Realizing that my journey in Italy soon will end, leaded me to do the thing i wanted to accomplish from the beginning of my adventure.
I fell in love with mountains first when I saw them in Slovakia, it was winter and foggy weather. So we couldn’t see them sharp. All I was asking my boyfriend, are these mountains or just clouds, because i newer seen them before in my life. Since then I want a little house near mountains! But that is just a dream… Which one day will become an goal!
So going in, I decided to concur the Sacra of San Michele in the first day of summer! This monument is a symbol of Piedmont Region . But the most what was sparking in me was the way up!
I got the train from Torino to S.Ambrogio, it took less than half an hour to get there. I was not even looking at the map to find where i should go.
My reference point was waiting for me! And it to be true, scaring me. How im gonna get there? And dark clouds were coming.
Very fast i found the road through the forest which leaded to the top. I was moving fast without a stop. I was so excited to get to the destination! But in the middle I started to realize what i signed up for an amazing view. Tiredness and not seeing the end of the road puzzled me. But still i was enjoying that i didn’t met nobody on my way up!
After hour and the half of running up I was proud and happy! And trying not to think about the way back, but only enjoying the moment and life! The spiritual value and the landscape that sorrounds it trasform the Sacra in is a special destination for special desires for loneliness.
Well, the road back was not so bad and even more faster than up!
Im not the lover of resort places, that is why city like Genova wasn’t in first place of my bucket-list. But on weekend my best friend, obsessed with seasides, was visiting me in Torino and we decided to make a little one day trip.
The great thing about arriving at a destination early is the fact that you have almost the entire day ahead of you and streets are empty from tourists. We had 7 hours to see as much as possible. I was expecting only to have a walk in a long promenade Corso Italia ( about 3 km along the sea) and to have a sunbath on crowded beach. But my expectations changed after we went out from city center of Torino, by bus ( I definitely suggest to use Flixbus). Almost 3h long trip from Torino was full of breathtaking landscapes of mountains, forests, hills, beautiful roads.
First expectation of Genova was that I immediately saw the difference from what i had seen before. Super narrow and endless streets in city haunted me to feel like im in 17th century and plague is somewhere near! dirty… i thought. But of course i didn’t captured the mess. Also I had feeling of amazement how architecture withstand the ravages of time.
But it took only some minutes and city changed completely.
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
And of course the seaside. It was quite difficult to find a place where to lay on, because almost all beach was a property of hotels. But we found a place and we were the only ones who were swimming (for us, as a Baltic people, water was quite warm).
And again after we left a seaside in another direction, Genova surprised me again.
Today my little childhood dream came true! I felt like in a adventure film “Lassie”. If to be true I don’t really remember the plot of that movie, but the feeling of country life is associated to me with collie Lassie.
After lessons I went to a Parco Colletta in Torino to enjoy the spring weather and to read a book under the shadows of trees. Suddenly out of nowhere park was occupied by sheeps! The old Italian cattleman with collie, came to me just to talk, because he saw the camera in my hands. Of course our conversation wasn’t long (because of my Italian knowledge), but he made a photo of me, what was really lovely, because I think he never held a camera before. But i never petted a sheep before.
Avigliana lies in the Susa valley and it is located about 25 kilometers west of Torino. Only 30 minutes by train and you are in quiet, little city. No tourists, no clutter, no rush. City center streets are narrow and cosy. We even had to huddle to the house walls to give way for Fiat cars. But before a long walk we had an Italian brunch.
We vent to the ruins of castle, destroyed in the 17th century by the French. And that place was unsustainable. Hot sun, refreshing spring wind, and the gentle smell of wild peppermint which grows on that hill.
I could sit there and watch mountains endlessly, but we still had to see the Natural Park of the Lakes of Avigliana. We spent there a lot of time just lying on rocks near to the transparent, clear water enjoying spring vibes and views on hills.
Yesterday was my month in Italy! And now i have two favorite places where i really enjoy to be and where my heart smiles like never. The first one is – Porta Palazzo market. I love the mix of smell of strawberries, mint, lemons, herbs, which names i don’t know, cheese and all local colors! Love to get lost there and to have difficulties with pronouncing the Italian names for all that variety. That is where meet the smell, the sound and the visualization hedonism. I will definitely capture that place, but waiting for summer fruits.
The second place i found, on the first week of my straggling around the city, was – Nicolo Machiavelli street. That is the place in which i get lost in reverie and i really don’t know why, but that became a special spring spot for me. Sitting near to river Po and looking around. I am very surprised by fact how Torino citizens love dogs so much. They are everywhere! The place where i was born dogs and their owners are not so blithe. I feel like a little girl siting on swing and everyone who is passing by smiles to me.
I am always saying that i don’t like to make photos of people. Humans are definitely small creatures, but someone of us create big things. If to start to think about that a lot, it becomes too scary, of what is capable humans mind! And that is what i love to capture – infinite potential of us. It fascinates me of how from stone people come up with architecture. From huge and powerful to graceful and exquisite.
But what humans will never be able to tame is day coming and going, even in magic Turin.
Being here, in Italy, many times I received a question: “How do you see US Italians?”, and I was lost in conjecture. It was only 10 days of my journey, but I already think that it would be more difficult to understand their mentality and culture.
The first words I associate with Italian people are: expressiveness with kindness, generosity, naivety, measured pace and national pride! And also what scares me , while I still learn language, is that they easily start conversation with a stranger. But if you ask for help, after a while around you will be a council which will try to solve your problem. That is amazing!
I also asked them how do you see “Russian language and Russians?”. The answers fascinated me: rough, hard, evil… the most interesting was to see how Italians try to show Russian accent. It really remind me of Hitlers speech! I think i should make more notes about that, it can become a great story.
But article should be about my trip to Milan. Some Italians say they love that place, someone hate it and lose they self there. I am more closer to the second opinion…
Of course everything started in Duomo di Milano. Even in February there was a very long line to get on the roof. They say there are more statues on this gothic-style cathedral than any other building in the world. There are 3,400 statues that decorate Milan Duomo!
When You are 1.741,03km far away from home on San Valentino You have two opportunities: to stay at home, watching Facebook page, disliking all romantic posts, or enjoy the Life!
In my opinion – love and chocolate always go hand in hand, so I decided to go in the most famous place in Torino “Caffè Al Bicerin”, glorious place and full of history. It is on Piazza della Consolata (street) since 1763!!!
I was dreaming to try the the highly recommended drink – Bicerin. Cold cream on the top, coffee and really hot and dark chocolate (drink it slowly and don’t mix it – the most strict rule!). Top note of the drink was like a paradise, but the conclusion was cloying even for me, as a dark chocolate lover. I still don’t know was it worth 6€, but once in a lifetime you should try it!
So the secret of amazing day – meeting new friends and sharing chocolate!
Just the third day in Italy but i already have two local friends who took me today to Monte dei Cappuccini!
I had a great opportunity to have a leaded excision from the monk of the church . He showed us with awe their little garden, and invited to come here one more time in spring when all trees will blossom. He showed us also the church from inside and told interesting facts about it. I highly recommend to see that place!
My Italian amici!
The view from Gran Madre di Dio.
That day ended in french cafe in Italy “Torteria Berlicabarbis”. I think there are no many words needed to describe the taste, simply – Molto buono!