On Saturday we had breakfast on our tiny balcony.

Then we left for Torino at 8 AM.
All went smoothly until we had a little misunderstanding with our GPS shortly before our arrival there and drove in circles for a while.

After dropping our luggage at the hotel we shortly debated if we should go into town by car or public transport (they have trams, busses and a metro). The traffic and parking situation can get bad on Saturays in many cities. But we tried the car anyway and where pleasantly surprised to find the traffic situation quite normal - and we also got parking spaces wherever we went.

First I went to a shop called Caty Oriental Bazar.

They had been recommended to me for nice lace-up dance sandals. I bought a pair in silver and now want to test if I like them - so maybe I can order different colors in the future. And I also got a new dance sword. My old one is just too heavy for my martial style of sword dancing. And there's nothing like driving through Italy for a week with a sword in your trunk!

After that we drove close to the Giardino Reale and ended up visiting the Palazzo Madame, a wonderful city palace. This is where we started to go totally overboard with taking pictures and didn't stop for a week!

Many of the rooms are so beautifully decorated that with every door you enter you just go "wow!"

For some time this was the seat of the Italian parliament!

Some rooms also have glass floors, so you can see the old structures from previous buildings.

And there is a large collection of religious art.

We didn't have enough time to go see the Royal palce as well (which is right next to it) but drove to the other side of the Po river instead and had a light lunch.

Then we drove up he hill for the Villa della Regina. It has a beatiful terraced park (check it out on Google Earth!) with a great view over the city.

But the best thing about it is the entry hall which is almost entirely covered with very nice trompe l'oeil painting (no photography allowed).

We hadn't really prepared much and simply drove around to places we thought might be interesting.

Unfortunately, looking at the city map it's not easy to determine where the best shopping area would be. So we parked somewhere close to one of the train stations and walked in the wrong direction at first.
When we finally found a street with many shops it was close to 7 PM - and the shops were only open until 7:30 PM. Well, we saved a lot of money I guess :-) I still got a nice top and Olivier bought two scarves.

When we finally returned to the hotel we had been out for about 9 hours and I was really tired...
But it was worth it. Torino is definitely a place I can recommend!