Monday, October 14, 2013
The last few days of touring Italy with my mom were decadant, especially when we reached Torino, or “Turin” Italy. Over the course of the past 3 weeks in Italy we were up to 3 cappucino’s a day, and god knows how many Gelatos, and thick pudding-like hot chocolate. I heard there was an ‘all day chocolate tasing pass” you could get in Torino, where chocolate artisans took their cocoa seriously. The two days we spent there was basically an all day chocoalte rampage, an amazing ‘appertivo’ discovery, and the stunningly amazing exhibit of ancient Egyptian artifacts at the Egyptian Museum.
I’m not a museum person, and neither is my mom, who we lovingly call Ginny “the Shark” . (yes Italian Americans usually have nicknames’ you’re dying to hear the story behind) BUT we love Egyptian artifacts, and the display was like no other. Instead of a sterile white, brightly lit series of rooms that you encounter in every museum on the planet, this place was dark, like a theatre , with black walls and the sculptures were dramatically lit, so you could be transported through time to the land of the Pharoes and Pyramids. It was easy to spend hours staring at the faces of the dead. WHO WERE these people? They definitely liked having their portraits carved in granite..the hardest stone on the planet. Amid these sculptures I saw what looked like the world’s earliest Cankles. (fat legs with fat ankles) One sphynx face looked exactly like Michael Jackson. Was he one of them in a previous life–incarnated into a pop star? The Egyptians invented wigs and toilets… and those stone tablets were probaby gossip columns, maybe the worlds earliest version of People Magazine.
You never really need to go to any museum in Italy. The streets themselves are museums or architecture. ALot of red stone, clay and brick was used to build the grand creations of Torino. One building ( like many treasures all over the country) was restored to its original beuty. The restoration to 9 years! Imagine working on the same project for almost a decade of daily care and perverence. If only I could feel that way about going to the gym. If I could restore my fat flabby ass the way these Italians restired their crumbling blackened buildings, I’d be Miss America by now.
By mid October the weather is getting shitty. It’s gray, with a little cold wind and drizzle. I wasn;t worried about it. We were leaving soon, and had one more day to take one last expedition.
After our time warp in ANcient Egypt, we wander through the streets to see what turns up. A huge piazza revealed guys roating chestnuts on pushcarts, a colorful outdoor market in a piazza with all kinds of nostalgic items like old phones and glassware for sale, and little coffee shops where we had to taste the famous “Bellini”. ( coffee, chocolate and cream) The hot chocolate was essentially melted chocolate that you drank–well…sipped as if you were drinking hot pudding. Nearby crowds of protestors are toting signs and banners and shouting their cause. I have no idea what they’re upset about because my Italian sucks and Google Translate wasnt cooperating. We think the people were against a bridge being built (or torn down?) Whatever. Just remember, When an Italian is happy they just want to feed you . When thye’re mad they just want to kill you. We had that feeling that Somebody’s gonna get wacked. The police were everywhere. We could only do one thing. Find food. We discovered an amazing “appertivo” which is a huge spread of all kinds of delicious appetizers and main course type foods that you get “free’ when you buy one drink. Turin was like a dream that transported us from ancient egypt to an emotional uproar of the people to food and bev heaven in 48 hours.
The next day, we too the bus back to Milan and said goodbye to Italy.
You cant go to Italy too many times. It’s a place you have to go repeatedly to explore every layer, and detail.
Or to just meet the Pope. I hear he’s a pretty cool guy.