November 8, 2019 Turin IT

It really pored all night last night. The heaviest sustained rain we have seen on this trip.  The last week has been wet and cool and it is starting to wear on us.  Turin is our last major Italian city of the trip.  We picked it so that we could get a brief taste of the Piedmont area.  

The drive over was pretty easy except for hitting a few very heavy bouts of rain.  As we closed in on Turin the weather started to turn and morale picked up in François.  There was even a brief view of the Alps as we got close to the city.  

The Sosta we are parked in is run by the tram company in Turin, while it is very convenient it probably has the most convoluted pay system we have seen.  You take a ticket when you check in and that takes care of the parking. To use the water you are supposed to stick the parking ticket into a machine and it records that you used water.  This also goes for the dump, bathroom, and showers.  To get electricity you have to go get a separate card give a €10 deposit and then take that card to a vending machine to put some credit on it, and after the credit has been loaded you take it out to the electric boxes and insert the card to get your electricity.  The parking lot is located off of “The Soviet Union Boulevard” (Turin is a very left wing city.), so I think whoever designed the payment system must have learned it when they were studying in the USSR.

The Duke of Savoy’s Palace in Turin.

After sorting out the electric we headed downtown on the Tram.  Turin is a very prosperous town, and while there is nothing particularly spectacular in town, the overall feeling of the town is quite  organized and well ordered.  In fact it almost felt German except for the driving which is Italian to its core.  Ton had one primary target which was Al Bicerin Cafe which has been in business since 1763.  This place developed this drink consisting of espresso, dark chocolate, and cream in layers.  The drink and the cafe have been celebrated in novels and travelogues for over 200 years.  After walking thru the former Dukes Palace and the main square of town we headed over to the Cafe.  Ton ordered the Bicerin while I opted for a normal hot chocolate.  It is a humble looking place that does not look like it has been impressing great artists and politicians for centuries.  It was everything Ton hoped for (my hot chocolate was good also, but now I feel like a charlatan).

The Al Bicerin Cafe which has been serving the rich, famous, and humble since 1763.

When we finished up with the Bicerin and some light food we headed over to the central market.  We can never go wrong at one of these traditional markets.  We really enjoyed our walk thru the market and the food stalls in a separate building.  Turin looks like a great town to live in, an interesting mixture of big business (it is the home of Fiat) and food.  It reminded me a little bit of Portland without the beer.

One of the stalls in the Central Market in Turin.

We finished the day with a promenade up the main shopping street of town, before grabbing the tram.  On the way back to François we made one final stop at a big grocery store to stock up on some of our favorite Italian groceries before we head back into France.

Street scene in Turin.

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