My study abroad program started in Turin, the capital city of Piedmont– a northern region of Italy, which is known for its refined elegance in architecture and cuisine. During my time there I was able to attend Terra Madre, a one-week conference focused on the Slow Food Movement, which focuses on the importance of traditional and regional cuisine and encouraging farm to table. Check out my blog on my Terra Madre experience here.
Turin was a special experience and a perfect starting point for my adventure and study abroad in Italy. Rome is known for its antiquity and Florence for the Renaissance. A little about Turin or Torino, it’s known as Italy’s royal city and a word to describe it would be “regal.” Turin was Italy’s first capital in 1861 and home to the House of Savoy, Italy’s royal family. Nowadays, the city is known for its automobile industry (the birthplace of Fiat) and the capital of chocolate.
The area has a rich history, and was a great start to my experience in Italy. Turin being part of northern Italy, emulated qualities that are often related to ones of “Northerners.” The city was a comfortable size. It was big enough filled with places to explore and get “lost” in, yet establish a space of familiarity. By the end of the week, most of us in my study abroad program were able to navigate without our mobile devices or Google Maps. As a millennial, that counts as a score for me! 😉
Some highlights of my time in Turin include a visit to the famous Egyptian museum, Museo Egizio. The museum specialises in Egyptian archaeology and anthropology, and houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities. My study abroad mate (aka future roommate 😉 ) and I went to explore the museum as part of our time in Terra Madre.
Another favorite moment of mine was going on a run during sunset in Piazza Vittorio Veneto to the Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio. I didn’t have sneakers with me at the time so I went running with my walking sandals. And yes it was amazing. Got a few raised eyebrows with my running clothes and sandals combo, but the view at the Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio was amazing. Check out the view below!
And of course, to forget one of the most famous artifacts in Turin would be a crime. So during my days of exploration, I got the chance to check the Shroud of Turin out. A couple students, now friends, and I went to Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist to view it. The shroud is a length of linen bearing an image of a man, believed to be the burial shroud of Jesus. I was able to snap some pictures, and of course realized later that I took pictures of a mockup of the Shroud.
The stay in Turin helped to shape a whole and representative experience of Italy and its diversity in culture. Check out my blog on Terra Madre for more in-depth thoughts on my experience of the conference here!