You can talk about the architecture, the attractions, the lectures — and by ‘you’ I mean ‘me’, or maybe ‘I’ — and so on for an Erasmus course, but none of these things matter if you can’t afford the food that keeps you alive. I’m sure there are lots of jokes to be made about Erasmus students just going abroad to try out foreign delicacies, so let’s asssume I’ve made them and then I can explain how much it costs to feed yourself in Turin, and how good a diet you’ll be subsisting on.
But I think you already know the answer — and by ‘you’, I mean ‘you, the reader’ — is a pretty happy one.
Yes, food in Turin is just as good and just as inexpensive, if you shop smart, as any student could hope for. Your weekly meals won’t drain your loan and Erasmus grant here. The vital base food of the Italian diet, pasta, is dangerously economical, and the important additions of tomatoes, peppers, garlic, tuna, oil, olives, etc., are all pretty uniformly cheaper than anywhere in the UK as long as you’re not buying from a specialist. Coffee is also noticably way, way cheaper than in the UK. A euro in most cafes. It’s a different drink, less liquid and more taste, although even buying a more exciting coffee in a cafe will still cost you much less cannoli than a latte or a cappuccino from any British joint. I have to warn though that you drink cappuccino in the morning, espresso in the afternoon. That’s how it’s done.
Just like in Leicester, the market is the only place to get fruit and vegetables. Meat and bread too, although I’m only just discovering that side of the place. At every stall you’ll pay far less for a kilo of whatever than at the supermarket. Porta Palazzo is the the huge, lumbering market that I get my stuff from and after having gone there I now struggle to put down money for fruit and vegetables anywhere else. It’s just about possible to shop without feeling guilty at LD, which sounds like Lidl and has the same kind of prices but with the better kind of quality, or at Lidl, which is exactly like Lidl. Anywhere else is just normally-priced; these two are fantastically cheap.
Finding out which expensive foodstuffs in the UK are pleasantly more cost-effective here is a joy. A bit more of a struggle to find inexpensive cereals, sausages that aren’t German, or baked beans, but if you’re coming to Italy I’m sure you’re willing to make at least a few small sacrifices.