I woke up this morning refreshed from a day of relentless traveling, rain soaked socks and backpack wearing shoulders to find myself in the shadows of the Piedmont mountains under a glorious sun on this, the most important day in the Christian world. Easter. Pasqua. This is especially relevant in Italy, a city home to the head of the Catholic church and with a high percentage of Catholics (practicing or otherwise).
To arrive in the north of Italy, I took my first flight with Ryan Air, which was expedient enough to Milan, with the only catch being that I sat through a solid hour or stewardesses pitching sales for all of the things that are apparently necessary for a 40 minute flight (headphones, caffe’, panini, and my favorite: lottery scratch-off cards). Our bus from the airport to the city outpaced the storm clouds sweeping across the region, and we scraped together about an hour of rain-free touring.
In Torino, the city famed for its world class soccer team, we strolled to a local church to celebrate Mass. Like every church in the United States it was packed beyond capacity. After asking, I found that there is no Italian synonym for “Chreasters,” but that the idea is well understood.
After a fantastic morning, involving a walk through the old Fiat factory-turned-mall, we reposed in the apartment of my family friends to a lunch brimming with the most delicious foods: meat balls in tomato sauce, zucchini, carrots, fresh salad, a type of keish made from nettles (it was counter intuitively good), beef filled ravioli and more deserts than my stomach could handle. All of this occurred with the Vatican mass droning on in the background, the soft-spoken words of Pope Benedict XVI blessing the world on this sacred day.
And now, with my eyes drooping as I resist the urge to fall into a blessedly-stuffed nap, I attempt to read a bit of an Italian newspaper, quietly amazed that any of this is happening to me, but careful to avoid questing a good thing.