded my mountains, The Alps and the Appennines, so in actuality we are quite isolated. I hope that with all the good publicity we have received because of the Olympics, more and more people will be attracted to visiting this region of Italy. I hope the Torinese people have had their curiosity peaked by all the tourists and that they retain that curiosity. I hope the warm feeling I now feel for Torino having been my home for almost a year, never fades from my memory.
Over the past twelve months in Torino, we have hosted 6 pairs of guests, which include my aunt and uncle from Norway, my niece and nephew, ex-pats, and friends from other parts of Italy. I have become somewhat of an expert in Torino but I better not quit my day job giving English lessons.
Here are a few things I have learned about this city/region:
1. Torino is home to the Shroud of Turin.
2. The grand outdoor market, Porta Palazzo is one of the largest in Europe and very ethnically diverse. On special Sundays, this market has a much sought after antiques for sale.
3. We are a culinary powerhouse with:
-world famous wines
-wonderful regional specialties like bollito misto, tajarin, veal tartar, bunet, bagna cauda, agnoloti del plin, grissini and many, many more.
-Torino has a great museums and art galleries.
-The porticos of Torino are famous. They were first built to protect the nobles of Torino from rain, so they could walk and shop under cover. Now the miles and miles of portici or covered sidewalks are a great way to see the city. I think only Bologna rivals Torino in kilometers of portici.
On another note: Next month, from 10-19 March 2006, Torino will host the Paralympic Games!
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