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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.


ALL the Mission Blog posts from the Highfields Contributors: 

Only 355 days until next Christmas
Celebrating Christmas in Torino...
Why the manger?
Some reflections for some of the "why's" of Christmas...
Hey Joe
Life can get messy sometimes...
Cowper in Italy
A little home comfort...
When familiarity breeds contempt
A better hope
Reflections on a trip to the museum...
Standing in the rain
What makes a person stand out in the rain?
Context isn't everything
...but then again, it sure helps sometimes.
Glad To Be Back
I'm not going to lie to you. I was a little bit nervous about returning to normal life at Highfields after my sabbatical break. But Missions Sunday made me feel glad to be back.
Let the Nations be Glad!
Missions exists because worship doesn't. Worship is both the fuel and goal of missions. How can we proclaim "Let the nations be glad and rejoice in God!" to others until we first say to ourselves "I delight in the Lord!"?
Quiet, isn't it?
When urban life redefines 'quiet'...
Shopping like humans
Sometimes, looking around you can be an interesting experience...
Changing perspectives
The return of the local street party...
The journey of the double-edged sword
Reflections on a home-group meeting...
When Cultures Coincide
It's not just the magnificence of creation that unites Namibia and Arizona.
Change of season
Autumn in Torino...
Some thoughts on Prayer
We can sometimes ignore some features of even the best-known passages of the Bible.
Back to Africa
Highfields' Associate Pastor Phil Jenkins reflects on this summer's trip to Namibia, the country where he used to work.
Summer reading
Something refreshing for the plane or the pool (and probably cheaper than a cup of tea on most airlines...)
Worlds apart
Life can be far more than just different perspectives.

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