On Thursday, I traveled to Torino (aka Turin) with two classes from the school because they went to a conference on intercultural affairs, instead I was allowed to walk around the city. I did so much, so here’s a snapshot:
Mole Antonelli & the National Museum of Cinema
This is a really ugly building that was built by the same architect of a dome in San Gaudenzio in Novara, Antonelli. interestingly enough, it was originally meant to be a synagogue but never was so it became the National Museum of Cinema. It was a strange museum to say the least, but they did a great job because they made is extremely themed according to a particular genre of movie. And there is a scary-as-hell all-glass elevator that goes straight up through the middle of the building to the top that rewarded you with beautiful views of the city.
Residents of the Royal House of Savoy
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, so I’m happy! The Savoy’s were the kings of a region of Italy and then with the unification of Italy in the late 19th century, they became the rulers of the Kingdom of Italy (which if you know anything about WWII, didn’t last very long). They changed Torino from a small, fortified medieval town to a sprawling city in the 17th and 18th centuries, and all of their royal residents are part of the UNESCO Site. I was able to make it to two of the palaces, Palazzo Madama (a huge “mother-in-law suite) and Palazzo Reale, which conveniently were in the same plaza. Also at Palazzo Reale I got in for free because I told the ticket taker that I studied art history, sweet! I then tried this trick all day but it didn’t work. 😦
In my humble opinion, this drink should be a UNESCO site. A delicious concoction of chocolate, cream, and coffee is unique to Torino. The name bicerin is Piedmontese for “small glass.” It looks like a plain glass of hot choclate, but beware – it is deliciously toxic!
Turin Egyptian Museum
You’re probably wondering: why would I go to Italy to see an Egyptian Museum? because it’s actually the first museum in the world to devote itself to Egyptian artifacts, that’s why. It was partly closed because of renovations so I was able to see it all that was available at a reduced price.
This was a strange place; I consider it a precursor to EPCOT. It is a fake medieval village in a park in the middle of Torino, and a faithful copy of 6 different villages of Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta. I walked around for free and then paid a little to tour the lord’s castle, they did a great job of making is realistic and true to the history.
I think I did well for one day, there’s so much more to see. Maybe I’ll make another one-day journey before I leave Italy. One month down, two to go!