Ala di Stura - Valli di Lanzo - Torino
As you may be able to see in the second picture, Ala di Stura is 58 km from the city of Torino (it is in the Province and Region of Turin). It is not far from where the Olympics took place, although hardly anybody has ever heard of this tiny town tucked away in the Valli di Lanzo (Lanzo Valleys). Not much is known about its origins other than the fact that it existed during the Middle Ages - it is mentioned in a document that dates back to 1267. There is supposedly a great waterfall in Ala di Stura, but we were not able to get to it because the snow was too deep to venture that way.
The snow shoes, tea pots and buckets hanging on the outside of "Caffe Maronero" are interesting (first photo). The style really makes it clear that you are in the mountains. The houses there (like most other buildings in the Italian mountains) is more similar to the Northern European architecutre and so different than ones you find just slightly closer to Turin. It was very surprising for me to see how different the lifestyle is just a little under 40 miles from Turin!