It's been a while since the last 10 Do's and Don'ts , New Orleans (September 2014) was published.
This new installment on Turin was actually first published by Lucia Hannau on Turin Epicurean earlier today (June 6).
10 Do's and Don'ts in Turin
Our Twitter friend Serge the Concierge invited us to write this post following his do's and don'ts frame.
Naturally, there are many things to do and see here, but these are the basics.
1. Spend at least 5 days because Turin is amazing and 1 day isn't enough.
2. Start your day with a bicerin, the local decadent coffee made of espresso, cream and chocolate:P Life is short!
Via Garibaldi near Piazza Statuto
3. Walkdowntown as much as you can: from Piazza Statuto to Piazza Vittorio Veneto, going through Via Garibaldi, Piazza Castello, Via Po, Via Roma and Via Lagrange. There are many pedestrian streets and lots of shops, coffee places and beautiful palazzos, it will give you a sense of the city. if it rains no problem, we have over 12km/7miles of porticoes!
4. If you are staying somewhere with a furnished kitchen and you can cook, do your grocery shopping at the neighborhood market, even better at Porta Palazzo market, the largest open air market in Europe, located in the heart of Turin.
5. Try a different gelateria - gelato place, every day! Each gelato production is very different and each gelateria has its own specialties :D
6. Take advantage of aperitivo - aperitif! This Italian custom was born in Turin, so you'll experience first hand the real Turin lifestyle: after 6pm, most coffee shops cover their bars with finger food trays, lunch meats, bite size cheese portions, antipastos and even pastas! You can fill up your dish at least 2 for about 12Euros including a glass of wine or beer. This is indeed a scrumptious dinner on the budget!
7. Do visit in November because there are many things going on! On November 1 the light installations are turned up for the winter and each street displays a different pattern. The Turin Cinema Festival is around mid-November and during the last 10 days of the month there's the Chocolate Fest!
8. Do visit in April because our chocolate Easter eggs are huge and all the bakeries and coffee shops around town have amazing windows and displays
9. Visit the National Cinema Museum in Mole Antonelliana after lunch, so you can relax on the red velvet chaises longues, plus it's cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As this is the tallest building in Europe, the view from the top is just unbelievable!
Pepino in Piazza Carignano is a gelato institution
10. Take the city's piazzas like your living-room: when you are tired sit down in one of the manyhistorical cafés, order a velvety hot chocolate in the cold months, a vermouth before dinner or an iced coffee in the summer and enjoy your time and the people watching.
1. Don't rely on Milan's airports, land and depart directly from Turin (TRN) if you are flying, it's just more convenient.
2. Don't cross the street without checking the traffic in both directions and don't expect bus drivers to speak English; walk or use the metro (subway) it's quicker and easier.
3. Don't order wines from other Italian regions or countries! Piedmont is the Italian Burgundy because it produces top quality wines and you can easily try a new one at every meal.
4. Don't miss the Royal Palace of Venaria aka Turin's Versailles: in the summer you can have an early dinner in the royal gardens. If the King had his parties here, you can only imagine how beautiful it is!
5. Don't forget to visit the Queen's villa! This is a royal residence with one of the 3 urban vineyards in the world!! The Villa itself is beautiful and always open but before visiting the vineyard, contactBalbiano to know when it's open for the harvest (usually between the end of September and the beginning of October depending on the weather).
6. Don't skip the Egyptian museum!! You'll be amazed by its impressive collection of everyday objects, perfectly preserved papyri and mummies!
Agnolottini del plin
7. Don't be scared and try the local culinary specialties: Turin is a real epicurean capital with the most refined Italian cuisine. From risottos to desserts, a whole new culinary world will open up to you! Forget about the Italian food you already know.
8. Don't leave Turin without sampling local wines, beers, grappas and cocktails but: don't get wasted, Italians don't get drunk in public and usually have food with their cocktails. Turin has such a long spirits tradition there's always a new drink waiting for you.
"Sar.To 2014" to celebrate the Turin hometown of Italian fashion and its designers
9. Don't look for mainstream fashion designers! Turin is the leading capital of design and there are LOTS of very talented indie fashion designers making one of a kind handmade pieces, like:
10. Don't assume Turin is just an industrial city, there is always something going on: art festivals in October, Fashion week, lots of special exhibits all year round, free concerts in the piazzas (jazz, classical), electronic music and DJs week-ends, chocolate festival, sports events, parades, you name it!
XL Gianduiotto - Turin's staple chocolate, at the Chocolate Fest
(* All photos and illustrations courtesy of Lucia and Turin Epicurean)
Imagine a New York subway-MTA map that would include a line running to Albany and it gives you a sense of where this train line stands.
The R3 line of Rodalies de Barcelona, the commuter rail and metro service for Barcelona metropolitan area, runs all the way from Latour de Carol (La Tor de Querol in Catalan) to Barcelona...(end of the line in top right corner of the map).
If you travel from Toulouse to Barcelona, it is a scenic if longer (yet cheaper, at most half price from faster route) alternative through the Pyrenees.
You can book first leg from Toulouse to Latour de Carol-Enveitg (3 hours trip) via SNCF ... Tickets for R3 part can only be purchased I believe in train stations...
Daily, 4 R3 trains run from Barcelona (6:27, 9:56, 12:38, 15:06) and 5 R3 trains from Latour de Carol to Barcelona (8:50, 10:48, 13:34, 17:13, 18:52) ...Trip takes a little over 3 hours.
After a day lifting wine glasses around Napa Valley, you might be looking for a quiet retreat.
A Stags Leap District cliff hanger, Poetry Inn fits the spot.
Enjoy full view of the valley from western facing porches.
Rates range from $610 (low season weekday) to $1950 (high season weekend.)
If you are already thinking Valentine's Day, Poetry Inn is offering a special package .
"Two night stay, two 60-minute massages, locally-made chocolates, a bottle of Cliff Lede Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, and a wine tasting and tour for two at the nearby Cliff Lede Vineyards tasting room, which is one of the Stags Leap District's most modern and acclaimed wineries. Rates start from $1,330 per night, based on availability. Check-in is February 13, 2015 and check-out February 15, 2015. Excludes gratuity on spa treatments. "
10 Do's and Don'ts return with 10 Do's and Don'ts of New Orleans by Chef Alex Harrell of Sylvain in New Orleans. He spent childhood summers on the Gulf Coast learning how to cook seafood with his family . He's been at Sylvain since opening day in 2010.
- Spend a Sunday night in the courtyard at Bacchanal with wine and music. Bacchanal has mostly gypsy jazz from a varied line up on Sundays, favorites: the Courtyard Kings.
- Take a walk down Magazine street and explore all of the independent shops and restaurants.
- Beat the New Orleans heat with a stop at Hanson’s Sno-Bliz. My favorite is Satsuma with condensed milk.
- Spend a part of Tuesday or Saturday morning at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market checking out what is fresh and local. You get the best buys when produce is in mid-season and farmers have a lot of it. I love all of our local producers because of their passion for what they do. Some of these farmers and producers include Accardo’s Gourmet produce for heirloom tomatoes and peppers, Bellegarde Bakery for ciabatta and country breads, Cajun Grain for their brown jasmine rice and rice products, and our local dairies Ryal’s and Progress Milk Barn.
- Come to New Orleans at least once for Jazzfest, it’s an amazing time of the year in the city.
- After a night of music, get your strength back with tacos from food truck Taceaux Loceaux. My personal favorite is "Messin with Texas".
- As any New Orleanian will tell you, don’t waste your time on Bourbon Street. There are too many great neighborhoods in the city to explore.
- Don't think that you can come to New Orleans and not explore the city’s cocktail culture. French 75 bar, anything that Chris Hannah is pouring including their namesake cocktail and Ellipses and Dash, Sylvain for Sazerac and cocktails using the house made cola, Cure favorite is Mexican Bus Ride, but really anything they suggest based on your preferences., also Sobou with Barrel aged cocktails, and the Big Chief, these are all great places to do your research.
- Forget about tourist bus tours. Take in history of the city on foot, there are a number of great walking tours and museums that will offer information on the city’s past.
- Let's not forget City Park. With New Orleans Museum of Art and its Sculpture Garden, walking trails, and sporting opportunities there is plenty to do and see.
(* Photos of Martinique Bar and Three Muses from their websites, all others from their respective Facebook pages)
A family member is about to spend a lenghty period of time in Liege province of Belgium and needs to travel from St Vith to Huy and St Vith to Brussels in first days of his stays.
I wanted to find out what best travel options where and discovered Rome2rio which offered for both trips not just a map but also length of trip, travel options and respective costs depending on wether you drive, take a cab, hop on a bus or ride the train or a combination of these options.
For Taxi and Train from St Vith to Brussels, Rome2rio estimates total travel time to 2h 57 and cost of $97 each way starting with $60 for 11,9 miles taxi ride from St Vith to Gouvy (25 minutes) where you can catch train to Liege-Guillemins (1h and 16 minutes, hourly service) for $15 then Liege-Guillemins to Bruxelles-Central (56 minutes, service every 30 minutes) for $20.
In comparison, driving is estimated to take 1hour and 57 minutes and cost $35.
If you are under 26, cost of train travel from Gouvy to Brussels can be brought down by purchasing a Go Pass 10 from Belgian Rail for 51 Euros.
Each trip even if you change train can be made with one of the 10 passes for a cost of 5.1 Euros.
In this case you would have to use one pass from Gouvy to Brussels and another one for return trip for a total cost of $13.63 instead of $70.
Some destinations like Brussels Airport require payment of Diabolo fee in addition to your Go Pass.
The bells from sheep herd coming down from the Pyrenees mountains to the village at night after grazing all day were ringing in my ears after i first read about Austria's Cattle Parades in Tyrol at the end of the summer.
These old mountain traditions feel a world away for city dwellers yet there is an old-fashioned magic to it.
"September through Mid-October, farming villages all over Tirol round up the herds for the great autumn cattle drive. Each year at the beginning of summer, some 190,000 cows, horses, sheep and goats are brought up to Tirol’s beautiful Alpine pastures to graze on juicy meadows. Some 120 days later, the cattle, decked out in garlands of flowers and ribbons, with bells attached to their heavy leather collars, is driven down from the Alpine pastures to winter quarters down in the valley.
Over 40 cattle drives are taking place in Tirol each fall. The homecoming of the cows is still a very special and proud day for the villages. Apart from celebrating the homecoming of the animals, people also celebrate the homecoming of more than 3,000 Alpine herdsmen and dairymen who usually spend most of their summers above the timberline. On the day of the grand cattle drive, stalls are set up in the street, selling all sorts of authentic Tirolean specialties and refreshments..."
Two of the most notable are Cattle Drive in St. Anton on Sept 13, 2014 and Sheep Drive in Vent, Oetz Valley on September 13-14, 2014.