I promised myself that I would finish off our Paris trip recap before the summer ended. Technically that didn’t happen, but it’s still summer for some of you reading this so it counts right?! If you are just tuning in you can read about the rest of my daughter Sam and my adventures here; Paris Day 1, Versailles, Louvre, and a glittering Eifffel Tower!
When Sam and I started planning our trip to Paris, my nephew who was coaching American Football in a Northern Italian town called Ivrea very kindly offered us a spot to crash if we could get to him. We of course jumped at this chance and purchased our plane tickets from Paris to Milan as fast as possible, and I am so glad we went. What a lovely, magical place! This is the first sight that greeted us as we drove into the village of Ivrea where he lived.
Ivrea in the month of May and early June has a national bike race that it celebrates, and the colors are pink! Pink accents adorn the whole village.
Ivrea is also known as a white water rafting training ground, and has a wicked fast course right through the center of town. I couldn’t get my mind around the fact that parks with play grounds were right next to this course!
From almost anywhere in town, you could hear the sound of the water as it rushed past. Did I mention this place was magical?
The next morning my nephew and a a very gracious friend of his named Mateo, took us for a grand tour of some of the most beautiful places within the Piedmont region in Northern Italy, including a visit to the big city of Turino (Turin). Before that though we started with a visit to the Sacra Di S. Michele.
The Sacra sits high in the summit of Mount Pirichiano and looks down into the valley below. It was over-cast on our visit, but on a sunny day I hear you can see for miles and miles. It was still beautiful even over-cast!
One of the stories and structures I found most interesting at the Sacra was the ruins of the tower of Alda the Beautiful.
According to legend, Alda was a beautiful young lady who desperate to free herself from the clutches of a soldier of fortune, threw herself off of the tower. She landed safely due to the intervention of angels. Boasting of this feat, she threw herself down a second time and died instantly. Lesson learned about boasting right there for sure. And heights too maybe…
Afterwards, we headed for the big city of Turin with a stop just outside to visit the King’s Hunting Palace of Venaria!
Doesn’t it look like something straight out of Downtown Abbey? It was misting slightly while we were there, but because of that we had the place all to ourselves. It was lovely!
Here is a picture that my nephew Bry snapped of Sam and I looking like we were just out for a stroll in our lovely gardens.
I’ve mentioned in this post before that it felt like there was magic in these spots we visited right? Check out this quick little video of a gazebo on the garden grounds that was covered with white roses as they drifted to the ground. I bet fairies dance in this spot! I know I did.
After our visit to the Palace of Venaria we headed into the city of Turin!
We ended the day in Turin sitting in the grand plaza eating a delicious dinner of aperitivos when the sky opened up with this completely magical view.
The next morning after an amazing 2 days in Northern Italy, we boarded our plane back for Paris. We were sad to leave Italy, but this was the view that greeted us in the little neighborhood where our hotel was located. How can you be sad when you see this?!
Plus gelato macaroons AND escargot were waiting for us to try! The verdict on the macaroons was of course delicious.
And Sam was actually a big fan of escargot. Who couldn’t love something slathered in butter and pesto?! We did have to do a quick little Google search to figure out how to eat them though. The tools we were given to pull them out looked like nothing we had ever used before!
That night we sat in our hotel room and watched the French version of the Voice with matching face masks purchased from a little store next to our hotel. Our feet were sore, but our hearts and minds were full of all of the beauty and goodness we had been able to appreciate over the last week and a half. It was amazing! As a mother, I hope Sam has the opportunity to return again many more times to “see” Paris and Italy. I also hope that she remembers this trip, and how it helped to fill her with a new sense of hope and optimism for the future.
Hugs to all of you, and thanks for being a part of the JENerallyInformed world!