Torino’s a Architectually Rich City, and Fun Too

We left France early and drove through the 11 km Mt Blanc tunnel, and it was sunny as we drove the winding road to Torino. This is a delightful city, about 900,000 inhabitants, settled 2000 years ago, and full of porticoes, students and wide open piazzas. Carol our guide pointed to a large pedestrian area, and told us that it used to be a parking lot. No more. Many of the nicest streets were ones with no cars like Via Garabaldi, where people stroll 2 1/2 kms of blocked off street/shopping area.

In the distance on some days you can see the Alps that line the skyline on the horizon, but today we could not see them. I found out when I looked at a very old drawing of the city, in a room that covered all three walls, showing a panorama map of the city back in the 1800s. This was at the Mountain Museum, where everything about mountains are celebrated.

Rows and rows of skis showing their progression, life-size tents and camping gear, a film collage of nearly every movie with a mountain theme (like Sound of Music, and the Shining among dozens of others), this was all housed on top of a big hill in a building that used to be a small cathedral.

I am happy to be here for the first time, and that the city is so appealing. The 2006 Olympics were a big shot in the arm, that prompted much of the open space and green that is now a part of the downtown.