Un Weekend a Torino
This past long weekend, after going to the Sagra dei Obej Obej and doing the La Scala opening night fashion watch, Gabriel and I followed another Milanese tradition, namely leaving town. I swear, going elsewhere is the most Milanese thing to do on weekends. So we visited friends in Turin, the 2006 (well, January, 2006) Olympic capitol! It was sooo beautiful! Many Torinese buildings are Baroque in style (see left). Just by walking around, you get a sense of majesty from the architecture. This is where the old King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel was born. To the right is La Mole, an ex-synagogue (and the tallest building in the world before the Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889) now holds a very entertaining Cinema museum.
The city streets are full of public art and the most recent installations, during the sun-deprived winter months, are related to light. Here you see an entire poem illuminating a sea of shoppers on via Garibaldi. Incidentally, the poem is about escaping noise in a silent forest, a fabulous foil to the hustle and bustle of pre-Christmas shopping!
I had never made any connection between Baroque architectural style and Art Nouveau (or its Italian incarnation, "Liberty" style)until I came to Turin. Examples of both styles abound in this city. On the left you have a galleria of shops downtown and on the right, one of many lush bars where you are invited to sip a coffee or a thick, rich "cioccolata", more like a dark chocolate pudding than a hot chocolate. On sale in many of these shops are the famous gianduiotti, (creamy, rich chocolate-ground hazelnut confections). This is NOT a town to be on a diet in.
Tomorrow, we get down to business with a Piedmontese "bollito misto" with gnocchi and a salsa verde.