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You’ve suddenly got a few days off during the Winter Olympics, which begin Friday and continue through Feb. 26 in Turin, Italy. What’s next? Here are some tips on what to do and where to go.

TicketsTry the official Torino 2006 Web site,, to see what is available. You’ll need a VISA card to make your purchase. Another Web site is It charges a slightly higher commission, but it is a U.S. company and the process is easier to follow.

If you live in Italy, go to one of the 3,000 Sanpaolo Bank branches or 400 sales points of the Ticket One network for tickets. Once you arrive in Turin, you can buy tickets at the central tourism office, called the Atrium, in Piazza Solferino, but expect long lines there.

HotelTry for three-star and below rooms in the city. Call (+39) 011-839-1602. If you are looking for a nicer place, try, but you will be outside of the city. Another option is

Getting to TurinDo not drive. If you’re coming from Italy, travel by train. If you’re not starting in Italy, you can fly to Turin and take the 20-minute bus ride into the city. Or fly to Milan (Malpensa Airport), and ride the two-hour bus from there.

Discount airlines such as RyanAir fly to the Milan/Bergamo airport. Then a bus to the Bergamo station and a train to Turin will take about three hours.

Getting around TurinMuch of the city will be closed to private traffic, so don’t bother trying to drive. The public network of buses and streetcars is excellent, and has been supplemented for the Olympics. Regular runs to each of the indoor sports venues will operate around the clock. For specific routes to venues, check out the Web site.

Mountain bound?Going to the mountains to watch skiing? You’ll need to catch a train either from the Porta Susa or Lingotto station, depending on which event you want to watch. Ride to the Olympic transport hub in Oulx or Pinerolo, respectively, and catch the free mountain shuttle to the Alpine village where the event is held.

Organizers recommend that spectators arrive at the venue three hours (that is not a misprint ) before the start of competition.

And just in case, keep these emergency numbers available:

• Police: 112 or 113

• Fire: 115

• Ambulance: 118

Jim Sajo is a freelance writer living in northern Italy. His book, “Torino 2006, A Local’s Guide to the Winter Olympics,” is available at


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