Teaching English and Savoring the Romance of Italy

“I remember arriving at Porta Nuova station,” says Rosemarie Scavo. “It was late November and the weather was overcast, but the gray skies did nothing to diminish the beauty of Turin’s city center, which features some fine examples of Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical, and Art Nouveau architecture. In my heart, I knew that I had found the right city to move to.

“My intention was to stay for a year but I fell under the spell of a local man (now my husband) and the city. I found there was so much to see and do. I liked how everything I needed was just a short walk or public transport ride away.

Rosemarie says that she’s never once regretted her decision to move to Italy. “Turin is a frontier city to me. Because it’s on the border with France, it has a strong French influence in food and architecture. There are several former Savoy royal family residences in and around the city, modern and contemporary art galleries, excellent museums, and regal art-nouveau cafés.

One of her newly acquired Italian habits is grocery shopping at farmers’ markets and now, like many of the locals, she has a trusted butcher and favorite vendors in her neighborhood.

Turin’s markets are among the best in Italy with their high-quality seasonal produce, delicious local cheeses, and charcuterie, all reasonably priced. A weekly bill for market-fresh fruit and vegetables comes to around $40. “I love the ritual of going to the market,” says Rosemarie. “I feel it is a microcosm of the Italian culture. You’ll find yourself looking on in admiration at the locals’ bargaining skills with the vendors.”

Rosemarie has no car, which is never a problem as Turin has excellent public transport. “I live about three-and-a-half miles outside the city center along the metro line—so I can get to the center in 10 minutes. A one-way trip costs $1.70 but I generally buy a weekly ($14) or a monthly ($42) pass, as I use public transport to get around a lot.”

Teaching English as a second language in an international French school means that Rosemarie meets many expats. “I’ve been surrounded by expats since I came here. There is a big expat community here and there are many groups and associations such as the English Church of Turin, English Theatre Torino, and the International Women’s Club. In my experience, it’s very easy to make friends.”

The weather in Turin is seasonal, with hot summers and some snow in winter. “Italians love complaining about the weather but I don’t mind the climate here,” says Rosemarie. “It’s nice to observe the changes that occur with each season.”

In recent years, Turin has become a foodie destination and Rosemarie loves discovering the city’s culinary traditions, trying local dishes and experimenting with recipes in the kitchen. To share her discoveries and stories about Italian life, she started writing a food blog called Turin Mamma. She says, “I enjoy writing about food and cooking. I love the cuisine of my adopted region and thoroughly enjoy recipe hunting and researching the origins of the various regional dishes.”

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