Just returned form Torino

Feb 21st, 2006, 07:21 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Just returned form Torino

I have mixed emoitions about my trip. I was sick the entire trip, the flu medicine I got from the pharmacy in Italy,helped some, but could not break my fever.

I travelled solo in a sea of groups/couples,my travel partner bailed in Nov. I tried to remain optimistic, but the the men at the front desk of my hotel just added to my anguish. Just rude and snotty. I attempted to be social but not being myself and tired from being lost and sick I was quite isolated. My voice was shot also.

I was lucky enough to be present at a great gold win in men's snowboard cross, that brought some thrill,on my last day.I'm not sure it can make up for my despair.

The event was not as organized as I'd hope, no volunteers at major hubs,train station. The folks at the tourist info couldn't tell me where to go for internet access,huh?!

I was so lost all the time and I am not afraid to ask for dirctions. I feel some people just led me astray to be rude. The only real help I got was from the police.

At the Torino airport I came across a woman from St. Louis who was also at her wits end at how disorganized it was and she too was lost a lot.

I'd like to return to Italy some day,healthy and strong of course. I wasn't able to soak in the history of it all , spent most of my time searching for venues. I stayed in my hotel all day one day in hopes to get some rest and heal.

I found the people to be all in all very nice and I would love to go Vancouver in 2010. I've heard their not all this disorganzed. I was really caught up in the snowboarding, ice hockey just all of it.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Does anyone know of any groups/clubs that travel to see the olympics that I can join?
tzarinna is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 07:35 PM
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I'm so sorry -- it must have been so frustrating to be that ill with so much hectic activity around you. Don't despair too much, you were present for an amazing event and had the guts to go alone. I'm sure that with a little time (and when you're entirely recovered from the flu) that you'll look back on this trip a little more fondly. Even travel "horror stories" make for great entertainment with time. Congratulations for going it alone and getting back in one piece! You were there!
fishee is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 07:38 PM
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Hi tzarinna, having recently gotten over a terrible flu I can't even imagine how awful you must have felt in the cold weather, the crowds and away from home. What a shame!

I wanted to mention our local paper has printed some emails from a few local residents that also went to Torino. It appears "confusione" reigned in Torino. One couple spent over two hours travelling to an event and there was so much disorganziation they only saw the last couple of minutes of the event. Than they had the long trek back to Torino.

The old saying is "misery loves company" so thought I would let you know you are not alone in your complaints.

Someday you will return to Italy to travel own your own to various locations and you will find yourself having a beautiful experience.
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:19 PM
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Thanks for your thoughtful replies.

The whole time I was there I kept reminding myself that I was in Italy and soak it up.

I am feeling a bit better and I get really excited talking to people about the games.
tzarinna is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 08:43 PM
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I have heard it said,

Heaven is the Swiss in charge of Organization and the Italians in charge of love.
Hell, on the other hand, is the Italians in charge of organization and the Swiss in charge of love.
viaggio_sempre is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:06 PM
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LOL Viagio, I think that is so true!!! Sorry tzarinna, your problems were not funny but Vigagio's comments were!
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:13 PM
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Tzarinna-Having just returned from Rome this past weekend and spending most of it in the bathroom and bed throwing up with fever-I feel for you. However, I wanted to add that I think that you need to give the city of Torino another chance in the future. I was there a year and a half ago for a visit as my son was studying there for a college semester. The city is not like a Venice, Florence or Rome but a rather interesting piece of Italy set off the beaten path(so to speak).The people of Torino are really very helpful and nice;the city has alot of interesting places to visit and the countryside is great place to explore. I really think that the Olympics have overwhelmed them and the last piece about being organized in Italy is perfect.So sorry that a trip like this that was planned so far ahead went awry!
dutyfree is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:23 PM
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Viaggio and LoveItaly---there's actually more to it. The version I saw (at an Italian deli in Canada) said:

"Heaven is where the police are British, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian, the cooks are French, and everything is organized by the Swiss.

"Hell is where the police are German, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, the cooks are British, and it's all organized by the Italians."

My apologies if this offends anyone!
enzian is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 08:35 AM
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Whenever we've gone anywhere in Canada, we've always been amazed at how organized, efficient, friendly, and helpful the Canadians are everywhere you go.
djkbooks is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 08:43 AM
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I was once dreadfully sick in Bologna and it colored my entire view of the city.

Fortunately, I was in great shape when I visited Torino, which is a marvelous and unusual Italian city -- and is actually extremely well-organized, since it is historically an industrial, business town.

I can well imagine that going there for the Olympics was a madhouse, but on a normal day, Torino has fantastic food, beautiful mountain vistas, and some of the best and most unusual museums in Italy.
nessundorma is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:06 AM
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The participants seem to have been OK and the sports themselves fairly well organized, or so it appears on the TV coverage, however it is sad but true that I have heard many complaints about the logistical organization for spectators, lack of information, volunteers who won't briefed and only spoke Italian, bus line mixups and lack of bus signs, lack of multiple buses after an event, people walking miles uphill in the snow to get to events (sometimes cancelled) and the general state of Trenitalia services and schedules. BUT PLEASE DONT blame it on the people of Turin and Piedmont who have gone out of our way to cater to the world and I think everyone has remarked on what a great city Turin is and how friendly the people, as well as Piedmont in general. The Olympic committee were not up to scratch and didn't give enough credance to crowd planning and transport as well as good information (although Turin Turismo has done a sterling job on its part) which I also think that the Int'l Olympic Organization should have monitored and assisted them. I am a foreigner living in Piedmont, and generally I find things work very well and effiecently, and not at all like the jokes about the Italians. Someones head should roll, but probably there are politics involved say no more. Anyway I am sorry you had an awful time, and having the flu the whole time is double bad, but I do hope you come to our region again when the fuss has all died down and the weather is fine.
Sampaguita is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:15 AM
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It is always interesting when local administrations (i.e., governments) rejoice when they get awarded the Olympics,; screaming and carrying on; developers and tour operators absolutely certain they've just struck gold; people thumbing their nose at the losers (across the Channel, etc.) and then...

the event actually happens and is, sometimes, not nearly as organized as would have been hoped for. Unfortunately, the people who reside in the imediate vicinity always get the blame, whether they asked for the event or not.

Go back sometime when you feel better about the place and yourself.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Enzian, that's great! I'm just glad there wasn't anything about Americans in there.
viaggio_sempre is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:44 PM
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I'm curious about this statement in the original post: "I feel some people just led me astray to be rude." Why do you feel that way? Maybe they were also confused by the disorganization, or maybe they were part of it, but how could you tell that they were being intentionally rude and misleading?

For what it's worth, I have a couple of friends from Torino. I visited there during more normal times (December 2004), and I had a great time. My local friends had plenty to say about problems with the preparations (contracting irregularities, slow pace of construction, etc....what a surprise, in Italy). I wouldn't blame the average Torinese on the street for that.
KT is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:34 PM
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Hi enzian, thanks for the good laugh. Love it!!

Sampquita, your region of Piedmont is beautiful!! And the food and wine is so very good. I have not been to the City of Torino but have had the pleasure of being in the surronding areas (north of Torino) and I can truthfully say I fell in love with Piedmont. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant (and the exact location) where we had dinner one night with some friends from Lombardy. There was a beautiful terrace where we had wine before dinner, the view overlooked the mountains, how enchanting. The restaurant itself had wonderful food and oh my, the wine was ambrosia.
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:53 PM
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I did find the people to be pretty cool, it just seemed the hotel staff we're not so great,I stayed in Milan, and may have had a bit of glee in their eye when I checked out of my hotel a day early.

I was suffering from a fever which broke maybe a couple of days ago, I may have missed judge folks info as misleading rather than uninformed. If locals didn't know something they would say so, but other visitors I don't think were as kind.

I loved the police they were very helpful.
I'd love to return to Turin and other parts of Italy.
tzarinna is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Help! I am heading to Torino for the last 3 days of the Paralympics and have spent days online and with guide book and can't seem to get it organized and I leave Wed night! Reading your email, now I understand why I am having some issues.

The main issue is I would like to see the skiing which is a bit far from Torino. Directions on site only give driving directions but I won't have a car. However I would assume they have created some public transport to get there??

I arrive in Milan on Thurs and plan to use that as a travel day. I think it makes more sense to just go to Sestriere with my stuff and stay there. If I stay in Torino I will never get to Sestriere in time for the 10am skiing event on Friday.

Does anyone know best way to get there coming from Milan? Do I need to go through Torino or can I go more directly? Also any hotel recommendations?

Here is what I'm thinking of:

Thurs: land in Milan; travel to Sestriere
Fri: Alpine skiing; overnight in Sestriere
Sat: X-C in morning and Alpine in afternoon. Travel to Torino. Gold medal game of ice hockey.
Sun: Torino during day; closing ceremonies at night.

Hotel recs in Torino much appreciated also. I was thinking of Magenta, Bologna, Artua, Soferino, Astoria. Any comments on these hotels?

SusanC is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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Reminds me a little of when I was in Paris. My sister and I were standing on the platform, waiting for the train, and a frenchman walks up to us, asks where we are going, tells us we are at the wrong platform. We walk over to the new platform, read the signs some more, and walk back to the original platform, and caught our train. We didn`t ask for help, and are still pondering why this frenchman did this. It isn`t like we asked for help
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