Realizing a Dream: Trip to Turin – Italy

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I have become a Juventus’ fan since 13 years old (2nd Grade of Junior High School). Until now, I don’t even sure how it was started but it sticks with me since then. Juventus has become one of few things that define me as a person, no joking!. So that I have been dreaming to watch Juventus’ match live in our stadium from the first day I announced myself as Juventina. And Turin automatically joins the list of cities that I have to visit when I grown up and have my own-money!

It was in 22 May 2011, when finally my-grand-Eurotrip-Plan finally came to realization and those hungers to see Juventus’ match live in Turin with my own eyes is paid off!

In my Eurotrip plan, Turin was a center. I planned all visit to other cities in accordance that I have to be in Turin on 22 May. After I got the Air Asia ticket to bring me to Europe, the 2nd item that I booked is Juventus’s ticket, things that I regret actually, because unlike any other tickets, it become more-more expensive if booked too-much in advance!
In my Eurotrip route, Rome was the city I visited before Turin. I used train (TrainInterCity/ Notte 796) to travel from Rome to Turin, departed on 21 May at 23h50 and scheduled to arrive at Turin at 08h20). I was surprised about the ticket fare, which was only 21 Euro for 8 hours travel time, much cheaper than my train ticket to Florence (19 Euro for 1.5hr travel time). Well then I figured out why, they were different type of trains. Train to Turin was seemed to be economy train. 1 cabin for 6 persons with baggage space right on top of us and it did not started from Rome, but it was a connecting train from other city in Southern Italy. So the time when I got in is a little bit chaotic, the train stopped not for a long time while the cabin is already full with other passenger’s baggage. And the worst thing after very small and crowded space is one Italian woman on the next cabin is swearing loudly all Italian bad words (I catch one or two of those words) all night long which obviously prevented me from a decent sleep to prepare for the most important day in my life. Anyway, I was so grateful that my train was rolling as per schedule as a nice lady told me in a waiting room that some labor-strike was happening at that day so that some trains schedule was delayed or postponed, successfully made me scare to death if one of those was my train!

So, finally on a breeze morning of May 22nd, I finally stepped on Turin city. But due to chaotic night on train, I became slightly disoriented when I got out from the Train. Somehow it was so difficult to find my hotel which should be only across of Porta Nuova station. I have been walking for quite long to realize that I did not toward a right direction. Then with my very-very-limited Italian, I tried to ask an old man who was sitting in a café for breakfast. Then the good things about Turin is started, this very nice old man, explained to me the direction to my hotel in very fluent Italian, which I could not catch except two words: destra (right) and sinistra (left) . After explaining over and over and found out that I did not understand him, he made gesture with his hand saying “I will walk you to the hotel” So that’s it! he left his breakfast and walked me to the hotel – not with an angry face – but with a genuine kind face. God, I felt in love with this city already!

And the good things continued, I arrived at the Hotel at 9 AM, the check-in time is 12 AM. In most hotels, even in Indonesia, we had to wait in the lobby until the check-in time. But guess what?! The hotel reception, the very nice Italian man with good English, allow me to check in right away! This city is truly amazing; finally I could catch a good sleep. After few hours sleep, I went out to find lunch and visited Juventus Store in via Garibaldi which is still in walking distance from the hotel. I am a regular visitor of Juventusstore.com, I always fantasizing what kind of items I have to buy when I visiting the store. But the reality was hit me, the original Juventus jersey is so much expensive, the cost is higher than my airplane ticket from Prague to Rome! So I decided to buy a nice T-shirt with Juventus logo on it which luckily the one fit my body size is a children size! Which is of couse cheaper! I buy also a pink Juventus hat and a magnet as always.

I went back to the hotel, get dressed on Juventus’ attribute, hold my ticket (which have been delivered to the hotel by the vendor) and ask receptionist how to reach Stadio Olimpico. While waiting in the bus stop, a teenager wore Juventus’ Jersey shouting at me while he pointing to a bus: Lo stadio! Lo stadio! A little bit scary, but I assume it is his good intention to tell me the right bus to the stadium, well, my outfit was pretty obvious.

Arriving at the stadium, the gate had not open yet, there are some sellers of Juventus Attribute, obviously not-NIKE product but stamped as prodotto ufficiale, and unlike NIKE product, they were made in Italy but with much-much cheaper price . So I didn’t skip the chance to buy a Juventus Jersey and unbelievably I choose Krasic’s number! What the hell I was thinking back then, I should go with Matri’s number!

Finally the gate is open, and finally I get in to Stadio Olimpico!! What a incredible experience. I could not stop smiling while holding my tears of joy when I watched Gigi Buffon came out to the pitch and greeting the supporters followed by other Juventus’ player, they came out for warming-up 1 hours before the kick off surrounding with Juventini’s cheer and our anthem, Juve, Storia di un grande amore (Juve, story of a great love) was playing loudly in the air. I just could not describe the emotion being in the middle of Juventini’s crowd. Finally I made one thing right in my life, being there at that very moment is the biggest accomplishment in my life so far. I spent so much time taking picture and record the video, I just wanted to make the moment last forever!

The game itself a fair game, very enjoyable with a final score of 2-2 against Napoli. Goal by Chiellini and Matri (of course!). For me, it was felt like 10 minutes game instead of 90 minutes game, so fast that I was so sad when it was finally over and I had to leave the Stadium. But certainly it was the best night in my life.

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The next day, my last day in Turin I spent to visit Superga Hills using chain train to see Basilica di Superga and also the monument to honour Torino’s football players which were day in plane crash accident in this hill. We can see a view of Turin city from this spot. After that I travelled back to the city to wander in Piazza San Carlo, visited Mole Antonelliana the highest building in Turin. I continuously felt the warmth of Torinese (Turin’s people) along the way.

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It was definitely a trip that I would like to do again someday. Next trip, I will make time to go to Vinovo (Juventus’ Training Center) and also take a tour inside Juventus Stadium (which was still under construction when I was in Turin).

Fino Alla Fine, Forza Juventus!

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