Saturday, January 03, 2009

Luci di Natale

I mentioned in my first post of the Torino series that in this time of the year, the city puts up 'Luci d'artista', a gorgeous exposition of lights built by artists, all throughout downtown. I noticed this year they haven't exposed all of them, sadly, maybe to save money, or maybe because some of them broke. In any case, the lights that are shown are as beautiful as always. I'm going to show here some pictures of them, which I took in these past few days.
The Church of the 'Gran Madre' (Great Mother, i.e. Mary) is the bright one at the end of the bridge. This church was erected in 1814 to celebrate the return of the King Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia after Napoleon's defeat. It's thought to be one of the 'magic' points in Torino. Torino is in fact supposedly one of the centers of the white and black magic in Europe, and there are points in the city that have significance for both 'trends'. In this case, the Holy Grail is thought to be buried under one of the statues that are in front of the church.
The building lit with blue lights at the right, on a hill, is another beautiful church, the 'Chesa dei Cappuccini', from the name of the order of the friars that live in the monastery ('cappuccio' is 'hood', which they wear all the time with their robe, being Franciscan fathers). The street that faces that gorgeous bridge is Via Po, from the name of the river Po, where the street ends.
Via Po shows one of the most peculiar characteristics of Torino: its arcades. One can walk for hours under arcades in Torino, and never get too hot or too wet, depending on the season. Above the arcades there are regular apartments, whereas below there are mostly stores, and people walk by them protected by the arcades. The lights are very pretty in this street - here is a close up of the starting one.
Another beautiful square with arcades is Piazza San Carlo, which I showed before. Here is just a detail of the lights:
The last square I'm going to show is the Piazza del Municipio (City Hall square), that has some strange but nice enough cubic lights:
The statue in the middle represents 'Il Conte Verde'. Don't ask me who he is, because I'm very ignorant on the subject..

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