Our annual vacation began where most of our vacations begin - Italy! We knew that we would be taking a two week road trip this year and we also knew that this would be my last chance at a vacation until next year, so we decided to go start in my favorite country.
We knew that we wanted to see Schloss Neuschwanstein (Sleeping Beauty's Castle) and Salzburg and the rest of the trip fell into place.
The only thing we couldn't agree on was whether to begin our trip in Milan or Torino (the difference of one hour driving). I have wanted to see the Shroud of Turin (the shroud of Jesus Christ) and I didn't want to miss an opportunity so we decided to make that our first stop.
Cornel has been to Torino more times than he would like - but he was a trooper and decided to give us the grand tour of the city. It also helps that he is fluent in Italian so it always makes traveling to Italy so much easier.
We ended up staying in a Residence (bed and breakfast) right downtown which was perfect since we only had a little over half a day to sight see.
Our first stop was the Shroud because we didn't want to miss it! You can read the story that goes with this picture here.
We walked around outside the church in the Piazza Castello before taking a walk through the main street stopping for what Cornel calls the "best gelatto in Italy". It was good, but the best was yet to be had! We all had a couple of scoops before proceeding to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Nathan enjoyed himself immensely running around and laughing. It's all about the simple things, before proceeding to take a walk down to the water.
Cornel insisted that we go and see the Mole Antonelliana...which is this building right here. You can actually take an elevator all the way up and get great views of Torino (which we didn't do).
The best thing about visiting the museum is that we got to avoid the brief rainstorm that had hit while we were inside. We then went back to Via Po to have some dinner.
Let me tell you the best thing about having dinner in Torino - they have these aperitif buffets. Which means that between the hours of 7 - 10 you buy a drink and they food buffet is free. The whole shindig costs between 8 - 10 euros per person but you eat all of the Italian food you can stomach - from antipasti to meatballs, pasta and pizza and then finish off with some fresh tiramisu. Considering how expensive it can be to eat on vacation this is a great thing to remember if you want to eat well and eat like the locals.
Since we gorged ourselves at the buffet we took a walk to Piazza San Carlo before calling it a night.
The next morning we stopped into a Pasticceria & Caffe which is a coffeshop bakery. I recommend this if you are staying at a hotel without breakfast included (although most do). We were able to eat delicious fresh baked pastries and enjoy our cappuccinos all for 7 euros. The perfect way to start the morning and our drive to Lake Como!