truffle fair, castle, sunday fun…


   This weekend was another fun weekend in Torino. Friday I had architecture class in the morning and afterwards I went to the Palazzo Madama for 20th century art. There was an exhibition of Robert Wilson’s art. Robert Wilson is an american artist and the pictures of johnny depp and brad pitt below are his work. They are moving pictures, like in Harry Potter. Friday night I went with a few friends to a sushi place with a conveyor belt that allowed us to choose whatever we wanted for 10 euros. My favorite was the Bao, which had a doughy, soft outside and had a cornbread sweeter inside. After sushi we walked to this area where a lot of locals go to at night. It’s a bit more calm than the Murazzi area (where people dance by the Po River). There were wine bars and more a place to hang out than go crazy like the murazzi. I definitely want to go back this coming weekend to check it out.

    On Saturday, USAC took us on a day trip to Alba for a wine and truffle festival. Alba is where Nutella is made. When we got off the bus I could smell Nutella and truffles (these truffles are expensive mushrooms not the chocolate). We got to the truffle fair area and I saw that some truffles were going for 500-600 euros for 500 grams. It is very expensive! I didn’t get any truffles but we got to sample food and wine from different vendors. We had lunch in the expo area and it was good, but I was expecting better. After walking around the truffle fair, my friends and I  had an hour or so to spend in the city of Alba so we walked around. I found the best pastry place I’ve seen so far in Italy. There were a lot of variety and my friends and I split something. I was tired from the day, so we went to a café and got some espresso. We got back to torino at 5 or so and I spent the day till about 8 relaxing. I watched Valentine’s Day with my neighbors and then went to the Irish Pub for a bit.

Sunday I was woken up by the sound of loud drums and I thought it was protestors outside. However, I remembered there was an autumn festival going on right outside my apartment building. I went with a friend and it was an open market with different clothes vendors, food ect that you find in many piazzas on the weekend in torino. Later, we went to the palazzo reale, the royal palace in torino. It’s been turned into a museum. I couldn’t take pictures inside, but there were many huge rooms with golden walls (painted gold, I don’t think it was all gold). My favorite part was the armory room where each side had a fake horse and a knight with armor riding it. There were also other armored knights along the side. I got some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor after that and it was delicious! I told my friends  about a street parallel to via roma (a main road to get back to the metro station) and we decided to walk along there for change of scenery. We stopped at a gelato place because it looked crowded and I was happy we did! One of the best gelatos I’ve had so far!

Today was my first day of Elementary Italian 2, but we pretty much reviewed everything we learned. I have a new teacher for it and I believe she majored in psychology, so I may talk to her about that after class one time over some coffee. She’s obsessed with coffee as well! Sadly, I don’t have italian cuisine tonight because my teacher went to spain, but next week I will! Tomorrow I’m heading to an area that my grandpa told me about for a little day trip since I don’t have classes on Tuesday.  I realized yesterday I have 9 more weeks left! Time flies and I feel as if it’s going to go faster with a few overnight trips coming up in november.

Have  a great monday! Buongiorno!

IMG_6681 tiramisu from cuisine class

IMG_6698IMG_6700palazzo madama

IMG_6702IMG_6708 view from museum

IMG_6716 sushi conveyor belt

IMG_6721 attempt at lighting lanterns on the murazzi

IMG_6724 castle we visited saturday


IMG_6736 IMG_6737truffle fair


IMG_6747 mushrooms

IMG_6748 lunch at the truffle fair

IMG_6751 walking around alba

IMG_6754 medieval festival happening after truffle fair (didn’t go to though)

IMG_6757 Alba street in autumn.

IMG_6767 palazzo reale (couldn’t take more pictures inside)

IMG_6771 palazzo reale

IMG_6772 walking around sunday afternoon

IMG_6774 sunday gelato…


Busy week, relaxing weekend in the alps


I hope everyone’s weekend was fun! I just have to say that I can’t believe it’s already october 15th!

Anyways, last week was busy for me because I had tests/quizzes in all my classes. However, now I am done and only have my italian language final and readings to do this week. Also, on Friday I had another 3 hour walking tour for architecture, but that was really interesting because I got to see other areas of Turin I wouldn’t have otherwise gone to (such as seeing the Polytechnic school here).

Here’s a couple pictures from Italian Cuisine last week: we made pasta by hand!

IMG_6402IMG_6405 our teacher’s mom coming in and helping us make pasta by hand.

After the walking tour I went with my neighbors to the cinema museum and the Mole. The Mole is the symbol of Turin; it is a tower and the highest building in Turin. In fact, I learned on my tour that the bank Intesa Sao Paolo can’t build its skyscraper higher than the mole.

The cinema museum was huge and it had a ramp going up the interior of the mole, with pictures of costumes, sets, actors of different movies. A lot of the recent movies shown were from the United States. I’ve noticed here that a lot of american music is played in stores and the movie theatres have american movies playing rather than italian movies.

IMG_6444IMG_6445 café torino

IMG_6446IMG_6455 mole and we’re on tv!

IMG_6465 mask from lord of the rings

IMG_6471 the ramp that I walked up in the museum

IMG_6497 donald duck, mickey mouse, and goofey in Italy!

IMG_6503IMG_6526 view from mole (it was a cloudy day)


On Friday night I went to a pub by my apartment with my neighbors. Everyone was tired from walking around so no one wanted to go dancing downtown.

Saturday I went to Bardonecchia, a town an hour and 20 minutes away that hosted some of the 2006 olympic events. My friends and I went hiking in the Alps. We didn’t go too far, as we were still in the tree line, but it was beautiful and it was nice to escape from the city for a bit. After our hike we got a celebratory beer and returned to Turin. Saturday night we made dinner and relaxed.

 IMG_6644 main street of bardonecchia, alps in the background

IMG_6646IMG_6648olympicIMG_6650IMG_6655 bridge IMG_6661IMG_6667 trail in trees


Sunday I mostly relaxed and watched Sex and the City with my roommate for a bit. After a couple hours I went to a street fair where they had food and clothes. I got a focaccia and a couple baked goods to try out. The focaccia was very salty though.

Today I have my cuisine class again and I am making gnocchi for one of the dishes!

Whirlwind Weekend


I hope everyone is doing well. This past weekend I went to Oktoberfest, but first I want to show what my cuisine class made last Monday for our first class.

IMG_6324  zucchini bruschetta and eggplant grilled with olive oil and vinegar

IMG_6326IMG_6328 spaghetti with egg (which makes it creamy) and pancetta (bacon) and a saladIMG_6329 half a canned peach (from our instructor’s garden) with homemade whip cream and amaretto cookie on top.

It was a fun class and my instructor’s sister used to be a chef ,so it was interesting to learn from her about the different dishes in each region. Also, it was nice to see an Italian Apartment, as our class was held at my instructor’s apartment near school.

On Thursday, I went to Aperitvo with my neighbors. I love that aspect of the Italian Culture. It’s like cocktail hour, but with better food and I can buy the drinks!

Anyways, this weekend I went to Oktoberfest in Munich. Friday night I went on a bus that left at 9:30 and got into munich at 6:45. I managed to sleep for a lot of it, so it wasn’t too bad.

IMG_6370 walking in the morning

IMG_6375IMG_6377IMG_6381IMG_6389IMG_6390IMG_6396 the tentIMG_6399 the church


We walked over to the park where all the tents were at and everyone split up into different groups depending on where people wanted to go. We went to the HB tent which is supposed to be one of the better ones. We got in to the tents at 9 am, but getting in was very crowded. Everyone was stampeding and pushing towards the door. I was holding onto my friend so we wouldn’t get separated. I barely had my feet on the ground because I was literally getting picked up from being squished. After getting in though, it was fine. We managed to get a table and got our 1 liter beers at 9:30.

Everyone in the tents were singing and doing drink competitions. We met people from the US who were studying abroad in Germany. I also was walking around and I saw a guy who was wearing a San Diegito shirt; which is a school in Encinitas. I asked if he knew one of my friends and he recognized the name. It’s a small world!

After 12 we left the tent, but my phone managed to get lost, so I got a new one yesterday. I ended up walking around munich and checked out a church nearby. We didn’t go back to any of the tents though, but I had fun anyways, and there’s only so much tent excitement I can take. There were a lot of drunk people walking around (surprise) and ambulances were getting people every 3 or 5 minutes I would say.

We left from Munich at 9:45 and I got in to Turin at 7. I accidently slept from 7:30 am to 3:30 on Sunday, but I managed to fall asleep that night at 3 anyways. I have another cuisine class tonight, I’m excited!

Happy Monday!


One Month!


It has officially been one month since I’ve been to Torino today. I can’t believe it’s october, I’m sure this month will go by fast too, as I have more plans in the coming weeks.

I hope your weekend was fun! I took a trip to the Italian Riviera with USAC. We left friday morning by bus and took a tour of Genova. It was pretty, but it reminded me of Venice beach. There were a lot of people trying to sell you stuff as you walked around.  After our tour, we did a panoramic lift on the boardwalk to have a higher view of the city. At around 1230 we left and headed over to Santa Margherita Ligure. We had focaccia pizza for lunch and headed up to a church and a huge villa to see the views of the sea and santa margherita. We hung out in the garden of the villa for 15 minutes taking pictures. It was beautiful blue sky day. The rest of the day we had free. We all walked to our hotel, put on our bathing suits and headed to swim in the Mediterranean. It was warm and relaxing; I miss the beach! (however, it was not sandy, the beach was a lot of little pebbles).


IMG_6134 church ceiling in genovaIMG_6143 fountain in piazza in genova


IMG_6173 santa margherita


IMG_6202 view from villa


On Saturday we woke up and headed to Cinque Terre. It was actually raining on and off that day, but luckily I brought my rain jacket! The most memorable part of that trip was the views of the cliffs and our lunch at one city called vermazza. Our waiter was really friendly at the restaurant; not just to us either, he was walking around talking to everyone. He said to Facebook him and he wants to visit all the places where we are from. He was probably one of the best waiters I’ve had. We went to three more cities ( I didn’t go to all 5 due to being sick of walking in the rain and the other two cities were a lot smaller). Later in the day, we headed back and hung out in Santa Margherita. Saturday night my friends and I went to a restaurant we heard was good. My friend, Ye Seul and I split pizza. After we talked and had some fun swimming in the sea at night.

IMG_6229IMG_6230cinque terraeIMG_6233

IMG_6239 pesto pasta at lunch

IMG_6240 lunch/waiter at cinque terrae

IMG_6244IMG_6258 bakery at santa margherita

IMG_6259IMG_6261 dinner at santa margherita

On sunday USAC took us by boat to Portofino (all of this was included in the cost of the trip). Portofino was really nice and thankfully on Sunday it was sunny again! We walked up to a church on the hill and on our walk we could see Dolce and Gabanna’s house. The church had amazing views of portofino and santa margherita across the way. While walking we also saw a huge yacht, the largest I’ve seen: 4 levels, possibly owned by a Lady Catherine as that is what the yacht was named. After the church, we spent a couple more hours in Portofino walking around and then headed back to santa margherita. All of us were exhausted and we had checked already (our bags were held in storage at the hotel), so we just went to the beach to lie on the rocks and take a short nap.

IMG_6272 - Copy

IMG_6269 view of santa margherita from boat


IMG_6284 portofino

IMG_6289 church


IMG_6303 portofino above from castle

IMG_6305 view from castle santa margherita in the distance

IMG_6317 lady catherine yacht

We left Santa Margherita at 5:45 (20 minute delay) and got back to torino at 915.

It was a fun, relaxing, but busy weekend. It was nice to be back on the beach and swim in the sea.

Today, I had school and I went to buy a bus ticket to Oktoberfest. It’s an overnight bus and a few of my friends are doing it. I decided it would be worth it to go since I’ll be sleeping on the bus on Friday and Saturday night when we head back. We only have one day in Munich. It seems that a lot of people are going to hang out at oktoberfest for a bit and then walk around Munich. I may meet up with a friend from Cal Poly who is studying abroad there and is going as well.

ater at 5 I will have my first cuisine class! I heard the other people made gnocchi and some veggie dish, peach dessert and 2 different wines for taste pairing. So that should be fun!

Happy Monday!


IMG_6251 cinque terre

Weekend Adventures

Ciao Tutti!

My computer decided to die, while this post was publishing online, so this will be a little shorter than the previous version. Anyways…

On Friday, we went to a winery (the USAC group took us). We saw the vineyard, the cellear, where it’s made, and had lunch there. Everyone got at least one bottle of the wine at the gift shop afterwards, it was a good time!



IMG_6033 Vineyard with church in background


On Saturday I went to Milan with my roommate/friends and neighbors. We ended up leaving early but the Duomo was awesome. I went shopping with my friends, but besides that, there wasn’t that much to see. The first indoor mall was nice though!

We also went to a Korean Market which was fun!

IMG_6066 duomo

IMG_6073IMG_6080 view on top of duomo


IMG_6087 first mall, cool

Sunday I went hiking to the Sacra di San Michele. It was two miles uphill on Mule track on cobblestone path. We managed to go up in an hour and down in a half n hour. The tour guide only spoke italian so that was hard, but fun to try to pick out some details. After the tour we sped down the mountain to make a train back to Torino.

IMG_6097IMG_6099 view from topIMG_6101 path between houses, with sacra in the background

IMG_6104 sacra

IMG_6113 view of lady of tower


Ciao! I hope your weekend was fun and the week is off to a good start. This weekend I went with my roommate and neighbor to Venice. It was gorgeous. We accidently went to one train stop too far because our hotel was outside of the main part of venice, but figured it out eventually. We walked around the city and saw the main Piazza. Also, we got to see a church, but they have us a cloth wrap for our legs because our dressses were too short (although mine went down to my knees).  My neighbor, Ye Seul, talked me into going to the top of a clock tower where one can see views of the city (360 degree view). It was my favorite part of it all, so I’m really happy I did that. At the hour the bells started ringing and everyone was surprised and got silent and was watching the bells since we were literally 5 feet from the bells going off. Everyone clapped after, it was  a great experience. After that we walked around a bit more and got dinner and ended up walking back to the main piazza somehow (Venice is a confusing place! ha) . We got back to our hotel, which is in a really nice quiet neighborhood outside of the city. On Sunday, we had breakfast at the hotel and made it back to venice by bus (only 10 minute ride). It was more crowded on sunday! However, we only had a few hours to explore so we split up. Ye Seul and I tried to go on a boat to Murano, an island in venice, however, the lines were too long and it would take 20 minutes just to get there and unfortunately we didn’t have time. Our train was at 3. We decided just to walk around the outside edge past the church away from all the tourists. It also didn’t help that on Sunday the main piazza was flooded so people were walking on platforms ( I just walked through the water). We got back to Turin at 8 and hung out. Yesterday I had school and my neighbor made another korean dish which was delicious. Today, I explored more of the narrow streets away from the main piazzas with a friend since I don’t have school today. We found this coffee shop called Buster’s and it’s like a Starbucks equivalent. A lot of locals were there though so I figured it would be good. It was nice because they had “normal” size of coffee. I found iced coffee with vanilla! I really enjoy going to the more authentic places, as this on was not (the menu was in english?! ) , but it was nice to get a 16 oz of iced coffee, rather than 4 oz and not have to pay for sitting down. In turin a lot of coffee places or cafes along the piazza will charge $2 to sit down. I’m making dinner tonight (risotto!) for my neighbors and roommate. We tend to make meals with each other and just switch off. Hopefully it turns out! I have to start doing some reading and homework, but have a good week! I’m heading to a winery with USAC on Friday  (family run winery and we get to pick grapes) and then Milan on Saturday.

IMG_5921 train picture of the alps in the distance

IMG_5924 hotel we  stayed at.


IMG_5948IMG_5950 the royal palace

IMG_5954 the church ahead and palace to the right

IMG_5977 Gondolas

IMG_5984 view from the tower, just one picture of many.




Week Adventures and School!

Happy Friday! This week was my first week of all my classes (excluding cuisine). I took an elementary italian test on Thursday and got a 98% (it was really easy). My other classes are modern architecture, 20th century art, italian culture, and italian cuisine (only meets a total of 5 times this quarter. I have to get used to taking art classes because the past 2 years I’ve been mostly taking sciences, math or a social science. I have only had each class once (except italian language), so I can’t say for sure what I like best, but so far modern architecture has the best teacher and italian cultures seems interesting. I’m excited for italian cuisine though, because the students get to go to the professors house and cook and pair wine with the meals. That doesn’t start for a couple more weeks. Anyways, besides school, USAC took us on a tour to the lingotto roof and there were awesome views of the city and the alps in the not so far distance. There was also a very small art gallery of original Monet paintings. I went to the Po River area last night with my friend Dominic and we went to this charity dinner thing, but it was mostly older, richer people there. However, on the way back to the other side of the river, I saw someone ziplining over the river onto the other side. I decided to do it too! It was pretty fun, I wouldn’t do it again because it was short ride and cost money, but I went from one side of the river to the other! After that we went dancing at this place and came back home. Today I checked out the Egyptian Museum here. It is the second largest egyptian museum behind the one in Cairo. After that, my neighbors and I went to a gelato shop that was recommended by one of the USAC people. I got café flavor and some wine flavor ( I didn’t know it would be wine flavor, when I got it). Now, I’m going to be relaxing for a bit and heading down to a friend’s apartment to have a authentic Korean dinner. There’s a group of south koreans studying abroad as well, one of them my neighbor and the other one is my neighbor’s friend. Lately, we’ve been switching off apartments to have family dinner style. One group cooks and the other brings wine and/or bread. Here’s some pictures of the week. Oh and I got my phone charger back (thanks dad! ) and I’m waking up bright and early 530 tommorow to catch a 7 am train to Venice. Have a great weekend!



009 Fiat Old Test Track

014015 Lingotto roof top and view

020 Egyptian Museum




036 Room full of statues of Egyptian Gods/Symbols (another room was filled as well! )

043045 First time seeing police on horses here.