My writing skills being what they are, I frequently struggle with finding original or at least not overused ways to express my positive impressions of places and points of interest. But that is nothing compared to the search for ways to describe a lukewarm impression. The places that do not click with me are never unappealing in the direct sense – it is just that they fail to produce enough knockout wow moments and pale in comparison to other places on balance. Given that I am always happy to have the opportunity to see something with my own eyes and form my own opinions, how do I describe that I did not dislike the place – I just did not like it well enough?!
Turin did not click with me. As any city of reasonable size, it has a number of public spaces and monuments that catch the eye – and any proud native will undoubtedly point me to a bunch that I likely have unforgivably missed. Overall, though, its architectural composition – my main visual gauge – is no more than average. I am far from ever being prolific with my picture-taking, but the dearth of good photos from our day-trip to Turin must be an indicator that not that many views or details caught my eye.
Here is one view that did: the attractive expanse of Piazza San Carlo.
And another, Piazza Castello.
A look across river Po by the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I towards the church of Gran Madre Di Dio.
A couple of elevated views. First, the front yard of Palazzo Reale, with the intricate cupola of the cathedral in the background.
And a closer look at the dome of the Royal Chapel of San Lorenzo, one of the most impressive churches in town.
The one unmissable attraction in Turin, in my humble opinion, is the Museum of Cinema. It offers incredible expositions on the history of cinematography as well as all of the various crafts that play a role in movie-making. Its breathtaking focal point – the Temple Hall – is located in the atrium of Mole Antonelliana, the most symbolic of Turin’s buildings. I did not find a workable angle to photograph it from the street level, but if you ever saw a postcard from Turin, you probably can recognize the landmark from the shape of the cupola in this interior shot.
Unfortunately, the line for the elevator to get up to the lantern was easily an hour and a half long – the amount of time that we could not spend. Instead, we gave ourselves a bit of leisure by watching clips of famous movies in these seats in the atrium.
The fence of the royal palace.
The street lamps on Piazza San Carlo.
And that’s about it as far as passable photographic material.
I do not believe that I have ever seen Turin on any list of top destinations – and I suspect my impressions of it largely align with the common wisdom. Which does not mean that one of this days I will not spend time to do it better justice. Who knows…