There are so many reasons why I love Turin.
Our love started a long time ago, long before I ended up, by chance, calling it home.
I have friends for over 25 years whom I’ve met while travelling to England, still in my youth. We kept in touch.
I first came to visit back in Easter 1995. It was love at first sight!
The architecture, the mystery around every corner you walk, the old traditional cafés, Piazza San Carlo took my breath away when I first set foot. Besides, I always say, it does remind me of an old style Rio de Janeiro. Well the french did pass by Brazil as well.
But how did I end up living here?
Like I said by chance. It was meant to be a bureaucratic trip (I’m a daughter of an Italian mom & a Brazilian dad) for three months and, 10 years on, I’m still here.
I have lived in three different areas before finding my favorite one. First it was the sumptuous San Salvario with the most beautiful buildings, with its noble and liberty architectural style. Then it came Santa Rita, a very industrial late 50′s style of constructions. For me, the local church is Turin’s most grand and attractive. Afterwards, for a very brief period of time it was San Paolo, right by the pedestrian market street of Via Di Nanni.
Home is now Borgo Po. Close to River Po. By the hills. A very residential area. Yet a ride away from the centre town.
I have this ritual that every time I cross Ponte Isabella (the bridge) I say a “thank you” thought to myself. As well as when I cross, towards home, Ponte Balbis (bridge) and look at the hills, no matter the season, I feel the blessings for having that at my feet. A view that no Central park (with all its due respect) can’t beat!
Walking by the river with Stella the dog is a pleasure. We can go on for hours.
Recently I have been dedicating time to walking around areas I haven’t explored much. Learning more about a city that has so much history. Discovering new places, new streets, observing the buildings (which I love doing it anyway!), the locals.
Everyone ask me, all the time, how can I live in Turin, after living ten years in London and coming from a city like São Paulo, Brazil. It’s very simple. All my youth I lived in the coolest of metropolis (London) where I studied, worked and partied like an animal. São Paulo is too chaotic and was never my choice of city in the first place but I was born there. Turin, Torino… is just perfect with its good compromise. I don’t need clubs, late nights, even though I did have a lot of fun while the Murazzi was THE place to party. One can be thankful to Giancarlo, the good old Gianca 2 for giving us Subsonica! Seeing the sunrise seating at Piazza Vittorio eating a greasy sandwich! Or even better making all the way to Horas to eat the best kebab til this day.
Time have passed, I see and live Turin with different expectations today. Going to Porta Palazzo farmers market to buy fresh vegetables and fruits. Did you guys know that Turin is the city in Italy that has more markets, with a good 11 ones to offer fresh food?! Not to mention the amount of ice cream places!
But hey, it is not all that paradise, for me at least! Indeed some compromising is until today quite hard for me to make it. For example, having only one cinema (Centrale in Via Carlo Alberto) that shows (a very few) choice of movies in original language is a serious drama for me. I absolutely adore going to the movies but it’s stronger than I can handle. Dubbed movies is a big no for me. Most of the good “quick bites” on Sunday night are always closed. The transport system is very precarious. I has improved a lot, don’t get me wrong but there is still a long way to go.
Fair enough I’m not here criticize a city that has adopted me with open arms and became my home. I did try to leave a couple of times but I always came back.
Because it feels good to come back every time. That for me is home.