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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: 

Morning Prayer Meeting
There’s a prayer meeting we have at our apartment on the first Saturday of every month. It would be fair to say that it isn’t the most well-attended of our meetings, but it’s a relatively new venture, so it’s early days.
The Shortest Day...
One of my usual Christmas rituals I shall miss the most this year will be Carols from King’s
What Christmas means to... Valerio
In our Christmas guest service last Sunday, I asked Valerio, one of the young men in our church, if he would share a quick two or three minutes with the congregation on the subject of "What Christmas means to me."
Sunday mornings
Sunday mornings can feel a little hectic. When you meet in a school every Sunday, there's always setting up to be done,
And the earth was without form...
We stare into a mass of grey, as thick and as impenetrable as the clouds which have been casting rain upon the city, in such unrelenting fashion, for the past five days.
People with white faces
There’s a guy who stands on the corner of Piazza Statuto and plays a saxophone.
Far from a monologue...
We wrapped up our sermon series in Philippians this last Sunday with the last verses of the epistle.
On Coffee....
In the move to Torino, there are some things that have taken some adjusting to. The coffee isn’t one of them.
Practising and Preaching
I've had one of those weeks. You know, one of those weeks where all things seem to conspire to tell you how bad you are at everything.
On words....
So I've been thinking a bit about words. Actually I've been thinking a lot about words.
...I wanted to live deliberately...
Almost overnight the temperature started to drop
City Life
“Look at that street! Can you believe we live in this city?” said Alison the other evening as we walked home. And she had a good point.
Pizza, planes and partnership...
I write this having just waved off most of the party of Highfields visitors who have been with us for the weekend.
Gustav Mahler and the Apostle...
One of the things I knew would miss most in our move was, of course, making music.
The Great Outdoors...
The other evening, we returned to our apartment after a busy day, to discover that our street had been transformed into the scene of a party!
I click this button on my computer dozens of times every day. Just to confirm that no earth-shatteringly important emails have come in during the last five minutes.
Priorities in Mission?
I’ve been re-reading David Hesselgrave’s book “Paradigms in Conflict” as preparation for the mission module we run this term on our Network ministry training course.
Spiritual Nuggets from Cape Town 2010
Lausanne One-Liners:
Lausanne Hears From The Suffering Church
Yesterday was wet and stormy in Cape Town so my planned trip to Robin Island was not possible - there were no boats sailing due to the weather.
Incredible encounters in Cape Town
Lausanne 2010 in Cape Town has begun. For me it started on the plane between Doha and Jo'burg. My seat was next to two women and I could see they had a Cape Town 2010 information sheet.

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