Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Torino. Though a beautiful city, I was a little underwhelmed. Torino feels more like little Milan than a city of its own. But I did attend a 20th century art exhibit, ate agnolotti, and breathed in the River Po.
I’m not very well versed in fauvist or cubist art styles, but I do appreciate the 20th century artists for their understanding of color. A body is painted in pinks, whites, and light browns with a beautiful blue outline. I never would have thought that the broad strokes and thick layers of paint could so effectively convey meaning. Matisse was the most prominently featured artist and I left with an increased appreciation for his work. In contrast, I disliked almost every Picasso in the collection. I think I ought to stick with Renaissance art.
After a lunch of agnolotti (roast beef filled ravioli), a very famous dish in the Piedmont region of Italy, I went to put my feet in the River Po. Unlike the River Arno that slices through Firenze, the Po is sparkling clear and beautiful. The riverwalk was a beautiful place to soak up some sun and enjoy the local architecture before moving back into the bustle of the city.
In celebration of Pasqua, I went to Lake Como. The city of Como was beautiful and warm today. The huge open air market being held in honor of the holiday was incredibly interesting. You could buy mops, dental equipment, and marzipan with everything in between. I don’t have a picture, I was too intent on eating, but they were selling little roasted chickens for lunch. Absolutely delicious.
The city surrounds one branch of the River Como and is a favorite location for the wealthy’s summer homes. Several of the historical villas feature beautiful statues and gardens. Many places boast of influential and historic guests like Napoleon Bonaparte and Czar Nicholas II.
Como is a community of diverse interests. As the birthplace of Alessandro Volta, one of Italy’s most influential physicists, a strong tradition of study and devotion to the sciences has become characteristic of the city. Besides the academics, flight and boating enthusiasts flock to the city during the warm months.
Torino and Como were the two most northern cities on my list of “sights to see”. I’m very happy I had the weekend free to adventure and explore. Soon, I’ll be going to the most southern city on my list. Stay tuned for more!