I must admit I haven’t been to Torino as many times as Marta has come to Barcelona. In fact, last August it was my first time in Piemonte.
When I visit a place for the first time I get out of myself. I feel so overwhelmed and inspired by all the stimulation and new information I have to process that, honestly, I don’t talk too much or take too many pictures. For me, discovering a new place is the same as introducing myself, I do that with respect and without too much intrusion. You walk the streets, you try to understand them, not judge them, you talk with the city and in the end the city shows its most beautiful face.
Torino was a nice surprise to me. I had never thought or created any idea of how it looked or what the mood was. I was a complete stranger and I rather love feeling that (yeah, I do some research about the places I want to go to but I don’t want to “guess” the place’s mood. I like the city talking to me.) So the first time I walked out Porta Nuova station and I see the city I’m about to meet. I start walking feeling bad because my camera is inside my bag, not in my hands, but you don’t start taking pictures of someone you’ve just met, do you? Besides, my pictures are my feelings, I don’t know what I feel, yet. So, I’m walking the streets, with the best guide I could have, the one who has the same feelings towards Torino as I have towards Barcelona, so that makes perfect sense to understand how she’s feeling and to write my own blank page. I’m walking the streets amazed by this new place and I start thinking “this is not what I thought.” Of course I didn’t have a preconceived idea but really… it wasn’t what I had in mind when thinking about an Italian city. I try to reeducate myself and think “well, Barcelona isn’t what it’s thought to be a Spanish city either.” So I start enjoying Torino’s streets because of their personality, their mood, their hidden places to show. And I think “This is very similar to some streets in Paris!” (sorry my dear Paris, I still like you very much)
I felt like people there is not aware of the secret treasure in that city. I felt people was too immersed in their problems (yes… not life but problems) that they couldn’t see the beauties I was enjoying. They were simply streets and light. Then, I felt a wave of warm breeze while realizing I was looking at that city with the eyes of a tourist. I was able to enjoy it and start over my own tendency to look at the city with disagreement. Turin still had many things to show me.
I don’t want to get too much into this making this text much longer, but I want to stress something I appreciated. Turin is in Piemonte, the northern region in Italy. It has its own personality and culture and I could see that. Me, as a catalan citizen with an own culture and language apart from Spanish, I appreciate that, because I could feel Italy is much more than what we think it is (out of clichés), the same way I feel my own country, Spain, a very rich one with many and different cultures and languages. Italy showed me one of her faces, in this case one that speaks Piemontese and lives at the feet of the Alps.
And to end this very first chapter of “my Torino” I add a picture, a very “postcard” one, which I won’t include in The Lonely Walkers’ project but, still, it’s one of its faces.