Well our first impression of Italy started off much like our last impression of Spain, shit. Haha. We hopped on a train that the lady at the ticket counter said would be free with our Eurorail pass to Torino. However, when the man came around to check tickets he started yelling at us in Italian that we owed 50 euros for not filling out the date on our card. Literally writing 8/25 was all we had to do. But on other trains we simply just had to show them proof of our ticket. This guy was a stickler and caused a ruckus saying if we didn’t pay he would mail the ticket to he address on our passports for double the fine. Luckily an Italian guy our age stood up and tried helping us talk to the man saying that we didn’t know and we weren’t from here but he wasn’t having it. We had now caused a scene on the train as everyone in the car was staring at us as he was loudly going off at us. My first instinct, in America would have been to let him have it for being so rude but Jess and I had to keep it together realizing we were the foreigners here and just kept our mouth shut and paid the fine at 25 euros each. So much for a cheap travel day. Such a warm welcome into Italy.
When we arrived in Torino our 2 friends were waiting there to pick us up and take us to dinner! We went to this local spot in Piemonte and dove into multiple appetizers of beef tar tar, eggplant meatballs, and specialty cheeses! Along with different local specialty pastas, bottomless wine, and limoncello and Italian liquor for dessert. Basically they spoiled us and it was so delicious!
The following day we got a local tour of Torino. Our friend Poppy showed us the University he was currently attending to obtain his PhD in Architecture. His classes were held in a castle that had once been lived in by the Queen of Piemonte. ( We all agreed it might have been a little easier to make it to class in college if it was in a castle!) We walked about the old city as he taught us all about the different architecture and we also learned about the statues and monuments of soldiers riding on horses and how the positioning of their legs had meaning. If both the horses front legs were in the air, it meant that that soldier had died in battle. If just one leg was up he died after the battle due to injuries; and if all legs were on the ground, then he survived. Such a cool little hidden thing to know! We ate raviolis that day, gelato, pizza and tiramisu. Basically everything I ever wanted to eat in Italy in one day. It was marvelous haha. After our short stay in Poppy’s amazing studio/ apartment we decided to book out train tickets to Switzerland! Another day of traveling, and another new country to add to the list!