Sunday morning in Turin, and I was on a casual stroll on the foggy banks of the Po, when a little old lady with the compulsory little dog swaddled in a tiny jacket walks up to me. Mind you, in Italy even the dogs wear really thick jackets in what could only be indulgently called cold weather. For most Scandinavia, it would probably be full blown spring. So she sees my camera and expresses her regret that I should be here in such bad weather. While I am impressed by her concern, I can only smile. This is not bad weather- it’s wonderful weather. The fog floats over the river, people come running or walking their packaged pets, and there’s a hill to the other side of the river. Well, I know this place. It’s home.
Of course I’ve never lived in Turin, but it’s one of the few cities where I imagine myself staying for a longer time and enjoying it. It’s not only the familiar setting of a city on a fully fledged river- it’s also that sensation, getting ever rarer, that this place has not yet been totally vampirized by hoards of tourists holding the Mole Antonelliana between their fingers for a silly shot. So instead of a postcard perfect sunny morning, give me the fog, and the satisfaction of having actually felt something of the essence of a place, not just seen the surface of it.