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Report 1114: Bergamo, Venice, Lerici, Piemonte, Friends & World Cup Mania

By girasoli from Hawaii, Summer 2006

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Page 17 of 23: Torino at Last

photo by girasoli

Museo Nazionale del Cinema (Cinema Museum) inside La Mole Antonelliana

After breakfast, I paid my bill and thanked the owners once again for a wonderful stay and for offering to have their son drive me to the train station in Savigliano. As we left the hotel, I quickly realized that their son was a “new driver.” He zipped along the road at a very fast pace, passing huge trucks on the two-lane road. I mentioned to him that I had plenty of time before my train left. He continued to drive at a very fast rate. We had a nice conversation during the drive, even though I was a little nervous about his driving skills. I was happy to see the Savigliano train station once again. We arrived quite early and so I had lots of time to spare. I thanked him and gave him some money for gas. I bought my ticket and then headed to the binario where my train was departing. I knew the tracks pretty well at this station by now.

While waiting for the train, an announcement was made about the train being late. I panicked a little when I heard the words Torino to Savona being mentioned. For some reason, the announcement put the idea in my head that the train that just stopped on the other side of the binario a few minutes earlier was my train and I was waiting for the wrong train, the train that was coming from Torino and going to Savona instead of the train that was going to Torino. All I could think of was that once again, I would be stuck in Savigliano with all of my bags for hours. The people waiting with me assured me that I did not miss my train and that I was waiting in the correct place. There was not much I could do but to trust them and so I tried my best to stay calm.

My train finally arrived. Hooray! I got on the train and started to look for a seat. The train was packed! I walked almost the entire length of the train looking for a seat and finally ended up standing in one of the areas where you get on/off the train, between two of the cars for the 50-minute ride.

I was so happy to finally arrive in Torino. Because I knew in advance that there was a huge taxi strike lasting almost a week which was taking place all over Italy, I figured out the route to my hotel from the train station the night before while still in Saluzzo. My hotel was not more than a 15-minute walk from the train station, which was nice. Torino is a great city for those that get lost easily (like me). Almost all streets run in straight lines and so my hotel was very easy to find.

When I arrived at my hotel, I was told that it would be another hour before my room would be ready. Not a problem since I no longer had to lug my bags! Torino is filled with stores, a shopper's dream city. I would be able to find plenty to do while waiting for my room to be ready.

I wandered around the main shopping street, Via Roma, and also tried to orient myself to the city. I went to Piazza Castello, one of the main piazzas, and stopped at one of the tourist booths. Torino has little booths set up all over the city with two very friendly people waiting inside each booth to give you information about the city of Torino. I picked up a few little walking tour booklets and also purchased a Torino card.

I then returned to my hotel and unpacked my things. By this time, I was pretty hungry and so I ventured back out to look for a place to have lunch. I found this great little bookstore that had a little bar inside serving food with seating both inside and outside. I ordered some quiche and some tomatoes with olive oil. Very delicious! After lunch, I walked around the city some more and then went to La Mole Antonelliana. La Mole Antonelliana is the tallest building in Torino and at one time it was the tallest building in the world. I had heard so much about La Mole and was excited to finally visit this amazing building.

I used my Torino card to purchase both a ticket for the lift to the top and also for the Museo Nazionale del Cinema (Cinema Museum). I headed first to the lift, which takes you to the top in 59 seconds for a view of the city. There was a short line and about a five-minute wait. Only seven people are allowed in the elevator along with the elevator operator. The elevator is glass (sides and the top view). It was a wild ride up to the top! At one point it felt like you were going to crash into the top of the ceiling but then you reach this little hole which the elevator through and voila, you are at the top! I spent a little time taking a few pictures and enjoying the view of the city before heading back down.

Once back at the bottom of the building, I spent the next couple of hours in the Cinema Museum. This turned out to be one of my favorite places to visit in Torino. The Cinema Museum's bottom floor has two movies playing on big screens. There are red lounge chairs with speakers in each chair so that you can only hear the sound of the movie the chair is facing (half face one screen and the other half face the other screen). Around the edge of the room are various themed rooms. On the second floor, the different stages of making a movie are displayed. On the third and fourth floors, different movies posters hang on the walls. The upper floors were closed on the day I visited. I loved this museum!

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