What’s with Torino?

“You don’t have to believe in magic to feel the sense of mystery that pervades much of Turin, especially down by the weir on the Po on a foggy winter’s night. It might be enough to assign this to some of the strange and powerful monuments and sights that are unique to the city: the bizarre form of the Mole Antoniella, the cavernous tombs of the Egyptian Museum, unexpected in such a famously industrial city; the memorial to the dead Torino footballers on the ill-fated Superga hill; or the presence of the much debated and compelling Turin Shroud. Turin is, in actual fact, known world-wide to be a pole of both black and white magic; a point on a triangle of white, good magic with Lyon and Prague, and a point on a [slightly odd-shaped] triangle of black magic with London and San Francisco.

There are many reasons for this; first the predominance of symbolic buildings, sculptures, and symbols, such as rosaries, dragon, masks, dogs, and lions in the city. Secondly, because it is at the confluence of the Po and Dora rivers, which are said to represent the sun and the moon, and at whose meeting point Druids used to gather in the approach to the summer solstice. Turin is also allegedly a nexus of energy channels, which envelop the planet, the existence of which was first mooted by the ancient Chinese. There is a legend about the creation of the city, placing its beginning in 15th century BC with the ancient Egyptians, led by Prince Erdano, who named the River Po. As with all ancient Roman settlements, there were four gates, representing the four cardinal points, and the main Roman road followed the rising sun.

Despite the above, don’t go thinking that the average Torinese is into snakes, voodoo, and weird urban rituals. Most locals prefer to love the fog and brooding nature of their home town.”  <from the Footprint Guide to Turin, 2003>

Nothing frightening here, unless you count the “face in the Alps” or the Parliamentary elections here for president today, the demonstrations by the communisti, or the presence of riot police in the piazza. Or the Shroud of Turin ..?

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About Joy Hendrickson

I am an adherent of the theory that we don't know what we don't know. I enjoy all things literary, visual, mysterious, and just beyond our grasp.
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