Saturday, January 07, 2006

Turin Olympics - Torino 2006

Turin is a complex city. Turin’s history is birthplace of kings, seat of marvelous wines both red and white, manufacturing giant, and today primary destination for winter tourism. Both location and the genealogy of the royal family have created strong French influences in local culture. The local dialects are varying degrees of provincial French. I lived in various cities in Piemonte, Torino, Torre Pellice and Cuneo. I was amazed that my Italian, however poor, was useless; Provincial French was the basis for communicating with everyone, so if you happen to visit the Winter Olympics, try speaking French, you may be surprised at the response.

Piemonte is one of the greatest winter sport destinations in the world, interestingly it is completely overlooked. People think of Switzerland for skiing. Switzerland has some fantastic skiing but does not have the hospitality, infrastructures and variety of locations that Piemonte encompasses. Just as importantly, when is the last time you thought of Switzerland for a good wine? Piemonte is such a great destination that this year’s edition of the Winter Olympics is the 2nd in the last 30 years.

If you are planning to visit the Olympics make sure that your accommodations are in Turin or more west. This is a (attention it is a 138k pdf file) map from the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics official site.


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