mercoledì 16 novembre 2011


Welcome to Torino, land of statistics and records:
first capital of Italy - biggest Egyptian museum outside of Egypt - tallest brick building in Europe (the Mole Antonelliana) - first Italian capital of cinema, fashion and many other things. Just ask a person from Torino and you will see how many more of these stats they can list. Some funny ones are: the biggest square in Italy without a monument (last picture) and the biggest roofless market in Europe. I think these alone are enough to arouse your curiosity about Torino, also known as Turin, as it's called both by its most traditional inhabitants and by foreigners like the guy just below.

So, the Mole, which you see here below, was meant to be a synagogue but then Antonelli, the architect, kept making it higher and higher until it became too expensive and the Jewish community abandoned the project. Imagine that on top of the very top there was even a 7 mt long angel, which fell down several years ago, with posthumous disappointment by Antonelli (who was indeed a strange fellow). Now the Mole hosts a very contemporary, and very visited, Museum of Cinema. If you go to Torino, also consider going to the nearby Cinema Massimo, which features non dubbed movies of the greatest quality.

Torino is the city of baroque, bourgeoisie, business (not as much as in Milan but don't remind Turin people of this) and.. drums rolling.. Italy. Italy was "invented" under these alleys, as noblemen, literary people, politicians and a king (of the Savoy family) decided to embark on the strange adventure of uniting the peninsula. In Torino you can find lots of information about this and also a very interesting, recently renewed Museum of Risorgimento, as that era is called.

Good place for a tram ride, or maybe just stopping at some garden, bike and watch the fountains go up and down. Torino is a very entertaining city, far from the metropolitan vibe of Milan or Rome, but rather an elegant, outgoing yet formal town. I was there for 5 years to study, so I know what I'm talking about right?

I have been sitting on these benches long enough, though, so I decided to leave and I was quite happy of doing so. However, what I miss most of Torino is crossing the square below on the way to the hills, across the river and up in the green, among villas, moroccan drug dealers and couples strolling through. Definitely an elite town seen from the perspective of a tourist, but quite a mess once you get in it. So now, I don't know what you're in for most.