Friday 8 May 2020

1996 Torino

23.2.96 Torino

Waiting outside the hall where the rehearsal for Monteverdi's "Orfeo" is taking place.  Surrounded by singers – half-loving, half-hating each other.  Bitching, gossiping, trying to gain the advantage.  Torino, a city I've been to once – a press trip for 36 hours, staying up to 2am, and rising at 5am to walk through the silent city.  Typically, I can't remember the company that took me, but I presume it was Olivetti. Torino, the rectilinear city (I have memories of a de Chirico vista of facades).  To Gozzano's Café - Caffè Baratti & Milano for obscene cakes (and fine pizzette).  

To the La Capannina – excellent food, atrocious people – well, not really.  Very atmospheric – saxophones on the wall, clocks in the cabinets, walkie-talkies.  What looks like a group with three Indonesians to our left.

24.2.96 Torino

Museo Egizio.  Like an abandoned film set the entrance – parts closed off, drapes – leading to an apology of a museum.  For the first time, I feel the injustice of exposing mummies to the gawping eyes of the world.  Typically Italian, alas, the neglect of these resonant objects.  Most worryingly, the collections from the intact tombs – perfectly preserved objects – are surely rotting even as we speak.  So little explanation, so little grandeur coming through.  A parody of a dusty dull museum.  

Scappiamo, and walk through the freezing backstreets, under the galleries (like Bologna), to the Mole Antonelliana – what is perhaps the most ridiculous building I know.  It looks simply as if five or six constructions have been piled on top of each other, with no thought to harmony (including two Greek temples).  But I like it, for some reason.

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