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.