07 May 2010

Road Trip Torino: Day 6

Today we finally had some sunshine! WAHOO! After school, I went for a walk while Dan did some work on the computer at school. I wanted to show you a little bit what Torino looks like. It’s really a very pretty city—it has an architectural unity that you don’t often see in cities. Paris has it, Washington DC has it, but not a lot of Italian cities have it. Here it’s because Torino, while an old city, was largely built or re-built in one era: the baroque. Many of the buildings have porticos, called portici (POR-ti-chee) in Italian. All told, Torino has 80 km of portici! You can go for a looong way without getting wet (except at the intersections). This week we're very grateful for the portici.

Historically, there’s a reason for the portici. It seems that at the time that these buildings were constructed, taxes were levied on buildings based on how much ground they occupied. So if you made the ground floor smaller, you paid less in taxes. The floor above could jut out over the sidewalk, giving you more room, but you only paid taxes based on how much ground your building took. So most of the buildings were constructed with portici. They’re really pretty, and I love the look they give a city. Bologna has them as well.

There are often musicians under the portici, and sometimes people selling things. Here, the singer (in the red sweater wasn’t part of the band, but he just joined in spontaneously:

Of course, when you’re sotto i portici, it’s hard to see the detail on the buildings around you. It’s always worth it to look up in Italy:

It’s also worth it to look in any open arched doorways. Sometimes you can see something really gorgeous. The shop windows and storefronts, though, are my favorites:

In this one you can see our dinner: I had the agnolotti del plin, and Dan had tagliatelli. We took them home and cooked. We ate them with some grissini (breadsticks) we had bought next door to this shop:

This weekend we’re going to a big market and also to a big foodie place called “Eataly”. We won’t have internet access, so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait till Monday to hear about it. Let’s hope we have good weather!

To be continued….

P.S. I am enjoying reading your comments! Our internet time is severely limited, and I have to choose between posting and responding. I promise a long post answering all your questions when I get home!


Kate said...

Great pictures. Sounds as though you are having an adventure in architecture as well as language! Enjoyed the history of portici.

Kim said...

So pretty, Kate! Thanks for sharing all your pictures with us. I love the pictures of the storefronts and also the case with all that fresh pasta!! Did you have a hard time choosing? I would want all the pasta.

A Canadian Foodie said...

OK...I have not been following you becasue I cannot subscribe to your posts through e-mail - therefore I get to you about once a week or so... and look what I have missed! (I never get to my readers or rssfeeds in a timely fashion - if you could add a subscribe by e-mail plug in, I would be in heaven)
I have been to Italy several times, but never here. I am hanging on to every word and photo. Italy and france are my two ultimate places and I am so appreciative of your sharing this trip with me.
I am now going to read from the beginning and will be keeping up!

Carol at Serendipity said...

I am enjoying your travels! Pictures are wonderful.


WizzyTheStick said...

You are so fortunate and it looks like you are having a lovely time. Thanks for taking me along:-)

The Gypsy Chef said...

Thank Heavens it stopped raining! Torino looks lovely. Lucky you, you can visit the market and actually buy things to cook!
I need this mini vacation, pleeeese don't stop posting!

Sophie said...

Torino looks so lovely!! Lucky for you that you had sunshine & plenty of it!

Grand pictures!

Raymond Delhaye said...

J'aime beaucoup vous suivre dans votre périple italien !!
(et suivre l'évolution photographique !)


Junglefrog said...

I am glad you finally got to spend some time outdoors Kate! Lovely shots! Can't wait to see the photos of the market!