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Christmas in Turin

Turin is a city which likes the Winter

Huw Williams | 16:05, Tuesday 20 December 2016 | Turin, Italy

I have been feeling for some time now that Turin is a city which likes the Winter. Historically the Torinese have escaped the city's oppressive heat in the Summer months for more comfortable climes, but in Winter Torino is a city most comfortable with itself, perhaps. Even in modern days there is an influx of visitors to the city at this time of year, usually drawn to the nearby ski slopes but enchanted enough by the city to spend a little time here at least before (or after) heading to the mountains.

the magnificently painted giant Advent calendar, one huge door opening daily

As the days get shorter the city centre is sprinkled liberally with the most tasteful of lights for Christmas and, from the right vantage point, those long streets can be peered down with wonder as one traces the illuminations disappearing into the distance. Roasted chestnut sellers announce their presence with the most delicious aroma long before one reaches them on Via Roma or Via Garibaldi, and if one is walking in the right direction one will get to the end of the street with that opening up of Piazza Castello and, in pride of place, the magnificently painted giant Advent calendar, one huge door opening daily to reveal further detail on Emauele Luzzati's wonderfully lively rendering.

And don't forget the flavours! Panettone, pandoro, agnolotti, gianduja and hot chocolate to stand a spoon in, all come into their own at this time of year. At New Year you may well enjoy cotechino and, as January progresses, you might even get to try bagna cauda which not a dish for the faint-hearted, but a reward in itself for the brave.

a feeling that Christmas is celebrated a little more deliberately here, than what we remember ... elsewhere

It's all becoming rather familiar to us now we're arriving at our sixth Christmas, but the beauty of it doesn't wear off. There's a feeling that Christmas is celebrated a little more deliberately here, than what we remember of Christmas elsewhere. There seems to be less glittery bluster and more repose, perhaps. And that is something I have been learning the value of for some time.

---o0o---

ALL the Mission Blog posts from the Highfields Contributors: 

Christmas in Turin
Turin is a city which likes the Winter.
Disappointments
When life lets us down...
Crossing borders...
Reflections on this week's sermon prep.
Happy Easter from Athens!
Today is Easter Monday in Greece and it’s 2nd May! Confused? Wasn’t Easter five weeks ago?
Conversations...
On reading the Bible and conversation.
Foreign to familiar
A guide to understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate cultures
Signs
We ignore signs at our peril
New "normal"
Reflecting on the Christmas season in Piemonte...
The sign of the manger
“And this will be a sign to you – you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
If you love someone...
When God's values humble us, there's only one response.
Scripture and Culture
Some reflections on historical thinking and the Bible
Edwards on the Christian Life
Book Review: Here's a book you should read... no excuses.
Riding the seasons
On Italian Summers and musical landscapes
Reacquainting
On impending reunions...
Looking for Uzziel
It's surprising what you can unearth in a building project...
Bridging the gap
Two large pieces of music have been holding my attention recently
Luke's gospel of a loving God
Reflections at the end of a sermon series
"A host, of golden daffodils..."
Stumbling on beauty unexpectedly
On Language
Have you ever stopped to think what language teaches us?
Inside-out / outside in?
What difference does being a Christian really make?

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