I’ve only been in Torino, Italy for a day and a half, and already, I’m putting it on my “FIND ME AN INTERNSHIP HERE” list. (Other candidates: Madrid, Spain; anywhere in Germany; possibly London, England)
Here’s the thing about Torino: the people here are incredibly helpful. The taxi drivers, the wait staff, the customer service agents– they have all put up with my terrible Italian and general neediness.
TPK and I made it to the center of the city today. My allergies acted up something fierce, but that led us to go to a farmacia, and that led us to bump into a couple of pilgrims. They were in town to see the Holy Shroud of Turin, which has been on display since early April and ending tomorrow. It hasn’t been on public display in quite awhile, and this is the last time it will be until the Pope says to put it back out. What luck! We did end up standing in line for a really long time (read: several hours), but it was gorgeous outside, and the Italians had the foresight to put out not only water stations, but gelato and panini stations.
The Shroud experience was something else. I have seen quite a few cathedrals on this trip through Europe, but I hadn’t seen any relics. Well, anything that required an elaborate winding que-up. I was happy with the way the city accommodated the crowds, and I was also pleased with the requirements for silence as we neared the Shroud. Once we were finally inside the church, we were ushered into a tiered viewing area, where we were given several minutes of silent contemplation.
Although I consider myself a C&E Catholic (Christmas & Easter), I still felt very blessed to have the opportunity to see the Shroud. It was a nice, peaceful moment in this trip I’ve been on. And whether you think the relic is a fake or not, it does make one think about that Christian baseline belief of Christ’s suffering.
After the Shroud viewing, we decided it was time to get gelato. There was a shop just off the plaza we were in, and it was all I had hoped real Italian gelato would be. I got chocolate and panna, just so I could test my tastebuds on flavors they should remember from Seattle and Bellingham. Well, no disrespect, but the Torino gelato blew my old memories of chocolate and panna out of the water. Delicious, and well-worth the extra calories.
There is a pizzeria down the road from the hotel I’m at, and they have already made The Pirate King and I feel like regulars. We went there last night, and apparently, they told us to come again tonight when TPK was out buying water at the market. We did, in fact, go to Ristorante Noe, and after our meal, our waitress, another waiter, several cooks, and a few of their friends chatted with us. They wanted to know who we were, where we were from, why we were in Torino, where we were going, and all that jazz. We even bantered about how France is not on any of our “Favorite Country” lists. There was a lot of laughter, and I could definitely see the similarities between northern Italy’s overall vibe and the family atmosphere in my household. My ancestors are, after all, from a city about an hour from Torino.
My overall experience in Torino, though limited, has been positive. I would love to come back and spend an extended amount of time in the city, just like I was able to in Madrid. Besides, I have to make it to Monastero di Lanzo sometime soon; who’s in on this leg of my future adventures?