Tuesday, February 26, 2013

From Porta Nuova to Porto Palazzo: Downtown Torino

When I was doing housing paperwork before coming, I chose the rare option of living with a host student, so I didn't request any neighborhood to live in. When I didn't get placed with an Italian student, I randomly was put in downtown Torino, and I am so happy I was.

Out of all the USAC students living in the downtown area, I probably live closest to midtown. I am about a 10 minute walk to Porta Nuova, the new train station/one of the busiest metro stations. Once on the metro it takes less than 10 more minutes to the last metro stop Lingotto, and then another 10 minute walk to school. I can also take the 18 bus to school, but although more direct, depending on the time of day it could take me longer to get to school on it. Despite the shlep to school, I wouldn't change where I live. I'd much rather live in part of the city where there was always something to do at any time of the day then live conveniently close to school, but in a less exciting area. That being said, of course, there are pros to living in near school and midtown, and Erin highlights some of them in her post.

My favorite Piazza: San Carlo
Art installations outside Palazzo Reale

Downtown Torino includes palaces, piazzas, museums, porto palazzo (the huge open market), expensive and cheap shopping, multiple restuarents, bars (coffee shops), pubs, and clubs. The architecture around me is beautiful. I am also a close walk from the Po river and Valentino Park. I haven't even explored all of downtown yet just like I haven't spent that much time in the other areas like midtown and the school area (although my favorite kebab shop is in Midtown).  There are also a lot of streets in my area that are just for pedestrians and around 5 in the evening when work ends, people parade through them.

Po River

Piazza near my apartment

Roman ruins in Palazzo Madama
View from Palazzo Madama or Piazzo Castello

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