A refreshing week away

I’ve just spent almost a week in Torino, Italy, a city where I spent 25% of my time for 18 months, 25 years ago. I learned some things about the city that I had not known before:

  • Torino has 18 kilometers (more than 11 miles) of portici (covered sidewalks), and many of them go along what were the old city walls. Many were built when Torino became the capital of Italy, to add a common façade to a row of buildings and give the city a clean, unified look.
  • Some streets have continuous portici over the cross streets on one side but gaps across them on the other. This is because the side without the gaps was intended for the use of the nobles.
  • The city does have a medieval section (which I had never noticed before, if I had seen it at all), although it is tiny compared to those one finds in many (if not most) other Italian cities.
  • The Borgo Medievale (in the Parco del Valentino) is not only a reconstruction (which I knew), but is one that reflects what the 18th Century fantasized that the Middle Ages were like.

I’ve walked and walked and walked. On the side of the river where most of the city lies, Torino is almost completely flat, and one can walk forever without tiring (except for one’s feet). I walked eleven miles on my first day, then seven, five, six, seven, and four. I thought I wasn’t going to do much today because some friends took me to a nearby town for lunch, but I did manage to do nearly four miles after I got back. And even with all of this walking, I still managed to transcribe three interviews for my PhD research. (If you have any idea how long this takes, you’ll be impressed. :-)

I feel refreshed. And slightly lighter, perhaps. I may do this again in the spring. I certainly want to do it when the air is clear and the Alps are visible.

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About Elizabeth

Northumbria Uni PhD student. User researcher and interaction designer. FRSA. Photographer. UU. American. Renaissance choral singer, language lover, Italian speaker, solo traveler.

Posted on 20 September 2014, in PhD life, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The Alps tend to be properly visible about one day in ten – or were 20 years ago! That was from Orio, which is higher than Torino. It’s less in Torino itself. IIRC, the best times were winter when it was cold and dry – January and February. That also meant they were properly snow-covered :)

    We used to love Parco Valentino and would often take the kids there for a walk after school & lunch on a Saturday..There used to be a floating restaurant there, which we frequented now & again, usually when taking guests there

    The “tree” in the castle courtyard is a reproduction of an original in a castle in the Aosta valley… although I can’t now remember which one :/

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