Mission Matters Blog

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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: 

Tastes of home
On food, culture and home...
Falstaff, Authenticity and Generation A-Z
Some thoughts on Elgar, Shakespeare and contemporary culture...
Changed lives
Just what exactly does it take to change a life?
Call and response
We were excited to hear that both the International Church of Torino and Highfields seemed to coincide with looking at the book of Titus.
The importance of journeys
Thoughts on the importance of not standing still.
The joyful opportunity to love
Seeing the heart of God in the love of His people.
Focusing the eyes
A little reflection on babies and studying the book of Ruth.
On routines, on 4am alarm calls, and other things...
Reflections of a brand new Dad
3 Flights and a Baby
Easter is always about new life, but this year in Turin, there was an extra reason to celebrate.
From whom all blessings flow
Reflections on an extraordinary week in the Williams family
A Welshman in Torino...
So how did a Welshman in Italy celebrate a Grand Slam last Saturday?
In an airport lounge...
I write this in an airport departure lounge, and I am surrounded by life in miniature.
Vox populi...?
Some thoughts on Twitter, technology and tolerance.
Just walk across the room
Yesterday I took a little walk down our road but a big step into another world
Of chickens, Italian and a couple of turkeys...
Learning a new language can be a strange business.
Greek scholars will recognise the word. The rest of us just say “fellowship“!
On 'Eugene Onegin'...
So what’s been playing on my CD player recently?
Always Winter?
More snow yesterday and now it seems the big freeze has come.
Concerning Hobbits
If you know me well, you’ll be aware that I’m a bit of a Tolkien nut. I’m not one of those Tolkien nuts who is learning to speak Elvish, but in relative terms, I’m a big fan.
In Halls of Splendour
It's been good to have my Dad and Mum staying with us this week. One of the many blessings of visitors is that you get to go to places that you had in mind to visit someday.

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