We have been in Torino for nearly a week. For days we wandered the city, popping into museums, parks and restaurants. Our pace was languid and a little restless. The city is very empty now, as it is the August holiday season. All the Italians are gone from the big cities, seeking respite in the mountains or at the sea. Knowing that Milan would likely be similarly deserted, we still thought a one-night stay there would be fun. A hotel was booked. Train tickets were purchased, and off we went.
This is part of what we’ve been so excited about, the ability to just get up and go somewhere in Europe. The express train to Milan took 45 minutes. We had two tiny suitcases for our overnight stay, unfettered by the behemoths we have been dragging around for our entire trip. We got to lock up our apartment (still an Airbnb) and head out. All I really hoped to accomplish was some back to school shopping for the kids, get a glimpse of the famous duomo cathedral and have a nice dinner. Check. Check. Check. It was very liberating not to plan a full itinerary.
We’ll be back to Milan. This wasn’t a trip for speed-tourism. We have the benefit of time. The city did have the same eerie feeling of a city half-full. But, for a first visit, it was a real pleasure. The city was more beautiful than I had imagined. I think it suffers a bit from the same incorrect reputation as Torino as a graceless city.
Coming back to Torino the train today felt oddly comforting. This has not been home for very long, but it is already starting to feel familiar. As we the taxi pulled into the piazza where we are staying, we all commented that we were glad to be back. Now the kids have all their duds ready for school and we know a great cafe in Milan to take our visitors. Our first vacation from our vacation was a success.