on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This past week has been a lot of fun for me! I got really great news too because my brother, Francisco, called and told me that he is going to come and visit me for over a month in May and June after he is done with school, so that is going to be amazing. He is also really excited to visit Europe for the 1st time and already has a list of some really cool places he wants to try to visit with me, including a castle in southern Germany and a really cool city in Croatia!

Last Monday our 3rd roommate finally moved in so it was nice to meet her and begin to practice my Italian! She lives in Genova (or Genoa in English) which is on the coast to the West of Milan so she drives here which is cool. She said when it gets nicer out we can all go to her house and go to the beach and go sailing so I'm super excited about that since it is rainy like 65% of the time here. I think it might just be Milano though, because one of my professors said that Sicily is the place in Europe with the most sunny days in a year.

The rest of the week I went to my other classes and they all went pretty well. I like all of them and think that I am going to be able to learn a lot and still have a great time traveling while I am here! On Thursday I went to the best aperitivo I have been to and got to meet a bunch of new people. The place was called Iguana and had a great atmosphere, buffet, and drinks. After that, we all decided to go out to a discoteca (night club) which was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it was really crowded but I still managed to have a lot of fun. I am hoping that if I continue to go out to these clubs on a regular basis I will be able to get a little better at dancing! I didn't make it home until like 3:30 or 4am and had to be up at 6am for a weekend trip to Torino with a couple of my new friends, so I am glad that I was able to get up in time (although I didn't exactly feel amazing on the train ride!).

Since the three of us don't have Friday class we were able to take a wonderful 3 day trip without missing any lectures which was fantastic. You probably recognize Torino as the home of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games but the city was much more beautiful than any of us were expecting! As you can tell from the pictures I have posted here, the city is surrounded by the Alps and the views are incredible. I have seen mountains in Colombia, Colorado,  and Utah, but it's magical to be in a city which is hundreds of years older than America and see the towering mountains that Caesar had to cross!

When we finally got to Torino, it was raining so we took a bus to the hostel we were staying at to drop our things off. It was my first experience with a hostel and it was actually really nice! I have heard to avoid them in  Southern Italy but this one was recently built for the Olympics so it was very new and clean and the 3 of us shared a room which had a big bathroom. After the hotel we spent the rest of the day walking around the center of the city and we went into a Royal Palace and an Egyptian museum. We tried to do some things indoor to avoid the rain. The Egyptian museum was really good and had dozens of mummies and sarcophaguses and tons of statues that are over 5,000 years old!!!

It stopped raining while we were in the museum and after the skies cleared I got my first glimpse of the mountains and it was incredible. It made me want to go skiing, but I think I might have to wait until I can go to Utah next year since I don't have any of my ski clothes here and the trips are kind of expensive if I have to buy a bunch of gear. I am not too worried about it though because taking a ski vacation to Switzerland when I have a family will be on the top of my vacation to-do list. That evening we went to an aperitivo for dinner with a German PhD student we met at the hostel and after that we met up with a group of 10 friends from school who were also visiting Torino and went out to a pub.

The next morning we got an early start and headed straight to the information center in downtown Torino to buy a 'Chocolate Pass' that one of the girls in the other group of Bocconi students had heard about. Essentially, you pay €15 and you can get free chocolate from up to 20 different shops around the city. I didn't know, but Torino is known for its chocolate, so it was awesome to try so many different things including a small beverage/nutella- like concoction! The pass came in a booklet with a map of all the places and it was really cool because it was almost like taking a tour of the city because they were all spread out.

We also made a stop to a really tall tower which houses a museum but the cool part was that it has an observation deck at the top so we saw amazing views of the mountains and city! Apparently the tower was the tallest masonic building in the world until the foundation was reinforced with brick a few years ago!

That evening we all went out to a restaurant which was a like a large market. Think Trader Joe's but with 7 restaurants inside that all serve different food. It was interesting to see so many different kinds of foods under one roof but it was a little on the expensive side. The resturant was called Eataly and you can visit their website here if you want see what it was like. After dinner we went to a pub and then went to a really cool area of the city where all the young people go at night. It is right next to the river and there are literally dozens of discotecas next to each other so we tried to visit a handful of them!

After staying out late, we got up a little bit later on Sunday and enjoyed a breakfast at a cafe and then continued visiting the rest of the chocolate shops that we didn't have the chance to see the day before. I forgot to mention it earlier, but the weather on Saturday and Sunday was absolutely gorgeous- Clear skies and it felt like it was over 50 degrees farenheit!

Torino would probably be the second coolest city after Siena that I have visited (I even liked it more than Venice!). I think it is much more beautiful than Milan and has an older feeling to it which was cool. This coming weekend I am probably taking a day-trip to Bergamo or Verona so stay tuned!!

I hope you have all been well!



Francisco said...

The chocolate things sounds awesome! Could you eat like unlimited chocolate or did they have a sampler for you or how did that work out? Glad to hear your classes are going well! I'm excited to see you.

c-Lo said...

It was really cool! They actually each gave us a little bage with a few different chocolates. Some places were more generous than others but they were all delicious. I'm excited to see you too!

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