Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Turin: Day 2

can't believe quite how quickly the days go by, and it's currently midnight of our 3rd day here in Turin! i've been good and have found time to edit some more photos, from our 2nd day, so here they are and i hope you'd enjoy looking at them! 

i'm just glad i have the time to sit down and document these days, every morning of waking up in a strange and wonderful land is a deliciously exciting experience i savor with my very being. feeling cobbled pavements beneath my feet, listening to people speaking languages that are incomprehensible to my ears, taking in the sights and sounds of a foreign city. it's an incredibly exhilarating whole new world, and i love it!

we look forward to breakfast every day: simple fare but oh-so-satisfying :)
baguette, scrambled eggs, ham, yogurt and muesli for breakfast every morning at the hotel! 
random flowers. purple and yellow. beautiful combination! 
something we don't do often enough in Singapore: to get around from place to place with our own two feet! it takes 20 minutes of leisurely walking to get to our rehearsal venue from our hotel. it's nice to have the luxury of time, and i think we spend at least one to two hours a day simply walking around and getting from place to place.. my feet are complaining from all the walking, but i actually enjoy it very much!

my comfortable pair of fuzzy zebra sandals that's been making their rounds on the cobbled pavements of Turin. they are from Sœurs! you still get 10% discount off when you quote my name, until the end of August! Sœurs is located at Cathay Cineleisure, #02-12.
rehearsal time. we rehearse for 3 hours every morning, and break for coffee in at the cafe next door, in between.
a chocolate croissant and expresso macchiato. need some caffeine to perk me up!
inside the cafe, it's just one of the many cafes peppered along the streets of Italy, it's hard to find bad coffee in Italy so you probably won't go wrong anywhere :)
Marissa and Fish! :)

after an exhausting morning rehearsal, we are all famished (or perhaps just greedy for more good food) and thus begins the search for our next meal: lunch! it's easy: we simply roam the streets and settle on any restaurant in sight. so far so good: i don't think i've actually tasted anything bad yet! when it comes to Italian food, nothing is ever quite close to the real thing. so cheap and good at the same time! always looking forward to our next meal!
a bolognese pasta stuffed with ragu (rabbit meat?!) the sauce is so meaty and rich and tangy!
vongole tagliatelle that won a thumbs up from everyone! i think we are definitely going back again for this dish.
ham and mushroom pizza, can't go wrong with this either!
on the other side of the table: 
and on our side.

we share all the food, so we get the best of both worlds! i love variety when it comes to food, and every meal hardly costs anything more than 9 or 10 euros (SGD15) after splitting the bill! yummy in my tummy.

and how else to walk off the gratifying lunch, but to walk and shop! seems like it's the perfect season for shopping, because every shop is on sale!!! there's a huge ZARA store just a couple streets away from our hotel, and we spent our afternoon shopping away! haven't got the opportunity to visit any of the luxury brand stores yet though, cos Turin is quite small and there aren't so many of those shops!
 
ZARA!
by the way, SALDI means "Sale" in Italian! now you know :D
SO CUTE! i still can't get used to seeing so many pooches on the streets and even in the shops! but they are all so well-behaved and adorable! how i wish i could bring my dogs around the shops in Singapore too! 
i wanted to buy more, but this is what i've got for myself so far!!! a pair of black shorts and a denim shirt that were less than 20 euros each, a pair of flats for only 13 euros, (all on sale from ZARA!) and a makeup palette from H&M for like less than 8 euros. cute daisies headband too, 
yay! pretty new buys :D 

when in Italy, do as the Italians do... eat lots of gelato!

i finally finally got my first taste of gelato this trip: we went a little gelato crazy on our last trip to Italy two years ago, but have decided to rein in our insatiable appetite for gelato just a little bit this time round! heh. Grom is a super well known gelato shop and it is deeee-leeee-cious! was so happy to find a Grom just 3 minutes away from the hotel, it's literally only around the corner!
a medium cup with three flavors costs 3 euros!
for our first cup: pistachio, yogurt and nocciola (hazelnut) flavors! oh i have missed nocciolla flavored gelato so so so much!!! we are now united.
YAY! first gelato of the trip!
 
happy happpyyyy!!!! didn't disappoint at all and now i would like to have more nociolla ice cream please, thank you very much!

we attended an opening singing session that was part of the Europa Cantat festival in the evening, and it was SO amazing! a sight that you'd be hard-pressed to see in Singapore. ranging from the young to the old, so many people all there to sing and listen in the open air arena the session was held at!
came prepared with our song books too!
while waiting for the session to start...
look at the crowds!! we didn't manage to get any seats, so to the ground we went :S
contest of the giant mouths
and the opening singing begins!! it is so fun, like a giant sing-a-long campfire session, and i just love how everyone is singing and moving along to the music!
there's even actions for one of the songs!
haha!
a wonderful sight to behold! music is such an integral part of their culture and they enjoy it so much. it was so fun to do the open singing session!! we'll probably go again another night!
the best way to end a long day of work and play: cup noodle party!
we are fast depleting our stores of cup noodles! it's time to hit the local supermarkets, maybe we'll find some instant pasta instead... hehe. 

i am going to bed now, and we have a morning off tomorrow, so i'll probably stay in our hotel room to get some work done! i'm so grateful for the Wi-Fi connection, been Skyping regularly with YZ and missing him from here, as well as being able to instagram and blog and check emails and all that! though right now i am really tired and am going straight to bed after completing this entry.

ciao ciao and good night! :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Turin: Day 1


good morning! 
typing out this entry while i'm enjoying my breakfast in the hotel.. photos from yesterday to share! :D

we had our rehearsal/workshop session in the morning, followed by the opening parade of the Europa Cantat 2012! the weather was so cool in the morning, but it turned blazing hot in the afternoon!! i hope i spammed on enough sunblock to fend off those nasty UV rays, cos we had to walk about under the hot sun for the parade and we were all dying in our thick polo tees and jeans :( also, cos it's summer, the sun sets really late and totally warps my sense of time. i woke up really early, at 5am, even though i slept at 11.30pm the previous night! haha. having a great time so far, and can't wait to explore the city and shops!

placemats in the hotel dining area. how to say "Good Morning" in Italian!
and there's always a huge spread of pastries and bread! love!
super cute cornflakes dispenser :D
my brekkie, muesli with yogurt, a croissant, ham and scrambled eggs!! :D :D :D
 
HAPPY! :D
we have to walk to get to our rehearsal venues, but it's quite a nice walk in the morning cos the weather is still nice and cool!
on the streets with Fishie!
even the flowers are prettier in Italy.
a newstand.
bookstalls along the streets.
and banners for Europa Cantat hanging along the streets too! it's quite a major event that takes place in Europe every three years. choirs from all over the world sign up to take part in the workshops, known as ateliers, conducted by various well-known composers, conductors and musicians!
the S Y C ensemble singers!
ready...
JUMP!!!
 AW! a super adorable and friendly doggie we met!! it's sooo cute!!
 
very very very friendly and it kissed me. teehee.
SHO CUTE!
 
our rehearsals are held inside a performing theatre, and it's a really small and quaint looking place.
the conductor in charge of our workshop/atelier.

we went to a random pizzeria for lunch, and even random restaurants serve really yummy food already!
and it's SUPER cheap! less than 10 euros for a pizza or pasta, which is about 15 sing. plus the portions are huge, so you can share too!
 
funghi pizza :D
giant servings of pasta!!!
 
Woon and i!
throngs of crowds during the parade.
the patriotic Singaporeans!
LOL.
impromptu street singing and performances from various choirs! it's really fun, everyone just randomly bursts into song and everyone listens and the passerbys actually stop to listen and applaud! definitely wouldn't happen in Singapore :S
there's a really gorgeous mountain view from one side of the city too! 

we ended the parade in the evening, and roamed around shopping, before finally resting our feet for dinner! i swear we must have covered at least 5 or 6km just walking about the entire day! which is actually very good, because it helps to burn off some of the calories :X the food is all so rich and delicious! went to another nearby restaurant which serves really fantastic risotto and crepes, you really won't be able to find such quality in Singapore for the same price!
 
every meal starts with a bread basket. goes wonderful with olive oil and balsamic vinegar!
Marissa's veal!
the giant plate of risotto we shared amongst five because we weren't that hungry. but it was SOOO big! and only like, 9 euros? can feed a lot of people!
 
and the most delicious Nutella white chocolate custard ice cream crepe EVER!!! (only 6 euros!)
Vivien, Shen Een and Hil!
Marissa, me, Fish and Woon!

only paid 5 euros for dinner after breaking down the cost. omg. that's like $7.50 for so much goodness and satisfaction! so happy! :D 
back "home" to our hotel! 

today's going to be rehearsal in the morning again, followed by some free time in the afternoon! i wanna go shopping!!! all the shops are on sale and the prices are really low! teehee. i hope i have enough space in my luggage to shop to my heart's content!!!

i'll update again with more photos! hope you enjoyed looking at them!
have a fabbbb Sunday!!! :D

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