Trip to Torino & Alba

The FIGA Digital team are on the move once again. With laptop in hand and my rucksack packed, I headed for the east side of Northern Italy to celebrate my friend’s birthday.

Having landed in Milan, and walking around the fabulous Duomo, there was a large gathering of football fans singing their anthem. There was a Europa League match between AC Milan and Olympiacos starting in a few hours.

Duomo at Dusk

Duomo at Dusk

I checked into my apartment for the night (very reasonable price for a one bedroom, booked within minutes through my usual app, I settled in for a few hours work, including a conference call with a client.

Following a fairly simple dinner and a good night’s sleep, I headed for the Centrale FS station (the metro is very good and clean in Milan), to catch my train to Torino. I was off to the Piemonte region.

The train could not have been sexier nor faster. It was a sparkling blood red colour and looked like the Japanese bullet train. It flew us to Torino in around 50 minutes. Make sure you book online,, the day before, as the price is much cheaper that way (around €25 one way).

The train had a power socket or two and a great working table. I got to work on an issue a client had with uploading an image of the wrong pixel size, as well as addressing my tasks in our project management tool, Asana.

When I landed in Torino, I plugged in the restaurant name (had already checked that it was do-able walking distance whilst on the train) and off I went using the awesome Google maps. Some 8 minutes later, I was there.

In true nomad style, whilst I’m walking I’m checking emails. An email from a client who had an issue with their website came in. When I arrived at the restaurant, my friends had still not arrived yet, so out came the laptop, and with 30 seconds to spare before my friends arrived, the problem was solved.

Often, with our clients we inherit the proper maintenance and performance improvement tasks for their website, and we didn’t build this website originally. There is no issue for us to offer this service, and it has become quite usual for us now. It boils down to being a trustworthy business that knows what it's doing.

At lunch, in Torino, I was able to tuck into a Caprese salad with a glass of cold white Piedmont. I chose to become pescatarian about a year ago, when I realised I had so much more energy after stopping eating meat. I was now on holiday for a few days, although emails are always being checked on a regular basis, given the Internet is 24/7.

We all jumped in the car and off we went to our weekend retreat. The drive was hilarious – non-stop singing and we murdered many a well-known track. Sorry Bob Marley.

Our retreat was a gorgeous house with a breath-taking panoramic view of the beautiful countryside. Inside it had been beautifully and carefully restored, using local builders, and we had a beautiful swimming pool.

No time was wasted to begin the celebrations. Several fun and action packed days followed with an evening out at La Piola, in Alba,, where the restaurant has a specialist white truffle and pasta menu. We couldn’t help ordering Barollo to wash it all down with, as this city is very close by and is a favourite wine of ours.

The next day, after more laughter and funny encounters, it was time to head back to Milano and I found a very reasonable room for the night in the beautiful town of Oleggio, some 10 minutes’ drive from Malpensa at If you decide to stay there, it’s not walkable and quite time consuming to get there by public transport, so ask the hotel directly to book you a taxi from the airport (€10 one way), as the airport taxis are three-four times as expensive.

The return flight was uneventful, but another opportunity to catch up on some reading and work before landing in Sofia. I arrived back in Bansko, the coach trip back was another opportunity to get some work done. Back in Bansko I had an update with the team, then got to work on an exciting pitch for a new website build along with hosting.

Life really is what you make of it!!

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