Monday, March 5, 2018

Game Day Plan B: A Trip to Beautiful Torino

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Since our game today against the Cagliari Crusaders was postponed due to the snowy weather, I needed a Plan B . . .

 . . . Torino it was!

P.N. stands for Porta Nuova, Torino's main train station.

Torino, Turin as we call it in English, was the final of the three big cities in northwest Italy, Genoa and Milan were the other two, that I wanted to visit during our time with the Skorpions.

Turin is famed for its Holy Shroud, the Fiat car company, great museums and the Juventus soccer club.

The city also served as Italy's capital from 1861-1864

Somber reminder

This memorial is dedicated to the people who were deported via this train station by the Nazis and Fascists during World War II.

Imposing Torino Porta Nuova

Lots of arcades in Torino

An old book fair that stretched for blocks was in progress.

Spa anyone?

This relief was part of . . .

 . . . this statue on . . .

. . . Piazza San Carlos

My Lonely Planet Italy guidebook stressed the need for me to have a café somewhere on Piazza San Carlos.

Who was I to say no?

The café was as good as the decor
at Caffé San Carlos

More Arcades

The Lux is a movie house

Apropos since tonight is the annual Academy Awards ceremony.

I hope Ben Hur wins the Oscar for Best Picture, I loved that movie.

 Lots of bricks

Lots of military related statues
throughout Torino

Lonely Planet stated that the #1 attraction in Torino is the Egyptian Museum, so that was my first destination.

Interestingly, my Rick Steves Italy guidebook does not even mention Torino as a travel destination.

I think that this might be it


This museum opened in 1824 and houses the world's most important collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo according to Lonely Planet.

Over the years I have seen a lot of Egyptian exhibitions and museums but frankly Torino's museum left me awed.

Papyrus drawings are always

Results of the recent 1274 B.C.
boat races on the Nile

I couldn't have said it any better

Walk like Egyptian

Great craftsmanship

 Such great detail in her hair

His, not so much.

 The U-shaped artifact is
an Egyptian pillow of sorts

Marks-A-Lot drawing on your buddy's face at a party when he passes out is funny.

When he is dead, not so much.

Items for the afterlife

Oh, it IS carved in stone

 What are these three guys doing?

The eyes painted on the coffin
in the background tell us
at which end the head reposes

Sailing away . . .

Statue of a local
government official

Simple carved beauty
3,000 years later

 Traditional pose

Love Couple

Small but beautiful

Oils and unguents
for the afterlife

Egypt was, of course,
big on pyramids of all sizes

Loving the Cobras

"Nimble little minx isn't she."

Name the movie.

 The equivalent of
Egyptian bobble heads?

Great gold coffin

Not as great as King Tut's
but pretty good

Of course, even their vessels
were works of art

 Details . . .

. . . LOTS of details

Blue Army

Nile Crocodile

Fatted Calf


Squatting Pharaoh



HUGE head

Ramses II

Skirts this millennium will
come just above the knee

It was absolutely a great museum, well worth seeing.

The mandatory museum visit out of the way, I needed to find a church to enter soon.

But which one?

Torino's answer to
NYC's Flatiron Building

Piazza Castello leading to
Piazza Reale

 Interesting building housing the
Civic Museum of Ancient Art

Guarding the
Civic Museum of Ancient Art

Armor relief was eye catching

I was nearing my goal church-of-the-day.

The Duomo di San Giovanni Battista
constructed 1491-1498

The Duomo's exterior was not a particularly awe inspiring but the Duomo is famous for one article.

The Duomo is the home of the controversial Shroud of Turin.

I knew that the Shroud of Turin was not on public display but a replica usually is, I wanted to see it.

The Duomo is much
more interesting inside

Jesus is BIG in Italy

That's nothing new.

Darn, the replica Shroud was
not on display today either

With my daily dose of museum and church visits satisfied, the question was what to do next?

Our son Michael is both a big European soccer fan, calcio in Italy, and a history buff.

Thus he asked me to try to visit Torino's Basilica di Superga if time permitted.

Time permitted.

 Potable water

These fountains are all over the city for the public to use as needed.

Torino is Italian for baby bull, thus the baby bull head.

To get to the Basilica di Superga I first rode a shiny new #15 tram across the city and then boarded a vintage 1934 cog wheel tram for a 20 minute ride up an important mountain side to the Basilica.

The vintage cog wheel tram

Not one but TWO drivers

The Basilica di Superego was erected due to Vittorio Amedeo II's 1706 promise to build it to honor the Virgin Mary if Torino was saved from the besieging French and Spanish armies.

Torino was saved, so up went the Basilica on a hillside across the Po River overlooking Torino.

It is the final resting place for many members of the the long-time ruling monarchy of the Savoy family.

 Lots of snow once we got
to the top of the mountain

And lots of fog too!

I was interested in the Basilica

But not for the Basilica itself, it was about why Michael wanted me to visit this site.

I needed to walk around
to the back of the Basilica

The back of the Basilica

Looking down the mountain side
from the back of the Basilica

What was this?

It was the reason for the visit.

In 1949, the Torino Football Club was easily the most dominant soccer team in Italy.

The team was returning from a friendly game in Lisbon on May 4, 1949 when their plane crashed into the back of the Basilica di Superga killing all 21 people aboard including the 18 Torino players.

The Torino F.C. dead
are all buried here

 To this day fans still honor the team

The interred

Torino F.C. fans . . .

. . . will NEVER forget them

Some of the dead

Besides visiting the shrine, Michael also asked me to get him a pair of Torino F.C. shorts.

Mission Accomplished!

He asked for the number 49 to be added.

Nice touch.

The Basilica was still foggy as I left

 Basilica Cupola

I had time to kill as the next tram would not be leaving for another 45 minutes.

Thus the one church/day rule was broken, if for no other reason than to stay warm.

Evening passeggiata

Interesting storefront
 opened in 1866

Oh my! 

Honoring Torino Soldiers

Lots of Torino Soldiers

 Cavalry and Castle


 It was time to board the
train for the ride home

Torino is a GREAT city and I definitely need to return as there is a lot more to see, do and eat than I did in just a few hours.

Plan B was a good one.

Oh, and I got some good
exercise while I was at it!


Anonymous said...

"..." = Ghostbusters
Thank you for visiting the Basilica (and shorts).

George said...


You are welcome.