Relaxing in Turin

The last couple of days I have mostly been Couchsurfing, socialising and resting my feet after destroying them on the Walk. I expect to be moving on this evening as I have an offer of accommodation in a village outside of the city, which is great. Turin’s a nice place, the “old capital” of Italy, and the people who I’ve met have been nothing short of amazing. On Wednesday night, at short noticed, a gathering was organised and we all met at a restaurant for dinner. Italians seem to eat even later than the French so we sat down to order sometime after 9pm, chatted and ate and drank till midnight and then staggered home. Of course, this is Italy – the food was outstanding. I’ve met some wonderful people here which makes it all the more difficult to move on. Most are Italians, but also a couple of other couchsurfers from the US, UK and Brazil. Aside from meeting people, I’ve not been much of a tourist here due to resting my feet! Near both Giuliana and Alessandro (my two hosts) is the old Fiat factory, now a mall. The test track for cars is on the roof, and the ramps to get the cars there – like the ones in underground car parks – are still in place inside the mall. Very wacky. A shame you can’t get onto the roof any more, as far as I’m aware. I took a short video of the runway going up in case anyone’s interested.

Legend has it that the original Italian Job was to have a scene filmed on this track, but Fiat refused unless the script ditched the then-British Mini in favour of a small car of Fiat’s own manufacture. A fair request, in honesty, I suppose. The film-makers refused, and instead used the sloping roof of another building maybe half a mile away which is still standing. I’ve been there, and the roof is still in place, though the body of the building is now different. It was rebuilt for the 2006 Winter Olympics and is pretty ugly and red compared to the lovely windows and glass on the structure seen in the film. With any luck I’ll catch the Egyptian museum today. I hear it’s the second largest collection of Egyptian artefacts outside of Cairo, so it should be worth a gander!

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