It’s a curious thing how a place so far from home can be so familiar to me. But having spent a bit of time in Turin last year, most of it on foot, I was quite familiar with all the sights today and very comfortable walking around by myself.
First things first, I went to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where Pier Giorgio’s tomb was placed in 1990. I arrived just in time for Mass and then had just enough time afterward to see everything again. Most churches in Italy close from around 12 to 3 p.m. It’s something to remember when traveling around Italy. Here, if you snooze, you definitely lose! The Holy Shroud of Turin is also in the same Cathedral. They have added a little display about the Shroud to the left of the entrance which is a very nice addition.
I was not able to enter the church of San Domenico today but have seen it on other occasions. This is where Pier Giorgio took his vows as a Third Order Dominican. It is a very old church and is closed from 12 to 4. You have to really plan it right to get inside! The church Pier Giorgio really loved, along with most of the Turinese people, is La Consolata. Unlike the other churches, it does not close during the day. It is absolutely beautiful and has a portrait of Pier Giorgio on display. I noticed that a local group also added informational plaques all around the church in both English and Italian. This is wonderful! If you are planning on next year’s FrassatiUSA pilgrimage, you will appreciate seeing the English. Something else I noticed that I hadn’t seen before were signs warning about falling chestnuts during autumn. When I was growing up, we had signs for falling rocks! Chestnuts?!
I was supposed to meet somebody at Piazza Solferino – the original location of La Stampa. But I started walking on the wrong street and decided to keep going until I reached the house where Pier Giorgio died. Across the street from there is his parish church, La Crocetta. It was nice to visit all of these places again and think about how often he walked the same streets and went to the same places.
With Turin being the home of La Stampa, many of the newsstands bear its name although they sell every sort of magazine and reading material. Because it is Sunday, nearly everything was closed today. Also, there is a huge soccer match tonight in Turin and the police were already routing traffic. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of one of the newsstands and the little car parked in front of it. It’s called the “Smart Car” but I like to think of it more like a death trap. These cars are everywhere. Parking is limited and you can imagine how easy it is to find a space with something so small. These cars also feature automatic transmission which is the exception rather than the rule in Italy. Meanwhile, in the U.S., they are repainting lines in parking lots to accommodate the SUV’s we are driving!
Of course, I had cappuccino. It’s a custom here to make a design – often a heart -- in the white swirl of the cappuccino. I got a whole smiley face today!
It’s still on the cold side in Pollone. Not much sun at all. Soon, I will be on my way to visit Italian relatives and other (hopefully, warmer!) parts of the country that I have not yet seen on previous trips. So I will say “Arrivederci” to all of you out there in cyberspace. I hope you have enjoyed my little view from the villa and beyond. Verso l’alto! ///cmw