On Saturday, February 20, I took another trip into Torino for tourist activities. The first thing I did upon arrival was visit the Porta Palazzo Market. This open-air market is apparently the largest in all of Europe. The market takes place every day at Piazza della Repubblica (Square of the Republic), a large public square divided into four quadrants, very similar in size and design to Public Square in Cleveland.
The market had outdoor stands for produce as well as clothing and miscellaneous goods. There were trucks selling meats, cheeses, and baked goods. There were also indoor areas similar to the West Side Market in Cleveland with more meats and cheeses. It was very hectic and also the food was obviously very diverse and of high quality. Prices seemed to be pretty good. I purchased a slice of pizza and some oranges for lunch, as well as a backup battery for my smartphone. I didn’t take any pictures because you have to be on the lookout for pickpockets at these markets, so I didn’t want to be fumbling around with a camera. However, I found another blog with a great write up of the market: https://epicures.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/mercato-di-porta-palazzo-torino/
After the market, I paid a visit to the Basilica di Superga. This church was built in the 1700s on a large hill overlooking the City of Torino. I had to take a public bus a mile or so north of the city and then a special train up the hill. The train, known as the “Sassi-Superga Rack Tramway,” was interesting because it was both historic and unique. The tracks have a third rail with teeth or cogs, and the train uses this “rack” to climb a steep hill. The cars were old, painted red with a wooden interior. They use what sounded like a diesel engine to make the climb.
During the climb to the top I made small talk with an Italian family with young children. We weren’t able to say very much but I took a photo of them and they took one of me.
Once I reached the summit, I spent a half an hour taking in the view. It was quite high up, and you could walk around the church 360 degrees, so I took my time. I took many pictures, but this one is probably the best:
Check my Flickr page (click on the menu in the upper right for the link) under February 20, 2016 for more photos.
After making my way back down the hill, I went back to central Torino and had a pizza. I had already eaten a lot of pizza since being in Italy, and they were all good, but nothing too extraordinary in my book. This pizza was the pizza I had been waiting for:
The proportions of sauce, crust, and cheese were just the way I like and the crust was the right amount of crispy. The cheese was good. That’s all you need!
After the pizza I took a stroll down via Garibaldi, Torino’s pedestrian street, and took in the Saturday night atmosphere.
There were street musicians every few blocks, many of them playing english-language pop songs.
After this, I made my way to the train station to head back to my host family’s house. Most days, the last train out of Turin along my route leaves at 7:45 PM, so I can’t stay too late. One day soon I’ll book a room and spend a Friday or Saturday night in the city.