Earlier this month, I visited Italy for the first time when I participated in Happy Birthday Italy, a 5-day youth event hosted by the city of Turin. The event brought together hundreds of international students from all over Europe to discuss the role of the youth in various facets of the continent’s present and future.
With all the workshops I attended, I unfortunately had to spend most of my time indoors, which left little time for a comprehensive exploration of Turin. When I did get a chance to do so on the day of my departure (I picked an evening flight so I could explore the city during the day), it happened to be a Monday, when most establishments, including museums, are closed. Add to that the highly erratic weather, which ranged from drought-inducing heat to heavy rains, needless to say, the trip turned out to be quite underwhelming. My first Italian experience came nowhere near the highly romanticized visions of Italy I had in my head. I expected a Paris, a softer and warmer one at that, and I did not exactly get that. Although my idealistic expectations went unfulfilled, it is only fair to say that I still had a great time. Turin is no doubt a beautiful city and perhaps if I had only more time to explore it, I may have appreciated it more. I also met incredible people at the event. I traveled there alone but came back with a dozen new friends.
I guess this calls for another visit, a little redo. And maybe when that happens, Italy will finally have me saying, you had me at Buongiorno.
For more photos, click here.